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Diamond Creek Road Drive?

Pittsburgh...
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Diamond Creek Road Drive?

I was recently told you could drive to the bottom of the Grand Canyon if you follow Diamond Creek Road. Is this correct? We are going in April and renting a car. Should I make sure we have an SUV? Is the road dirt or paved? Is there anything I should know before doing this - we have two young kids with us and if this is true, we would love to go to the bottom as they will not be able to make the hike!

Thank you so much!

61 replies to this topic
tucson az
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1. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

The road is a non-maintained dirt and rock road. Yes, the Diamond Creek Road goes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon but in an area where the canyon is far less dramatic than at GCNP South Rim, less deep, and less colorful. The last post I saw about this subject said that the permit fee from the Haualapai tribe was about $30/person, as this is on their tribal land.

Most rental contracts prohibit taking vehicles, SUV or not, on unpaved non-maintained roads. The road is said to be extremely rugged at the bottom as it is in the creek bottom. There's nothing to do once you get there.

There are commercial tours that take you there, which you can join at Peach Springs or Williams.

It is not necessary to hike to the bottom of the canyon. It is possible, with small kids, to take some short hikes below the rim at GCNP South Rim and appreciate what it is like to be in the canyon. Very very few people hike to the bottom of the canyon. I suspect what you should really do is spend a few days at GCNP South Rim.

Sedona, AZ
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2. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

The road goes there. Rental cars are prohibited by contract.

You need to understand that the Diamond Creek Road is about 100 miles away from the Grand Canyon National Park at the south rim. It's a completely different environment. Seeing the canyon from the GCNP at the rim should be your priority. When you see it there, you'll understand why no road goes there. At Diamond Creek it's a different world. Same Colorado River, but completely different grand canyon.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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3. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

Diamond Creek Road is about 150 miles downstream from the main part of the Canyon where the South Rim and North Rim visitor areas are located. You won't be anywhere near where the famous hiking trails are. The reason you can drive to the river is because the Canyon is so much more shallow there, by about 3,000 feet.

If you want to see the Grand Canyon, go to the National Park. The views from the South Rim are much more dramatic and awe-inspiring than anything you'll see at Diamond Creek Road. The South Rim is a 4.5 hour drive from Las Vegas or a 4 hour drive from Phoenix. A regular passenger car is sufficient.

If you really want to get to the Colorado River, I think going to the Page area, at the eastern end of the Canyon, after the South Rim is a much better option. There is a flat-water rafting tour that the kids will enjoy.

This is the National Park website: www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/index.htm

Information about the flat-water trip: http://raftthecanyon.com/

Sedona, AZ
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4. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

Great minds think alike...

Encinitas...
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5. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

Diamond Creek is pretty far downstream from the park., where the canyon is less deep, colorful or wide.Here is a site with pics of someone's camping trip, so you can see it.

www.virtualjeepclub.com/Showthread.php…

Edited: 13 March 2013, 02:37
Pittsburgh...
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6. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

Thank you so much for your help! I did do some more research and I think I found the road on the map - it is far from where we will be. We are coming from Phoenix and going to the south rim to stay in the park. As the kids are too young for the mule rides, I thought maybe this was an alternative. But we will have a rental car and I thought perhaps this was closer. We have never been to that area of the country and want to see as much as possible while we are there. Hearing we could get to the bottom of the canyon was something I had to investigate!

I looked at the rafting trip but that is quite a drive as well - I will need to read that some more to understand if we could do it or if we would need a hotel near there.

Any suggestions of specific hikes for the kids would be very appreciated - or anything else we shouldn't miss. We will be traveling with kids as old as 10 and as young as 6.

Thank you!!

Seattle
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7. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

If you can work the smooth water float trip at Page into your trip, on the way to or from Grand Canyon, the kids( and) you would like it.

While at the South Rim, you can walk the Rim Trailmin both directions from the hotel,area to see different things. Go west a short distance, past the mule corrals, and walk out and down the steps to Trail Overlook. Younwillmget a great view of the switchbacks into the canyon, the Indian Garden area 3000 feet below, and you may see soaring condors.

Speaking of the mule corral, try to go there in the morning while they are mounting up for the trail ride. The kids will enjoy that.

You can also hike down into the canyon a short distance on either the Bright Angel or South Kaibab trail. We have seen kids as youne as 4 or 5 there, but not far from the top. The steps are big for a small child, fut fun too. Both trails are wide and well-graded, but I suggest holding the 6-year-old's hand if you feel nervous about the edge.

The Kolb Studio has some fascinating old photos, including some of children in the early days.

And check out the Junior Ranger program.

Evanston, Wyoming
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8. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

I know I'm getting in on this topic rather late, but FWIW:

Any day trip/tour that gets you to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and/or the Colorado River and DOESN'T require an overnight stay is going to take you to areas outside of Grand Canyon National Park. I drew up a map on Google: Point A roughly represents where the Diamond Creek Road starts from (near Peach Springs); Point B is Grand Canyon Village; Point C is Page AZ, where the Colorado River Discovery Float Trip takes place - the drive is longer than usual due to a recent road closure caused by a landslide. But you can see the 3 areas are quite far from one another. Can't be helped, that's the way God, Mother Nature or Whomever made the Grand Canyon.

That said, both experiences (Diamond Creek or Float Trip) are fun and appropriate for kids as young as 5. If you're staying at the Grand Canyon, you can either drive yourself to Page and take the trip from there or take a package tour that includes either a round-trip motorcoach ride or a 1-way plane ride to Page and motorcoach back (the latter is the Canyon River Adventure). The Diamond Creek road shouldn't be attempted in a rental car because it constitutes off-road driving and could void your insurance policy. As Bob B said, tours to this area can be taken out of Williams. Either way, it's a full day, so before you commit to either activity, make sure you have enough "quality time" scheduled at Grand Canyon South Rim. That means at least a full day.

Hope that helps.

Edited: 13 March 2013, 21:02
Evanston, Wyoming
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9. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

Duh, would have been nice of me to post the link to the map eh? ->: http://goo.gl/maps/XkhQP :P

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Diamond Creek Road Drive?

Diamond creek road was the best part of our trip to the grand canyon.Safe,the road was perfect nothing to be worried about down in 45 min up in 25 min stopped to take a lot of pictures going down.The price was 27.50 per person and the kids had alot of fun.Port a johns clean picnic area perfect swam in river safe area no rapids The whole time was nothing but smiles for my three children and wife. Enjoyed . Thanks.Tim from NYC.7-23-2013

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