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San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

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Wangaratta...
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San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

Hi there,

We are travelling to San Diego next January and want to head to the Grand Canyon afterwards for a few days.

I'd like some advice on whether we are best to fly to Las Vegas and then drive to the Grand Canyon, or whether the drive inland would be much more enjoyable?

I like the idea of driving and seeing the countryside, but cost and time will be factors. And what is the best tourist route from San Diego to, say, Flagstaff, by car?

Cheers

Peter

San Diego...
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1. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

I can't really help you. But I think that if the people who can help you were to know what kind of a time frame you have to do this trip they can better help give suggestions. Obviously driving will take more time than flying. Especially if you want to stop along the way.

I do know that January driving through the desert is lovely. But I'm not so sure about the drive after that and the possibility of snow, etc. along the route.

Wangaratta...
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2. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

Thanks for your message. Our timeframe will depend on if it's worth doing, of course, but I would expect to schedule two or three days for the trip.

I hope that is a reasonable time to allow, and that we could see many of the sights in that time.

San Diego...
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3. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

If you are going to fly, Id just fly into Flagstaff, US air has flights from San Diego with a quick stop in Phoenix.

If you fly into Las Vegas you are 280 miles away, if you fly into Phoenix I think its about 230 miles from the GC. Flagstaff is about an hour,

I assume you know that the weather in Northern Arizona can be bad in Jan so you could encounter snow that could even be heavy snow. Certainly not the best month to visit the GC.

Wangaratta...
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4. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

Hi GoodBeer,

Yes, we're coming from Australia so January fits best with out Christmas holidays - even though the weather will be colder. We've seen the GC in summer, so winter will be a new experience.

Thanks for the info regarding flights to Flagstaff - I wasn't aware of that.

I'm still interested in some information about the drive SD to the GC though.

Corona del Mar, CA
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5. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

If you drive from San Diego to the Grand Canyon you can do it in one day, I have a couple of times. I've also done it stopping for the night in Kingman and Needles. Also done it by heading to Scottsdale/Tempe first and then up.

It just depends on how hard you want to push and how fast you want to go. Flying to Vegas only cuts off three or so hours, but then Vegas is fun in its own right too.

http://goo.gl/maps/GuWEs

Wangaratta...
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6. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

Thanks for your information scottca075 - it has given me some great information, and yes, we do plan on visiting Vegas after our trip to the Grand Canyon.

Encinitas...
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7. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

If you break the drive from SD to the canyon into two days, consider a side trip on Route 66 to Oatman. Then head from Oatman to Kingman over Sitgreaves Pass. The kids would probably enjoy feeding the burros.

https:/…

Stop in Seligman at Delgadillos.

Don't stay in Flagstaff to visit the canyon. Its 1.5 hours away. Stay in the park. It books up to a year out.

www.grandcanyonlodges.com

On the way from GC to Vegas see Hoover Dam and the bypass bridge.

Edited: 04 March 2014, 21:50
Uden, The...
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8. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

Of course there are more options. You can drive from SD to Sedona first (app 8 hours drive) and next day to GCNP www.visitsedona.com

Wangaratta...
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9. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

Oatman looks incredible and a definitely place to stop, and great advice about staying in the GC park.

Thanks!

So Cal
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10. Re: San Diego to the Canyon - how to get there?

I visited the canyon in a snowy February, and it was absolutely gorgeous. The snow did limit what we could do, e.g. you needed something like crampons to hike in, so we stuck to walking along the rim trail instead. And views were obscured most of the time. However, even the obsured views were amazing! Imagine fog and clouds filling in the canyon, the wind moving them along, occasionally clearing them out to show the snow-sprinkled walls - just wonderful.

If you do go at this time of year, make sure you have at least a couple nights to spend. When it was too cold or foggy/cloudy outside, we spent time at the museums, and drove out to Wupatki and Sunset Crater. It would have been disappointing if we'd had to leave without a good few hours of canyon views.