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North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

Georgetown, Kentucky
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North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

We just picked up a cancellation on a Rim Side Pioneer Cabin for 2 nights the first day of our trip. This works well for our group (3 adults + 2 small children) and for our itinerary (North Rim Grand Canyon, Zion, Death Valley, and then Las Vegas) but I have a couple of concerns.

1) Our flight lands around 3 PM in Las Vegas. So we will arrive around dark since it will take some time to get the car and we will stop and eat somewhere. How is the drive at night? I know in Yellowstone, driving at night was highly discouraged.

2) Coming from Central Kentucky (elevation probably 500 ft or so) - how likely are we to have trouble with altitude sickness since we will be starting the trip at with a night at the North Rim?

If we are lucky enough to find another cancellation another itinerary could be Zion, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and then Las Vegas. That would give us some time to acclimate at Zion. But I think the drive from the North Rim to Death Valley would be pretty tiring in one day.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

North rim to Death Valley app will take 7 hours. I would not recommend to drive to north rim in the dark. There will be wildlife on the roads esp between Jacob Lake and NR (45 miles) Even in the daytime time they are there but at least you can see them then. Not uch chance on Altitude sickness but it can occur:

This thread is for south rim and NR is 1000' higher

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g143028-i157-k73…

Sedona, AZ
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2. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

Agreeing. Book your flight a day earlier or forget about driving to the NR after a 3PM flight arrival.

South Jersey, USA
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

I would keep checking the North Rim website for another night!

Landing in Vegas, picking up luggage, getting to the rental site, looking for something to eat while navigating out of Vegas...well you get the idea!

The drive to the North Rim is a beautiful drive one fully appreciated during the daylight hours! Starting the climb you are on a two lane road and it's extremely dark at night time! There are Elk and Buffalo along the road along with free grazing cattle! Hit one of those and your vacation is over even with two sets of eyes!!

I've done this drive at night once and never repeated it again!

Keep checking the website or call often for a different night at North Rim and enjoy the drive during the day light hours!!

SJG

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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4. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

What month of the year is this trip?(Obviously between May and October if visiting the NR.)

Some people might be more concerned about summer heat and exploration in Death Valley versus altitude sickness at GCNP.Although there are some high peaks in DV over 11,000 feet.

Bryce is so close by but not on your list. Its even higher than the north rim at 8-9000 feet.

Edited: 25 March 2014, 19:17
Georgetown, Kentucky
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5. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

We are travelling May 17-28. Our inboumd flight is on Southwest. We could change the flight to land in Phoenix at 10:30AM. One issue is that the one way rental will cost us more. We need a minivan or larger and one-way promotions seem to be for small cars.

We reserved 2 rooms at the Zion Park Motel for May 17-23. We were planning to see Bryce as a day trip and hoping to work in a couple of nights at the Grand Canyon while keeping at least 4 nights at Zion.

I think we will have a harder time finding a cancellation for Memorial weekend, but I will keep checking.

Georgetown, Kentucky
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6. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

We are avoiding Zion over Memorial Day after reading that there are longs lines for the shuttles etc. Will the north rim or Death Valley feel crowded over the weekend? Is one park better than the other over the holiday?

Looks like to avoid the possible night time driving we may try to get reservations one of these itineraries

May 17-21 Zion Park Motel

May 21-23 North Rim Grand Canyon

May 23-24 (somewhere between North Rim and Death Valley)

May 24-26 Death Valley

May 26-28 Las Vegas

Or

May 17-19 Death Valley

May 19-23 Zion Park Motel

May 24-25? Zion or North Rim if we can get a room

May 24-26 North Rim if we can get a room

May 26-28 Las Vegas

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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7. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

The Phoenix option seems better as the highways are more direct I-17 to Flag & the 89/89a to Jacob Lake ... Considering fewer road hazards & more scenic drive ... The one way fee, I suggest, would be a small portion of the over all trip budget ... happy trails ... carracar

Edited: 26 March 2014, 02:45
Sedona, AZ
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8. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

PHX to the Grand Canyon National Park north rim is still a 6-7 hour drive.

Uden, The...
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9. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

If this were my trip I'd skip one night Zion and add it to Bryce before NR. Seeing Bryce for a daytrip you'll miss sunset, sunrise and stargazing because driving between Bryce and Zion in the dark is not recommended either.

We once had 115F in Death Valley in may. Las Vegas to Death Valley (Furnace Creek) only is a 2.5 hours drive.

Tet

Columbia, Maryland
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10. Re: North Rim Grand Canyon First Day of 11 Nt Trip to Southwest

The north rim never feels crowded. It is remote and is not a reasonable day trip from anywhere. The only place where there may be lots of people is around the lodge area.

We were there the first week of June 2010. Stayed at Jacobs Lake (coudn't get lodging in the park), got an early start, arrived at Point Imperial about 9 AM and were the only folks there. Our first view of the canyon was just us and the canyon. We made a day of it and stopped at each viewpoint on the way out to and back from Cape Royal and encountered very few people.