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Old 12-31-2011, 08:06 PM
 
140 posts, read 377,504 times
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Hi all,

I'm trying to plan a birthday getaway from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. I'm posting this here because many people have shared information about good routes to take when folks were planning other trips from this area.

I'm debating if I should drive all the way or if I should fly and just rent a car once I arrive. Suggestions would be appreciated.

What's the least expensive way to plan this out? Is it better to fly to a city close to the Grand Canyon or to Sedona. I want to spend time exploring both. Is it worth the 8 - 10 hour drive?

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
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Do NOT fly, the trip to the Grand Canyon is an easy drive from LA. The North Rim is closed now, so you can only go to the South Rim. It should take you about 6.5-7 hours is you stop just for gas and stretching.

Reservations are very hard to get inside the park, stay in Tusyan, which is right outside the park. If it's your first trip to the Grand Canyon, enjoy it. The first sight from the rim is something you'll never forget!
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:29 PM
 
140 posts, read 377,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
Do NOT fly, the trip to the Grand Canyon is an easy drive from LA. The North Rim is closed now, so you can only go to the South Rim. It should take you about 6.5-7 hours is you stop just for gas and stretching.

Reservations are very hard to get inside the park, stay in Tusyan, which is right outside the park. If it's your first trip to the Grand Canyon, enjoy it. The first sight from the rim is something you'll never forget!

Thanks, is the North Rim closed just temporarily? I don't really know the difference between the North and South Rim. I'm wondering what I might be missing is the North is closed.

Oh, by the way, I am planning to go in February. I'm not sure if that makes a difference.

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Desert Southwest
263 posts, read 1,101,215 times
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Unless you have an overpowering need to spend that much time riding in a car, I would suggest flying. The most straightforward way of doing this would be to fly from LAX to Phoenix, rent a car, then make the two hour drive to Sedona.

There is an airport in Flagstaff which is about an hour drive from Sedona, but it is a small regional airport with limited flights in and out of it. As it is, even if you opted to fly directly into Flagstaff, you would still need to fly to Phoenix first and change planes before you continue on to Flagstaff.

With respect to the Grand Canyon, it is a two and a half hour drive from Sedona. There is also a train that will take you to the Grand Canyon. It originates in Williams, which is about a half hour to the west of Flagstaff. The train can be fun, especially if you are traveling with kids, but it isn't exactly cheap.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
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I suggest driving as the least expensive way to go. Figure about an eight hour drive from Los Angeles to Williams, AZ, via I-15 & I-40. Decent accommodations abound in Williams. To get to the Grand Canyon, you have the option of taking the train or driving your car. The drive to Sedona is nice and scenic. I'd continue down to Phoenix and return home on I-10.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
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Again, I urge you NOT to fly. A pain in the ass and almost as much time as driving once you land, get the rent-a-car, etc. I travel to the Grand Canyon usually 15 times a year so I know what I'm talking about.

The North Rim is closed from Oct. 15-May 15 every year due to snow. They don't plow the road. I personally find the North Rim far more impressive, but many would disagree. February is a good time to visit the South Rim, many fewer tourists and the weather should be mild.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:13 PM
 
140 posts, read 377,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
Again, I urge you NOT to fly. A pain in the ass and almost as much time as driving once you land, get the rent-a-car, etc. I travel to the Grand Canyon usually 15 times a year so I know what I'm talking about.

The North Rim is closed from Oct. 15-May 15 every year due to snow. They don't plow the road. I personally find the North Rim far more impressive, but many would disagree. February is a good time to visit the South Rim, many fewer tourists and the weather should be mild.

wooo....snow!! I'm a newbie to this part of the country. I didn't think that it would be cold in AZ in February. What does "weather should be mild" mean? Chilly? Cold? 40ish? 50ish? 60ish? 70ish?
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:24 PM
 
140 posts, read 377,504 times
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Any more feedback on my question? Thanks so much for the responses thus far.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:19 PM
 
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drive for sure....flying won't save any time and commercial service is very limited in the area (only Flagstaff).....

here's the website for all the South Rim lodging WITHIN the Park....staying this way is highly recommended so you don't have to drive from outside the Park all the time...just stroll the rim and wander back to your room after sunset and dinner....rooms vary greatly and very few have any view, so don't sweat that part of it

Grand Canyon: In-Park Lodging, Tours, Mule-rides

or, as mentioned, you can stay in the tourist "town" of Tusayan just outside the park entrance and about eight or so miles from the rim itself.....have something confirmed for sure beforehand

also check this out for Park info....

Grand Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

will be about 20s for a low and maybe 50s for a high in February at the canyon....probably sunny..... Sedona will be about 30-60 in Feb....
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:27 PM
 
Location: SoCal, Idaho
3,162 posts, read 8,851,375 times
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I JUST did this trip the week between Christmas and New Years. I drive to Phx a dozen times a year, so thats not a big deal for me. Phoenix is 6 hours from LA, and I've found the commercial flight to take only slightly less time. I typically do the drive non stop without issue.
Flagstaff is ~2 hours north of Phoenix, and the Canyon is another hour north of Flag.

Weather in northern AZ varies between 20-50 degrees during the day and can snow throughout the winter.

I have flown many times between LA, Phx and Flag both commercial and private, and I would highly suggest driving. Its not long enough of a drive to mess with flying commercial. You will need to drive between Phx and Sedona/CG, so your only bet is to fly to Phx. Personally, a commercial flight within 1000 miles is a waste of a day, regardless of how you look at it - so you may as well "waste a day" driving. Besides - driving allows you to take more stuff and control your travel more so than flying commercial. I enjoy driving, so its never been an issue for me.

As for lodging, I've stayed both inside the park and in Tusyan.If its your first time, stay in the park if you can. El Tovar is worth the money, if you're not on a budget. Plan a dinner at the El Tovar dining room, if you're looking for a decent meal. The other 'lodges' in the park are 'meh', but adequate. There is a nice feel about staying at the park, if you can make it happen.

I haven't spent as much time in Sedona as i have in other parts of Northern AZ, so I won't be as much help there.

Good luck and enjoy the trip!
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