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Thread: Who's visited the Grand Canyon?

  1. #1
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Who's visited the Grand Canyon?

    DH and I are thinking about a spring holiday to The Grand Canyon. We would love some input on where to stay, what is a must-see/do, and what should be avoided. Thanks in advance for any info all you lovely folks can provide.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

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    not I...would love to though!

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    Living in the desert, we've been to the Grand Canyon several times. One trip that was really fun-we stayed in Williams, AZ. There is a Grand Canyon Railroad that takes you right into the park. You can stay several hours, or make arrangements to stay over night and then ride back.(we were staying in our RV, but there is a nice hotel right there too) Another thing to do-- You can hike down into the canyon, or ride mules. There are also accomodations at the bottom to stay. It is quite a strenuous trip and I've never done that. I'm sure they have a good website that will give you an overview of the area. Good luck and have a great time! BTW, Zion's and Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah are also amazing to see.

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    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Check the weather for the time of year you want to go. It would be a shame if those gorgeous colors were blanketed in snow. I've heard it said that the Grand Canyon is just a hole in the ground which may be, but it's a truly magnificent hole in the ground. By all means, go if you can. We stayed in Williams, which was less than hour away. There was a good looking lodge in the park - Fire Angel or something like that. With a handicapped sticker, I was able to drive both ends of the park. I didn't have to ride the bus, which was a plus.

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    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    One of my dreams!

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    We did a side-trip in March several years ago. We were in Phoenix for business and went out several days eaerly just to get to the Grand Canyon. We only did the South Rim (the North might have been closed). It was cold and there was snow on the ground but there were a lot of people there! When we got to the business meeting, so many people were jealous that we went to the Grand Canyon first. "why didn't I think of that?" was heard a lot!

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    Have been there twice and loved it both times. The South Rim was our adventure but would love to do the North Rim too. Also, we took a side trip to Sedona, AZ and it is breathtaking. I long to return. Think I saw somewhere that there is a quilt shop in Sedona. Hope your trip works out.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nycbgirl's Avatar
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    If you like the heat then by all means go in the summer. I have stayed in Williams and taken the train, it was awesome. And I have camped White Horse Lake and it was awesome too! Be aware that summer is monsoon season and it rains almost daily. Although it can be over in a few minutes, it varies. Last October we went to 'Bearazona' which is in Williams or very close and it was cute....a few animals, I'm sure it's grown by now. You drive your car through a small park with animals loose, reminds me of Lion Country Safari but on a miniature scale. Have a great time!!!!

  9. #9
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    We live not far from the Grand Canyon, just outside of Flagstaff. You'll LOVE it no matter how you choose to see the Canyon! Winter is not over here yet in March; the weather can be sunny and beautiful or snowy, just depends... (We're at around 7000 ft elevation; MUCH different climate than the desert Arizona most people think of.)
    The Grand Canyon Railway from Williams is really fun but doesn't give you much time to spend at the Canyon if you just go up for the day, so you might want to consider either staying overnight in Tusyan if you take the train up, or staying in either Flagstaff or Williams and driving up to see the Canyon. Feel free to PM me if you need some local info! BTW, there's a WONDERFUL LQS in Flagstaff!!!
    Wendy

  10. #10
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    Check the weather for the time of year you want to go. It would be a shame if those gorgeous colors were blanketed in snow. I've heard it said that the Grand Canyon is just a hole in the ground which may be, but it's a truly magnificent hole in the ground. By all means, go if you can. We stayed in Williams, which was less than hour away. There was a good looking lodge in the park - Fire Angel or something like that. With a handicapped sticker, I was able to drive both ends of the park. I didn't have to ride the bus, which was a plus.
    The lodge at the park is "Bright Angel" (you were pretty darn close!). If you want to stay at the Canyon, you probably need to be making reservations ASAP. When it snows in March the Canyon is gorgeous--a blanket of snow on the rim, but deep in the Canyon it's warmer the beautiful colors show through.

    There are lots of other local attractions in the area too, depending on how long you're staying...
    Wendy

  11. #11
    Senior Member hannajo's Avatar
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    When I visited years ago on a school trip, we also visited Meteor Crater. From what I remember, it's basically a smaller hole in the ground (You can see the other side.) that really gives perspective to the immensity of the Grand Canyon. Here's a link to Meteor Crater:
    http://www.meteorcrater.com/Visitors-Center-Overview

    If I ever go back, one thing I will not do is take pictures. I remember taking dozens of pictures of these breath-taking views, only to be disappointed at seeing how the photos really don't get it across. This is something you can only really experience by being there. If I ever go back, I would just savor the experience, unburdened by electronics and thoughts of who I'm going to show these great photos too.

