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Thread: Grand Canyon National Park

  1. #1
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    Default Grand Canyon National Park

    Just curious as to what is there do at the GCNP? I am sure a lot of you have visited and perhaps can give some recommendations?

    The wife and me are heading to Vegas for a couple of days next month and then we plan to meet up with some family in Palm Springs for a couple of days after that. I booked a nice rental convertible and plan to drive it from Vegas to Palm Springs. Then I also got to thinking perhaps a road trip to Grand Canyon National Park would be fun as well? Looking at the map it's a 4 hour drive one way and we would only have 1 day to go there, hang out and come back. So not even sure if it's worth it?

    Can always go to Hoover Dam but then that doesn't really feel far enough at all. Perhaps somewhere else/surrounding areas I should think about doing the road trip to instead?

    Cheers

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    Not really 'that' much to do. More or less just a look and see type of thing. Walk along the south rim in the visitor centre area. Not an overly huge deal. My girlfriend enjoyed Red Rock Canyon west of Las Vegas a lot more than the Grand Canyon.
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    It is a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas to the South Rim side of GCNP and opposite direction than Palm Springs.

    If you really want to go see GCNP, then I would recommend spending a night at the Grand Canyon Village.
    If you guys are hikers, then you can try the Bright Angel Trailhead.
    Highway 64 between Grand Canyon Village and Desert View Watchtower is pretty scenic.

    Drive from GCNP to Palm Springs is a good 8 hour trip, if you dont really care for GCNP then you could hit Joshua Tree NP by Palm Springs instead, or maybe consider the helicopter tour of GCNP if you really want to see it.

    BTW if you are going to drive from GCNP to Palms Spring, then consider stopping by Lake Havasu

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    Thanks for the comments guys. So I should clarify the plan a little bit. We will be in Vegas for two days/nights (Wednesday and Thursday). Friday morning we plan to head to Palm Springs. I have a couple of things booked in Vegas already for Wednesday night (show) and Thursday morning (supercars) but I am trying to figure out if I add some sort of a road trip in there somewhere. I will check out the Red Rock Canyon and details on that. Even if it's not a tourist spot and just generally a nice road/location to hit up in a decent car, then I am open to those suggestions as well.

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    Screw the Grand Canyon! Drive 2.5hrs from Vegas into Zion national park. Wayyyy more beautiful IMO, and tons of great hiking and hotels within the park.

    Lots of time to leave Vegas in the morning, hike angels landing or observation point and be back by 7-8pm.
    Last edited by BavarianBeast; 07-11-2018 at 06:16 AM.

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    Zion is very good. I enjoyed it.
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    I can definitely look into Zion. 2.5 hour is not bad either. If we aren't super huge into hiking, what else is there to do? Just walk around, enjoy natural beauty?

    I am booked for supercars at 9:30 (bday present from the wife) and I am guessing we won't be able to leave Vegas until 12:30'ish. So 2.5 hour drive is definitely better than 4 which is Grand Canyon.

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    Still not sure if Palm Springs is in your list to hit though as Zion is total opposite side of Palm Springs.

    If you're going to Zion, and it is one of the nicest NP IMO, then you could consider stopping by Bryce Canyon too.
    Also you could do one giant clock wise loop and do Zion/Bryce > Page (Horseshoe bend, Antelope Canyon) > Grand Canyon (2-3 days)
    You could detour also and hit Monument Valley but that is all up to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakalaka View Post
    I can definitely look into Zion. 2.5 hour is not bad either. If we aren't super huge into hiking, what else is there to do? Just walk around, enjoy natural beauty?

    I am booked for supercars at 9:30 (bday present from the wife) and I am guessing we won't be able to leave Vegas until 12:30'ish. So 2.5 hour drive is definitely better than 4 which is Grand Canyon.
    If you are going to exotics racing, your already basically on the way to Zion. There is a beautiful drive you can do up the mountains and through a cool tunnel to small walk (10 minutes) to the Canyon Overlook which provides some great views of the park. But yeah, not much to do other than hike and enjoy the natural beauty. I honestly think Zion is a must see for anybody. Driving through the desert and all of a sudden you hit this beautiful oasis.. it feels surreal entering the park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taemo View Post
    Still not sure if Palm Springs is in your list to hit though as Zion is total opposite side of Palm Springs.

    If you're going to Zion, and it is one of the nicest NP IMO, then you could consider stopping by Bryce Canyon too.
    Also you could do one giant clock wise loop and do Zion/Bryce > Page (Horseshoe bend, Antelope Canyon) > Grand Canyon (2-3 days)
    You could detour also and hit Monument Valley but that is all up to you.
    So Palm Springs is not changeable. A whole bunch of family is gathering there and and staying for the weekend as we are celebrating my wife's 30th birthday. So all I really have to play around is two days, Wednesday and Thursday when we are in Vegas cause on Friday morning (whenever) we start heading to Palm Springs. As long as we get there by 2-3PM it's all good. So basically all I am trying to figure out is if there something to do around the Vegas area where I can drive to and do something other than the usual Vegas stuff.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by BavarianBeast View Post
    If you are going to exotics racing, your already basically on the way to Zion. There is a beautiful drive you can do up the mountains and through a cool tunnel to small walk (10 minutes) to the Canyon Overlook which provides some great views of the park. But yeah, not much to do other than hike and enjoy the natural beauty. I honestly think Zion is a must see for anybody. Driving through the desert and all of a sudden you hit this beautiful oasis.. it feels surreal entering the park.
    Thanks for the info. Exotics racing is in indeed the place I am heading to and we will be driving there. So makes sense to continue on to Zion from there if it's only like 2 or so hours from there. The drive you are referring to, from googling it seems like is called the Zion Scenic Drive? Is that right? If so, when you arrive at the park from the Vegas side highway I guess, are there signs that direct you if you want to take the scenic drive and stuff or how do you get to that drive portion?
    Last edited by shakalaka; 07-11-2018 at 01:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakalaka View Post
    So Palm Springs is not changeable. A whole bunch of family is gathering there and and staying for the weekend as we are celebrating my wife's 30th birthday. So all I really have to play around is two days, Wednesday and Thursday when we are in Vegas cause on Friday morning (whenever) we start heading to Palm Springs. As long as we get there by 2-3PM it's all good. So basically all I am trying to figure out is if there something to do around the Vegas area where I can drive to and do something other than the usual Vegas stuff.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the info. Exotics racing is in indeed the place I am heading to and we will be driving there. So makes sense to continue on to Zion from there if it's only like 2 or so hours from there. The drive you are referring to, from googling it seems like is called the Zion Scenic Drive? Is that right? If so, when you arrive at the park from the Vegas side highway I guess, are there signs that direct you if you want to take the scenic drive and stuff or how do you get to that drive portion?
    Without going too far away from Vegas, there's also Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park but are no where as nice as the National Parks.

    From what I recall you can drive only a small portion of the Floor of the Valley Road/Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (up to the Lodge), then you'll have to take the free bus.
    Just follow the whole Highway 9 from West to East entrance.
    If you have time and parking spot availability, then stop by the Canyon Overlook Trail Parking and do the 400-500m hike to the Canyon Overlook.
    IMG_5671 by e Dieta, on Flickr

    Also, don't forget Joshua Tree NP by Palm Springs too as it is nice as well.

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys, I am leaning towards the Zion National Park now mainly because of the lesser drive compared to Grand Canyon. As we only really have half a day or so, I don't want to spend it all driving and actually want to see something nice so it might make perfect sense. And on the way (not sure if it is on the way) or perhaps a day before I want to check out Hoover Dam and stuff as well.

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