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Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

Adelaide, Australia
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Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

Hello!

Sorry in advance for this question as I know its been asked alot in different variations but wanted to get the best advice - and reassurance :-) - for our forthcoming trip in October.

We are a family of 3 (me, hubby and our 10yo daughter) on our first trip to the U.S (we are from Australia)

We arrive into Vegas ex L.A. @ 2.15pm on Wed 16th Oct. We depart Vegas on Fri 18th @ 8.30am. I really wish we could extend our stay but our agent advises us that our flights are non changeable :-(

After reading all the great advice on here, our plan is to hire a car upon our arrival at the airport and drive to GCNP South Rim & stay overnight in one of the lodgings - I have checked and there are a few rooms left at 2 of the lodges there.

We would then drive back to Vegas the next afternoon and stay overnight to catch our plane that leaves the next morning.

I know that doesnt give us much time so I just wanted advice on safest route from Vegas to GC as looking at the times, I think sunset is around 6ish which means if it takes about 4.5-5 hours drive from Vegas (and thats hoping our flight arrives on time and all goes smoothly with car hire pick up) - we would arrive at GCNP around 8pm? I wont deny that we are rather nervous to drive as (A) being from Australia we drive on the other side and (B), reading about how dark it is at night and with wildlife on the roads.

Again, I know this isnt much time at all but I weighed up plane tours and bus tours and now back to the plan of hiring a car.

So are we crazy? Is this possible? Any other advice perhaps? Please note we are only keen to go to the South Rim, not the others.

Any advice would be much appreciated. :-)

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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1. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

It will take about 4.5 to 5 hours to get there. Alot of the route wide open highway or interstate.

Hwy 93 to I-40 east to hwy 64 north into the park. Super easy.

You need to watch for animals on hwy 64.Deer, etc...

If you arrive after dark, you can still see sunrise.

Don't let those in-park reservations slip away, book now!

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

Hi dez40 and thanks so much for your quick reply.

Thanks for the reassurance too and yes, our plan was at least we see the sunrise. Is highway 64 well lit or very dark?

Have emailed Xanterra twice now in the past 3 days with no answer. Hard to ring due to time difference here in Australia. Do you know if they have good reputation for replying to emails within reasonable time?

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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3. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

Its dark as can be, that is why you need to be very careful along that stretch.Animals can dart out of nowhere.

Since it is the weekend, maybe that is why e-mail response is slow.

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

Thanks again.

Ok, excuse the lingo but hearing that, Im crapping myself then at the thought of hitting a deer! Same reason we avoid driving at night on country roads here in Australia - to avoid kangaroos.

To prepare ourselves would you know roughly how long that stretch would be to be wary?

Wickenburg, Arizona
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5. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

potentially there could be deer or other larger animal all along, but where you really need to watch is when you have 'forest' on one or both sides of the road, but the last few miles to the park and above all, INSIDE the park are the most deer-populated for sure. Just drive very carefully and more slowly than you would in daylight.

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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6. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

Stretch from Williams to GCVillage app takes 1 hour in the daytime but longer in the dark, Max speed is 65 mph but that's too fast imo.

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

Hi and big thanks to you all for your help, much appreciated! :-)

England
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8. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

I'm from the UK so I am also used to driving on the left not the right. I found it pretty easy to get used to the change - just watch your road position in your lane as you won't be used to being on that side of the car. It's very easy to remember to stay on the right on freeways and where there is other traffic but at night the roads will be very quiet so check you are on the correct side of the road after every stop and junction and get your passengers to remind you.

Driving in Nevada and Arizona is very easy as there is hardly any traffic and no complicated junctions - the exception to this is possible Las Vegas itself which is just like driving in any built up city anywhere in the world - crowded, lots of freeway exits so look out for yours and drivers have less patience with each other. Make sure you look up the road rules as they will possibly differ from what you are used to - there are difference to UK road rules so I imagine there will be to Australian rules.

You are right to be vary of large wild animals. Most of the way from Vegas to the Grand Canyon is desert but as you near Williams and on the road from Williams to the park it gets more Forrest like and this is where you need to be particularly careful of deer and Elk. In the park itself there are a lot of Elk. The roads will only be lit in towns and there aren't many of them on the road. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks in the car and always have enough gas as gas stations are not frequent.

I did the drive in just over four and a half hours with a ten minute stop half way last time but it was in daylight and I may have been going faster than I should have been on the empty freeway in places which I would not recommend especially in the dark.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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9. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

this sorta sums it up ... and, well, do NOT speed ...

Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: Driving From Vegas to GC at night.

Thanks so much Hannah for your detailed reply, really appreciate that and esp all the other tips too :-)

And Esty, yeeup, dont worry, we might even get done for driving ......tooo slow! ;-)

Thanks again, we are really excited!