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Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

Brisbane, Australia
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Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

Hi there

Have spent the last couple of hours looking on this forum at all the advice - Iv now learnt a lot, but am no closer to answers.

Having originally started wanting to do one of the "helicoptor" day trip from vegas - am now rethinking this strategy as this will probably be the only time for many years I have the opportunity to see the GC and I do want the "wonders of the world" experience so the scenery and outlook are important... From what I am reading, everyone is saying "south" is the place of the scenery - so this is where I want to go (even though I am really not a fan of crowds and it sounds like the south is quite crowded).

As I havnt booked Vegas accom yet, there is capacity for us to stay overnight ... If we did that - we would be looking to head to Grand Canyon on a Monday arvo, stay the night, then transfer back to LV the following evening (as we fly to NYC from LV early Wed AM)... So essentially - one full day, with an evening the night before.... It prob would be simpler for us though if we just do a day trip (and I dont mind if its a LONG day) just because otherwise it involves checking in and out of several hotels (groan)

Given the time restrictions and my general preference for luxury - I am not overly enthused about a 5hour self-drive. Nor do hubby and I generally fare well with driving holidays... I would probably rather opt for a plane transfer, stay the night , spend the day in GC and then transfer back... I would like to do the helicopter trip back into vegas (that flies over the strip) as that looks cool - but doesnt look like this is compatible with the rest of the new 'concept plan'.... At the very least; I would quite like to do a helicoptor 'scenic tour' over GC (I get that you cant land on bottom on South side - Im just talking about a scenic flight over the general GC)...

Soooo - am looking for advice on:

Which tour operators / providers I should contact (who are the core group everyone keeps referring to but not naming), and is there a pre-existing tour that anyone can put forward which gives a good GC experience without the lengthy car/bus transfer...

budget wise am thinking around $500pp (2 people travelling) - plus accom?

Dates wise - we are coming at the end of April - aka in about 4 weeks time!!! So I need to book asap

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

You need to drive. It's not a hard drive at all. All straight well paved divided highways. There are no commercial flights to the Grand Canyon National Park at the south rim other than day tours.

Forget your image of crowds at the park. The rim there is 30 miles long with dozens of view points. The only place where it gets crowded is outside the ice cream store where all the day trippers seem to congregate as they wait to get back on their buses. You don't need to be there if you have a car and more time.

Gcw and the skywalk is where you'll see a high concentration of people because it's such a tiny little one stop destination.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

LOL. Thanks Redfox but we are Defo not keen on driving.... so lets rule that out now as I know my husband will totally veto me if even mention the word 'car' or 'bus'. We definately want to Fly in/out.

I would like to stay overnight so we have more time in the park but looking at the options / tours availble; I cant find anywhere that flies LV to GC in the afternoon. All the flights are just day trips. Second to that - i have searched the accomodation options and there is no availability at present for the dates I am looking at (prob as they are only a few wks away).... Im not really keen on winging it either and 'hoping' for a cancellation - would much rather just make a decision in advance where its all booked / paid for.

So I guess my question now is - if we are to day trip: which one is going to give us the most ground time in the national park? All the fly in ones seem to only go for 7.5hrs - which is a bit dissapointing as we were keen on spending longer in the park than 1-2hrs.

Thoughts?

Sedona, AZ
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3. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

You can't find any flight only options because there are none. Even if there was, you'd be dropped at the airport, 10 miles from the park and the rim, with no transportation and only a handfull of taxi cabs within a sixty mile radius. No car rental facilities there for obvious reasons.

Every day trip from LV to the Grand Canyon will give you the same 3 hours on the ground at the same 2 view points amidst the same obnoxious day tripper crowds. When you read stories about crowding at the GCNP, it's these people who are the crowd and who do the complaining. All because they don't want to drive themselves and enjoy their own mobility inside the vast park area on a time schedule that they control themselves. You can add a 30 or 50 minute helicopter flight above the canyon on those tours, but you do so at the expense of time on the ground inside the park. Due to staging etc, the flight add on will reduce your park time by at least 50%.

So it sounds like you have to determine if your desire to experience the Grand Canyon in a proper way is great enough to overcome your attitude about being together in a car with your spouse for 4 1/2 hours on the highway.

Have you phoned Xanterra for lodging? From outside the USA call 303-297-2757. Rooms are almost always available by phone, even though the website shows none.

tucson, az
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4. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

Uh, you don't like crowds but you're going to Vegas?

Rent a car or forget going if taking a tour bus isn't an option.

tucson az
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5. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

This is the only air tour from Las Vegas with an overnight that I could find:

canyontours.com/grand-canyon-deluxe-overnigh…

Seattle
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6. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

Bob B found what you need. It is a return flight to the Grand Canyon with an overnight stay. You do not need to find accommodation as they book it for you. ( Last time I checked they used Maswik Lodge inside the park). The price for two is around $850, and you can depart as late as 11:25. There was space available on the random date I checked in late April ( the 25th).

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

@ bob B and Enzian - thank you for your help!! That is exactly what I was after.

@ Kitap - suggest if you have nothing constructive to add you refrain from commenting. You add ZERO value and frankly, come across as a bit of a toss bag.

@ Redfox - we are coming to vegas to see my closest girlfriend. I havnt seen her in 2yrs so our time in Vegas is pretty much 'set' - thus the limited time availability to do the Grand Canyon (if I had my way I would be spending 4 days in GC and 1 in Vegas - but we are coming for the people not the place). As for my attitude towards long car drives, I simply know the limitations Im working with and so am being upfront about them.

Thanks for your helpful info re: accomodation and helicopter to ground time ratio. Much appreciated.

Ct
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8. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

I made the drive last week. i would NEVER do it again. Yes the roads are great and there was little traffic.....but it is a LONG 5 to 6 hours of very monotonous drive. I would definitely suggest a flight ( you can stay the night and fly back next day ). We stayed at the grand hotel in Tusayan which was just fine.

Sedona, AZ
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9. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

Understand your limitations of being at the Grand Canyon National Park without your own transportation. Using park shuttles and buses will reduce your viewing time severely.

California
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10. Re: Grand Canyon from LV. Can overnight but not keen on car hire

Sorry, I can't pass up a pun when I see one. As Clint Eastwood said in Dirty Harry,

"A man (our tourtist) " got to know his limitations". ;)

Seriously though, the four hour or so drive to GCNP goes fast through interesting country.

Edited: 26 March 2014, 03:55