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Old 07-22-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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ok, we are finally going to see the Grand Canyon. Can anyone who's been there, done that share any ideas on their trip on what and what not to do? Thanks.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:38 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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We went in the winter of 2008 and loved it. We stayed at the rim hotels, which I highly recommend doing. We were in the park, right by the rim, when we woke up and didn't have to fight the traffic in and out every day and night. Of course, that's assuming you're going to the South Rim.

While we had no issues seeing the canyon, I hear many, many people say that it was very cloudy/foggy and they didn't get to see anything but a cloud cover. I had no idea this was so common, so I guess we got lucky. I did notice most of these people went in the summer, so not sure if that makes a difference. One of my friends went twice and both times there was fog and they didn't see a thing.

If you do stay at one of the rim hotels, bring food. The food there is terrible and we were glad to have our own. Pack water, other drinks, snacks, since there aren't stores in there like in the other national parks. And, have lots of fun!
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Both sides of the canyon are fantastic, but I really like the North Rim much better. Very beautiful up there and just better.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:08 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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It's kinda big,,, (north rim or south?)

get up early, see sunrise and enjoy the cool mornings. retreat for a late breakfast when the families are gone (or preferably pack your own for a trail). While families are eating lunch you can do more traveling around and enjoying sights. Retreat to shade or pool for mid afternoon, take a nap, then about 5 pm get back out in the wild and find a nice place of sunset. Enjoy an ez picnic 'supper' (cheese and crackers / fruit).

Try to fit in an aerial tour. (light plane / helicopter)

How much time will you have?

Find some out of the way places to hike, ask the volunteers and rangers where they hike on their days off, and where their favorite spots are.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:53 AM
 
Location: San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Both sides of the canyon are fantastic, but I really like the North Rim much better. Very beautiful up there and just better.
The North Rim is only open mid May to mid October since the roads are impassable. That's why most people go to the Sourth Rim, which is open year-round. We went in late December, and weren't allowed on any of the roads near the North Rim.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
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If you are traveling there in a mid-to-large RV, expect frustrations. We went by car but I still shudder when I think back to those large trailers having a heckuva time.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
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If you are only planning for a few hours at the south rim, you might check into the Grand Canyon Railway that makes the trip from Williams, AZ and avoid the potential traffic problems. About 2 hours each direction and has 4 different price levels of seating. Very nice ride and one of the better scenic railways we have done. Allows for about 4 hours at the rim which is time to get a small taste of the area. We went on a little hike, visited most of the shops and galleries and had a wonderful meal at the El Tovar Hotel on their deck overlooking the canyon.

Next time we go I would hope to spend a few nights in order to see the area in more detail but even if you just have a little while it's worth the effort to stand on the rim and soak in the view.

Grand Canyon Railway | Grand Canyon Train
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:06 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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A few more questions for you- when are you going? How many and what ages? Are you interested in going INTO the Canyon or just sightseeing from the Rim?
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,654,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
If you are only planning for a few hours at the south rim, you might check into the Grand Canyon Railway that makes the trip from Williams, AZ and avoid the potential traffic problems. About 2 hours each direction and has 4 different price levels of seating. Very nice ride and one of the better scenic railways we have done. Allows for about 4 hours at the rim which is time to get a small taste of the area. We went on a little hike, visited most of the shops and galleries and had a wonderful meal at the El Tovar Hotel on their deck overlooking the canyon.

Next time we go I would hope to spend a few nights in order to see the area in more detail but even if you just have a little while it's worth the effort to stand on the rim and soak in the view.

Grand Canyon Railway | Grand Canyon Train

Good suggestion. The the railway offers lodging, cafe's and pub's on both ends of the route and you can access the rest of the canyon via the regularly scheduled shuttle busses, which run around the south rim until September (I think).

And, you MUST see this:

http://chcidoameriky.cz/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/grand-canyon-skywalk.jpg (broken link)

It has a glass floor!!
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
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If you have the time try to spend a day or 2 in Sedona. We were almost as impressed with that town and surrounding area as we were with the Canyon. The beauty is incredible.
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