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Grand Canyon basic questions

Grand Canyon basic questions

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Old Oct 24, 18, 8:51 pm
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OK... A couple things from someone who JUST got back from a week touring the area. First, remember that this area (North OR South rim) can and DOES get snow.... We just got hit with 3" on the south rim (Second week in October) Second. If you are going to spend all that time and money to "do" the grand canyon, why spend all your time driving? We spent 2 nights at El Tovar. Great place. Had lunch one day at Bright Angel next door.. Major step down. Prices were set at 262 a night. Expensive? yes. But to be able to literally walk off the hotel deck and be at the rim? Priceless.

If you are a serious hiker, you are 500' from the trailhead at Bright Angel to get down to the canyon floor. If you are NOT a serious desert hiker, you have close to 5 miles of paved, great paths RIGHT along the rim. (apropiately called the "rim Walk".) Again, right outside the hotel. As long as you stay away from the bus stops, few people, great views. Also, this is at the center of the canyon at one of the deepest and widest points. Again, well worth the trip and money.

Once done with the canyon, THEN take a couple days in Sedona. Great trails, great downtown for shopping...
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Old Oct 24, 18, 10:31 pm
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Originally Posted by FredT5 View Post
OK... A couple things from someone who JUST got back from a week touring the area. First, remember that this area (North OR South rim) can and DOES get snow.... We just got hit with 3" on the south rim (Second week in October) Second. If you are going to spend all that time and money to "do" the grand canyon, why spend all your time driving? We spent 2 nights at El Tovar. Great place. Had lunch one day at Bright Angel next door.. Major step down. Prices were set at 262 a night. Expensive? yes. But to be able to literally walk off the hotel deck and be at the rim? Priceless.

If you are a serious hiker, you are 500' from the trailhead at Bright Angel to get down to the canyon floor. If you are NOT a serious desert hiker, you have close to 5 miles of paved, great paths RIGHT along the rim. (apropiately called the "rim Walk".) Again, right outside the hotel. As long as you stay away from the bus stops, few people, great views. Also, this is at the center of the canyon at one of the deepest and widest points. Again, well worth the trip and money.

Once done with the canyon, THEN take a couple days in Sedona. Great trails, great downtown for shopping...
I appreciate the insight. El Tovar looks amazing. I need to determine if it's right for our family, as I would need 2 rooms....
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Old Oct 25, 18, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by MarkP24 View Post
Thanks! Just curious why you chose this company over any others.

Hi,
I had done this tours a few years ago but this time I was with my mother and felt it would be a good tour for her

From Sedona or Phoenix other tour companies do the canyon only ( ie you will probably get a bit more time at the el tovar/bright angel look out area so you could wander for a bit more time there ( and perhaps a few minutes hiking down the trail -but you would need to allow time to get back to the pick up point and may just have a picnic lunch and do not go to the Sunset Crater etc. Also the Bright angel area is probably the busiest part of the south rim and it is a bit quieter ( can still be busy at other viewpoints). I fancied the other 2 sights and the Desert view watchtower ( from there you can see the colorado river going north/south then east/west where as from the Grand canyon village you just see the eat/west portion ( and not that much of the river)
I would probably look at the tour descriptions to decide what tour interest you, The cameron trading post is also very good for shopping.

Regards

TBS
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Last edited by The _Banking_Scot; Oct 25, 18 at 4:00 pm
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Old Oct 25, 18, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot View Post
Hi,
I had done this tours a few years ago but this time I was with my mother and felt it would be a good tour for her

From Sedona or Phoenix other tour companies do the canyon only ( ie you will probably get a bit more time at the el tovar/bright angel look out area so you could wander for a bit more time there ( and perhaps a few minutes hiking down the trail -but you would need to allow time to get back to the pick up point and may just have a picnic lunch and do not go to the Sunset Crater etc. Also the Bright angel area is probably the busiest part of the south rim and it is a bit quieter ( can still be busy at other viewpoints). I fancied the other 2 sights and the Desert view watchtower ( from there you can see the colorado river going north/south then east/west where as from the Grand canyon village you just see the eat/west portion ( and not that much of the river)
I would probably look at the tour descriptions to decide what tour interest you, The cameron trading post is also very good for shopping.

Regards

TBS
Awesome. Thanks!
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Old Oct 26, 18, 12:25 am
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Originally Posted by MarkP24 View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but we're going in the winter, so my understanding is the North Rim is closed, and we can only visit the South Rim. Is the route you describe on the North Rim, as my understanding is that the shuttle is on the North Rim.

I'm leaning toward staying in Flagstaff at the Residence Inn.
Most services at the North Rim are already closed for the Winter. The North Rim will close to most visitors at the end of October (I beleive there are still very limited services for cross-canyon hikers and those who enter the North Rim area on horseback or cross country skis). During the summer, there generally is no "shuttle" service on the North Rim. There is a daily bus from the South Rim to the North and back.

