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HelloChum
04-14-2010, 07:33 AM
Trying to plan a summer family trip to Grand Canyon without breaking the bank. We have never traveled to this area--i'm a bit overwhelmed and looking for some advice.

We were thinking of flying into Vegas--taking in Hoover Dam, etc. and making our way to Grand Canyon, Sedona,....and flying out of Phoenix.

We are a family of 5--DH and 3 DSs (16, 14, 11) and me--already checking into hotels in Vegas and Sedona, it seems we will need 2 rooms. Is this what others have found?

Should we even stay overnight in Vegas--we have never been and are wondering how family friendly it would be. Certainly it is a very different atmosphere than the Grand Canyon/ Sedona. Any family friendly hotel suggestions? It seems as though we will need 2 hotel rooms from checking online--any hotels with family suites? Any places/areas to definitely avoid?

Should we skip Vegas in favor of Moab, UT?


Is this a "typical" Grand Canyon itinerary? Any suggestions for additional stops or sights? Any suggestions for hotels along the way? What have you done?

Many thanks for any replies or suggestions!
__________________

Staceyms
04-14-2010, 07:51 AM
We are also going to GC in June & are a family of 5. We are staying at the Sky Ranch Lodge in Sedona as they have some rooms that sleep 5. It has good reviews on Trip Advisor too. The Sedona & Grand Canyon forums on Trip Advisor are a great source for info and the members are very helpful.

nd5056
04-14-2010, 09:51 AM
...

Should we skip Vegas in favor of Moab, UT?

...


No, you should see Vegas at night. And there's a lot to see...

mom2travel
04-14-2010, 09:55 AM
Trying to plan a summer family trip to Grand Canyon without breaking the bank. We have never traveled to this area--i'm a bit overwhelmed and looking for some advice.

We were thinking of flying into Vegas--taking in Hoover Dam, etc. and making our way to Grand Canyon, Sedona,....and flying out of Phoenix.

We are a family of 5--DH and 3 DSs (16, 14, 11) and me--already checking into hotels in Vegas and Sedona, it seems we will need 2 rooms. Is this what others have found?

Should we even stay overnight in Vegas--we have never been and are wondering how family friendly it would be. Certainly it is a very different atmosphere than the Grand Canyon/ Sedona. Any family friendly hotel suggestions? It seems as though we will need 2 hotel rooms from checking online--any hotels with family suites? Any places/areas to definitely avoid?

Should we skip Vegas in favor of Moab, UT?


Is this a "typical" Grand Canyon itinerary? Any suggestions for additional stops or sights? Any suggestions for hotels along the way? What have you done?

Many thanks for any replies or suggestions!
__________________

We recently did a trip that included some of the places you are planning. We flew into Phoenix, then went to the Grand Canyon, then Vegas via Hoover Dam, then to Anaheim/LA (DL). It was DH, DS14, DD10 and I

We spent one night at the Grand Canyon (South Rim). We walked one of the paved trails late afternoon when we arrived viewing basically from the edge. The next day we did part of one of the unpaved trails down into the canyon. I think how long you spend there depends upon how much your family likes hiking, or whether you would do a mule ride or something else.
We stayed at the Yavapai Lodge at GC (wanted El Tovar but by the time we decided we were going to do this trip it was booked). 2 beds and a couch/day bed - just check that you have sheets for the day bed when you arrive

Driving from the Grand Canyon to Vegas with a stop at Hoover Dam... the traffic was AWFUL near HD because of construction (not sure when it will be over, but something for you to check - it was in both directions so would affect you driving from Vegas to GC also). DH had wanted to do a tour of HD but we got there too late (pretty much just missed the closing time).

The Valley of Fire (near Overton, NV if recalling correctly ??) looked pretty interesting also. We would have liked to see it and do some hiking, but it was too much for the time we had. It may have been an hour from HD and 40 minutes from Vegas

We stayed at Mandalay Bay in Vegas. I had done a little bit of research and it was one of the hotels at which you do not need to walk through the casino to get to/from the lobby and your room. It is at the end of the strip though, so I guess it depends on what you would be interested in doing while there. The kids did walk through the casino to get to dinner. We ate at the House of Blues but there are many other restaurants right there, and other attractions. For us, Vegas was more of a stop-over to break up the trip from GC to LA. Mandalay Bay did have 2 queen beds and roll-aways, so 5 could fit if 2 of the kids will sleep together (not sure about fire codes/occupancy limits). We didn't feel like there was anything inappropriate/non-family-friendly, but we didn't go out on the strip either. The rooms are inexpensive too. Oh, and we didn't use them because it was a bit too cold, but the pools are great at Mandalay Bay! There is a wave pool and a lazy river too.