    GingerK - I hope you have a great time!
    ~hannajo~
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  12. #12
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    That was our vacation last year and we loved it. We started in Sedona and did a wonderful train ride there - stayed at a Great western of Sedona - great views.

    Went to Page AZ and took a River Float Trip - 1/2 day - it was WONDERFUL - no white waters so it was easy on my bad back. Don't stay at the Howard Johnsons...well it was just OK.

    Went to South rim for the day and did the walking tour...nice - stayed for the sunset and loved that. Stayed at Great Western again - just south of the canyon and that was very nice. Last we went to Grand Canyon Caverns off Old Route 66...this was a BIG step back in time. Stayed at their "Motel"...just like it used to be!

    We were traveling with 2 teens - so we tried to cover the events for all. They seemed to love everything we did there.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    We stayed in Williams and rode the train. It was enough time to walk around and see parts of the canyon but unless the food situation has changed, where the train stops there is only one place to eat and it was too crowded and slow service. I didn't see that many places to eat while we were there. Driving to the canyon would be best if you have the time to spend a couple of days to sight see. We really wanted to take the ridding tour down into the canyon but the tours were all filled. It was breathtaking but I noticed most of the children there were bored just looking and not having a great time and wanting their parents hurry up and look. LOL
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    Senior Member mizkyp's Avatar
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    I've been only to the North Rim. The only close place to stay is inside the park. You can go to the National Park Service website for reservations. Enjoy your trip.
    Miz Kyp aka Margie

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    We have visited the Grand Canyon in summer and just recently at Christmas. We far prefer the winter experience. Much less crowded, lodges beautifully decorated, staff not rushed, visitors much less demanding. Having taught Earth Sciences for 40 years I of course enjoyed the geology center. Also having taught History I enjoyed the Harvey Girls room, being slightly daring we loved the mule ride to the bottom Phantom Ranch, and back. The winter snow (20 inches) accented the strata and gave more detailed views. We learned on average 250 people are rescued each year. 99% fall in the same category - young males (20-30 years), good health, American, ill-equipped meaning no suitable clothing, no maps, no water, no food, not resting, not following trails, not heading advise. Foreign visitors were the nicest to meet, lodge rooms well priced and clean, food delicious and staff friendly. Hope you enjoy your visit.

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    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Hubby and I took a week's vacation in Arizona one year. We stayed at a B&B in Flagstaff. It was a pretty loose definition of a B&B though. She bought food. I cooked. Anyway, from there we explored lots of ruins, the Grand Canyon, Sedona, the Painted Desert, meteor crater, and some interesting little mountain towns. There was also a brew pub not far from where we stayed that had great food. The one thing we didn't do was go to Phoenix.

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    went to see grand canyon in february, drove from phoenix through sedona and all that fantastic scenery, spent night in flagstaff with snow on the ground. drove to canyon the next day. i kept waiting to climb to get to the canyon but straight and flat. almost fell into the darn thing when i got to the edge however. i never thought that a "canyon" did not need a hill or mountain, amazing to see a mile into the earth. my jaw dropped and i was frozen in place just looking into it. (and i come from where we have it all, seashore, flat land, mountains, canyons, waterfalls, all of it, and i still had trouble wrapping my brain around it. ) if you ever get the chance to see the grand canyon, do it, and do it again. there is no way that words or pictures can ever do it justice, you have to see it to believe it. you will never regret the experience. Mother Nature at her best....

  18. #18
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I have been to Quilt Camp in Flagstaff and really enjoyed the classes, etc. One warning about Flagstaff however make sure your hotel is FAR from the railroad tracks! Very very noisy stinkers! Made that mistake twice. Go to the other end of town!

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    Ohhh what a beautiful place to visit and see. We first saw in 1956 and have been several times since then. I liked it best when we were there in 1956, no commercialization to speak of and the views were just beautiful with some forests as well. The commercialization has now removed a lot of the forests and there are tourist traps everywhere trying for your dollar.

    We stayed one trip at a motel on the east end of the park, but don't remember the name of it. I am sure if you go out to the website you can find a lot of information as well. We have also stayed in Williams and taken the train up and back. You don't have much time to spend in the park and sight see if you go up and back in one day, but the train trip was neat and the entertainment on the way back was great as well.

    We have also been to the north rim and also went to a place west of the park called Toro Weep. It reminded me of the first time we visited the GC no commercialization, actually nothing there but a portable john. Only so many could apply for camping permits at one time, no railings, so you had to be very careful. You don't want to walk up to the edge of the rim as the rocks roll under your feet and you can slip over the edge very easily. Most were lying flat on their stomach and crawling up to the edge to look over. The views were fantastic and oh what a drop straight down.

    If you want to take the mule trip down to the bottom of the canyon, you have to make your reservations a year in advance unless you are lucky enough to get in on someone's cancellation. It never hurts to check to see if anything is available. We have not done that, but I think it would be a neat thing to do.

