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las vegas and grand canyon - Sept 2009

Travel Forums North America las vegas and grand canyon - Sept 2009

1. Posted by stephwmac7 (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

stephwmac7 has indicated that this thread is about USA

Hi all,

I'm travelling over to California at the end of August 2009 and hiring a car to visit a few different cities in California. I am also planning to spend 2 nights in Las Vegas before visiting the Grand Canyon.

My original plan was to drive to the grand canyon from Vegas by car, and stay 2 nights in the grand canyon. Havin searched the Web , it seems most people go on organised Bus/rail Trips from Las vegas to the Grand canyon staying there only one night.

I was looking for information on a few things.

1. Is it ok to leave your car parked in Las Vegas somewhere for the night, if you go to the grand canyon on an organised trip for one night?

2. has anyone Driven to the Grand Canyon from Vegas and would you recommend it?

3. What would be my best option if i drove to the Grand canyon myself, is there plenty of parking facilities?

4. Which part of the grand Canyon would be best place to visit, I'm torn between the West and the South Rim?

5. Although I realise South rim is further away, how long would it take to drive to each of these parts from Las Vegas.

Really hope someone can help, I've booked every part of my holiday apart from my Grand Canyon visit.

Many thanks in advance

Stephen

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 7y

I can help with the parking in Las Vegas. It is plentiful, safe and free along the strip. I've stayed at a number of hotels with a car there, and never had a problem. You can either self-park or valet. I generally self-park, because I don't like waiting for someone to fetch my car. If you valet, you should tip the guys who get your car.

Greg

3. Posted by Jude1019 (Budding Member 11 posts) 7y

okay.. you can definatly leave your car in Las Vegas at any one of the hotels however i do suggest that you drive yourself. It is a fun drive through the desert and you will see some amazing sights. There is also plenty of parking at the grand canyon but you will have to pay to drive into the park (again it is well worth it.) I suggest spending two days out there take your time leaving vegas stop at the hoover dam and then check into your hotel (there are only two out there the best western and the grand canyon hotel. I have stayed at both and enjoyed both of them. The best western is cheaper but the grand canyon hotel has more amenities) and then drive into the grand canyon the next day. If you are planning a hike into the canyon remember that the longer you walk down its going to take you three times as long to walk back up. Bring lots of water!

I have been to both the south and west rim and both are just as beautiful!

Hope you enjoy!

4. Posted by stephwmac7 (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

Thank you for your replies, very helpful.

Been looking into it and reading about it on line a bit more, and I'm thinking of hiring a tee-pee for one night at the grand canyon west ranch.

Was thinking of driving to the ranch from las vegas, staying there for the night, heading to the sky walk and grand canyon, then back to the ranch then driving back to las vegas the next afternoon.

Anybody any experience of doing this they can share with me and advisoe me on.

Thanks

5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

Stephen,
I drove some UK TP members to the South Rim a few years ago. Photos in my gallery, pg 13-14 USA. We stopped at Hoover Dam, then drove part of Route 66 to Williams AZ. Stayed overnight, up early, spent most of the day at the rim, drove back to LV that night. Figure 5 hours LV-GC if you don't stop much. I would pass on the West Rim. I met one guy who went and he felt it was a total rip-off. Too expensive and not a pretty section of the GC. Read a few reviews here. I vote you drive the extra distance and visit the South Rim. Much prettier and of course much more developed. Your decision.

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Jul-2009, at 16:50 by vegasmike6 ]

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by jeanebelle (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

A lot depends on what you want to do once you get to the canyon...hiking, etc. If you only want to see the canyon, then one night is enough. The south rim is great, overdeveloped however, and parking can be a nightmare...long walks to the rim unless you stay at one of the facilities in the park (hard to get reservations unless planned far in advance). There are many look out points along the rim with slightly different views at each one.