DH and I are not into the casino thing, so could have easily dropped Vegas from our itinerary. I think if we were doing it again, we would have spent a second night at the Grand Canyon and left right after breakfast to hit the Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire.

Have fun!

Mom-to-2-Princesses
04-14-2010, 10:36 AM
While I am sure you will get good info here, please check out the tripadvisor forum boards. They have some very good suggestions and will help you plan your time wisely.

Part of what you do will plan on how much time you plan on spending -- I am assuming you are looking at a one week trip?

Another area you might want to check out is Page/Lake Powell. It was beautiful and would have some great activities for your boys.

We did a Spring Break one week trip two years ago, here was our itinerary - (NPS-National Park):
Day 1 (sat)- flew into Phoenix, went to Montezuma's Castle (NPS), stayed night in Flagstaff
Day 2 - Wapatki (NPS) and Sunset Crater (NPS) dinner at Cameron Trading Post, drove to Page, night in Page
Day 3 - Page - Dam tour, Antelope Slot Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, night in Page
Day 4 - Explored area, Lee's Ferry, toadstool hike, beach time, night in Page
(** we were there in the Spring and it was a little cool so we didn't do the River Raft or a boat on Lake Powell -- this would be a MUST do in the summer)
Day 5 - drive to Grand Canyon, do view points/sunset, ranger led programs, stayed in park
Day 6 - Hiked into Grand Canyon (Bright Angel) to first rest stop (1.5 miles) out by noon. drove to Sedona, saw some sights, night in Sedona
Day 7 - Sedona (pink jeep tour, Oak Creek Canyon, slide rock, hikes -- so many choices!), night in Sedona
Day 8 Sedona, do more fun stuff and drive to Phoenix, night in Phoenix
Day 9 (sun) - Flew home early

My thoughts on your trip -- if you aren't really "into" Las Vegas than I would fly RT through Phoenix. The car rental companies are going to add a huge fee for dropping off in a different location.

Glen Canyon Dam (Page) and Hoover Dam are very similar. If you do the Glen Canyon dam tour you will be getting the same info, etc. I've actually done both tours and enjoyed the Glen one much more. That said, the Hoover dam tour might have changed with all the changes there.

Moab is suppose to be wonderful (and my family is heading there in June for the first time) but it is just that little bit too far with the other spots you want to see. If you have two weeks.....

Also check out the NPS.gov site regarding the national parks. We love them and think the ranger led programs are awesome!

I'm sorry I can't help much with hotels -- we are a family of 4 and usually stick with the Best Western brand. I can tell you from planning my Moab trip that rooms and activities are aleady filling up. I have had to be very flexible with my times.

Good luck and have a great time!

nd5056
04-14-2010, 11:14 AM
Also, check this out:

101 Things to do in Las Vegas (http://www.lasvegasinsider.com/html/lvi_101_things.htm)


Free Fun and Interesting Things to do in Las Vegas (http://hubpages.com/hub/Free-in-Las-Vegas)

RyJMom
04-14-2010, 11:27 AM
Spring Break 09 we flew into Vegas with the kids (7 and 10 at the time) We stayed that 1st night at the Luxor then got up early the next morning and went on to the Dam and Grand Canyon. It was an easy 5 hour drive. We stayed 1 night in the park. The next morning we hiked a little ways down into the Canyon. That afternoon we went back to Vegas and stayed 2 nights at Paris. The kids loved Vegas maybe even more than the Grand Canyon. We did the rides at NYNY and Statosphere. We saw Mac King at Harrahs (very family friendly and cheap) Did alot of people watching at the Forum shops. I love Vegas and Hubby and I go every year. It was fun to show the kids Mom's favorite town. I think there is tons of fun for kids in Vegas if you plan ahead for the family friendly sites. Take a look at Smarter Vegas for hotel codes. My last several trips I have found the best room rates there.