    Regardless of when you go, take your time and enjoy the beauty of the canyon. As many times as I have been there, I would go back in a heartbeat! It changes all the time and the same view will look different at different times of the day with the changes of sunlight on it.

    Didn't mean for this to get so long, but it is a BEAUTIFUL place, not just a whole in the ground type thing.

  20. #20
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    We've been to the South Rim several times. We stayed in one of the hotels in the little town outside the park once and inside the park the other times. There are a number of different types of accommodations in the park. We made the mistake of going in the beginning of January once and it was so cold we couldn't enjoy it. But it is beautiful any time of the year.

    I also recommend Sedona (great quilt shop there) and Sunset Crater Volcano Park which is near Flagstaff. You can walk thorough the lava flow from volcano eruptions a thousand years ago. It's very cool. And if you drive farther out in the park, there are views of the painted desert. Have fun if you go - AZ is a wonderful place.
    I'd rather be at the lake

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    Senior Member raynhamquilter's Avatar
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    Many years ago hubby and I took our son and his buddy out to see the Canyon. We did it as economically as possible so we flew into Vegas on a "package" trip and picked up our rental car. Had lunch at a buffet then North we went. It was about a 3 hr. drive to St George, Utah where we stayed the first night. It was about 106 degrees so we were glad to have a pool (inside). We saw rock formations and country so different from home(Boston area) We saw Zion and Bryce Canyons, and stayed in the place they film the cowboy movies and then on to the North Rim. It was a LONG ride but it was beautiful. It took us a week to do all that and then some. Rode back to Vegas and stayed 2 nights (part of the package)and then flew home. We all loved it and we would go again. Have a wonderful time!
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    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    The time that I went, they had quotas on how many people could go into the Canyon every day and as I had made no booking, I was out of luck for a number of weeks. Don't know if this is still the case in any area of it these days?

  23. #23
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    5 years ago my husband & I took an early retirement. Of course I had a bucket list of places I had to see. The Grand Canyon was one of them. We bought a 5th wheel & took a trip right across our beautiful country. Went from Connecticutt to California & back to Ct the southern route. If anyone has a little adventure in their heart this is the trip to take. We took our time & saw what a beautiful country we have. Favorites, Bryce Canyon in Utah, Yellowstone, Yosemite. Digging for Opals, We took a helicopter ride over the Canyon. Loved loved it. Took a parasailing trip ovr the turtles in Aruba. My advice, don't think just do it. We have since purchased a 2nd 5th wheel & we are still traveling. If your traveling in a 5th wheel or bus you get to see sooo much more. Now we don't travel as much becasue we purchased a manufactured home in florida on the Caloosahatchie river. I quilt every day & have met many quilters. Learned lots of things from these talented quilters!

  24. #24
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    We go quite often. Since it's only an hour away we like to run up for lunch. The El Tovar is the original hotel and has a very nice dining room. Taking the train from Williams is something I've wanted to do, but it is quite pricey. There are quite a few nice motels in Tusayan, the little town right outside the entrance to the South Rim of the park. Also from Tusayan you can take helicopter or airplane tours of the canyon. Flights are not allowed below the rim for safety reasons. Enter the park and leave your car in one of the first parking areas and ride the bus if you are physically able to get on and off the bus. Buses are free and arrive/depart at each stop about every 15 minutes, so no worry about getting stranded anywhere. See the entire South Rim. There is nothing that is not worth seeing. There are LOTS of great photo spots. Walk as much of the rim as you are able. You can get off the bus at one stop, spend time looking and taking pictures, get on the next bus or walk to the next stop, etc. Be sure to take the bus to the Hermit's Rest and take advantage of the bus stops along the ride. We vacationed at the park a few times before we moved to northern AZ. We love every trip we take there. There is so-o-o-o much to see. Grand Canyon is beautiful in the snow too, and there aren't nearly as many visitors during the Winter. Try to avoid spring break (schools) as it is horribly crowded at that time. Here is a link to Grand Canyon National Park information.

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

    If you have plenty of time you can go the both South and North Rims, but it takes most of a day to drive from one to the other, and no mass transit that I know of. North Rim is less visited and much quieter. At 1000' higher elevation than South Rim, it is also cooler.

    Don't be in a hurry. Take time to enjoy all the beauty and you will have a great trip.
    Last edited by ShirlinAZ; 01-15-2012 at 06:28 AM. Reason: added info
    Shirley in Arizona

  25. #25
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    Over 20 yrs ago my kids and I were driving across country and we were so close that we had to go. It was so cheap to get in; one price for my vehicle at that time $5 was all it cost for 4 of us. It was amazing to see. I have a lot of indian in me and to see the huts and all was great. I would love to go back without infant and small children and really enjoy it. Take it all in.
    Judy

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