On the South Rim, Hermit Road (dscribed above) is closed to private vehicles (except those with a park-issued handicapped permit) from March 1 through November 30. During those times, shuttle busses run along those routes. Portions of the trail are also open to cyclists. Yaki Point Road is closed to private vehicles year-round. Another bus route provides service to a couple of overlooks and a trailhead on that road. The main - Village Route - shuttle bus runs year-round.

I personally wouldn't recommend a tour company. But I've neen to GCNP a couple of dozen times including three visits this past summer. There are ample resources available on the park's webpage (www.nps.gov/grca) to enable anyone to plan a trip tailored to one's own interests and abilities. The park website should also list any special events or presentations that may be scheduled during your visit.

There's a lot to do in the Grand Canyon Village area, but I highly recommend including the Desert View (near the East entrance) overlook in your plans. It's one of the most spectacular views from the South Rim, IMO and the best place to see the Colorado River from the rim. It's also the site of the Desert View Watchtower, designed by Mary Colter in the 1930s to resemble an ancient Anasazi structure and, of particular interest to FlyerTalkers, offers a view of the site of the 1956 mid-air collision between a United DC-7 and a TWA Super Constellation that spurred the formation of the FAA and positive air traffic control in the United States.

My lodging suggestion is the motel at Cameron Trading Post on U.S. 89 northeast of Flag. The rooms are very comfortable with individualized southwestern decor and hand-carved wooden furnishings. The rates are comparable to Flagstaff and it's definitel not a "chain". From Cameron it's only about a 30 minute drive to the East (Desert View) entrance to GCNP. From Flag to the South Entrance is more like an hour and a half.

Cameron also puts you closer to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Page, Glen Canyon Dam, etc. should you choose those options.

Hope you enjoy your trip.
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Old Oct 26, 18, 7:07 am
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Originally Posted by kale73 View Post
Most services at the North Rim are already closed for the Winter. The North Rim will close to most visitors at the end of October (I beleive there are still very limited services for cross-canyon hikers and those who enter the North Rim area on horseback or cross country skis). During the summer, there generally is no "shuttle" service on the North Rim. There is a daily bus from the South Rim to the North and back.

On the South Rim, Hermit Road (dscribed above) is closed to private vehicles (except those with a park-issued handicapped permit) from March 1 through November 30. During those times, shuttle busses run along those routes. Portions of the trail are also open to cyclists. Yaki Point Road is closed to private vehicles year-round. Another bus route provides service to a couple of overlooks and a trailhead on that road. The main - Village Route - shuttle bus runs year-round.

I personally wouldn't recommend a tour company. But I've neen to GCNP a couple of dozen times including three visits this past summer. There are ample resources available on the park's webpage (www.nps.gov/grca) to enable anyone to plan a trip tailored to one's own interests and abilities. The park website should also list any special events or presentations that may be scheduled during your visit.

There's a lot to do in the Grand Canyon Village area, but I highly recommend including the Desert View (near the East entrance) overlook in your plans. It's one of the most spectacular views from the South Rim, IMO and the best place to see the Colorado River from the rim. It's also the site of the Desert View Watchtower, designed by Mary Colter in the 1930s to resemble an ancient Anasazi structure and, of particular interest to FlyerTalkers, offers a view of the site of the 1956 mid-air collision between a United DC-7 and a TWA Super Constellation that spurred the formation of the FAA and positive air traffic control in the United States.

My lodging suggestion is the motel at Cameron Trading Post on U.S. 89 northeast of Flag. The rooms are very comfortable with individualized southwestern decor and hand-carved wooden furnishings. The rates are comparable to Flagstaff and it's definitel not a "chain". From Cameron it's only about a 30 minute drive to the East (Desert View) entrance to GCNP. From Flag to the South Entrance is more like an hour and a half.

Cameron also puts you closer to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Page, Glen Canyon Dam, etc. should you choose those options.

Hope you enjoy your trip.
Thank you so much for the very detailed response!
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Old Oct 28, 18, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by MarkP24 View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but we're going in the winter, so my understanding is the North Rim is closed, and we can only visit the South Rim. Is the route you describe on the North Rim, as my understanding is that the shuttle is on the North Rim.

I'm leaning toward staying in Flagstaff at the Residence Inn.
South Rim. The route and the shuttle I described are both South Rim. I also considered the Residence Inn and that should be very nice for walking right out to Downtown.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post


South Rim. The route and the shuttle I described are both South Rim. I also considered the Residence Inn and that should be very nice for walking right out to Downtown.
Fantastic! Thank you!
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