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pink jeep or drive GCNP

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buc
upper sandusky, ohio
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pink jeep or drive GCNP

I have book the pink jeep tour for the Grand Canyon for four of us. Now I am rethinking it. Pros and cons of using pink jeep or driving. Any opinions on this would be great. thanks

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

The drive from Sedona to the GCNP is simple. Self touring the park is even easier.

Pink Jeep enjoys a great reputation and they do good tours, but for the GCNP I advise driving yourself. Advantages include the flexibility of managing your own time. There should never be any reason to rush from one place to the next, and while PJ won't necessarily make you feel rushed, they will be calling the shots for when and where you stop, get out of and back into their vehicle.

The day trip route from Sedona that I recommend would be an early departure via Oak Creek Canyon with a stop at Cameron Trading Post for breakfast. Then enter the park at the east gate and get your first look at the GC at Desert View. Climbing the tower there is a popular and worthy activity. From DV you'll head west along the rim drive and there will be several viewing ops along the way. My favorite is Lipan Point. Most tours won't stop there, with the exception of AngelsGate tours out of Flagstaff. You can and should pace yourself as you tour those east rim view points.

It will take you 2-4 hours along the rim to get to the GC Village and hotel zone. Here you'll find several historic buildings and sites that deserve your time. It's also the rim path and the trail head for the Bright Angel path. Most tours will allow you about 45 minutes at this stop and you'll have to choose your own activity because of limited time. Sadly most tourists blow 20 minutes waiting in line for an ice cream cone and then spend the other 25 minutes sharing their treat with the squirrels outside. There is no reason that you can't do it all and at your own pace, unless the tour van is waiting.

At this point the tours will head for the park exit and back to Sedona with one last bathroom and shopping stop at the trading post at Valle. At the end of the day, I find that to be a total waste of time. The choices you will have if you're on your own would include the option of riding the shuttle to a few stops along the west rim drive and then back to your parked car. You could make a stop at the visitor center before exiting the park at the main gate and from there you'll have a 2 hour drive back to Sedona. I advise doing it before he sun sets if for no other reason than arriving back in Sedona via Oak Creek Canyon as the sun is going down is absolutely gorgeous. Safety and avoiding wildlife on the roads is another good reason though.

Then, once you're back in Sedona, use the money you saved to go out for a special celebratory dinner to cap off a most unforgettable day.

HTH

buc
upper sandusky, ohio
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980 posts
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2. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

Thank for the information. Still undecided because the driver doesn't want to miss any of the sights either. But I think perhaps I will drive and save some bucks in the meantime.

Sedona, AZ
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3. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

You won't see the sights from inside the car. You will get to places, stop, park the car, get out and wander. The driver won't miss anything that the riders will see.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

Hi RedRox thank you for answering that question as it is one I was searching answers for also. We are staying overnight this Thursday (June 19) at Best Western Squire, arriving at the GC from Sedona. We are going to take the drive in from Sedona as you have detailed in another post and the above post as well.

We have reservations for dinner Thursday night at El Tovar. What is your favorite spot to view the sunset and sunrise? I'm also trying to decide if we should have dinner early - then go to sunset, or later - after sunset. It's difficult to know the best choices to make as I sit in my living room in Houston, Texas trying to guess which of the many options to go with. We are only staying one night at the GC - so want to get the most out of it! Thanks so much for your advice and suggestions!

buc
upper sandusky, ohio
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980 posts
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5. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

I think we were thinking the driver might miss the sights on the way to and from the Grand Canyon. You have definitely given us something to think about.

Phoenix, Arizona
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6. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

I agree that driving yourself is definitely the way to go. There are plenty of place to stop and view the Canyon, so don't worry about the driver. From Sedona, you can head up Oak Creek Canyon (Hwy 89A), and then your option is to either start at the East entrance, or start at the South entrance. Either way is fine, it's strictly personal preference. We usually head for the South entrance first, by way of Hwy 180 from Flagstaff. If you leave Sedona early enough, you can have breakfast at El Tovar, which is what we always do.

You can spend your day hiking, heading to any of the viewpoints, attending a Ranger talk, etc. (Do peruse the magazine they give you upon entering the park.) When you leave, do so by driving East on the road towards Desert View, making stops along the way. Have an early dinner at the Cameron Trading Post (love the Navajo Tacos!), and then make your way back to Sedona.

Newberg, Oregon
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7. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

Yes, drive yourself is the way to see Grand Canyon. But the Pink Jeep tours around Sedona -- especially the Broken Arrow excursion -- is great fun and highly recommended!

Woodacre, California
2 posts
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8. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

thanks for the all the tips. I am driving from Las Vegas to Williams and then taking the train and staying overnight in GCNP. Any tips for dinner and sunset as asked in a previous e. And once we are there...what will be best way to see the canyon and do other things. We are not hikers, but moderate walkers.

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

Laurie, hi and welcome to the forums! First, it's generally better to start your own thread for your questions. That said, the train is a really inefficient and expensive way to get to the GC. Unless you're a huge train buff, it's better to drive yourself to the GCNP. It's faster, so you'll also have more time there. And do stay inside the park at one of the lodges.

There are tons of things to do; read the park's newpaper when you arrive to get an idea of the schedule of any events. There are museums, Ranger talks, etc. You can hike along the Rim trail to enjoy the views and find a good spot for sunset. Also, read the Top Questions on the GC forum for more tips.

Edited: 12:43 pm, June 23, 2013
Sedona, AZ
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10. Re: pink jeep or drive GCNP

Laurie, you'll be sorry that you don't have your own car at the GCNP.