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  1. #1

    Default Big Bend or Grand Canyon in Winter?


    This is my first post ( anywhere ) and I am hoping for some advice..
    I have 4 weeks in the US in Jan 09 and apart from the usual ( New York, Las Vegas, LA ) we want to see the small towns, countryside and basketball.
    I thought of the Grand Canyon, Sedona loop from Las Vegas but am very nervous of driving in snow. I would also like to camp as I think we will be able to meet more people that way..I find campground much friendler than hotels.
    Would it be worth not going to the Grand Canyon if the alternative was the Texas hill country and Big Bend Nat Park? There will be no snow and camping seems more viable but there does not seem to be the "wow" factor of the Grand Canyon.I cannot decide and would appreciate any advice

    Thank you


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Snow What?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You are just as likely to have snow in New York as at the Grand Canyon. It's only a remote possibility at Las Vegas, and not a worry at all in Los Angeles. With 4 weeks to travel, my major advice to you would be, if you're nervous about it and there's snow on the ground - Don't drive. The snow will be gone tomorrow, either because it has melted or it has been plowed. The only cases where this would possibly not be true are in areas that are not used to snow (and have no plowing equipment) and are experiencing freakish weather. Then you might have to wait two days before some of the back roads are completely clear. But even in the worst case, the major interstate highways will be open within hours after the end of any storm.

    I would not substitute Big Bend for the Grand Canyon (although I might do both). The Grand Canyon is a unique geological place on the planet and is not to be missed. If you have to, settle down in Las Vegas for a few days, watch the weather, and when you have two warm sunny days predicted, use them to drive over to the canyon and visit. Don't try to do it as a single day trip from Las Vegas.

    By the way, are you going to be doing all driving between New York and Las Vegas, or flying for parts of it?


  3. #3


    Thanks for your reply, I had seen a picture of Flagstaff under snow in 2005
    ( I think ) which looked very deep, but if it is not the norm then driving might not be so bad. I didn't realise that snowplows would do freeways. Are the road conditions listed on the radio?

    Although it does sound too cold to camp.

    The trip so far goes
    LA- ( Rose Parade) las vegas ( and Grand canyon/Sedona ) - brighton ski resort ( chosen for skiing as salt lake city has the jazz )-austin/somewhere in Texas ( and maybe driving through the hill country )-new york-playa del carmen ( for recovery from sightseeing )and back to LA. The schedule will be pretty tight as I want to lock in the flights before the price of fuel makes it impossible :)
    Unfortunately the only driving will be either in nevada or texas, I have done some long drives here in victoria and queensland and love a roadtrip.

    thanks again


  4. Default

    hey leah,

    I have visited Grand Canyon in December/January. Keep in mind that that flagstaff is higher than the surrounding areas. There was a major snowstorm in flagstaff, but once you are are out of the city, no snow at all. Grand Canyon in a snowstorm can be very beautiful. I also second Grand Canyon as there are other places you can see in that area (esp Monument Valley).

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