Cheapest Way to Travel to Grand Canyon from Chicago?
Does that $250 including transportation and lodging? If so, that may be too tight. Flying would be too expensive (the cheapest flights I've found were about $325 per person), so you'd be left taking the bus. Greyhound from Chicago to Flagstaff (about 2 hours from GC) is $100 after the 21 day advance purchase discount, but it also takes 37 hours to get there. I'm not sure how you'd feel about that. There's also Amtrak, but it's $175 per person and takes 32 hours. Amtrak will take you to Williams, which is about an hour south of GC.
As for lodging, you'd have to expect at least $100 per night per room. I don't think at this point you'd find vacancy at a hotel inside the park (although it's entirely possible - I booked a room only 3 weeks in advance when we went this past March).
The itinerary depends on how many days you want to spend there.
How do you get to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas or Hoover Dam?
Don't do the Hoover Dam tour and GCNP in the same day , just head straight for GCNP and do the Dam as a quick side trip from LAS on another day.
Leave Las Vegas early so you don't hit traffic heading over the Dam
US 93 to Kingman AZ -1 hour-get gas
I-40E to exit 165 SR 64 /Williams AZ about 1.5 hrs
SR64 to GCNP and then follow SR 64 out to Desert View on what's called East Rim Drive.
Basically what you're going to do is go straight at the entrance station and rather then make the lefts that will take you over to the Village and places like Mather Point , you'll make the right at the "T" for SR64/ East Rim Drive and the reason that you're going to do that is because Lipan Point/ Desert View is the best place to see the Canyon for the first time. Why ?
Unlike many other vistas on the S.Rim where the River can only be barely seen , at LipanPt /Desert View:
The River dominates the landscape
Almost all the Grand Canyon Geology is present in one place
The views to the north and northeast are literally over 100 miles .
Then once you leave Desert View head back to to the Village stopping at everything that says" Point" on the way.Especially Lipan & Grandview Points.
it's 85 miles from the jct of I-40 & SR 64 to Desert View
Make sure that you have something warm to wear.The S.Rim of GCNP is at 7000' and it does get cold up there.
Have a good trip
What are some great resorts near the Grand Canyon for a reasonable price?
Try the Grand hotel, it's new and very good. I'm not sure you will be able to find everything you want in a hotel close to the Grand Canyon. If you are willing to stay in Sedona, you can find what you are looking for otherwise.
Anyone familiar with the wildlife in the Grand Canyon?
If you are backpacking in the canyon, than your biggest danger is going to be mice, squirrels and other rodents (and to a lesser degree ravens and other birds) getting into your gear and food.
At the most popular backcountry camping sites (Bright Angel, Indian Gardens, Cottonwood) they have a couple of metal ammo boxes at each campsite to store food in and poles to hang your packs from. You are required to use these and if you do, than you should not have any problems. Just make sure you put ALL of your food or other smelly items in the ammo boxes or hung from the poles.
At other more remote campsites, you will have to fend for yourself. At the backcountry office, they sell fine metal mesh bags to store food in - they are light weight and rodents can not chew through them. You can also hang your food, but tall trees are not that common in the canyon itself. Again, avoid having food or smelly items in your tent or pack as critters can chew their way through (the damage to the tent/pack usually being a bigger pain than the food loss).
Even with the above warnings, I would say that rodents in the canyon - while something to be careful of - are not as bad as many other places that I have backpacked. by following the above precautions, I have never had rodents get my food or get into my gear.
As far as animals that might attack you directly, you don't really have to be too concerned. The canyon does have a good population of mountain lions, but these are shy and rarely seen. In dozens of backpacking and hiking trips to the canyon, I have only briefly seen one and it was running away from me as fast as possible.
Likewise, there are black bears in the more remote forested regions of the North Rim, but here too they will generally try to stay away from you and they are rarely seen.
I do not believe there has been a single recorded incident of a serious bear or lion attack in the canyon in the last 50 years. If you happen to even see one, you should consider yourself lucky for the experience.
The Grand Canyon is also home to a unique form of pink rattlesnake and I have seen these occasionally (usually lower down in the canyon). But they too, tend to be shy. To be safe, it just good standard practice to not put your hands or feet any place that you can't see (rock ledges, etc).
Scorpions are one thing that you should be aware of in the inner canyons. Several species, including the extra potent bark scorpion, are quite common and easy to find if you look. Just avoid walking around in bare feet at the bottom and shake out your boots in the morning. Most scorpion stings are on par with a bee sting. The bark scorpion is generally not fatal unless you are a baby or very eldery - but you will not be a happy camper for a couple of days.
Aside from the above, they do occasionally have problems with deer, coyotes and mountain big horn sheep around the lodge areas on the rim that get too used to people and get into trash, etc. Such animals could potentially be dangerous if people try to get too close, but I have not heard of any actual injuries or attacks. A few years ago, they actually had a couple of wild turkeys down at Phantom Ranch that would follow people around and try to steal food - a little intimidating at times (those are big birds), but not life threatening (they have since been removed).
As far as animals in general, which are not a threat, but are really cool to see... ravens are quite common around the canyon and fun to watch (they are quite curious and playful), the condors are quite famous and a wonderful experience to see. Big horn sheep are also a joy to come across in the canyon and if you go to the bottom, you might be lucky enough to spot the eagles that nest near Phantom Ranch.
Overall, there is less of a threat from animals in the Grand Canyon than in many National Parks (like Yosemite or Glacier). Your biggest dangers (and the thing that causes the most deaths and problems) is heat exhaustion, dehydration and people pushing themselves too hard physically.
When going by car from LA to Grand Canyon, are there any places worth visiting on the way?
I have made this drive, and the most memorable attraction I visited was the Hoover Dam. Specifically, my then girlfriend and I took the tour into the dam, and it was absolutely fascinating.
