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fly or drive ?

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Port Angeles...
posts: 9
fly or drive ?

I will have 9 days total in early June. I have wanted to see the Grand Canyon since I was about 5( my grandma used to go and got Arizona Highways Magazine, which I spent hours looking at) Now at 55 my husband and I can finally come down from the Olympic Peninsula. But I am getting overwhelmed looking at all the beautiful places there are in Utah! I want to see Arches and Bryce as well as the Grand Canyon. I have never flown in my life . But would it be cheaper than driving down? I would want to rent a car if we flew. I calculated if we drive it would be a three day trip to get to Salt lake city . I'm not keen on driving 10 to 12 hours a day as this is my first vacation in many years and want to enjoy myself.

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
posts: 7,304
reviews: 373
1. Re: fly or drive ?

Welcome to the forum, Christine.

Sine 9 days is your total amount of time, I would definitely fly. Otherwise you are going to "waste" a lot of time just getting to the Grand Circle (waste is in quotes as I am sure that you would have a nice drive and be able to see a lot of nice places along the way). But, since it seems that the Grand Canyon and other areas in northern AZ and southern UT are the primary points of interest, I suggest flying into the area, renting a car and touring.

Here's something that might help:


This is the link to a travel article on touring the Grand Circle. It is sort of a primer for planning a trip to the area. Give it a read; I think it will be useful to you. Also look at the Top Questions in the Utah forum (look in the right-hand column of the page). The first item is "how can I see all the parks in southern Utah?" and has links to maps and sample itineraries.

With 9 days and with the Grand Canyon being the key stop, I would look at flying into/out of Las Vegas then doing a loop that includes Zion, Bryce Canyon, Page and of course the Grand Canyon. That would be the "small loop from Las Vegas."

Since you are going in June, you had better get started on lodging. Lodging in and near the parks books up to a year in advance. Grand Canyon lodging is the key. Here is some info that I pulled from the National Parks Service website on GC lodging:

To read the lodging overview and to make reservations on-line:


Within the US call toll free (888) 297-2757

Port Angeles...
posts: 9
2. Re: fly or drive ?

Thank you this is some great info . Sadly there is no lodging at the Grand Canyon in our time frame . money is a concern also . ill have to calculate airfare and car cost . Maybe I need to just skip the GC and focus on a smaller area . I love the pictures ive seen of Arches and Bryce canyon. Anyway thank you for your info !!!

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
posts: 3,917
reviews: 106
3. Re: fly or drive ?

Hi Christine.

Lodging at the South Rim isn't confined solely to the six lodges within the park boundaries. The website that OH gave you is loosely for information purposes. The experts usually suggest phoning and seeing what is available. There is also the town of Tusayan outside of the GC South Rim Park gates. We like the Best Western, and have been interested in trying Red Feather.

There is also the North Rim of the GC that will be open in your timeframe. There is one lodge also in the park, though likely those rooms are booked also. Further out towards the North of GC NR is Kaibab Lodge. You can fly into Vegas or Salt Lake city to access the loop that includes Moab(Arches and Canyonlands), then Zion and Bryce, and also Capitol Reef. Usually Vegas is cheaper to fly to.

Also take a look at the questions in the upper right about the parks in Utah. That will give you some further guidance.

Port Angeles...
posts: 9
4. Re: fly or drive ?

Thanks! I will continue looking , Although I had better book soon it sounds like LOL

South Jersey, USA
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
posts: 9,494
5. Re: fly or drive ?

Definitely call the Grand Canyon for in park lodging....888-297-2757. Keep calling if nothing is available your first try! Cancellations rarely make it to the website for re-booking as they are quickly snatched up!!

With only your 9 days I also would fly to get the most time in the area's that you would like to see! Yes, can be expensive but keep checking for rates on both airfare and car rental.


Port Angeles...
posts: 9
6. Re: fly or drive ?

Thank you! ill use that phone number . My husband is leaning more toward driving down.."Its all new scenery for us .We will enjoy what ever we see." which is true .

7. Re: fly or drive ?

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