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On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

New York City, New...
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On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

Hi,

We (my wife, 6 year old son, and I) are planning to go to death valley + one day in Las Vegas from around 2/15 to 2/22 (coming from NY, so we lose one day of travel each way). Is this to much time for the park, or should we plan to squeeze in Grand Canyon or an other park?

We prefer to take our time and see less things more in depth than pass half the time in a car going from one place to the next.

Thanks.

Vancouver...
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1. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

I say visit the Grand Canyon. Nothing like it on Earth. Also say to post any detailed questions about it on the Grand Canyon forum. Chuck.

San Francisco
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2. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

Death Valley (the Furnace Creek area, the central area where much of the visitor activity is concentrated) is a little over 2 hours from Las Vegas. Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon Village) is about 350 miles from Las Vegas.

Each of these parks deserves a couple of days if you can manage it. JSYK, Death Valley National Park is about the size of Connecticut.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

I'd say choose one or the other - not practical to try and do both on such a short visit, especially if you are spending a day in Las Vegas plus two days in transit. It's 6 hours one way by car to drive from Death Valley to the Grand Canyon, which you will have to do twice (so a half day lost to driving between them).

If you want to see more than just one or the other, you might consider some of the day trips out of Vegas (Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire, etc). And whatever you do, stay away from Grand Canyon West - you will have come a long way, so make sure you get the "true" Grand Canyon experience by visiting the National Park (aka South Rim).

-JimG

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4. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

I think you could do both if you spent a bare minimum of time in Las Vegas.

After you land and get your car, supplies, etc., make a beeline for one of the parks. Enjoy your couple of days there and go back through Las Vegas, maybe stopping over for a night to rest and have a change of pace if you wish. Either way, skip the congested central city and go through the Henderson area to get to the other park. Henderson also has lodgings, restaurants, etc.

You'd be doing some long stretches, but the highways are not generally congested, and it isn't as if you'd be bored or unhappy with the scenery. These are beautiful areas with landscapes that will be new and unique to folks from the East Coast if this is your first trip to our neighborhood. You wouldn’t have an in-depth experience with either park, but you could see some highlights and get a good feel for the kinds of places they are.

Since you're coming a long way, this could be a better alternative than going to one of these stupendous parks and then wondering when you'll be able to get back to see the other. And then, whenever you can get back, you’ll be able to plan ahead for more time, or for places you didn’t see on this trip.

If you do decide to visit both, I would suggest Grand Canyon first, since it is the farthest away. From Death Valley, the ride back to Las Vegas and your flight home will be shorter.

Henderson, Nevada
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5. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

If this is your only visit to the western deserts, do both... it you will be coming back think about one or the other.... but with your time (you have some... enough to survey both) try both... some of us here find the desert so compelling that we go back again and again...

Randy

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6. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

There is more than enough to see and do in Death Valley that you won't be sorry if you spend the entire time there. We were there for 3 days a couple of years ago and found that just wasn't enough time. So we're going back for 2 weeks in March!

The Grand Canyon is beautiful. We visited the South Rim and I loved seeing it. But if I had to pick between the 2, I'd definitely choose Death Valley. Much more variety in scenery. And if I had less than a week, then I'd for sure pick just Death Valley and not try to squeeze in a visit to both.

Have a fun and safe trip!

New York City, New...
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7. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

Thank you all for your advice.

I think we are not going to go to grand canyon. We will go for a few days to death valley, than Valley of Fire. Is it possible to go to Zion NP if the weather is warm?

Thanks again,

Marc

Edmonton, Canada
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8. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

that's what i was going to suggest...unless you have several days to do grand canyon...you are traveling a long ways to "look" at it. where are you staying in death valley? we stayed at furnace creek ranch and the pool there was nice if like relaxing around a pool. accommodations in the park are expensive. will be cheaper in vegas if you want to do a few nights there. a nice day trip is take the freeway to valley of fire...then go back to vegas via hoover dam. look at red rock canyon too. lake mead is worth a look. i haven't been but zion is a good place to consider in the area. do the tour of scotty's castle in death valley...very interesting.

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9. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

Furnace creek ranch is booked full during that week, and is quite expensive. I was thinking of staying at Beatty, as it seems quicker to access various parts of the park from there than from e.g. death valley junction. Ideally I would rather not need to reserve in advance an play it by ear.

Fortaleza, CE
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10. Re: On week in Feb: only death Valley or add Grand Canyon?

The Virgin River canyon, where the base of Zion is, is about 5,000' and should be eminently visitable (if there is such a word) in Feb, with less chance of snow than at the GC. Lots of hotels in Springdale, though we liked the lodge inside the park for the peace and quiet, and scenery. Valley of Fire nice as a 1/2 day or day trip from Vegas, or just stopping on your way to or from Zion. Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area also close to Vegas.

Edited: 04 February 2014, 14:52
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