I would do it again, and I hope you have a pleasant trip.
which is the best las vegas to grand canyon south rim bus tour and approximately how much will it cost?
Hey, I have ever taken a Grand Canyon bus tour at Tours4fun. It just costs $87. And it is very convenient for you, because it just departs from Las Vegas. Sounds good? I hope so. Click the following link, and see more details.
How can we bake a cake that looks like the Grand Canyon?
This could be a big project, depending on the size of your cake. I'm assuming you have some basic knowledge of baking, otherwise my directions might not make any sense.
I would bake 9x13 rectangles, cut in half and stack them to the desired height and length. You need a cake board for every 4 inches of height, plus dowels for the cake boards to sit on (check the wilton website for info on making a stacked cake). Once the cakes are stacked, cover them with buttercream and put them in the fridge for a little while. Roll fondant (use marshmallow fondant if you're on a budget) large enough to cover half of the cake. Drape it over the cake, smooth with your hands, and then make indentations so it looks like rock formations. Do the same for the other half. Then roll a piece of fondant and cut it to be the canyon floor. You could paint the sides of the canyon with brown paste color thinned with lemon extract (or vodka) to add some depth. Decorate the bottom with "rocks" made of fondant, of different colors. If you want a stream at the bottom, tint piping gel blue and use it for water. Add plants if you want to by taking dried noodles and covering them with fondant, then attaching fondant leaves.
What is the Yavapai lodge in the Grand Canyon like?
I just stayed at Yavapai Lodge about a month ago. My room did have a small refridgerator, but no microwave oven. That is probably true of most of the rooms at Yavapai, but you would be wise to call and validate.
Yavapai Lodge is nothing fancy, but it is nice and comfortable (and less expensive than the others). Its biggest downside is that of all the park lodges, it is the only one that is not within easy walking distance of the rim. But it is still inside the park, in a nice pine-tree area, and being away from the rim means a bit more peace and quiet. I personally pefer Maswik lodge which is very similar to Yavapai, but near the rim. Yavapai is fine though.
From a saving money on food perspective, one big advantage to Yavapai Lodge is that it is located in the market area - where the small village grocery store is, as well as the post office, etc. You could probably eat pretty cheap by buying stuff at the grocery store - which will be a bit more expensive than one in a big town, but still much cheaper than eating at one of the park sit-down resturants. The store also has a small snackbar area that is probably the cheapest prepared eats at the canyon.
As far as the canyon restuarants go, the cafeterias at Yavapai Lodge and Maswik are the cheapest, but still a bit expensive by outside standards. It depends on what you get, of course, but $8-12 per meal there is probably a pretty normal range for food and drinks. Some of the little tourist resturants outside the park gate at the little roadside community of Tusayan are probably a bit cheaper than the park ones, but not by much and you have the hassle of having to leave the park to reach them. Tusayan has a McDonalds which is probably the cheapest option there.
The nearest 'real' towns with large grocery stores and a wide range of eating options are Flagstaff (.15 hours away) and Williams (1 hour away).
If you are really concerned about food costs, than I would say stock up non-cooking items in Flagstaff (trail mix, a loaf of bread, lunchean meat, PB&J, jerkey, fruit) to keep in the fridge. Nobody goes to the Grand Canyon for the food - do what you need to do to get by and enjoy the sights.
That being said, if you do have a little extra money to splurge a night or two, than I would recommend the Arizona Room grill on the east end of Bright Angel Lodge (have to enter from the outside) - excellent food, great views of the rim, less expensive that El Tovar and better food that Bright Angel.
How long is the drive to the Grand Canyon West rim from the South rim?
Bad idea >The place is simply not worth the time or effort required there nor is it at the real Grand Canyon
Here's their websiteADOT will occasionally post " chains required for that stretch" if they then still visit the Old Navajo Bridge -Lees Ferry area and then head back to US 89 and continue north thru Page AZ and into Kanab
How is like the prices inside the Grand Canyon village?
The price of goods in any national park is comparatively high and the Grand Canyon is no exception. It would be cheaper to buy your supplies in Flagstaff or some other large town before entering the park. You can also buy them in Williams (60 miles south of the park) or in Tusayan (9 miles from Grand Canyon Village). But, I suspect the closer to the canyon you buy them, the more expensive it will be.
You can save some money by finding lodging outside the park in either Tusayan or Williams. Lodging costs in the park are higher than equivalent accommodations outside the park. Again, the closer to the park the lodging, the more expensive it will be. Tusayan is a short 15 minute drive from Grand Canyon Village while Williams is about an hour away. Eat at the Yavapai Lodge or Maswik Lodge cafeterias. Prices are cheaper there than in the full service restaurants at the canyon rim.
Which part of the Grand Canyon is closest to the Las Vegas strip that is accessible by car?
The closest rim to Las Vegas is the West Rim and that's a 3 hour drive. The rim you want to visit however is the South Rim which is 4 1/2 hour drive from Las Vegas. If you don't want to drive, then take the bus tour, it's much cheaper.
How do I visit the 4 corners monument and the Grand Canyon in one day?
Four Corners is about 4 hrs driving time away from the Grand Canyon. It is fun to say you have been to the four Corners, but actually there is NOTHING there other than a large metal plate on the ground to stretch out on and have your picture taken. It would be far better to spend the day at the Grand Canyon and have time to see everything there without rushing. On another occasion, when you have time to visit southwest Colorado, you can see the Four Corners...and FAR better...Mesa Verde National Park. It is fntastic. See website below. I hope you will be able to visit Mesa Verde one day.
Hi, guy. I recommend you to book tours4fun's Grand Canyon West Rim Tour. Because i just came back from Grand Canyon. The trip is so marvelous!
