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A last minute trip... Please Help!

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girasoledonna
posts: 135
reviews: 1
A last minute trip... Please Help!

Hi... I'm a musician and artist who is recording an album in Phoenix this week :) I'm staying till the 23rd and then flying home, and oh btw my boyfriend and drummer is with me for the trip.

Today when we arrived I was so inspired the beautiful weather and valentines day that I decided I'd like to surprise him if possible and move our departure date back to the 25th and go see the Grand Canyon.

I'm a regular solo traveler and usually do extensive homework before a trip- but I'm swamped with work and to pull this off without him knowing will take me acting immediately.

My questions are:

1) from north black canyon highway in Phoenix how far is it by car to the canyon? Is it drive able?

2) where should we stay up there for cheap? Solo guide or guided tour?

3) what are the must sees or dos for a two day stay? And should we drive back and fly out of sky international or fly out of airport near canyon?

Thanks!! I really wann make this happen and need all the help I can get!

tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
posts: 12,297
reviews: 57
1. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

1) It's about 4 hours from Phoenix to GCNP. It's an interstate highway, so yes, it's driveable. Drive it in the day time.

2) There's really no such thing as staying at the canyon "for cheap." The lowest rates right now are around $79/night in a park lodge if available but more likely $90-120/night. It's possible there is lodging in the park, but you would need to reserve that immediately. If nothing available call for cancellations, Otherwise stay in Tusayan just outside the park.

grandcanyonlodges.com

tusayanhotels.com

3) You will have no problem with the "must sees." You will receive lots of information on entry to the park. And you don't need a tour. GCNP is very self-touring. Go back to Phoenix to fly out. Flying out of Flagstaff will cost more, and the connection, which is in Phoenix, will take about the amount of time as driving.

It's going to be cold there, generally upper 40s in the daytime and below freezing at night. Have warm clothes, scarfs, gloves and hats.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 52,238
reviews: 42
2. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

You can enter GC by its east entrance and leave by its south entrance or in reverse. Also you can drive via Sedona. A very scenic road is between Sedona and Flagstaff az89A via Oak Creek Canyon.

South Jersey, USA
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
posts: 9,345
3. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

Since you are already in the area so to speak, call them ASAP and talk to someone directly for in park lodging...888-297-2757. Keep calling if nothing is available the first time you call!

The "cheaper" rooms inside the park are good there is just no en suite bathroom. You will have to go out of your room for showers, etc...

www.nps.gov/grca is a great site for info on the park and to see how it is laid out! Again, very easy to self tour the park....no tours needed!

Dress warmly!!

SJG

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
posts: 40,719
reviews: 134
4. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

Great advice so far.

Call 888-297-2757 and take whatever room you can get. Less expensive rooms will be more than an hour away from the park. You want to be there for sunset and sunrise.

Self tour the park. It's easy. Employ both entrances.

Plan to work in a drive through Sedona, either on the way up or the way back, using 179 and 89A in Oak Creek Canyon. The detour from I-17 will add no more than 15-20 minutes to your route, without stops.

girasoledonna
posts: 135
reviews: 1
5. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

Thank you for all the advice! I was talking with a friend today who said that the north rim is closed and south rim only partially accessible - he said seeing the canyon in the winter was a bad idea for snow/weather reasons and to go to Sedona instead. I was wondering if you all think heading to Sedona (or somewhere else- and if so where) might make more sense, and just stopping by the canyon to see it briefly might be a better idea?

tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
posts: 12,297
reviews: 57
6. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

Your friend is right that the North Rim is closed ..... that's not close to the South rim except across a very deep crack in the earth called the Grand Canyon. It's quite far as you have to drive all the way around it to get to the North Rim..... about 5 hours. But your friend was wrong that the South Rim is only partially accessible. It's fully accessible. Everything is open. The canyon is beautiful with snow. The roads are cleared if it does snow. It only gets closed by heavy snow storms. None are predicted.

Edited: 10:29 pm, February 15, 2013
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
posts: 40,719
reviews: 134
7. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

Trust the advice here more than your friend. The Grand Canyon is spectacular with snow. And Sedona is beyond beautiful.

http://vimeo.com/57884666

girasoledonna
posts: 135
reviews: 1
8. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

so if I add 2-3 days to our stay and leave Phoenix on Saturday morning- what do u think is best? Go to Sedona Saturday, stay over, head to GC Sunday and stay over and head back to pheonix on Monday- fly out tues? anything you'd recommend to see in Sedona? Or along the at back to pheonix?

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
posts: 40,719
reviews: 134
9. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

Either order works. Phoenix to Sedona is a 2 hour drive. GCNP is another 2 hours from there. Your itinerary could be determined by the availability of a room inside the park. Have you called Xanterra yet?

Ideally, I'd leave PHX early in the morning and go to GCNP first. Then work your way back. GCNP is amazing, but Sedona is that and more relaxing too. Better place to wind up the tour.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 52,238
reviews: 42
10. Re: A last minute trip... Please Help!

If you can find lodging that day I'd drive from Phx to GC first (longest drive) If your flight on Tue is late enough you even can spend another night in Sedona. (shortest drive)