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Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

Seattle, Washington
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Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

We are planning a very interesting trip next spring - hiker's special rafting trip in Grand Canyon with hike out option via Bright Angel trail, and we'll have few more days which I planned to spend at Supai (already called and booked two nights at the lodge, although they won't start mailing confirmations until November.

After two nights at Supai we'd like to get to Vegas to catch flight to Seattle.

Now I'm trying to solve a transportation puzzle - how to get from Grand Canyon South Rim to Supai and then from Supai to Vegas.

The bext plan I could come up with so far is to catch arizona shuttle to Flagstaff, then rent car in Flagstaff airport for three days and drop it in Vegas.

That's going to cost at least $270 plus shuttle tickets, and it seems a bit too much to get to Hualapai Hiltop and leave car there for two nights, so I wonder if there is some car service that I can use to get from Grand Canyon South Rim (or from Flagstaff or Williams) to Supai (Hualapai Hilltop) and then from Supai to Vegas.

There will be two of us in our party.

Any recommendation would be welcome.

tucson az
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1. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

I have never heard of such a service. It it does exist, it's likely to cost as much as car rental. It's a little over 180 miles from GCNP to Supai Hilltop.

You're paying more for the car rental because you're not dealing with corporate offices at the Flagstaff airport, and likely paying a penalty for the one way rental.

Hertz and Enterprise both have offices near the Amtrak station. I suggest do some more checking on rental car prices.

Sedona, AZ
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2. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

There is no one that will take you to Hualapai Hilltop. It's in the middle of nowhere. You'll need to rent a car.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

Thank you very much for responses. I suspected rent a car is going to be the best option, but though to check just in case.

I know I will have to pay a penalty for one way car rental, roundtrip to Flagstaff for the same dates would be only $90, but then I'll have to deal with a problem on how to get from Flagstaff to Seattle.

Theoretically I could catch flight back to Seattle from Phoenix, but that flight is more expensive and Greyhound bus schedule is not convenient - one buss leaves too early, like 1:30 pm (and I won't be able to get to Flagstaff by then), the next one leaves around 10 pm and arrives to Phoenix airport after midnight, so I won't be able to catch flight yo Seattle the same day.

I also checked flights from Flagstaff to Seattle (with stop in Phoenix of course :) - there are flights that could work time wise, but the price will be 350 per person, which end up being more expensive then one way car rental.

I also haven't decided yet if I should hike back from Supai or take a helicopter - my friends hiked out and said they were very tired because of the sand portion) and suggested helicopter, but I'm reading reviews on helicopters and seems like that service is not very reliable and I might end up waiting for unknown time to board that hiking out might be faster.

I hope Hawasu and Mooney falls are really worth it :) because logistic is crazy. :)

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

The other option I didn't think about - is to catch Amtrak train from Flagstaff to Seattle (although it's too long) or better to LA and then fly to Seattle, and it may seem like an adventure, but that would mean:

- either I have to shorten staying in Supai to 1 night, and not sure it's doable ( get a car in Flagstaff in the morning, get to Hualapai (4hours), hiked down (3 hours?) so it might be 4 pm by this time and I'm not sure we'll be able to see anything that day, and next day will have to repeat the same rout back to Flagstaff - not really much time to see the falls :( )

- or be one day late or half day late for school / work - Amtrak train arrives to LA at 8:25 am and then I'll have to catch flight to Seattle, and I don't know if Amtrak stays on schedule

But if I don't go to Supai and stay in Grand Canyon for a bit more - I actually have two night book there just in case, since the whole trip is not finalized, then I'd probably choose that Amtrak from Flagstaff to LA and then flight to Seattle just for fun and variety.

If I only could know for sure if Havasu falls will impress us that much...

Here in WA we have many good waterfalls, but the pictures of Havasu I see - with blue water, red walls are gorgeous, but pictures not always reflect the reality... Tough choice.

Edited: 24 September 2012, 16:37
Indiana
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5. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

Why not fly to Vegas or Phoenix and rent a car? Then you can return it to the same airport and fly back to Seattle. It's usually cheaper to rent for a longer time and also to return the the same place.

Edited: 24 September 2012, 16:46
Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

I will be on a 6 days Grand Canyon rafting trip starting at Lees Ferry and will hike out from Phantom Ranch to GC South Rim, so renting car in Vegas (where we fly and where we'll be picked up by rafting company) won't help.

Sedona, AZ
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7. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

How are you getting to Lee's Ferry? Where will you begin traveling with your raft group?

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

The company (Arizona River Runners) provides bus transportation from Las Vegas hotel (they have one hotel where they recommend people to arrive the night before), so we'll be arriving to Vegas on Fri night and they will take us to Lees Ferry on a bus early morning on Sat.

Sedona, AZ
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9. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

And then they take you back to LV after the hike out?

Why not do that, then rent your car in LV and drive to Supai from there? Its the same distance as driving from Flagstaff and saves you all of the hassle.

Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: Trying to solve transportation puzzle for Supai trip

No, they arrange transportation back only for Full Canyon trip (which is 12 days), and people who choose hike out are responsible for their own transportation, but you're right I should research this option too, although transportation to Vegas might take more time (on a bus) or might be more expensive if I arrange helicopter, but I will take a look at that alternative as well.