BCBug
04-14-2010, 01:48 PM
Lodging close to the Grand Canyon: we stayed at Cameron Trading Post, very reasonable rates and good sized rooms. Great restaurant, too.

kacaju
04-14-2010, 02:26 PM
We flew into Vegas stayed one night just to say we did. Kids had fun. We drove out tot he Grand Canyon and looked at Hoover Dam, didn't stay long. Then we checked out the Grand Canyon Caverns. It is really cool, they are a dry cavern. Then off the GC we stayed two nights in the park on the rim. You can't beat that, it is like having a Castle view in Disney!! We then headed to Antelope canyon then drove to Bryce Canyon. Stayed one night there and then went to Zion Park. Stayed a night there and then headed back to Vegas. Stayed the night and went home.
It was GREAT trip and my girls still talk about going back!!

eduk8r26
04-14-2010, 04:43 PM
Tusayan is right outside the main entrance to South Rim on Highway 64 There are a few places to stay there, as well as the Imax movie "Hidden Secrets of the Grand Canyon". It is not to be missed. Plus this summer I think they will be running a shuttle from the Visitor Center there into the park. Parking is terrible inside, especially in the summer.

caribear
04-14-2010, 04:53 PM
Dh and I stayed in a cabin along the south rim at the Bright Angel Lodge. We could look out our window and the rim was right there...it was so amazing...but the cabins are very small and only sleep 2. Try to spend a night along the rim....it is amazing! We also had a delicious breakfast at the restaurant in El Tovar.

PrincessMom98
04-14-2010, 11:12 PM
This is one of my favorite areas! Sedona is beautiful, but my first choice would be to make a loop from Vegas - Grand Canyon - Page - Bryce - Zion - Vegas.
See www.grandcircle.org

The lights of Vegas are neat to see one night but its not the top of my list especially with kids.

Grand Canyon - See www.grandcanyonlodges.com (www.grandcanyonlodges.com) for reservations. Kachina and Thunderbird are on the rim. Maswick and Yavapai are the budget options. A free shuttle runs to get around on. Take a hike to get away from the crowds be sure to see the sunrise or sunset the colors are spectacular.

Page - visit Lake Powell, Glenn Canyon Dam or take a 1/2 day raft trip with http://www.raftthecanyon.com/.

Bryce - Stay in the park in one of their cabins if you can. There is also a Ruby's Best Western right outside the park.

Zion has a lodge in the park but there are lots of hotel options right outside the park in Springdale. We have stayed at the Bumbleberry Inn and really liked it. There is a free shuttle in the park and another one that runs through Springdale to the park.

If you go to Sedona I'll second the Sky Ranch Lodge. It is up on a bluff overlooking town. There is also a restaurant/diner at the airport near the hotel that I would recommend. Also check out Slide Rock State Park (http://azstateparks.com/Parks/SLRO/). The natural water slides are a lot of fun!

HTH - If you have any questions feel free to PM me. I love trip planning!

mafibisha
04-15-2010, 08:22 AM
Do a search on the Forums at www.fodors.com . You'll find more details and helpful information than you'd ever need. Its like the DIS for National Parks.:goodvibes

jojo0612
04-15-2010, 08:47 AM
My husband and I have always dreamed about packing up and heading out west! Don't know if anyone can answer this or not, but compared to a trip to Disney, how expensive is it to visit the Grand Canyon? I mean I know the most expensive part of the trip would be airfare, but like hotel, food, etc. ? Did you find it was cheaper or comparable to the price you paid for a Disney vacation?

PrincessMom98
04-15-2010, 01:30 PM
My husband and I have always dreamed about packing up and heading out west! Don't know if anyone can answer this or not, but compared to a trip to Disney, how expensive is it to visit the Grand Canyon? I mean I know the most expensive part of the trip would be airfare, but like hotel, food, etc. ? Did you find it was cheaper or comparable to the price you paid for a Disney vacation?

