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Grand Canyon Trip advice!!!! Please help.

Travel Forums North America Grand Canyon Trip advice!!!! Please help.

1. Posted by lhong (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y


Hi
I'm planning a trip in the end of June 2011 from Calgary Canada drive down to Idaho, Las Vegas Nevada, Grand Canyon and LA. and back home to San Francisco via I5.
It is as follows
Idaho falls
to Las Vegas
to Hoover dam
to Grand Canyon
to Los Angeles
to San Francisco

I'd like to get advice on Grand Canyon south rim. not the West rim I heard about it lots of negative high price.

Please tell me if this is a good choice for drive down to the South Rim of Grand Canyon over the west rim.

Thank you in advance.
Lhong

2. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 198 posts) 5y

Too funny, a trip to the Grand Canyon was the reason I joined this board for advice just as you are doing. I did not visit the West Rim but I can tell you a bit about the South Rim. We have heard that the South Rim is the better spot for a variety of reasons. Not sure if it is true or not but the tour bus driver told us the Native American's pretty much run the west rim and forbid you from taking pictures, they must be purchased in the gift shop. I had a hard time believing this but that's what we were told. In any event the views from the South Rim are what make it famous. But if you are coming from the west why not try both?

We lucked out and stayed at the Bright Angel Lodge, right on the rim and at the head of the famous Bright Angel Trail. The lodge has both a hotel, come rooms with canyon views, or smaller cabins (where we stayed) which have all the amenities of a hotel room. They were great and surprisingly affordable. We learned after getting there that other lodges were a good hike from the rim and had poor food options. There is a high end hotel a short walk away, can't remember the name of it, that got great reviews. But we were happy with our $120 cabin. Quick Google came up with this:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g143028-d73442-Reviews-Bright_Angel_Lodge_and_Cabins-Grand_Canyon_National_Park_Arizona.html

Although I initially hesitated because it was so invasive we decided to take the helicopter tour over the canyon. Quite honestly one of the coolest experiences of my life. I was comforted in learning as we flew that they take a route that avoids going over most of the people that are enjoying the park.

As mentioned the Bright Angel Trail is right there. Obviously you don't have to take it all the way down, just go as far as you want and turn around. But I gotta tell you it is a parent's nightmare. Most of the trail has no railing and it's obviously a death drop if you slip and go over. We kept seeing excited kids running full speed as their panicked parents were screaming "JIMMY! SLOW DOWN!!!!".

As mentioned we took a bus trip down the canyon and it was very interesting and informative.

Good luck and slow down on that damn trail!!!!!

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Jun-2011, at 05:01 by DaveinMD ]

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

I have a few friends that we went over to the West Rim. All said the same thing: not worth it. The Hualapai Indians certainly do control that part of the GC. The cheapest tour that includes the Skywalk is $86. You are not allowed to take personal items, including your camera out on the Skywalk. The Hualapai will sell you photos of what you are seeing in the gift shop. Basically it is more money that I wanted to spend for 10 minutes walking on a glass horseshoe.

4. Posted by lhong (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

Thank you for your greatest advice.
I don't have too much time for to try both West and South Rim of GC.
I'm planning only one day for to visiting the South Rim Grand Canyon.
I know that is really crazy 9 to 10 hours drive a day from and to Vegas.
If anyone know good place to go visit the South Rim Grand Canyon in AZ.

Thanks in advance

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Jun-2011, at 13:38 by lhong ]

5. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 198 posts) 5y

It's not crazy to invest one day into seeing one of the most amazing sites you will ever see. I would avoid the first viewing area after you enter the park as it is extremely crowded. Just go down a bit, you will see a similar view without the crowds. There are several places to stop.

6. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 198 posts) 5y

By the way you are aware that Vegas at the end of June will be 115 F right?