We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What is the best way to get to the bottom of the canyon

Taylor
Level Contributor
64 posts
127 reviews
Save Topic
What is the best way to get to the bottom of the canyon

My husband and I are planning a one day trip to Grand Canyon mid-March. We're visitng Vegas and plan on renting a car and driving to the canyon then staying over in Kingman and back to Vegas the next morning. We want to go to the bottom of the canyon as well as the rim. Is this possible on a one day trip and if so, what are the options and costs? Thank you in advance for your input.

Mentioned in this post
Kingman
Kingman
Arizona
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
8,033 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What is the best way to get to the bottom of the canyon

Patti, I think renting a car and planning to spend the night is a good idea but you really want to stay at the Canyon, in one of the lodges in the National Park. The point of spending the night is to catch a sunset and sunrise at the rim. Check www.grandcanyonlodges.com for lodge descriptions and online reservations. If nothing is available, call them for cancellations.

The bottom of the Canyon is a strenuous 18-mile roundtrip hike with 10,000 feet in total elevation change. That and an overnight mule trip are the options. The only roads to the Colorado River are at the extreme eastern and western ends of the Canyon, both are several hours' drive from the South Rim area of the National Park. But, honestly, you don't need to go to the bottom of the river to appreciate the Grand Canyon. With only one day, you really want to spend your time exploring the viewpoints along the rim.

This is the park website. You might browse through it to get a feel for the layout of the Park:

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

Mentioned in this post
Colorado River
Colorado River
35 Reviews
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
63,468 posts
247 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What is the best way to get to the bottom of the canyon

Visiting the Grand Canyon NP at the south rim is the place to go. When you get there and see it, you'll realize how silly your question is. As noted it's a strenuous 18 mile descent and ascent that drops and climbs over 5,000 feet each way. There are no one day options.

When you're in LV you'll see plenty of tours advertising to take you to the bottom of the GC. They will in fact, fly you to the river, but at a very different part of the canyon than where you would be at the GCNP. You'll be about 100 miles down stream and the canyon will be about 2,000 feet deep instead of 5,000. This region is known as grandcanyonwest and often mistakenly referred to as the west rim. To be clear, there is no west rim.

The tours originate in LV and gcw is much closer to LV, but the tours ironically are much more expensive than your self drive tour to the GCNP

Go to the Las Vegas forums and read the Top Questions on the right side of the page. Then make an informed decision. Understand that getting to the river at the bottom of the GC is NOT a requirement for a great Grand Canyon experience.

Mentioned in this post
tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
17,193 posts
79 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What is the best way to get to the bottom of the canyon

Kingman is not near GCNP. If you were to drive that far on return, you may as well continue on to Las Vegas. Kingman is 3 hours from GCNP. As above, it is best to say in the park or nearby.

Mentioned in this post
Kingman
Kingman
Arizona
California
Level Contributor
1,233 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What is the best way to get to the bottom of the canyon

A reasonable hike would be to go down the Bright Angel trail to Indian Gardens and back up. If you are up to it, take the trail out of IG to Plateau Point. It takes you to the edge of cliff and offers great view straight down to the rapids of the Colorado River. This adds about another two miles to this hike.

Mentioned in this post
Colorado River
Colorado River
35 Reviews
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Taylor
Level Contributor
64 posts
127 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What is the best way to get to the bottom of the canyon

Thank you very much. I considered staying at the Canyon but it sounds like we should give it more thought. I like the idea of the sunrise and sunset views.

Go Blue and Go Tigers!

6. Re: What is the best way to get to the bottom of the canyon

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:17 am, February 06, 2014