Hoover Dam is enormous. Much bigger than you'll ever imagine until you see it. It was worth to stand on the glass bridge 4000 feet above the floor of the canyon. The west rim is beautiful and raw. The Indians who the land belongs to are very friendly.
The Grand Canyon has many rims which rim is best to visit?
There are three Rims: West, South, and North. I've been to the West and South.
If you are based in Vegas, the West Rim is 120 miles east. The South, 270 miles east. The West Rim is for you if you a) want to land at the bottom of the Grand Canyon via helicopter; b) want to experience the Grand Canyon Skywalk; and c) like lots of activities (e.g. river rafting, horseback riding, ATV trail riding, etc.). The South Rim is for you if you a) like incredible views (the most famous are here); b) like to hike (Bright Angel + South Kaibab); and c) like the IMAX.
Can't tell where your are starting from. However, as most do the Canyon from Vegas, your Rim choices are limited to West and South. There are three ways to get there: Bus, helicopter, and airplane. Here are two articles that explain:
South Rim, West Rim - Picking a Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
South Rim Or West Rim - How to Pick a Grand Canyon Bus Tour
Some quick facts:
1. There are no direct helicopter flights to the South Rim. You must take an airplane tour from Vegas.
2. You can only take a helicopter to the bottom of the West Rim
3. The Skywalk exists at the West Rim
In my experience, Papillon offers the best deals on bus, helicopter and airplane tours. Here's link to their site: http://www.tikiurl.com?Papillon
Hope this helps. Have a fantastic trip.
What is the best way to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?
Driving is the best way to go. I have done that. Its a good 5 hour drive each way on a mostly two lane road, but a good road, with campers and trucks. To get there just go East from the Strip to Boulder Highway, RT-93 and turn right going south. That route will take you past boulder city and Hoover Dam and just continue on it until you get to I-40. At I-40 turn left headed East to Williams/Flagstaff, Az. Its about an hour to Williams on I-40. Then turn left again going north on RT-89 toward the Canyon (about an hour from there).
If you leave Vegas about 7:00 Am you should be at the Canyon about noon and if you stay there until about 4:00 or 5:00 PM you should be back in Vegas before midnight.
If you need to be back in Vegas before dark leave the Canyon by about 3:00 or 4:00 PM. When you get to the canyon you must park your car and take the free West-rim drive shuttle. It will take you along that drive and you can get off whenever you want and the buses run about ever 15 minutes so you can stay at a stop a short time then reboard the bus.
what is the best hotel (clean, good price) to stay in the Grand Canyon and best tours or attractions?
You are going to have so much fun at the Grand Canyon, it is so beautiful in December. The temperature is just right, not too hot.
As for a hotel, I'd recommend the Econo Lodge, they have probably the best deal going on right now. They have an online coupon for 50% off a regular night stay. Combine that with their weekly special and you're looking at a very cheap stay.
To get the coupon just go here http://www.freehotelcoupons.info/econo-lodge-hotel-coupon
Good luck, I hope that helps :)
What clothes should I wear to Grand Canyon on the driving trip and for walking around there?
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is at an elevation of 7,000 feet (half a mile higher than Denver), so unlike much of Arizona, they have a real winter with snow storms and sub-freezing temperatures (although winters have tended to be milder the last few years).
The weather on any given day can vary quite a bit depending on if a storm is going through. From December through February, a very nice day at the canyon might get up to the low 50s, but typically it will be in the 40s or lower and if a storm hits there may be heavy snow fall. It gets even colder after dark and temps will almost always drop well below freezing at night.
So you will want to be prepared and dress for WINTER. That means a warm heavy coat and warm hat at a minimum. Gloves, a scarf and warm boots (water-proof hiking boots are fine) are not a bad idea. They don't have a lot of snow on the ground yet, but once they do, you have to be ready for icy spots on the paths (ie: have footwear with good treads and consider getting YakTraks - see link below). For maximum comfort and flexibility, it is best to dress in layers starting with a light moisture-wicking layer, than a warm insulating layer (like a fleece) and then a water and wind proof outer shell (jacket or coat) so that you can add or remove layers depending on the current temperature or your activity.
If you plan to do any hiking (and you should), temperatures get warmer as you go deeper in the canyon (it can be like Phoenix at the bottom), but you should not attempt to go the bottom and back in a day. Always wear comfortable shoes, carry plenty of water and remember it is a lot tougher hiking up and out than hiking down.
Also be aware that there is not a lot of shopping to be done at the canyon. The Grand Canyon Association runs a bookstore at the visitor center and a few other locations (like Kolb Studio), jewelry and higher-end items can be found at El Tovar and Hopi House and a couple of the other lodges have more knick-knack souvenier items, but the whole Grand Canyon Village is not a large area and most of the activities and things to do involve being outside (although just hanging out in front of the big fireplace in the El Tovar lodge is nice too).
Have fun! The Grand Canyon is a great place to visit in winter. The crowds are low, the temps are nice for hiking and the canyon looks its prettiest under a fresh blanket of snow. But do be prepared for cold weather and possible ice and snow.
What are the layers of the grand canyon and please describe them?
Well, the fact is that most of the rock in the Grand Canyon is composed of sedimentary rock which can only be formed at the bottom of the ocean or in shallow coastal plains. The Kaibab Limestone which is the current top of the Grand Canyon is composed mostly of a sandy limestone, with some sandstone and shale thrown in for good measure. This means that it was probably formed in a shallow sea near the coast. The fact that it contains fossils of creatures that used to live in the ocean, like brachiopods, coral, mollusks, sea lilies, worms and fish teeth, only tends to reinforce this belief. The intrusion of sandstone and shales into this later means that at times the layer was also above the surface of the water but still very close to the edge. Sandstones are solidified sand which are typically fields of sand dunes or beaches, and shales are solidified mud which are common to river deltas. By dating the fossils found in the rock of the Kaibab Limestone, geologists have determined that it is approximately 250 million years old, and this is the youngest layer.
