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Old 06-10-2012, 01:14 PM   #16
McPackers
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I booked Jun 26 - Jul 3, 2013 with DS8 (at time of travel).

I do have a question about optional Grand Canyon excursions: on Day 4, the afternoon is free. Do your guides have recommendations of things to do? One of the things I might want to do is the mule ride but from my understanding that needs to be booked months in advance. Anyone have anything they would recommend for that afternoon?
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by McPackers View Post
I booked Jun 26 - Jul 3, 2013 with DS8 (at time of travel).

I do have a question about optional Grand Canyon excursions: on Day 4, the afternoon is free. Do your guides have recommendations of things to do? One of the things I might want to do is the mule ride but from my understanding that needs to be booked months in advance. Anyone have anything they would recommend for that afternoon?
The Guides will have plenty of suggestions for your free afternoon!

Unfortunately, the mule ride that you're probably thinking of is an overnight activity. You leave early in the morning, go all the way down to the bottom of the canyon, spend the night at the Phantom Ranch, then ride back up the next day. You can't do this as a part of the ABD, as you don't have 2 full days at the Grand Canyon. (You could always skip that part of the ABD if you wanted to -- if the times worked out. But it doesn't look like they would).

However, they do now offer an "alternative" 3 hour "Abyss Overlook mule ride" for those either afraid of the regular ride (narrow paths that are REALLY high up, with nothing between you & the canyon) or just don't have time to do the 2-day trip. You ride the mules through forests above the Rim, and take a short walk to the Abyss Overlook to look out over the canyon. I can't find times listed anywhere (there are 2 departures a day). The site I saw said you usually need to make reservations 13 months in advance. It couldn't hurt to call.

http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/mule_trips.htm

http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/mule-trips-716.html

I did a great hike down the Bright Angel trail (the trail the mules go down). It's a beautiful hike. Just be aware the Rangers (and the Guides!) suggest allowing twice as long to get back up as it took you to go down, and they weren't wrong! So if you have 3 hours to hike, turn around & go back up after 1 hour.

You can also do helicopter rides over the Canyon, but it's my understanding the Guides can make recommendations for this, but can't help you book it any more.

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Old 06-10-2012, 03:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McPackers View Post
I booked Jun 26 - Jul 3, 2013 with DS8 (at time of travel).

I do have a question about optional Grand Canyon excursions: on Day 4, the afternoon is free. Do your guides have recommendations of things to do? One of the things I might want to do is the mule ride but from my understanding that needs to be booked months in advance. Anyone have anything they would recommend for that afternoon?
On the free afternoon, we had lunch at El Tovar and then took a walk around the rim where we were lucky enough to see some condors. Then we took the shuttle to a few locations around the park and attended some ranger programs, which were fun and educational. and DS was able to get his junior ranger's badge. We had dinner at the Bright Angel Restaurant. It was fairly low key, but we had a great time.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #19
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Thanks Sayhello and Bobo912 for the suggestions. I have a little over a year to research but am very excited to see the Grand Canyon for the first time that I want to make the most of it. I saw on the news that it was a high of 103 in Phoenix!
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:26 PM   #20
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Thanks Sayhello and Bobo912 for the suggestions. I have a little over a year to research but am very excited to see the Grand Canyon for the first time that I want to make the most of it. I saw on the news that it was a high of 103 in Phoenix!
I'ts much hotter in Phoenix than any other location on the trip. We arrived a day early for our trip and it was 107. We were told that it had cooled down from 113 the previous day. But once you get out of Phoenix it's a lot cooler.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:08 AM   #21
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I did question the wisdom of going into the desert at the height of summer, especially as we sailed the Disney Wonder last July to Alaska. But I had to squeeze in the Grand Canyon once before Michael leaves home and I figured Disney is the coolest way to do that!

We're staying at the Arizona Grand before the tour and planning to spend a lot of time at the Oasis water park.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:12 PM   #22
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We are also going on the southwest splendors tour on July 30. None of us have been to the Grand Canyon or any of the other places. We are really looking forward to it!
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:09 PM   #23
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I got home from my trip a few days ago. It was definitely hot, but we managed ok. We took Gatorade G2 packets to add into the water that was provided.

If you think that you'll want to go horseback riding or ATVing at Moab, then you'll need to pack some pants. Most of our group did the horsebacking. My family and a couple of other people chose to do the ATVs. I highly, highly, highly recommend it! It was the most fun we had our entire trip!