You are right, the airfare is probably the most expensive part. Our last trip we drove out and stayed in our camper so its hard to compare (we spent 6 weeks for the same cost as a friend's week at POR). The parks I listed in my previous post have nice rooms in the park or right outside for around $100 - $110 night. At the Grand Canyon there are food courts in the two lower priced hotels that are reasonable. The real savings is the price of disney tickets vs a National Park Annual Pass! The NPS pass is $80 a year for your whole family. If you are only going to the Grand Canyon the entrance fee is $25 per car for the week. In the park Ranger programs including the Jr Ranger Program are free. My kids loved collecting Jr ranger badges from the parks we visited and we all learned a lot doing them. Any questions just ask!

Ryansdad0727
04-15-2010, 01:39 PM
I sent you a pm. We stayed at the Yavapi lodge on the south rim. $150 a night but was worth it to be at the canyon for 2 nights. Those accommodation book up quick so they may be gone by now. The Hoover Dam tour from Vegas is great. Well worth the money. Vegas is not exactly kid friendly but you can go the the hotel/resorts and watch the free shows. Madame Tousseau's is also good. Grand Canyon is beautiful.

Staceyms
04-15-2010, 02:06 PM
My husband and I have always dreamed about packing up and heading out west! Don't know if anyone can answer this or not, but compared to a trip to Disney, how expensive is it to visit the Grand Canyon? I mean I know the most expensive part of the trip would be airfare, but like hotel, food, etc. ? Did you find it was cheaper or comparable to the price you paid for a Disney vacation?

Our airfare out of Houston for 5 was ~$1400, I night at El Tovar in the Grand Canyon National Park is ~$450. 5 nights at Sky Ranch Lodge is ~$940 (Rim View Double Queen with roll-away) 1 weeks entry into GCNP is $25/car.

If we fly to Disney the airfare is usually ~$2000 - $2500. Off-site at a condo for a week last Spring Break was about $850 and 7 day basic park tix for 5 were about $1100. Last year we drove to Florida instead, so it was a little cheaper.

HelloChum
04-15-2010, 05:24 PM
I knew I came to the right place with my questions--thanks so much for all of your helpful replies. The website links, itineraries and hotel suggestions all are GREATLY appreciated.

Surprisingly, I was not horrified by the airfare--we should have some flexibility to travel on the "cheaper" airfare days. We are w/i an hours drive of 3-4 airports with SW--that helps. (Just flew to Disney in August and had my airfare shocker then!)

What is disappointing me is that I fear I have begun my planning way too late- :worried: -it seems the Grand Canyon hotels on the rim are pretty much sold out. I had my heart set on El Tovar. There are openings the last two weeks of August, but that won't work for us. Now, thinking maybe I should plan now for next spring break and get the hotels I want.

Would April be less crowded than summer?

I'm going to take a peak at the websites and look into everyone's suggestions and go back to the drawing board and figure this out!

Thank you:flower3:

Staceyms
04-15-2010, 05:31 PM
[
What is disappointing me is that I fear I have begun my planning way too late- :worried: -it seems the Grand Canyon hotels on the rim are pretty much sold out. I had my heart set on El Tovar. There are openings the last two weeks of August, but that won't work for us. Now, thinking maybe I should plan now for next spring break and get the hotels I want.

]

You might get lucky, I only booked my room a couple of months ago. I called and asked for any two nights in June after the 4th. I then booked the airfare and everything else around that. I later canceled one night.

Stacey

caribear
04-15-2010, 05:35 PM
If you still plan to go in August I would suggest booking a hotel near the CG that can be cancelled without penalty ( and that you would not be disappointed with)....and then calling to check on El Tovar weekly. We went the 2nd week in August...and I booked a cabin at Bright Angel Lodge 8 days before we left! I had a couple of choices too...one of those being El Tovar...so cancellations do happen and I was told by the reservations agent to call 2 weeks out...and then call every day thereafter as openings do occur.

Trixiezzz
04-15-2010, 05:36 PM
We stayed one night in the Thunderbird Lodge - which is right on the rim, too, but was more affordable than El Tovar. Our window looked out over the canyon and it was awesome-- especially early the next morning. You could see Calif. condors flying all around and it was something my kids will never forget.