I much prefer the North rim. Hardly anyone goes there because it is not on "the beaten path". It is a much smaller view of the canyon...think of it as only seeing one or 2 lookout points rather than 6 or 7, but no crowds...higher elevation, so much cooler. You can drive from Las Vegas to the North Rim going through Zion Canyon (which some people prefer to Grand Canyon - you drive through the bottom looking up). and get there is about 6 hours. My preference would be to drive to Zion Canyon ( 3 hr) and spend the day there, spend the night and then on to Grand Canyon North Rim (about 3 hr) for the night and back to Las Vegas the next day.

If you don't plan to go hiking, and just want to see the canyon, then drive through Zion to Grand Canyon, spend the night, and then drive back to Las Vegas through Death Valley...some of the most amazing scenery in the world ( and the temp rarely gets over 120 degrees) take water and stay on the roads. You can do all this in 2 nights and 3 days.

Have fun.

8. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

Quoting jeanebelle

If you don't plan to go hiking, and just want to see the canyon, then drive through Zion to Grand Canyon, spend the night, and then drive back to Las Vegas through Death Valley...some of the most amazing scenery in the world ( and the temp rarely gets over 120 degrees) take water and stay on the roads. You can do all this in 2 nights and 3 days. Have fun.

I have to comment here. Death Valley is in California and you certainly will not pass through it on your back to Vegas from the North Rim (NR) of the GC. Monument Valley is east of the GC and worth seeing. However, it adds many more hours to your planned trip. Figure 5 hours to MV from the NR, 3 hours from Kanab UT. This is an additional 10 hours of drive time, add at least 4 hours touring MV. Just not feasible on your schedule.

I vote you hit the South Rim (SR), stay overnight in Williams AZ. I would tour Hoover Dam, drive part of Route 66 on your way to Williams. Overnight at one of the many hotels, up early, drive to the GC, spend most of the day on the rim, drive straight back to Vegas. Should be in LV by 10:00pm.

If you do vote for the NR, I would hit Zion NP on your way, overnight in either Kanab or Jacob Lake UT. I doubt you will be able to find a room in either the NR or Jacob Lake. August is peak season and their are not many hotel rooms in either place. Stay in Kanab, up early, 2 hours to the NR, day at the rim, 5 hours back to LV.

One option you may want to consider is a bus trip from Vegas to the SR. You will not be able to rent a car and pay for petrol for that price. Just another option. Send me a PM if you have questions.

9. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 198 posts) 7y

I just got back from my first trip to the Grand Canyon and got lots of advice from this board. I came up from the south, not the west as you have. A co-worker did what you did, visited both the West and South Rims and came away concluding that the best views are from the South Rim. I can't speak of the North Rim as I only saw it from above via helicopter but it is much less crowded but again the view may not be as spectacular. There is a reason the South Rim is so developed.

We stayed 2 nights and that was perfect. If you are considering the SR I can't say enough about Bright Angel Lodge. It was inexpensive, right on the rim, and seemed to be a much better option than the more expensive El Tovaro (or whatever it's named) or some of the others deep in the woods and far removed from the rim. We went in early June and the crowds weren't that bad. If you don't mind sharing the walkway with others the SR is the place. If you want more privacy the NR is the place. But getting to the NR from Vegas will probably be a full drive.

One of the tour guides told me, but this has not been confirmed, that the Native Americans forbid picture taking on the west rim, all photos must be purchased. Kind of hard to believe actually.

10. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

Quoting DaveinMD

One of the tour guides told me, but this has not been confirmed, that the Native Americans forbid picture taking on the west rim, all photos must be purchased. Kind of hard to believe actually.

I have a friend here in Vegas that went to the West Rim and you are not allowed to take your camera out on the Skywalk. No personal items: backpack, binoculars, purses, etc. are allowed on the Skywalk. You must purchase photos from the Hualapai if you want a souvenir of your visit. Well, they don't have a casino, so this is their main source of cash. Just the way it is folks.