The younger rocks have already been eroded away by the forces of nature, at least in the immediate vicinity of the Grand Canyon. Some of the younger layers, like the Navajo Sandstone of which the Vermilion Cliffs and the rock of Zion National Park are composed, can be found in the region north of the Grand Canyon. Going even further north results in even younger rocks as can be seen in Bryce Canyon. The area from Bryce Canyon down to Grand Canyon is typically referred to as the Grand Staircase.
I assume that you will be driving ,If so then you will have both a problem and a great adventure.
Contrary to all the advertising and news copy that you are reading The Skywalk [ If you walk on it will that make you a Skywalker ? ] is not located in what most knowledgeable people including me , consider to be Grand Canyon. The term West Rim of The Grand Canyon is in fact a marketing name intended to get people visiting Las Vegas to do exactly what you are about to do. On a map no such place .
To give you an idea of how far it is from Grand Canyon Village which is where I will sending you, you need to know that the length of the Colorado River through the Canyon is 277 river miles,
Mile 0 is at a place called Lee's Ferry which is located a several miles south of Glen Canyon Dam
Mile 277 is located at a place called Grand Wash cliffs which is where the River empties into what is now Lake Mead but the Grand Wash Cliffs themselves also represent the limit of the huge Colorado Plateau.
Between those two points lies the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Village is in Grand Canyon National Park and it is where the hotels restaurants ,and visitor center are.
From a river mile perspective, the Village is about mile 94.
The Skywalk is about river mile 265-270 ?
and most of the classic and awesome Grand Canyon geology is not present on that part of the river.
When GCNP was created one of the reasons that the National Park Service and later the Santa Fe RR located the Park and the village where they are because it's the most scenic part of the Canyon.
I know that if you go to Skywalk and you look at a map , the map will tell you that GCNP is just across the river . Technically that's true ,but historically it's not. During the Clinton administration the Park boundary's were expanded to protect more of the area adjacent to the Canyon.
So much for the history lesson let's get you there
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park is going to take you a realistic 5 hours. Leave early
US 93 over Hoover Dam to Kingman AZ
If you left early you will also beat the traffic on the dam which will save you time.
There is a full stop security check point before you reach the dam in both directions. If you have the remnants of a long night in Vegas in your car , you may want to remove them before starting on your journey.
Get gas in Kingman
I-40 E to SR 64 at Williams AZ
120 miles and less than 2 hours
North on 64 and into the Park-60 miles
Personally my favorite view is from Lipan Point on East Rim Drive because all the geology is present and you can see the river for miles .
If you go out to Lipan exit the Park at Desert View and then do that spectacular downhill run w/ the literally 100 mile views into Cameron AZ
When you reach the "T" make a right on US 89 south follow it into Flagstaff
To Be continued
How long does it take to drive from philadelphia to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon?
ok, It's 2345 miles, Plan on 4 day of serious driving, but not killing yourselfs to get it done. Thats 8 of your 21 leaving 13 for the Grand Canyon. Basic route would be PA t/p 76 W, to I 70 W, I55 S, I44 S t/p in OK, I 40 w to AZ follow the signs and be safe !!
What are the places to see in West Rim grand canyon other than sky walk?
Skip the Sky Walk. It's a tourist ripoff and not even the real Grand Canyon. It's very expensive where they nickle and dime you to death - read reviews online. The real Grand Canyon has a fee per car and you can look at it free and take all the photos you want free. Make the smart choice. Go straight to the South Rim and enjoy the beauty of the Canyon. Make hotel reservations ahead of time as they often book up months in advance.
will be driving to grand canyon - any suggestions for stops between new orleans and the canyon?
West Texas is desolate, long, hot, dry, desert. It's beautiful.
I would actually go west out on I-10. Here's what I'm familiar with that route:
You could stop in Houston (art museums, decent restaurants, NASA to the the South)
Though frankly I'd drive through to San Antonio and finish the day there with the River Walk and the Alamo.
The next day I would go to Las Cruces/El Paso. Carlsbad Caverns is there and a fun stop.
From there go N to Albuquerque and W through Flagstaff. I hear Albuquerque is beautiful, I've never been. Flagstaff is great with the Crater and Sedona nearby.
Or you could go west to Tucson which has Saguaro National Park, Old Tucson (wild west theme park/movie studio), Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (a desert zoo) and then north through Phoenix and to Flagstaff (and catch Sedona on the way).
**NOTE: With the weather, your best bet is to do Albuquerque-Flagstaff option. Tucson and Phoenix are HOT through the summer. Flagstaff, Sedona, are more pleasant. Expect misery in New Orleans and Texas until September.**
Then off to the Grand Canyon. Have fun!
How good is the month of December to visit Grand canyon?
I really like the Grand Canyon in winter. The crowds are much lower, room rates are cheaper, the temperatures are nice for hiking, and a little fresh snow can make the canyon look extra beautiful.
It will be cold on the rim in December and so you will want to have warm clothes, especially at night. There is also a small chance of a snow storm hitting while you are there. A really heavy storm where there is lots of snow coming down and it too cold and miserable to be out even with warm clothes generally only happens about a half dozen times each winter (particularly given the recent drought) and generally clears up within a day or two. There will also be a few milder storms throughout the winter with cloudy skies and some blowing snow flakes, but these are not too bad. Of course, the above is just the average - some winters they get a lot more storms, other winters (especially recently) they get little to no snow the whole season.