It's also nice to get up and already be right there, instead of having to drive in with all the crowds in the morning. I think we paid about $175 for 1 night in 2006.
Link to State Park hotels: http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/lodging-overview-411.html

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/trixiezzz/Canyon.jpg

mafibisha
04-15-2010, 05:57 PM
Our airfare out of Houston for 5 was ~$1400, I night at El Tovar in the Grand Canyon National Park is ~$450. 5 nights at Sky Ranch Lodge is ~$940 (Rim View Double Queen with roll-away) 1 weeks entry into GCNP is $25/car.

Wow, really! Was it a double suite or something? We were just there the summer of '08 and paid $175 for a king room with a balcony, shared with another room but still so cool sitting out and gazing at the canyon.

Staceyms
04-15-2010, 06:08 PM
Wow, really! Was it a double suite or something? We were just there the summer of '08 and paid $175 for a king room with a balcony, shared with another room but still so cool sitting out and gazing at the canyon.

Yes, it's large suite overlooking the canyon. I couldn't get two rooms near each other with such late notice and we need room for 5.

eduk8r26
04-15-2010, 06:58 PM
We were just at the Grand Canyon last week. It was pretty crowded due to spring breaks being staggered for everyone. I've only been there once in the summertime about 6 or 7 years ago and only for one day. But if it's anything like Yosemite in the summer, I would expect it to be very crowded.

lindsey
04-15-2010, 07:44 PM
If you really want to see GC without commercialism (sp?), and if you
decide to wait until next year, try going to the North Rim instead.

We flew into Las Vegas, spent one night at one of the off-the strip hotels, drove to Flagstaff - spent three days, then drove to North Rim, spent two days, then drove to Las Vegas and spent two days.

HelloChum
04-18-2010, 12:50 PM
I was able to make some ressies for this summer afterall! :cool1:

Started with finding 2 nights within GC NP and worked backwards from there...

Here's the plan so far--

Fly into Vegas and stay 1 or 2 nights (need to decide)

Zion Lodge (in NP) 1 night

Bryce Canyon (2 nights just outside NP--all hotels heavily booked--this was my toughest reservation to make) Hope to get ressies for 1/2 day Canyon horseback ride here too...reviews were great for canyon ride...would love tix for full moon hike, but only 60 FCFS

Lake Powell Resort 2 nights...have ressies for Rainbow Bridge Cruise/hike...

Grand Canyon South Rim 2 nights at Yavapai Lodge--wanted El Tovar--just happy to be in park at this point!!

Sedona 2 nights Sky Ranch Lodge...views look amazing...on way here/while here plan to check out Wupatki/Sunset Crater/Walnut Canyon/Petrified Forest/Painted Desert/Montezuma Castle/Tuzigoot and Slide Rock State Park...okay maybe that is too ambitious

Route 66 -> Stay 1 night in Kingman @ Hampton Inn (couldn't resist checking out Rt. 66 after seeing Cars...any thoughts??)

Hoover Dam on way to Vegas -> stay one night at Vegas airport hotel

Fly home!


We had toyed with heading out to the 4 Corners--just to say we were there--but, realistically there is no easy east-west route, so we're skipping it!

Thanks for all your previous replies!! Any suggestions for must sees to add to the above??

Hello Chum

kacaju
04-18-2010, 01:25 PM
Can i come??? That sounds wonderful, you will love it!!
If you are staying at Lake Powell for 2 nights you HAVE to see Antelope canyon.

Sedona 2 nights Sky Ranch Lodge...views look amazing...on way here/while here plan to check out Wupatki/Sunset Crater/Walnut Canyon/Petrified Forest/Painted Desert/Montezuma Castle/Tuzigoot and Slide Rock State Park...okay maybe that is too ambitious
Yeah...that might be too much in two days. I did Petrified forest/painted desert and Walnut canyon in one day with my friend (no kids) and that took a lot of time. Both places are so neat.

Mom-to-2-Princesses
04-18-2010, 01:48 PM
I'm so excited for you! And congrats on getting the reservations! you are going to LOVE your trip!

DawnM
04-18-2010, 03:49 PM
We are considering a trip in the fall, driving from NC! My parents live in Phoenix and Dad is having surgery so we would go out for a week or so to deal with that and then do the Grand Canyon and drive over to LA (where we are from) to see friends and Disneyland and then maybe drive up to San Fran and drive back the Northern route.