Our favorite meal was one that we booked on our own. We ate at El Tovar in Sedona (it's part of the resort...you'll eat breakfast there), and it was absolutely delicious.

We did end up wearing jackets in the evenings at the Grand Canyon. If you don't want to pack one, then they have a nice light green windbreaker for women that was only $23 in the gift shops. I took a jacket, but I bought one there too! The prices for shopping at the Grand Canyon were pretty good. Also, when you go to Monument Valley you'll have a chance to get some jewelry from the Navajos. A lot of it was marked prices like '$3.00 each or 4/$10.' Have cash available for this day.

Make sure you pack bandanas for the Jeep tour and the Monument Valley tour. They are $1.00 at Wal-mart, but around $3.00 and more at gift shops on the trip.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by keithbpatterson View Post
We are also going on the southwest splendors tour on July 30. None of us have been to the Grand Canyon or any of the other places. We are really looking forward to it!
You're going to LOVE this trip! So many beautiful places to see, and great things to do. Be sure & do a trip report when you get back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchrrx View Post
I got home from my trip a few days ago. It was definitely hot, but we managed ok. We took Gatorade G2 packets to add into the water that was provided.

If you think that you'll want to go horseback riding or ATVing at Moab, then you'll need to pack some pants. Most of our group did the horsebacking. My family and a couple of other people chose to do the ATVs. I highly, highly, highly recommend it! It was the most fun we had our entire trip!

Our favorite meal was one that we booked on our own. We ate at El Tovar in Sedona (it's part of the resort...you'll eat breakfast there), and it was absolutely delicious.

We did end up wearing jackets in the evenings at the Grand Canyon. If you don't want to pack one, then they have a nice light green windbreaker for women that was only $23 in the gift shops. I took a jacket, but I bought one there too! The prices for shopping at the Grand Canyon were pretty good. Also, when you go to Monument Valley you'll have a chance to get some jewelry from the Navajos. A lot of it was marked prices like '$3.00 each or 4/$10.' Have cash available for this day.

Make sure you pack bandanas for the Jeep tour and the Monument Valley tour. They are $1.00 at Wal-mart, but around $3.00 and more at gift shops on the trip.
Glad you had a great trip, and that the heat wasn't too bad.

Hey, isn't the El Tovar the place at the Grand Canyon? Is there one at the Sedona resort, also? How *was* the resort? I think this is the first year they've stayed at Enchantment Resort for this trip.

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Old 07-02-2012, 09:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchrrx View Post
I got home from my trip a few days ago. It was definitely hot, but we managed ok. We took Gatorade G2 packets to add into the water that was provided.
Good idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchrrx View Post
If you think that you'll want to go horseback riding or ATVing at Moab, then you'll need to pack some pants. Most of our group did the horsebacking. My family and a couple of other people chose to do the ATVs. I highly, highly, highly recommend it! It was the most fun we had our entire trip!
That sounds like a lot of fun! Do you have to book them now or can you sign up when you get there?

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Originally Posted by tchrrx View Post
Our favorite meal was one that we booked on our own. We ate at El Tovar in Sedona (it's part of the resort...you'll eat breakfast there), and it was absolutely delicious.
We will be celebrating our anniversary when we are there so this sounds like a good place to do that! Thanks!

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We did end up wearing jackets in the evenings at the Grand Canyon. If you don't want to pack one, then they have a nice light green windbreaker for women that was only $23 in the gift shops. I took a jacket, but I bought one there too! The prices for shopping at the Grand Canyon were pretty good.
That is good to know. We've been looking at the weather forecast and trying to figure out if we would need one.


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Also, when you go to Monument Valley you'll have a chance to get some jewelry from the Navajos. A lot of it was marked prices like '$3.00 each or 4/$10.' Have cash available for this day.
Erin and the kids will be happy to hear this! They were hoping they would get a chance to get some jewelry.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #26
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Hey, isn't the El Tovar the place at the Grand Canyon? Is there one at the Sedona resort, also? How *was* the resort? I think this is the first year they've stayed at Enchantment Resort for this trip.

Sayhello
Oh! You're right. El Tovar is at the Grand Canyon. The wonderfully delicious restaurant at Sedona was called Che-Ah-Chi. With food that wonderful, you would think that I'd remember the name!