Note that while much of Arizona and southern Utah is desert, that just means there is not much rainfall - it does not mean that it is always hot and warm. Northern Arizona and southern Utah (as well as NW New Mexico and SW Colorado) are on the Colorado Plateau where the elevations are generally 6,000 feet or higher. Summers are mild and winters can be bitter cold with snow and icy roads. The South Rim itself is at 7,000 feet elevation and then North Rim (closer to Utah) is at 8,000 feet and gets so much snow that it is closed from mid-October to mid-May.
Because the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a major tourist attraction, the roads between it and Flagstaff (and Flagstaff to Phoenix) are well maintained and plowed after every storm (although if a heavy storm has just passed it maybe closed for a day or restricted to tire chains and 4WD).
However, the area north of the canyon and in southern Utah (North Rim, Bryce, Zion, Kanab) does not have major interstates or big cities nearby and consequently there are long stretches where icy road conditions can persist longer and help is harder to find if needed. If you are going to be traveling anywhere in the Four Corners area over winter you will want to make sure you have tire chains (or 4WD/AWD) and carry a couple of blankets and some extra food with you just to be safe.
As a side note, all of the above applies to the Four Corners region. Central and Southern Arizona and New Mexico are generally lowland warm deserts where snow is very rare and winter temperatures are mild. December is a great time to visit places in those areas such as Tombstone and Bisbee, Las Cruces, White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns.
Where are some good trails to hike around the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is not really conducive to a 200 mile hike. All of the trails are much, much, much shorter, but due to the steep vertical descent are probably far more challenging.
However, you can raft the entire 227 mile length of the canyon and there are rafting excursions that combine rafting and hiking for the best possible combination of length and physical exercise.
See source for the interactive Grand Canyon National Park Google Maps hiking guide and list of trails.
Trup to Canadian Rockies and Grand Canyon - how long should I alllow?
I would say about 3-4 weeks, they are both A M A Z I N G places, I've been to both but on different trips, I suggest that you first go to the Grand Canyon, and sorry I know nothing about airports :/. Well have fun! & don't worry about anything just enjoooy with your friend:D
Between Glen Canyon Dam (Page, AZ) and Grand Canyon, probably the best place to stay is the hotel at the Cameron Trading Post. This is located beside the Little Colorado River gorge where highway 64 to Grand Canyon Village branches off of 89A between Page and Flagstaff. Cameron is a real authentic trading post with an interesting selection of Native American blankets and jewelry (plus the usual touristy stuff). The rooms in the lodge section are modern, clean and reasonably priced and the cafe has good food (they are famous for their huge Navajo Tacos).
Tusayan is the little tourist settlement just outside of the park gate for the Grand Canyon that has a number of chain hotels. It is a place to stay while you are visiting the park, but not really 'in between' if you are looking for a mid-way point between GC and Lake Mead. Although the hotels at Tusayan are fine, I prefer the lodges inside the park itself because they are much more convenient (don't have to go through the lines at the park gate each time you want to go to your room). All the lodges inside the park are ran by Xanterra and reservations can be made online.
As far as a good place to stop between Grand Canyon and Lake Mead...
Flagstaff is the largest town along the way (about 1.5 hours from Grand Canyon and 3.5 from Hoover Dam). Flagstaff has a wide range of hotels and cafes including all the major chains. If you are looking for something a little different, the historic Monte Vista Hotel in the historic downtown is a neat place and within walking distance of cafes, shops and art galleries. The Monte Vista was once a show place hotel in the 1930s and 40s and used by movie stars filming in the area (scenes from Casablanca were filmed here).
A half-hour west of Flagstaff, is the smaller town of Williams which has a few hotels and cafes (and a small historic district). This is also where the Grand Canyon railway starts from. Further west are the small towns of Ash Fork and Seligman whose lodging options are limited.
The next best option is the town of Kingman where US93 to Lake Mead branches off of I-40 (about 1.5 hours from Lake Mead and 3.5 hours from the canyon). Kingman has a fairly large assortment of chain hotels as well the historic Brunswick hotel in the old historic downtown area near the railroad tracks. Nearby is the El Palacio Cafe - an excellent family run Mexican food restuarant.
Where should stay in the Grand Canyon if I will be driving from San Diego?
If you are camping on the South Rim of the National Park, than really your only option is Mather or Desert View campgrounds. These are both large car-camping type campgrounds with designated spots, drinking water, bathrooms, etc. They are both pretty nice. Desert View is at Desert View point near the East Entrance and Mather is on the edge of Grand Canyon Village near the lodges. Desert View is going to be less crowded and be within walking distance of the rim, but you will have to drive a way to see anything else. Mather is closer to the lodges, main facilities and other attractions around the south entrance although it is about a mile back from the rim (the free village shuttle stops there).
You can make reservations online (see link below) and since you will be there at a popular time, you should make them well in advance.
You can also backpack into the canyon itself and camp at any one of several designated backcountry camp sites, but this would be true backpacking with a fair amount of hiking, needing to pack in food and camp stoves (no fires in the canyon), etc. You also need permits for camping inside the canyon and since reservations can be made 4 months in advance, they would be tough to get for May now.
Lastly, the Kaibab National Forest borders the park to the south and you can just wander down any dirt road there and camp 'at large' where ever you chose. Not as scenic or convenient as being at the park, but it is free.
As for things to do there... well, check out the canyon obviously. There are more than a dozen major overlooks each with a somewhat different view. The free shuttle running from the lodges out to Hermit Rest and back is a good way to see a lot of them. Also check out the many historic buildings including the grand 1905 El Tovar lodge and nearby 1905 Hopi House curio shop (built to look like a Hopi pueblo). I would also recommend doing at least a short hike down one of the trails (Bright Angel, Hermit or Kaibab) to get a sense of being in the canyon. Wear comfortable shoes, carry plenty of water and don't go down any further than you want to hike back out (remember it takes twice as long and twice as much energy going up).