It will take over a month most likely so we need to think carefully about it, but I am considering it.

Dawn

slamzim
04-18-2010, 04:59 PM
We had toyed with heading out to the 4 Corners--just to say we were there--but, realistically there is no easy east-west route, so we're skipping it!

Thanks for all your previous replies!! Any suggestions for must sees to add to the above??

Hello Chum

We are heading to the Grand Canyon the end of May, so enjoying this thread. We are looking at going to the 4 Corners - picture opp. We are staying in Flagstaff a few days and thinking of heading to the 4 Corners after the painted desert or petrified forest. Any suggestions on how much time it would take?

TIA

mafibisha
04-18-2010, 05:05 PM
We are heading to the Grand Canyon the end of May, so enjoying this thread. We are looking at going to the 4 Corners - picture opp. We are staying in Flagstaff a few days and thinking of heading to the 4 Corners after the painted desert or petrified forest. Any suggestions on how much time it would take?

TIA

Whats in Flagstaff? I'm always intrigued when I hear people say that. We didn't find much to do there so stayed there only one night on the way to see all the other wonderful parts of the west.

HelloChum
04-18-2010, 05:21 PM
Just booked suite for 2 nights at THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay in Vegas!! :banana: --only about $10 more than room in tower, but roomier. Hotel looks awesome--my kids are excited! Thanks for the recommendation! Can't believe this all fell into place!! Booked airfare out to Vegas already too--of course, return trip has increased in price since I first looked--ugh!

In reply to "thinking of heading to the 4 Corners after the painted desert or petrified forest. Any suggestions on how much time it would take?"--from Lake Powell, it would have taken us almost 4 hours. It looks like the Petrified Forest NP has a more direct N/S route to the 4 corners, but I bet it will still take you 3 1/2 to 4 hours. I did read that it is closed until June 2010 due to renovations--you may want to verify when it reopens.

Question: still need to reserve rental car--any suggestions? what type of vehicle would be best for this trip--any tips on rental car bargains? Haven't done a rental in years (gotta love those Disney trips and Disney transportation!!)

Can i come??? That sounds wonderful, you will love it!!
If you are staying at Lake Powell for 2 nights you HAVE to see Antelope canyon.
Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks again and to all PP with upcoming trips, have a great time!! :dance3:

HelloChum

kacaju
04-18-2010, 09:04 PM
your kids are big, you'd really want a van so you can all stretch out!!
When we did the Vegas, GC, Antelope, Bryce and Zion loop we put about 1,000 miles on the rental that week. Everything is so spread out, BUT it is so beautiful!!

slamzim
04-19-2010, 09:52 AM
Whats in Flagstaff? I'm always intrigued when I hear people say that. We didn't find much to do there so stayed there only one night on the way to see all the other wonderful parts of the west.

I'm not sure there is much in Flagstaff...just a good central location to travel to the other sites, but not have to change motels every night.

Also, thanks OP for the heads up about 4 corners. Will definitely check it out b/f we go.

HelloChum
04-20-2010, 09:27 AM
you HAVE to see Antelope canyon.

Looked at info on Antelope Canyon online--I see what you mean!! Antelope Canyon is on our MUST SEE list!! Incredible!

Curious--did you book a tour or just show and take a tour on the spot?
Thanks again!

Also, I think I got a good deal on minivan rental--holy cow the prices--got it for about $300/week with all taxes/fees...$624 total...some quotes were $800-1100--yikes! :scared: How have others fared?

Have a great day!

:goodvibes

Irin997
04-20-2010, 10:20 AM
If you still plan to go in August I would suggest booking a hotel near the CG that can be cancelled without penalty ( and that you would not be disappointed with)....and then calling to check on El Tovar weekly. We went the 2nd week in August...and I booked a cabin at Bright Angel Lodge 8 days before we left! I had a couple of choices too...one of those being El Tovar...so cancellations do happen and I was told by the reservations agent to call 2 weeks out...and then call every day thereafter as openings do occur.

