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Grand Canyon Advice needed!

nj
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195 posts
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Grand Canyon Advice needed!

Hello,

We are flying into Vegas and then driving north to Zion. After 2 nights there we want to drive down to the south rim. On the way back to Vegas we want to stop at Hoover Dam. Please feel free to post suggestions on the best roads to travel and any advice. We enjoy light trails.

Vegas - 2 nights MGM

Springdale UT- 2 nights Best Western

Tusayan AZ - 2 nights

Back to Vegas for 1 night before leaving.

Renting a Jeep from Enterprise.

THANK YOU!!!

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Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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15 reviews
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1. Re: Grand Canyon Advice needed!

Vegas to Zion is about 3 hours.May want to stop at Grafton Ghost town on the way into town.Or if you have an off road vehicle may want to try the Smith Mesa loop from the rocket sled test site near Virgin to Kolob Terrace Road.

I would do the tour of Glen Canyon dam rather than Hoover.Almost as big ,less crowded and cheaper to tour.

Also,I would try to stay inside the park rather than Tusayan.Call Xanterra for cancellations inside the park,as they happen often.Nothing better than being inside the park on the rim.

I would drop one night at Grand Canyon and stay at Page one night.

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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2. Re: Grand Canyon Advice needed!

You may also want to drop a night in Vegas and add a day at Bryce.Bryce and Zion are so close together it would be a shame to not see it.They are two hours apart.And Bryce to Page is about three hours.

West Yellowstone...
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for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
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3. Re: Grand Canyon Advice needed!

Depending on what time your flight gets in, I think you're going to need those two nights in Vegas at the beginning to feel like you scratched the surface there. I'm assuming you are flying into there for the Vegas experience and wish to immerse yourself in it, rather than beat a path out of there to get to the national parks.

Zion and Bryce are both very beautiful and worthy of your time. I agree you should really try to see both.

Given the amount of driving time it will take to get from Zion or Bryce to the south rim of GCNP, I think your two nights there are appropriate.

I've been on both the Hoover Dam (shorter version) and Glen Canyon Dam tours. The Glen Canyon Dam tour was years ago and I remember it being informative and interesting, but it's not THE Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam visitor center is well-done and we (especially my 80-yr. old father in law) enjoyed it. It's definitely something to see, at least from the outside, while you're in the area. Plan on plenty of time to get there and see it, though, unless your trip is planned for after the opening of the bypass bridge (projected: November of this year). Traffic delays can be pretty long with the construction going on in the area.

The route will be fairly obvious to see what you've listed. Use Google Maps to plan it out and estimate driving time.

4. Re: Grand Canyon Advice needed!

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Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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5. Re: Grand Canyon Advice needed!

Glen Canyon doesn't have the art deco elements that Hoover Dam does, and it doesn't produce much electricity either, so it's not as thrilling. Even the doors inside the power plant are art deco at Hoover Dam, and there are so many interesting historical elements from the 1930's there. It's also a more friendly place, you can take your purse or backpack, and for some of us, that's quite nice.

Glen Canyon Dam does not allow bags or purses of any kind (at least they didn't allow mine). There are a few things of value (cell phones, camera lenses, binoculars, sentimental things I usually carry) that I would hate to have stolen out of the car, and there were people just hanging out in the parking lot (and every local knows they don't allow anything except a wallet and one camera per person into the Dam).

It was built in the 50's, and as architecture buffs, we were disappointed in it (although it's still very interesting; we didn't go inside last time as it was 110 degrees in the parking lot, we walked in to do the tour, were sent back to drop off my purse in the car, were short on water to bring in, and were turned away a second time because my husband had a tool/nailfile on his keyring). It would have been nice if the sign regarding this was in the parking lot! I supposed we should have remembered about the nail clipper thingie, but we'd just driven a long way in the heat, and were looking forward to a tourist experience, not a security checkpoint. We weren't allowed our water because we were traveling with a 2 gallon plastic jug and refillable stainless steel containers - instead of clear plastic bottles - and they mean clear, not colored, plastic. I don't know if they sell water inside the visitor center or not (I'd sure hope so).

We just went out on the dam and looked at the lake (I'd done the tour and wasn't that impressed with it, not enough to keep going through security, which was surly at best).

I'd tour both dams if I got a chance, but even more tour-worthy (in my view) than Glen Canyon dam itself is going to Navajo Bridge and then Lee's Ferry, where the rafts that go down Grand Canyon put in. It's a lovely place and you can stick your feet in the water.

At any rate, to the OP: were you driving through Page to GC from Springdale? If so, I'd skip the Glen Canyon dam in order to have more time at GC.

What time of year? You might want some hiking advice for one of those parks - there are lots of experts on the individual park forums.

6. Re: Grand Canyon Advice needed!

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Removed on: 18 February 2011, 07:28