In the wider surrounding area, Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments (along 89A NE of Flagstaff and near the park's east entrance) and very interesting and often overlooked (Sunset Crater is an old volcanic field and Wupatki is a prehistoric pueblo ruin). Flagstaff and Williams are both neat old historic towns with shops and cafes. The Museum of Northern Arizona and Lowell Observatory (both in Flag) are well worth a visit.
Lastly, remember that Flagstaff and the South Rim are at an elevation of 7,000 feet and so much cooler than the rest of Arizona. It is quite possible to sometimes still get snow flurries in early May and it will definitely get cold after the sun goes down. Prepare accordingly.
How many days should I spend visiting the grand canyon and zion?
a trip down into the canyon takes a day 8hr or more but you can drive or walk around and take pics in a few hours... id spend more time at zion and hike some trails even thro both are great places the grand canyon has less to offer for choices if you have not made reservations you can read about both and decide but id go with zion
What is the best way to see the Grand Canyon when traveling with small kids?
Can you sister meet you in Vegas or Phoenix
Cut your drive with all the children
You can rent a cabin that will sleep all
They kids can run and swim
This would be a good place for kids
A cabin would run 200 plus a night
Where is the best place to camp in the Grand Canyon with young children?
First off, you need to decide which rim you want to visit: the North Rim or the South Rim.
Most people go to the South Rim because it is easier to reach and is more developed with more overlooks, lodges, cafes and several good-sized towns (Flagstaff and Williams) nearby. The North Rim is harder to get to, only has one lodge and no large towns nearby. Because it is a thousand feet higher in elevation, it is cooler than the south rim and closed during the winter (mid-October to mid-May). During summer, I prefer the North Rim because it is cooler and less crowded, but young kids might find more things to see and do at the South Rim.
At either rim, you only have one real camping option for kids that young and that is the drive-in campgrounds (one at each rim). They are both very similar and pretty nice with a picnic table at each site and central bathroom facilities. They are also both a ways back from the rim, which make them a bit more peaceful, but also means you either have to drive to reach the rim and overlooks or go for a fairly long walk. You can reserve campsites online and should make reservations well in advance (see links below).
Beyond the car campgrounds mentioned above, there are also primitive backpacking campsites in the canyon itself (not recommmended for kids that young) as well as camping 'at large' in areas of the National Forest surrounding the park (the better locations being on the north rim to the west of the park - but these can be tough to reach).
As far as things to do for kids at the South Rim... kids at that age are probably not going to be entranced with scenic natural views for long or up for long hikes. There is a nice free shuttle that runs along the rim from the lodges out to Hermit Rest with stops along the way and the driver telling stories about the canyon - most kids and adults would probably enjoy it. They would probably like watching the burros and their attending cowboys at the corral near Bright Angel lodge. The large patio area along the rim behind Bright Angel lodge is also a good place to see squirrels, ravens and sometimes condors (not to mention ice cream from the nearby snackbar).
There are usually a number of ranger talks each day, many of them at the Shrine of Ages auditorium near Yavapai Lodge. The park also has a junior ranger program where children go to various exhibits and talks to get stamps and win a junior ranger award. The 3 year old would probably be a bit young even for that, but the 5 year might enjoy it.
There are fewer attractions for kids at the North Rim, but it has the benefit of having more open space and less roads and traffic. There are lots of places there for kids to run around in the trees and play with pinecones and sticks (my main memories of going there as a small kid). Along the road to the Cape Royale overlook there is a nice little hike called Cliff Springs trail that would be suitable for kids that age. It goes a mile into a small side canyon to a pretty little seep spring - it is fairly level and despite the name, you are not walking along any cliffs.
Where do you recommend staying at the Grand Canyon?
I am not sure what the person above is talking about... there is no cable car ride you can take across the canyon or river and no big whirlpool either.
I have been to the canyon many times and have stayed in all the lodges there at least once. I would recommend staying at one of the six lodges that are actually inside the park (as opposed to the ones outside the park gates at Tusayan) as staying in the park makes it much more convenient to go between your room and the rim anytime you want and thus make the most of your time at the canyon.
As for which of the six lodges... it depends on your preferences and priorities. The most famous (and most expensive) is the historic 1905 El Tovar Lodge which is one of the famous grand old lodges of the park system and has a great lobby with a big fireplace. It has been recently rennovated and while all the rooms are nice, many of them are pretty small and basic by modern standards. Probably the best hotel rooms in terms of modern furnishings are Thunderbird and Kachina Lodges (although they are pretty boring). Bright Angel is the cheapest (some rooms have shared baths). My personal favorite these days is Maswik Lodge - the rooms are not fancy, but they are good sized, reasonably priced and it is one of the few lodges where you can park right by your room.
All of the lodges are ran by the Xanterra company and you can make reservations online (see link below). Make reservations well in advance.
While at the canyon, be sure to take in all the overlooks - each offers a different perspective on the canyon. Sunset and sunrise are the most dramatic views because of the shadows and golden sunlight. The free shuttle running from the lodges out to Hermits Rest and back stops at the various overlooks along the way and is a great intro to the canyon. Also be sure to check out all the historic buildings... aside from the above mentioned El Tovar, there is also the 1905 Hopi House curio shop, Lookout Studio, Hermit Rest and the old Kolb Brothers Photo Studio (which often has free art exhibits).
I would highly recommend that you take at least a short hike down into the canyon - even if just a half mile or so down one of the main trails. Being inside the canyon with the walls towering above you is a very different - and in my opinion more rewarding - experience than just staying on the rim. Be sure to carry plenty of water, wear comfortable shoes and remember it is much harder and slower coming up the trail than going down.
As far as other sights nearby... Flagstaff (the main town to the south) has a neat historic downtown area with lots of little shops and cafes. It is also home to the excellent Museum of Northern Arizona and Lowell Observatory (where Pluto was discovered in 1930).
