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Grand Canyon Day Trip

Sydney, Australia
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Grand Canyon Day Trip

Gday

We are staying in Vegas for 4 nights in late June and defiantly want to visit the Grand Canyon.

After reading review after review from the local experts we defiantly want to hire a car in Vegas and visit the South rim not interested in the West rim thing/ tour bus thing/ flying thing.

Only problem is it will be a day trip and i am the only driver. I have no problem with the early start/ late finish times but many forum people have advised against it. With a little luck we will meet another couple with similar interests in vegas and split the tour with them.

A question i have is are there towns with accommodation not far out of the national park that we could get a room at short notice if i felt i couldn't do the return drive to vegas?

Thanks In Advance

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

Williams has plenty of lodging but as almost all other posters said, best is to stay at the rim and experience sunset and sunrise. Williams is one hour south of GC.

South Jersey, USA
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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2. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

You can also try the town of Tusayan for lodging, which is right outside the South entrance gates of the park!

Spending the night is the best way to do this so that you DON'T have that long drive back to Vegas. Plus as Tet mentioned...you get to experience sunrise/sunset!!

SJG

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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3. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

Tusayan, Williams and Kingman in that order, if you get tired at the end of the day.

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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4. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

The one big bummer about that drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Las Vegas is the relative dearth of towns with available lodging. Tusayan/Grand Canyon Village South is just outside the park gates, so in June, it will most likely be sold out. Williams is about 1 hour South of the park; you might be able to find lodging there as a walk-up, but that will still leave you with ~3.5 hours drive back to Las Vegas in the morning.

If you make a little detour up Old Route 66, there's Seligman AZ, which is a very small town with only a handful of motels (info ->: http://bit.ly/Ke8qJs ). Here again, staying the night here you would be left with ~3 hours' drive back to Vegas, but traveling one of the last remaining intact sections of the "Mother Road" might make for an interesting an unexpected highlight to your trip. Then the next "proper" town would be Kingman, about 2 hours Southeast of Vegas. It has a dozen or more hotels (info ->: http://bit.ly/zwImju ) but at that point, it might just be wiser to go the rest of the way into Las Vegas.

Anyway - hope that helps :)

Endless Mountains...
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5. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

Agree 100% with K-Bot.Stay in Seligman and drive this portion of Rt66,IMO the best stretch in America.Stay off boring I40.My favorite restaurant is West Side Lilo's and for lodging the Canyon Lodge both in Seligman. Watch speed coming into Seligman or sheriff will be pulling you over. Also make sure to stop t the Hackberry General store, an hr past Seligman and just 20 minutes before Kingman. Easy to miss, right around curve. Owner Bob did a fantastic renovation here. Don't miss this stretch of 66, beast in America IMO.

Nothing like spending night in GC, but this is awesome too....nostalgic drive all the way..... Good Old Days......

Edited: 26 April 2012, 21:50
Sacramento...
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6. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

There seems to be availability in Tusayan for at least a couple of June dates that I looked at in a few motels. You might even be able to get a room in the park itself if you're flexible on which of the 4 days (and which lodge). Unfortunately, the Tusayan motels I checked have a 24-hour cancellation policy (so you couldn't wait until that day to decide), and the in-park cancellation is 2 days, I believe.

Personally, while I've been to Vegas but not to the GC (rectifying that in June also!), I'd suggest booking *something* now either in the park or Tusayan, and just planning to shift the trip if the concern is minimizing out-of-Vegas time: You can lounge around and leave Vegas by noon and get to the park by 5 (~3 hrs before sunset), spend the night, get up early for sunrise and leave by 8-9, arriving back in Vegas by 2-3pm, even with a rte66 detour, plenty of time to be back for a show or anything else that 2nd night. Or you have the flexibility to decide that you really want a few more hours that 2nd day before leaving.

Depending on your flight times, any way to make it the first or last night? That's even easier logistically, but I'd probably still stay overnight even if in the middle of the trip.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

Hi

Thanks for all your great suggestions. The ole route 66 detour defiantly interests us, so much so that i think we will just plan to stay the night at one of those towns as k-bot suggested.

Thanks Again

West Yellowstone...
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8. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

Sounds like a fun detour, but I would definitely recommend making reservations. I remember several years back a friend telling me that she couldn't get last-minute lodging at GCNP, Tusayan, Flagstaff or Winslow on the way back to her home in Albuquerque. She had to stay in Holbrook and the bummer was that they intended to go back into the canyon the next day.

Flagstaff is 1/2 hour east of Williams (90 minutes south of the GCNP entrance) and also includes a nice stretch of Route 66. If you don't have any luck with Tusayan, Williams or Seligman, I'd choose Flagstaff over driving to Kingman after a long day in the park.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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9. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

Glad I found this post, since I was worried about the timing of my trip. I am flying into Vegas on June 16th, and should land around 11:30 AM. We are immediately getting the rental car and hitting the road to the South rim. I have reservations that night at Javapai East in the park. I was hoping that getting there by 5:00-5:30 would not be an issue. We really want to have an hour or two to see a few sights, then see the sunset. After spending the night, we will head back to Vegas in the morning for three nights at the Palazzo. We are really excited since we were able to secure a room in the park, and will be able to spend a little more time there than what a typical "day trip" from Vegas would give us. Also, any specific suggestions on viewing spots while there? Thanks, again!

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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10. Re: Grand Canyon Day Trip

I usually fly into Las Vegas and, between waiting for checked luggage and getting to the car rental center, it consistently takes me an hour from arrival to actually being on the road. Realistically, expect to be on the road around 12:30.

The drive itself, straight through without stops and going at the speed limit (which is 75 for large portions of the route) is right around 4 hours. Add a short stop and/or any minor delays and you're looking at your 5-5:30 arrival. So, don't expect you can take a leisurely lunch break or a stop at Hoover Dam or route 66 and still get there by 5pm.

If possible, I recommend pre-registering with the car rental company prior to the trip (done online) to avoid any lines at the rental car center. I typically only have to check-in at one of the kiosks at the car rental center.

I took 2 hours to drive Desert View road last week during sunset (5-7 pm) and literally stopped at every single viewpoint except for Yavapai Pt and I think my favorites were Lipan and Grandview. I also really like the pull-offs right off the road just east of the Village. Moran was the most crowded with some of the jeep tours waiting for sunset.