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Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

Victoria, Australia
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Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

Hi, my family is planning our first trip to the states for April 2014 and would like to visit the Grand Canyon.

We are 3 adults (2 mums & 1 grandmother - reasonably fit) and 3 kids ages 8-12.

We will be coming from Las Vegas.

Can someone please advise the best way for us to visit the GC?

- which part of the GC is the closest/easiest to get to from Vegas?

- should we stay overnight in the GC?

- are there any tour companies that offer a full day/overnight tour?

I realise there are a lot of notes in the top questions section on this forum but the more I read the more confused I have got - so hoping if i simply ask the question directly to you someone might be able to explain it to me please?!

Thanks :)

Victoria, Australia
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1. Re: Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

Oh yeah I see there seems to be a bit of confusion as to some of the tours from Vegas that don't take you to the "real" GC, so that is another reason why I am asking the question as I want to make sure we actually go the "real deal"!!!! Is that the South Rim???

Iowa
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2. Re: Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

Yes. The Grand Canyon National Park is at the North Rim and South Rim.

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

The so called west rim you have read about is a built for profit area. Grand Canyon west is on the Hualapai Native American Reservation and is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe. This will be much more expensive than going to the GCNP.

http://www.grandcanyonwest.com/

The GCNP is almost 300 miles from Las Vegas. The best way to visit is to rent a car and drive there. It is an easy drive. There is no heavy traffic or mountain driving issues. Entry fee at the GCNP is $25 per car. There are hotels inside the Park or just outside in Tusayan, AZ.

Also see the Top Questions on the Vegas forum. They are mostly about the Grand Canyon.

Edited: 9:35 pm, March 22, 2013
South Jersey, USA
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

You will want to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. In April the North Rim will be close until mid May! May I suggest that you rent/hire a vehicle and drive yourselves and spend at least one night here.

Check for in park lodging at www.grandcanyonlodges.com or call direct at 303-297-2757. You will have to wait until April 1st to make those reservations. With planning this far in advance you will have a wide variety of rooms and/or lodges to choose from! There are six and only six lodges inside the park at Grand Canyon South Rim! El Tovar, Bright Angel, Kachina and Thunderbird all sit on the rim. Maswik and Yavapai are set back a ways but are still do-able for a walk to the rim.

There are tour companies that offer an overnight stay out of Vegas but it is much better all the way around if you do it on your own! Do not take a helicopter tour out of Vegas that says they are going to the Grand Canyon. NO helicopter tours out of Vegas go to the South Rim, they all go to Grand Canyon West aka....Skywalk!!

If you tell us more about your activity level....do you want to do some day hikes, etc...we could help you more with an itinerary!!

SJG

Victoria, Australia
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4. Re: Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

Thanks for the replies............ and thanks for the tip about all West Rim tours from Vegas not really taking you to the real GC!!!

We are not overly keen on driving ourselves - would prefer an organised tour if possible and not too expensive?

Why do we have to wait until 1st April to make any bookings at the park lodging??

Do you know the names of the tour companies that offer the overnight stays out of Vegas?

Not really wanting to do hikes, but short walks would be ok. More keen just to view the scenery and relax at one of the lodges that offer great views.

Thankyou :)

Seattle
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5. Re: Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

Hello-- your confusion zis understandable. The Grand Canyon is a huge place and lots of commercial operators wish to claim it. But the place to go is Grand Canyon National Park, and specifically the South Rim. Southjerseygirl pointed you to the website for reservations. I know of no suites that will accommodate 6, but there are duplex cabins at Bright Angel Lodge, very close to the rim of the canyon, that will sleep 3 people each in adjoining rooms. You might want to call to confirm the arrangements, although it is an expensive call from Australia

It is best to rent a car and drive yourselves from Las Vegas. You will need a small van for six people, but no worries. The roads are very good and you will quiclkly adjust to driving on the " wrong" side of the road. ( we have been to Australia, not to Victoria but to NSW, and drove all over. After the first day it was fine.

I suggest you reserve two nights at the Grand Canyon, so you will have a full day there. Reservations can be made in April for April 2014, so you should have a complete selection of rooms.

Victoria, Australia
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6. Re: Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

Yeah that website for the lodging looks very helpful.

Seeing as it is such a long way to get there and such an awesome place I guess we would be better to stay for 2 nights to really appreciate it......

So renting a car..... do we need an International Licence or any other special requirements?

And any recommended reputable car hire companies?

Do they supply GPS or would we be able to follow a map & road signs easily enough??!!!

As I said, we are not too keen on driving ourselves - 3 women who normally rely on hubby to do the driving (but they are not joining us on this trip!!!)

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

Grand Canyon NP already is signposted from Las Vegas and it really is an easy drive. The only state that requires an International Drivers Licence is Georgia (Florida is debating about it) so no, you don't need anything else than a passport, a credit card and a valid driving licence also for a second driver.

Check out for carrentals at www.traveljigsaw.com.au from Australia but there are other too. No need for a gps. If you are visiting more places and want a gps it's often cheaper to buy one in the USA than to rent one.

Tet

8. Re: Family trip to Grand Canyon from Vegas - advice please?

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