Northeast of Flagstaff (on the way to the eastern entrance to Grand Canyon at Cameron) is Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments. Sunset Crater is an extinct volcanic field with lava flows and cinder cones and Wupatki is a large prehistoric pueblo ruin that you can walk through - both are excellent, but often overlooked. About an hour and half east of Flagstaff on I-40 is the Petrified Forest National Park (acres of giant stone logs) and the Painted Desert.
To the south of Flagstaff, is Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon (with the famous red rocks and resorts) and the old mining town of Jerome on the slopes of Mingus Mountain overlooking the Verde Valley. Along I-17 near the turn for Sedona is Montezuma Castle National Monument - a major cliff dwelling.
As for the best time of year to visit the canyon... there really is no bad time. Summer is the most popular time for tourists and the weather is nice, but the crowds can sometimes be a hassle and make parking difficult. If you are going in summer, you may want to consider going to the less developed and less crowded North Rim instead (the North Rim facilities are closed the rest of the year). Spring and Fall are nice because the weather is still good and the crowds are fewer (this is prime hiking season). I really like the winter when rates are low, crowds are few and the canyon seems very peaceful (and very pretty if it gets a fresh blanket of snow).
Keep in mind that the canyon (and Flagstaff) are both at an elevation of 7,000 feet which means that (unlike much of Arizona) they have very mild summers (never breaks 100) and real winters with snow storms and below freezing temps. Dress accordingly depending on when you go.
The longest reasonably do-able hike in the Park that doesn't involve crossing the River is the
95 miles [although it seems longer } of Tonto Trail from Garnet Canyon in the west to Red Canyon/ Hance Rapids in the east
to that you can add the
10 miles of Escalante Rt from Red Canyon to the Jct of the Tanner/Beamer Trail
8 miles up the Beamer to the Confluence of the Little Colorado
8 miles back to the Tanner Junction
11 miles back to the Rim on the Tanner
7 miles from the S.Bass Trailhead to the Rio and getting to or from the S.Bass trailhead is an adventure in itself
1 mile from the Rio back to Tonto West Jct
Approx 25 hard miles out to Elves Chasm and back to the starting point of the Tonto at Garnet Cyn
Do I suggest that you do this hike any time soon ?
First of all it can be a really difficult hike for those who don't have any inner canyon experience ,the numbers only tell a very small part of the story
Open this link to get you a better idea
Second of all I don't know what your hiking experience is and I make a point of not putting strangers in harms way.
Then there is the whole legal issue of backcountry permits to deal with and it's various layers of regulated backcountry space and it's 4 month in advance reservation system
If you want to hike the inner canyon on May 1 then your reservation should gave been in today
However all is not lost NPS still issues permits w/o reservations
If you want to hike on Monday AM then you have to show up at the BRO on Sunday to get your permit
There are some nice 6-7 nite hikes that you can do that will get you at least somewhat away from it all But w/o knowing your hiking experience I would be irresponsible in suggesting one
What part of the Grand Canyon should I see if I dont have much time?
Depends upon which direction you're coming from
If you're coming from the West
Use the 2nd Williams exit and take SR 64 into the Park
Go the Visitors Center by Mather Point
Exit the Park by taking SR 64/ West Rim Drive out to Desert View making sure to stop by everything that says Point on it -especially Grandview and Lipan Points-aka the best viewpoint on the S.Rim
Downhill to the jct of US 89 @ Cameron AZ
Left on US 89
Right on US160 to Tuba City
Right at the light and take SR 264 across the Hopi Mesas and the Navajo Nation.
At Second Mesa
Make a right and take SR 87 back to I-40 at Winslow
If you're coming from the east just do that in reverse
Do not drive Cameron/Tuba City /Second Mesa /Winslow in the dark because not only will you miss the awesome views But you may also run into a sheep or a cow that is legally standing in the road
I mean it is Open Range on the Rez
Don't play games with your gas gage
Get gas in Kingman and either Cameron or Tuba City on the EB trip or Winslow and Cameron and Kingman on your WB trip
Enjoy the Park
best Grand Canyon area place to visit and stay in March?
In March you only have one choice, the South Rim. North Rim still closed due to snow.
There are several places to stay within the Park.
Take a look at this web site for all the lodging within the park/
The different lodges are listed in the left column starting with the El Tovar
Recently, the Grand Canyon was flooded in a man-made attempt to mimic the natural floods that used to happen r
Man-made flood to swell Colorado River
Reported by: Brent Hunsaker
Last Update: 3/04 11:05 pm
(ABC 4 News) PAGE, Arizona (ABC 4 News) -
Wednesday morning, the four jet tubes at Glen Canyon dam will be open wide. The jets will pour water into the Colorado River at approximately 41,000 cubic feet per second to create a man-made flood.
Artificial Flood At Glen Canyon Dam Creates Controversy
Last Update: 3/05 7:54 pm
Hope This Helps ... Good Luck
What else there to do at the Grand Canyon besides the obvious?
actually its closer to 3.5 hours to Vegas depending on dam traffic.
Don't be so hard on the Canyon it is one of the most awe inspiring places on earth and it changes color every 20 minutes or so. You may very well discover that you wish you had more time to see it.