Caribear, I noticed you are going on the Oasis - when are you sailing? Looks like we could be on the same cruise.

slamzim
05-17-2010, 09:58 PM
Any suggestions for a night in Sedona? We are staying at the Sky Ranch Lodge at the beginning, but it is booked for the end of trip. TIA

rillsung
05-20-2010, 05:57 PM
We are heading to the Grand Canyon the end of May, so enjoying this thread. We are looking at going to the 4 Corners - picture opp. We are staying in Flagstaff a few days and thinking of heading to the 4 Corners after the painted desert or petrified forest. Any suggestions on how much time it would take?

TIA


4 Corners is so out of the way that driving there takes most of the time. Not sure on driving times from painted desert or Petrified Forest though without using an online map. Also you might check since I saw on the news the other day that it's under construction so you might not be able to walk out to where the 4 corners are marked. The native americans run the area and charge what I remember to be a higher than expected fee for us to enter and then there is shopping where you can buy native american art and jewelery.

We Just got back from the GC 4 days ago! Road trip for us though lol. We Stayed at the brand new Courtyard by Mariott in Flagstaff (yay name your own price on Priceline!) and took the train from Williams up to the GC. Train ride was neat, but too long and mostly boring really.

Vivianne
05-20-2010, 08:27 PM
Couldn't resist it I had to put my 2cents on this one.

We did the Vegas-HooverDam-Sedona - Flagstaff -Route 66 - GrandCanyon-CameronTradingPost-BryceCanyon-Zion back to Vegas 1300 mile driving trip back in 2004 and loved it. We did do it in spring (weather wise great) since I researched fodors message forum and after spending days lurking on the forum I got the best tips from that website.

We did as much as we could and thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend staying onsite at GrandCanyon/Bryce/Zion if you can manage it. It takes alot of research and planning but...it turns out to be a wonderful trip. It may be the once in a lifetime so take a good camera:thumbsup2

BTW We stayed at the Sky Ranch Lodge in Sedona (beautiful) ate at the airport (at the end of the road) lots of locals eat there.
Flagstaff has an observatory & plan on alot of stops during your driving on this trip. You won't regret it. :love:

WiscMomof2
05-21-2010, 10:33 AM
Don't mean to hijack but I just want to say thanks for the great info! We just decided to go see my SIL in AZ in July and are going to do GC and Sedona for a few days. I'm not used to planning this spur of the moment so I'm trying to learn all I can. The Sky Ranch looks cool and is available for our dates - definitely going to book that. As far as GC NOTHING is available in the park, which I'm not surprised. Does anybody know anything about the Holiday Inn Express right outside the South Rim area? It seems to get decent reviews and more importantly is available for the date we need.

HelloChum
05-21-2010, 11:21 AM
As far as GC NOTHING is available in the park, which I'm not surprised.

Sorry--don't know anything about the Holiday Inn. Even if you do make reservations there but are still interested in the staying in the GC park--keep checking Xanterra online and calling in case something opens up.

I have ressies just outside of Bryce NP for our stay there, but I really prefer to be in the park and I have been checking online everyday--I've noticed that things do open up (not for my dates of course!!) I keep checking Xanterra to see if El Tovar opens up, too.

Also, not sure if this is true for GC reservations, but a Xanterra reservationist for Yellowstone told me that a block of available reservations are set aside for online and that they have access to more availability when you actually call in. Granted that was for next summer--so more is available right now than for this summer.

Good Luck!

Vivianne
05-24-2010, 07:04 PM
Don't mean to hijack but I just want to say thanks for the great info! We just decided to go see my SIL in AZ in July and are going to do GC and Sedona for a few days. I'm not used to planning this spur of the moment so I'm trying to learn all I can. The Sky Ranch looks cool and is available for our dates - definitely going to book that. As far as GC NOTHING is available in the park, which I'm not surprised. Does anybody know anything about the Holiday Inn Express right outside the South Rim area? It seems to get decent reviews and more importantly is available for the date we need.

Don't know anything about Holiday Inn

However, we stayed at Cameron Trading Post (I don't think it's that far from South Rim) and it was really nice. It would be a great Disney Themed Native American hotel only no Mickey. ;) They have a shop and a restaurant and a museum. Yes, we also stayed at Sky Ranch lodge and Yavapai (the only onsite hotel available). Have a great trip.

http://www.camerontradingpost.com/.
The room was very clean.