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Old May 23, 11, 6:35 pm   #1
 
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Fly from New York to anywhere west and drive to Grand Canyon

Looking to take a flight from NYC area to visit the Grand Canyon.

I don't mind driving - Salt Lake City? Colorado Springs? New Mexico? as long as it is scenic.

What I really want to do is fly in somewhere with a cheap flight, but it seems like all NY airports heading west are $400 +, is it ever cheaper?

Any links to road trip maps showing scenic routes?

Any ideas?

Thanks.
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Old May 23, 11, 6:50 pm   #2
 
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Las Vegas. Lots of flights. Easy driving distance.
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Old May 23, 11, 6:53 pm   #3
 
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+1 on Vegas, and consider the much less crowded but just as stunning North rim of the canyon. In my opinion, it is less crowded because it is more remote (far from major east/west interstates, not Vegas), not because it offers lesser scenery.

Also makes for easy side trips to the wonderful national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon) in southern Utah. Whatever you do, enjoy your trip!
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Old May 23, 11, 7:32 pm   #4
 
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flagstaff is another close airport. Great little town too.
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Old May 23, 11, 8:50 pm   #5
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How much time do you have?

Phoenix is closest to the S. Rim. Las Vegas is closest to the N. Rim. If you do both, its a wash. If you do any of the Nat'l Parks above GC then Las Vegas. However, Las Vegas airport has particularly high rental car fees and taxes. Gotta pay off that rental car facility and what not. Not sure if PHX is as bad.
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Old May 23, 11, 9:14 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by CApreppie View Post
How much time do you have?

Phoenix is closest to the S. Rim. Las Vegas is closest to the N. Rim. If you do both, its a wash. If you do any of the Nat'l Parks above GC then Las Vegas. However, Las Vegas airport has particularly high rental car fees and taxes. Gotta pay off that rental car facility and what not. Not sure if PHX is as bad.
PHX is pretty pricey for rental cars as well...they've got a new colossal palace of a CONRAC here as well that needs to be paid off.
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Old May 23, 11, 9:35 pm   #7
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Please follow the discussion as the thread moves to the Travel->West forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old May 24, 11, 5:36 am   #8
 
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My first trip to the area was 5-6 days. I flew in to Vegas, rented a car, and spent a day or two each in Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon (north rim). It was a marvelous trip that showed me enough of the area to inspire several repeat visits. The one thing I'd change in retrospect? Skip the Grand Canyon. Seriously. There's better stuff out there.
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Old May 24, 11, 2:27 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
My first trip to the area was 5-6 days. I flew in to Vegas, rented a car, and spent a day or two each in Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon (north rim). It was a marvelous trip that showed me enough of the area to inspire several repeat visits. The one thing I'd change in retrospect? Skip the Grand Canyon. Seriously. There's better stuff out there.
That sounds similar to what I want to do - although gotta see GC. Sorry!
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Old May 25, 11, 6:35 am   #10
 
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What time of year are you going? FYI, the North rim is closed much of the year because it's at a higher elevation than the South rim. I suppose they don't want too many people slipping on ice and falling into the canyon.

The new "glass-bottom" overlook is on the north side, if that interests you.

I don't think you can go wrong either way. Flying into Phoenix and making your way north through Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Painted Desert, etc. to the Desert View entrance is spectacular.

Heading south from Vegas gives you many options, too, including Zion and Bryce. My personal wish-list item also includes Antelope Canyon, where you can see slot canyons, which look out of this world. You have to make reservations in advance with an Indian guide.
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Old Jun 4, 11, 1:12 pm   #11
 
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I think you will find cheaper flights into Vegas than into Phoenix. More competition, for one thing. If you drive to the North Rim of the GC, you'll pass through part of Zion National Park (worth a visit in its own right, and there are lots of hotels in adjoining town of Springdale).

The North Rim is higher, cooler, greener and less crowded than the South Rim, though some feel they get a more direct view to the bottom of the canyon from the South Rim, plus the South Rim area has a wider variety of accommodations, in the park, and nearby towns. For the North Rim,your choices are pretty much the lodge at the rim (http://foreverlodging.com/lodging.cfm?PropertyKey=181), which should be booked in advance, the rustic Kaibab Lodge (http://kaibablodge.com/). just outside the park boundary, and the motel-like Jacob Lake Inn (http://www.jacoblake.com/), 44 miles from the rim. There are reviews of all of them on Tripadvisor. After that, the next places are, I believe, way out in the small towns of Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT.
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Old Jun 4, 11, 6:50 pm   #12
 
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The glass bottom is not the north rim. It's the Western rim on an Indian reservation the name of which escapes me right now. It is the closest spot from Las Vegas btw. But the road to get there is a little rough. At least it was 4 years ago when I went. Might have been paved since. But even unpaved it's driveable with a regular car, just bumpy and slow going.
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Old Jun 5, 11, 7:01 am   #13
 
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The glass bottom is not the north rim. It's the Western rim on an Indian reservation the name of which escapes me right now. It is the closest spot from Las Vegas btw. But the road to get there is a little rough. At least it was 4 years ago when I went. Might have been paved since. But even unpaved it's driveable with a regular car, just bumpy and slow going.
Hualapai reservation.

http://www.grandcanyonskywalk.com/
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Old Jun 5, 11, 7:54 pm   #14
 
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For a short trip, Phoenix, Sedona, Williams, Grand Canyon probably is best. Vegas to the Grand Canyon is just okay in terms of natural scenery (though there is some interesting artificial scenery).

For a long trip, there are a lot of good options, including Denver, Arches/Canyonlands, Painted Desert, Flagstaff, Sedona, Phoenix, Tucson.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 12:12 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by CApreppie View Post
How much time do you have?

Phoenix is closest to the S. Rim. .

Flagstaff is much closer.
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