This is the Mr. Danger route :
take I-40 to Williams AZ exit 167 -make sure that you have at least 1/2 of gas tank before you leave Williams
take sr 64 to the jct of 180 at Valle AZ on the left will be Quick 2 Answers rock shop .however you will probably see the Lockheed Constellation first
Continue on 64 into the Park - stop by the over crowded visitors center and get oriented
for lunch you can either go to the upscale El Tovar or a notch or two below is the Bright Angel Lodge -both are on the Rim
Here's the good part:
Leaving the park take E . Rim drive -sr 64- towards Desert View
stop at all the over looks on the way out , particularly Grandview Point and Lipan Point
Exit the Park and and do the long sweeping fast downhill all the way to Cameron AZ- avoid smoking your brakes
If you need reasonably priced Navajo or Hopi jewelery there is a group of stands set up at the Little Colorado overlook 6 miles from the jct of US 89 haggling is acceptable
when you get to US 89 make a right and head towards Flagstaff
if you're still bored you can make a left when you see the sign for Wupatki /Sunset Crater National Monuments just south of the Sinagua trading post if you don't want to do the 30 mile loop and ancient ruins don't do it for you. Make the 2nd left for Sunset Crater, you will see reasonably fresh lava flows-1200 yerars old it looks like they were made yesterday . the turn proper is at the top of the pass
Still need more adventure ?
on the down hill run into Flagstaff there is a well maintained dirt road that cuts across the base of the mountain and is driveable in a car
It' called Shultz Pass road . As soon as you see your first house look for a right turn. The road will take you over to US 180 make a left and you're in Flagstaff
The only highway near the Grand Canyon is the one leading to it. There are no bridges across it, so no major highway near it. If you want to see it fast, helicopter is the ONLY way. If you want to see it cheap, drive. Leave early in the morning and you make it back to Las Vegas in time to party.
Nine miles? Would that be down the Bright Angel trail to Indian Gardens and back?
When hiking in the Grand Canyon, distance is not so much of a factor as elevation change. Most canyon trails have very few level stretches... you are either going up or down and often at a pretty steep rate.
Different people are impacted different ways by the climbing and descending. If you are overweight or not in good cardiovascular shape, than going up is tough because it take more energy. However people with joint problems (ankle, knee, lower back) often have more problems going down because it requires more muscle and joint control.
As for training...
You want to build your leg and lower back muscles and strengthen the areas around your joints. Because hiking the canyon is a feat of endurance, you want to make sure you do plenty of long cardio workouts rather than just short, intense workouts. If you do most of your workouts in a gym, than I would recommend heavy time on the treadmill and stair-steppers combined with deep-knee lunges, squats, stepping up and down on a block, and speed skips (high step marching in place). You also want to build good stomach and lower back muscles with sit-ups and stomach crunches. Some people prepare their legs by going up and down long flights of stairs numerous times.
Perhaps more importantly, if there is a convenient place nearby that has a real dirt trail (preferably with some uphill and downhill), try to get in some good multi-hour sessions there. While the main central trails in the Grand Canyon (Bright Angel and Kaibab) are good maintained trails, they are no sidewalks. It will be uneven with rocks and retaining logs to step over and occasional ruts. You want your knees and ankles to get used to long distances over uneven terrain (this is what often gets people who did all their training in gyms and on stairs).
The most recent issue of Backpacker Magazine (May 2007, which should still be in newstands) has a whole section dedicated to leg exercises that you might want to check out ("Hike Farther, Hike Stronger" by Evelyn Spence). It has a whole series of exercise (most don't require any special equipment) for building strong hiking leg muscles.
A few other things that can help when you are on trail... getting one of those stretchy Ace knee braces if one of your knees is a little weak. Also, I find that trekking poles (collaspable ski-pole looking things) make a tremendous difference by allowing your arms to take some of the strain off your knees. I use them regularly in the canyon to reduce strain on my knees and get a more well-rounded workout that exercises my upper body as well as legs.
And lastly, a few general suggestions about hiking the canyon... remember that going up is going to take much longer (and require more energy) than going down, wear good rugged comfortable shoes (hiking boots preferred), have a broad-brimmed hat and sunblock, carry high-energy (carbos) and salty snacks or electrolytes and - most importantly - always carry plenty of water (2-3 liters minimum).
The Bright Angel trail has drinking water at Indian Gardens (and often at the upper rest houses), but most canyon trails have no water between rim and river and temps in the lower canyon can often pass 100 degrees in summer. If you are going anytime between June and August, than I would avoid being on the trail during the heat of the day (11 to 4). If you are on the Bright Angel trail, Indian Gardens has lots of big shade trees and is a great place to rest.
Don't try to go to the river and back in one day (especially during summer).
Have fun, bring a camera, and don't get so caught up in going up and down the trail that you don't stop to take it all in and enjoy all the little sights and wonders along the way! For example, just as you are heading down the Bright Angel, look straight up when you pass thrugh the little stone arch and you will see red prehistoric indian pictographs on the cliff just below the rim - hundreds of people pass there each day and only a few notice them.
Skeptic is the closest to the truth.
While weathering certainly helped, the primary force that created the Grand Canyon itself is the erosion of the Colorado River and that is not what most people would consider weathering. However, an even greater and more unique factor in the formation of the Grand Canyon (which nobody above has mentioned yet) is the geologic uplifting of the Colorado Plateau which greatly increased the river's rate of erosion and allowed it to cut deeper and faster than most other rivers do. Without the uplifting, the Grand Canyon would not be what it is today and that uplifting is definitely not a force of weather.
It is true that many characteristics of the canyon walls ARE largely the result of weathering (rain, ice and wind). Places where the canyon walls vary between straight cliffs (like the Redwall Limestone) or more gentle slopes (like the Bright Angel Shale) are mainly the result of how the rock layer resists weathering. So you can definitely talk about weathering in terms of how it shapes the walls of the canyon, but you need to be careful not to give it as a primary factor in the creation of the main canyon itself.
Here are a couple of other major land features in the western US that you might want to consider as they are more closely linked to weather specifically:
Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah) - The famous colorful spires and slot canyons are mostly due to weathering (ice and wind) and the run-off of rain.
Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado) - While the sand material itself was formed by an ancient lake, the modern (and ever changing) shape of the dunes themselves are directly driven by wind patterns - a very unique and direct example of weather effects on large landforms.