ETA: Regarding the ATV trip- We were able to book this at the front desk at Red Cliffs Lodge when we arrived. Be sure you take old pants and an old shirt. If you hit through the river like DD and I did, then you'll never get those clothes clean again. It was SO worth it though!
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #27
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tchrrx
If you think that you'll want to go horseback riding or ATVing at Moab, then you'll need to pack some pants. Most of our group did the horsebacking. My family and a couple of other people chose to do the ATVs. I highly, highly, highly recommend it! It was the most fun we had our entire trip!

That sounds like a lot of fun! Do you have to book them now or can you sign up when you get there?
On the bus ride to Red Cliffs Lodge, the adventure guides pass around a sign up sheet for the activities at Moab - ATV, Hummer tour, rapelling - and they will book it for you. I don't think the horseback riding was on the sign up sheet, since it takes place at Red Cliffs. I think people just signed up once we arrived, but I'm not 100% sure, since we didn't ride. We did the ATV and Hummer. Both were fun, but the ATV was the best.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:22 AM   #28
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Countdown has begun!

Thank you for the packing tips and tour advice, Tchrrx! I was wondering...we're already taking a couple of ATV tours with Disney. I was thinking of doing something different in our free time. How did the ATV tour you took on your own differ from the other ones and why would you recommend a third excursion?

Which anniversary are you and Erin celebrating, Keith? (I'm planning my parents' 50th right now...we'll be at Strathcona Park Lodge on Vancouver Island the day after we get back from the Grand Canyon for festivities!)
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:40 AM   #29
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Thank you for the packing tips and tour advice, Tchrrx! I was wondering...we're already taking a couple of ATV tours with Disney. I was thinking of doing something different in our free time. How did the ATV tour you took on your own differ from the other ones and why would you recommend a third excursion?

Which anniversary are you and Erin celebrating, Keith? (I'm planning my parents' 50th right now...we'll be at Strathcona Park Lodge on Vancouver Island the day after we get back from the Grand Canyon for festivities!)
The ride in Sedona is a Jeep ride. You'll ride along with about 5-6 other people. In Monument Valley you'll ride in a large open truck with about 15-20 other people.

The ATV that we did in Moab, you were in control of your own 4-wheeler! My DD is only 12, but they had two seaters so that she could ride behind me. You get picked up at the resort in a van that is pulling a trailer full of 4-wheelers. Then, you drive out to a spot and put on helmets. After a very quick how-to lesson, you are ready to go! There is a guide that you follow up a trail. There are many corners and banks that you drive on. There are also several opportunities to drive through water. DD and I were the only girls on our trip. The guys flew around corners, but we took it a little slower. On the water, however, the guys went slower so they didn't get as wet. DD and I gunned it to see how muddy and nasty we could get! It was so much fun to be out in the open and in control.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:46 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Which anniversary are you and Erin celebrating, Keith? (I'm planning my parents' 50th right now...we'll be at Strathcona Park Lodge on Vancouver Island the day after we get back from the Grand Canyon for festivities!)
50 years - wow! This is only our second anniversary. We are a "sleepless in seattle" type of story.

The ATVs and the rappelling both sound very fun and both restaurants sound great.

The day we go to Monument Valley it looks like we are on the bus for a long time. Are there lots of sites to see and frequent stops or should we bring a good book to read?
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2012.06.30 Southwest Splendors Adventures by Disney trip, 2011.03.17 Disney Dream 3 day cruise Bahamas, 2011.02.24 Princess 5K fun run Wilderness Lodge Villas, 2010.10.08 Boardwalk Villas, 2010.04.02 City of Knights and Lights Adventures by Disney, Disney Magic 2009.12.26, Polynesian for girls' birthdays (Free admission on your birthday promotion) and Scuba Diving in EPCOT tank 2008.08.17 Grand Californian, 2008.08.10 Disney Magic - West Coast, 2007.09.20 Adventures By Disney - Viva Italia!, 2006.12 Animal Kingdom Lodge 2006.10.02, Contemporary - NSScary Halloween, 2006.08 Offsite - Scuba Diving in EPCOT tank, 2004.12.06 Pop Century - MVM Christmas Party, 2004.08 Grandeur of the Seas - Disney Excursion, 2003.11.01 Disney Magic, 2003.10.29 All-Star Movies - NSScary Halloween, 2002.11 Vistana Timeshare -- NSScary Halloween, 2001.04 Wilderness Lodge, 2000.03 Caribbean Beach, 1999, 1994, 1988 Offsite & 1975.07 Contemporary Resort

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