Grand Canyon South Rim Tours?

KarenB

<font color=green>Goes to the mall and sniffs Yank
Joined
Aug 17, 1999
For part of our vacation we will be spending 2 nights in El Tovar at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We will drive from Bryce Canyon, so that first day will be check in and exlore on our own. Then we will have a full day to do as we please and check out the next day.

For those of you that have been there before, would you reccommend spending that full day hiking some of the more popular trails, or trying to book some kind of tour? (if anything is even available at this late date)

We would consider a half day tour, still allowing us some free time. It will be DH, DS 16, DS 15, and myself.

Thanks!
Karen
 

grinningghost

<font color=green>Has a thing for the Swiss Family
Joined
Apr 6, 2002
I can't comment on the tours, but we just visited the South Rim of the GC for the first time in March and it's quite spectacular. You will love it. :flower:
 

KarenB

<font color=green>Goes to the mall and sniffs Yank
Joined
Aug 17, 1999
Thanks Patti-we can't wait! I just can't imagine what it will look like. Would you mind sharing what you did while you were there?
 

grinningghost

<font color=green>Has a thing for the Swiss Family
Joined
Apr 6, 2002
KarenB said:
Thanks Patti-we can't wait! I just can't imagine what it will look like. Would you mind sharing what you did while you were there?

To be honest, we had a very quick visit. We were in Las Vegas and drove there for the day. We walked the South Rim and took alot of pictures and video - DH insisted on walking to the very edge (there's ALOT of unfenced area where you could just fall right in :earseek: ) to take "straight down" video. He was freaking me out to no end. I stayed on the path, which even that was too close for comfort with no barricade between me and the great hole. ;)

We then visited the GC Village which had a store where we purchased souveniers - it's a pretty big store which not only had gifts, but groceries and things like that, I guess for people who are camping nearby. Very nice, very clean place.

All I know is the actual "real life" sight of the GC is truly jaw dropping. It's so much bigger in real life than on TV. I thought I'd seen it all from watching the Brady Bunch in the GC a couple million times - but no way, this place is almost surreal. You just can't believe how huge and colorful it is. The colors of the canyon are so pretty - it's not just the reds and oranges you see in pictures, in real life there are blues and purples and oh, I could go on and on...

You'll see it yourself and say "yep, she was right it IS colorful". I hope you have a wonderful time. :sunny:
 

Amy

MamaGrumpy
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
Karen, we (me, DH, DS12 and DS14) visited the Grand Canyon last July, and words just cannot describe it. I had tears in my eyes, it was just so magnificent!

We stayed 2 nights at the Kachina Lodge, had dinner at El Tovar both nights. You'll love it! Have you reserved the mule ride to the bottom of the canyon? We didn't, for 2 reasons: (1) none of us had ever ridden a horse before and I figured 4 hours on a mule was a bit too much for the first time; and (2) there's a weight limit of 200 lbs fully clothed and DH weighs 210. Turns out even if we HAD done the mule ride, they had a horrible rain/hail storm the day before we got there and the trail (Bright Angel Trail) that the mules go down was closed because part of it was washed out.

Instead, we walked along the Rim Trail, which took most of the morning. There's a free shuttle bus you can hop on and off at certain stops - we walked a good bit of the trail, then took the shuttle bus to Hermit's Rest and then took the bus all the way back. In the afternoon, we drove to the South Kaibab trail (I think there's a different shuttle out that direction, but for some reason we drove) and hiked part way down. Since it was afternoon and the deeper you go into the canyon the hotter it gets, we didn't go all the way down to the bottom, but we went far enough to get an idea of what it's like to look back up.

One evening we did a jeep tour - I think the name of the company was Grand Canyon Jeep Tours. It went thru the Kaibab National Forest (which surrounds Grand Canyon National Park), and we ended up at a really neat overlook to watch the sunset. There was also a stop at a fire tower where the brave could climb to the top for a spectacular view.

We also did a one-hour horseback trail ride thru part of the Kaibab Forest. The stables are right outside the park entrance, and you go on nice, flat terrain. Perfect for us novice horse-back riders!

You'll get a newspaper with a list of all the ranger tours - we didn't do any, mainly because we were never in the right place when the tours were due to start. Some of the tours sounded really neat.

Be sure to pack the right clothes - we were there in July, and the nights/early mornings were COLD, but the afternoons were HOT.

Oh, be sure to get up early to watch the sunrise. And watch for the elk - they come to graze on the grass around the El Tovar early in the morning.

If you want any more info, let me know. I'd love to go back again some day, maybe in spring or fall. It's truly magnificent.
 

betsyboop

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
We've been to the Grand Canyon several times. In fact, just this past April I hiked to the bottom with 4 girls, camped out overnight, and hiked back up the next day. It's a round trip of 19 miles that I would not recommend to anyone I like! The last 9.5 miles up are brutal!!!!

If you're going this summer I doubt you would be able to reserve the mule ride. They book up almost a year in advance. As Amy said, there is a weight limit of 200 lbs, and I believe a lower age limit of either 10 or 12.

The further down the canyon you hike, the hotter it gets, so be prepared with lots of water. Bright Angel Trail is the most popular trail. It has rest stops at 1.5 miles, 3 miles, and 4.5 miles, so you can choose how far you want to go. I think all of these rest stops have water.


If you go to the National Parks website they have tons of information on the tours available, and some are available to reserve on line.

As everyone else has said, the Grand Canyon is truly incredible. It's hard to believe when you see it for the first time.

Have a great time!!!
 









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