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4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

Peter's Twp. PA
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4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

This is probably a silly question, but does the park service do any type of celebratory something for July 4? I'm sure fireworks are not an option, but is there something in particular that I should plan for...someplace that we need to be? (Like maybe a star show or something) We will be at the Yavapai Lodge on July 3 and a cabin at the north rim for the 4th. I've looked at the NPS website and schedule, but July 4 has nothing listed.

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

Expect nothing other than crowds. Your drive from the SR to the NR will take longer than normal as there will be extra traffic on the east rim drive and probably out on 89 too. Just drive safely.

Peter's Twp. PA
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2. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

Crowds? At the Grand Canyon? On July 4? Aaargh!

No, we're prepared for them (well, as prepared as one can be). Fortunately, this will be the first leg of our trip, so hopefully our relaxation mode will be going strong, and we can let most of the craziness roll right off our backs. Thanks for the honest answer. We are, however, hoping that the road construction will alleviate some of the crowds in Zion.

Denver
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3. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

Forget the South Rim. North Rim has limited space and limited crowds. The North Rim Lodge is great location but horrible managment. If you can get a Western Cabin. The other accomodations are small. Great views and no crowds at North Rim. Long drive to get there but worth it. Mgt won't tell you about general store; only place you can get wifi, if needed.

Denver
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4. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

Forget the South Rim. At North Rim less people and no commercialization zoo. AT North Rim Lodge, get Western Cabin as others are very very small. Go to General Store for wifi; only place. Management has horroble attitude. Food so so. Deli, not great. Bar chili good. But the have the views and trails. take long overlook drive about 40 miles from lodge, RT. Great short hikes and views. If you go there, you will wonder why you wasted your time at South Rim. Long drive but worth it. But forget South Rim.

tucson az
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5. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

Even though the South Rim gets crowded in summer, and most especially July 4 holiday period, keep in mind that by far the great majority of the visitors in the park are day visitors. In my experience, it's most busy between 10 AM and 3 PM, with the majority of tour buses arriving closer to noon and gone by 3 or 4. Most of the tour buses end their tours in the area near Bright Angel Lodge before exiting.

At crowded times, I go out the Hermit's Rest Road in the morning before the crowds get there. Make a picnic lunch. I usually find the east rim drive OK in the afternoons as the park shuttles don't go there. The central GC Village area will be busy all day.

In your case, on July 4 you'll be leaving for the North Rim. You arrive July 3. If you stick with your current plan, make the best of your day that day when you arrive, and get there as early as you can. Under normal circumstances, you can't check in until 4 PM, unless you have special needs, and very likely not before that on a holiday weekend. Get up early July 4, explore the east rim on your way out to the North Rim.

Lastly, while the previous two posts were a bit negative, they do make a good point about your overall visit. One day at each rim will be rushed and in the end perhaps not very satisfactory experiences on a crowded weekend. Since you only have parts of 3 days to enjoy your visit, pick one rim or the other and stay there. You will see a lot more and more leisurely. The North Rim is harder to get lodging, but since you've got a room for July 4, there's a possibility the same room is open for July 3. The same could be true for the South Rim. If it were me, I would go to the North Rim and avoid the crowds. You may have to keep calling to change your reservation if you do go to just one rim.

If you do go to the South Rim, get yourself an inexpensive cooler and buy some food, snacks and drinks before getting in the park, keep on ice, depending on what's in your room. Yavapai East rooms have refrigerators. You'll find all the food service locations overloaded all weekend. Leave your car parked at the lodge, and use the shuttles to get around except for the east rim.

tucson az
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6. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

I hope you realize that it is at least a 5 hour drive from the SR to the NR. I didn't see that specifically mentioned. You also didn't mention where you are coming from. I see in your other post it's Phoenix. Your plan of spending a night at each rim is not a good one. Unless you arrive in Phoenix very early, the 4 hour drive to GCNP will likely curtail much activity for you on July 3 other than waiting to check in at your lodge and finding supper. Since you speak of family activities, I suspect that there are children in the group?

I would emphasize again that your experience at the South Rim may be unsatisfactory the way you have it planned. You really don't have any time to enjoy it, so why go there at that time?

It's a 6 hour drive from Phoenix directly to the North Rim. Maybe go directly there, and then make a day trip later to the South Rim from Sedona?

I cringe when I see people planning "vacations" with something major planned for every day, and lots of driving. R E L A X. If you don't get to see everything this trip, surely you can come again. Especially if there are kids along, you need time for spontaneous activities, leisurely activities and to R-E-L-A-X.

Sedona, AZ
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7. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

I'm agreeing with Bob. This is not a Grand Canyon vacation. This is a holiday driving nightmare.

Peter's Twp. PA
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8. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

I guess I didn't realize that there was only a 1 hour driving difference between the North and South Rim from Phoenix. I just assumed that there would be much more driving if we went directly to the North Rim. Our plane doesn't get into Phoenix until 12:30 on the 3rd, and with baggage claim and rental car, I guess I just thought that the drive to NR would be prohibitive. I will try to see if we can get our cabin at the N/R for the night of the 3rd. If not, we kind of looked at that first night as just a wash anyway, and figured that rather than staying at a hotel beside a highway, we'd at least get a glimpse of the Grand Canyon's South Rim. From that glimpse we figured we could determine whether a day trip from Sedona would be warranted. We are all early riser's anyway, and we'll still be on EST, so, getting up early won't be a problem on the 4th. Thank you for the suggestion.

Sedona, AZ
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9. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

<<"I guess I didn't realize that there was only a 1 hour driving difference between the North and South Rim from Phoenix.">>

The difference is more like 2-3 hours, but the last 2-3 are through the Painted Desert and and very remote mountain roads as you climb up to the NR. Getting to either park after a mid day arrival in PHX will be a challenge on the holiday weekend. At least, getting there and having any meaningful time before nightfall and bed time. it will definitely be dark at the NR before you arrive if you try to go there.

But moving from one rim to the other inside of 2 days on the holiday weekend is not something I would do.

tucson az
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10. Re: 4th of July at the Grand Canyon??

According to your last post you would be arriving in Phoenix at 12:30. It will be 1:30-2:00 before you are on the road. Sunset at the North Rim will be a little before 8 PM. So, you might make it by dark.

Alternatively, you could stop in Flagstaff for the night and continue the next day. Lodging will be tight anywhere in that area for the holiday weekend, especially Page which is further north.

It could be best just to stick with your original plan and go to the South Rim. You don't really have time there on your first day. You might see sunset. You could see the east rim on your way out the next morning.

Yes, the South Rim is worth visiting when you are in Sedona later, even after seeing the North Rim. But a day trip would be sufficient.

(The time difference in arriving at the two rims: 4 hours Phoenix-SR, 6 hours Phoenix-NR, not including stops, lunch, etc.)

Edited: 2:54 pm, June 09, 2010