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Itinerary help GC

Tennessee
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for Chattanooga
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Itinerary help GC

I've travelled all over but this by far the most challenging trip I've tried to plan. Would like 2 days in Vegas, go to both rims plus GC west, Hoover Dam, Sedona, in 10 days after labor day. Is this too much to try? Would love to stay on north rim, don't mind hotel hopping. Best to fly into Vegas? Flagstaff? Many times we go with first nite reservations and wing it in-between. I'm gathering this might not be doable as we might end up sleeping in the car. We like flexibility where possible. Thanks for any help & I'm sure there will be more questions.

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Itinerary help GC

Use one of your LV days to take a tour to GCWest and Hoover dam.

If you can get a reservation at the GCNP NR, go there next. You really need 2 nights there, because it is remote and viewing the canyon from the fewer and more distant view points takes more time.

Move from there to GCNP SR and stay one night. Adding a night in between NR and SR at Page would be a good idea too.

Then go to Sedona after GCNP SR for as long as you can in the remaining time available before completing the loop to LV.

You could do the route in reverse if lodging availability says you must. The NR will be toughest to book, so check on that first.

Tennessee
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2. Re: Itinerary help GC

Thanks so much! This trip has stressed me out for some reason but I feel calmer already. Take it you are a Sedona fan? I've heard so many great things about it- sounds like a beautiful tranquil place. Let the planning begin!

Sedona, AZ
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3. Re: Itinerary help GC

I live in Sedona and yes I love it. Most visitors do too. And most who come and stay for less than 3 days report that they wished they had allotted more time for it.

…go.com/Travel/…

Wickenburg, Arizona
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4. Re: Itinerary help GC

You should definitely add a night (or two) at Page between NR and SR (see Antelope Canyon) - and if I had the choice between SR and 'GC west? - which isn't really GC west, there is no west rim - it would always be south rim where you can experience the full extent of this spectacular place.

South rim: Spend one or two nights there, preferably at a rim lodge. Those would need to be booked ASAP.

For the in-park hotels, visit www.grandcanyonlodges.com or call 888-297-2757. Failing that you can get lodging right outside the south gate (main entrance to the park) in Tusayan, about ten minutes' drive from the rim. What some people do is reserve a room at one of the Tusayan hotels, but then keep calling Xanterra for cancellations – which happen all the time, but don’t make it back onto the website before they’re snatched up again. That way you might still get ‘inside’ and then just cancel the prior reservation at Tusayan.

At 'west'/Skywalk you pay around 100 dollars per person to look down into a side arm of the canyon, for about 15-20 minutes and are not allowed to take pictures ...

Again: getting a reservation at the rims is your top priorities, as vacancies there are at a premium!

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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5. Re: Itinerary help GC

There is only one lodge at the North Rim and it's only open May 15 - Oct 15, so it's probably going to be the toughest reservation, even more so than the South Rim. I would try to make those first and work your other dates around it. Even though it's the same national park, the 'Grand Canyon Lodge' at the NR is managed by Forever Resorts: http://www.grandcanyonlodgenorth.com/.

You can decide the order (direction) of your travel based on the NR reservations. I would make your South Rim reservations next. These are thru Xanterra as Esty has noted. Personally, I would stay at least 2 nights at each. Then you can "fill in" with stops in Page, Sedona, perhaps Zion. If Las Vegas is going to be your gateway, you can do a nice "circle"; 10 days is a good itinerary.

For Las Vegas, a good website for hotel discounts is smartervegas.com.

Columbia, Maryland
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6. Re: Itinerary help GC

At the north rim if you can't get lodging inside the park, there are 2 other lodges within reasonable distance outside the park.

Kaibab Lodge is about 15 miles from the canyon.

Jacob Lake Inn is about 45 miles from the canyon.

We stayed at Jacob Lake inn - the drive isn't that bad except you do not want to do it in the dark because of large wildlife (mule deer and cattleo) that roam near the road in spots.

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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7. Re: Itinerary help GC

<<Many times we go with first nite reservations and wing it in-between>> This approach may work in other parts of the country, but it won't work here. This is a very popular travel destination and areas with lodging are spread out very far. You can easily find yourself driving two hours or more to find sub-standard over-priced lodging, or, as you put it, sleeping in the car. And even though you're traveling after Labor Day, it's still going to be busy, so as distasteful as it may sound, PLEASE COME WITH A PLAN!

The element of your trip that's probably going to be the most difficult to pull off at this point is the North Rim. There are only 3 small hotels in the immediate vicinity of the park: the Grand Canyon Lodge inside the park, the Kaibab Lodge about 5 miles outside the park, and the Jacob Lake Inn about 1 hour North of the park. Alternatives about 90 minutes away are the Marble Canyon Lodge, Cliff Dweller's Lodge and Lees Ferry Lodge. Video ->: http://youtu.be/5YnRWyFad2g But again, these properties are very small and wouldn't be surprised if they're already booked up.

If you find that to be the case, definitely plan on going to the South Rim, and Page too, and maybe make a day trip to the North Rim from Page. It does take about 2-2.5 hours each way, but it's very scenic and you'll enjoy it.

As for Grand Canyon West, the area is not very well loved by folks on this forum. I don't quite share that view as it is kinda fun to be able to helicopter down to the canyon floor and the Skywalk is kinda freaky, but it is an expensive proposition to go there. The Skywalk alone, when factoring in the Tribal Park Entrance Fees, entrance to the Skywalk and all the other ways they'll nickel and dime you, you're looking at ~$95/person to do this if you drive yourself.

Tennessee
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8. Re: Itinerary help GC

Wow! Great tips & thanks for the advice on GC west. I was drawn in by the skywalk but really want to see the canyon as I remember it when I was 12. I'm getting on reservations in the morning which I'm sure will dictate the flow. We don't have to use Vegas as our hub, we've got plenty of casinos within 3 or 4 hours of home. Would it be better to do flagstaff? We use delta points so flight price not a deal breaker either way. Thanks for mentioning Zion, I loved it as a kid, will definitely try to work it in. Keep those ideas coming everybody!

9. Re: Itinerary help GC

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