We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

newbies to Grand Canyon

De Pere, Wisconsin
2 posts
Save Topic
newbies to Grand Canyon

Coming from Wisconsin over new years and would like to visit the GC. Planning on leaving Las Vegas in the morning, stopping at Bryce Canyon for a couple hours and then driving up to the south rim to stay that night. Any advice or precautions will be appreciated. Will have a full-size rental car.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
55,911 posts
225 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

Bad plan. Look at a map and check weather forecasts and conditions. LV to Bryce will take about 4 hours without delays that are entirely possible at this time of winter. You'll need at least the rest of the day to experience Bryce NP. Plan to spend the night there at Rubys Inn if you do go.

The drive (down) to GCNP South Rim the next day will take another 5 hours. Make sure that you have reservations at one of the park lodges at GCNP.


If in fact you only have one night available, then abandon plans for Bryce and drive to the GCNP South Rim the normal way, to the south on 93 to Kingman AZ and I-40 to Williams and then north into the park. This drive will take about 5 hours, without stops and weather permitting.

use www.az511.com to monitor weather and road conditions. If forecast calls for a winter storm blowing across northern AZ, I-40 could be closed during the event. It has already happened once this year and will no doubt happen again. As long as you respect the storm and stay flexible, and don't try to drive during a storm, you'll be fine.

Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
17,150 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

That trip you want to do is not a daytrip.It would involve a minimum of 10 hours driving,but more likely 11 to 12 with fuel and lunch stops.And that is on dry roads,and not stopping to take in the great sights at Bryce.Add in snow,add more time.And remember there is a time change in Utah.It is an hour later than Nevada.

Best thing to do like RedRox said is spend the night at Bryce.Did you plan to see Zion on the way also? That is right on the way on one of the possible routes to take from Vegas to Bryce.Should not be missed.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
7,282 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

The fact that you say you want to drive "UP to" the South Rim from Bryce makes me suspect that you're confusing Bryce with other park/location. Perhaps you're thinking of Sedona?

De Pere, Wisconsin
2 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

I agree....thought Bryce was south of GC. I think we will just do the GC with maybe a quick stop at Hoover Dam. Thanks.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
262 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

Definitely a better plan. Do allow yourselves some time for Hoover Dam. The dam, and it's brand new bridge, are really quite spectacular! As Red mentioned, try to get yourself a room in the park ASAP, it is by far the best way to spend a night on the South Rim. All in park lodging are booked here: www.grandcanyonlodges.com

Have fun!

Cottonwood, Arizona
Level Contributor
676 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

If you are in Vegas for a while, I would NOT stop at the Hoover Dam, but do it as a day trip on another day since it is only 30 minutes from the Strip.

If you only have 2 days, I would leave as early as possible (coordinating with the Hoover Dam opening time) you may stop and tour the dam, then head onto the Grand Canyon. I would spend a night or two there and then head back to LV. If you only have one night to spend at the GC, I would head out at sunrise, skip the Dam tour, and head straight to GCNP.

The trip that you are envisioning is a 3-4 day trip, if you want to do it right...

Look at availability for accommodation IN the park, and book the best possible Lodge. (This is a once in a lifetime deal, splurge!)

You would be wise to look at Mapquest to see distances, and do not forget about the possible SNOW complications!

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

I'd change the full size into an awd SUV, just in case. Also maybe read about flooding problems in the Las Vegas area http://www.fox5vegas.com/index.html Glad you aren't driving via Bryce.


Baton Rouge
Level Contributor
578 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

I'm with DesertRose on making Hoover Dam a day trip from Vegas, assuming you'll be in Vegas for 3 or 4 days. Unless you are really into gambling, Vegas gets old pretty quickly (at least it does for me). If I'm there, I'd rather do something like a day trip to Hoover Dam, then maybe catch a show in the evening, rather than just visit casino after casino.

9. Re: newbies to Grand Canyon

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 June 2011, 06:19