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  1. Default First Road Trip in USA

    Hi,

    I am planning a road trip from LA to Desert Hot Springs to Las Vegas and then to Grand Canyon and Houver Dam. I have a few queries which I hope someone can assist me.

    1. How safe is it for an Asian (Singaporean) to be driving this route? I am talking about road rage, robberies, etc.

    2. Can someone pls recommend a nice accommodation at the Desert Hot Springs?

    3. Is a day trip sufficient for me to cover Grand Canyon and Houver Dam if I an staying in Las Vegas?

    4. I am planning to make this trip in Oct. What is the weather like and is it recommended for me to rent a convertable for this road trip?

    5. Can someone pls recommend a car rental which keeps their fleet in good condition?

    Thank you.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Perfectly safe

    1. How safe is it for an Asian (Singaporean) to be driving this route? I am talking about road rage, robberies, etc.
    No worries -- you'll look exactly like an American, and therefore be safe.
    2. Can someone pls recommend a nice accommodation at the Desert Hot Springs?
    So many choices, but I really like the pools at Sam's Resort.
    3. Is a day trip sufficient for me to cover Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam if I an staying in Las Vegas?
    Hoover Dam is a day trip. It's a five hour road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (south rim) and so if you're going to drive (not fly) you need to allow for two days.
    4. I am planning to make this trip in Oct. What is the weather like and is it recommended for me to rent a convertible for this road trip?
    Weather is about perfect in October -- Temperatures in the 90's F during the day.
    5. Can someone pls recommend a car rental which keeps their fleet in good condition?
    I like National Car Rental.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default National park.

    Just so you know, if you take a tour from Vegas to the Grand canyon it will most likely be to the West rim and not the National park. The West rim is on Indian lands and home to the Skywalk while the South rim is in the National park and recognisable from the photo's seen all over the world.

    If there is any chance of an overnight stop to witness a sunset at the South rim then I would highly recommend doing so.

  4. Default

    Thanks Mark & Dave for the info. This info really helps in my planning.

    Cheers!

  5. Default Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim...what vehicle should I Rent?

    Hi,

    i have done some homework on Google Earth on the route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim and realised that we have to go through some dirt road to get there. Shall i rent a SUV or a car for this trip?

    I will start my road trip from LA and end in Las Vegas after my Grand Canyon trip. I understand that some car rentals do not offer return of vehicles in other states, can someone pls recommend a car rental that allows this and have well maintained cars.

    Thank you
    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-28-2010 at 09:17 AM. Reason: Merged with previous posts. Please do not start multiple threads for the same trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Bad Intel

    There is simply no need to use any dirt roads between the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. You'd take AZ-64 south out of the Canyon to I-40 west. Then US-93 north from Kingman over the Hoover Dam to Las Vegas. In any event, paying the extra to rent an SUV so that you can go 'off-road' is inherently a waste of money because the rental contract will forbid such activity. I have never found, or heard of anyone else who's found, a dime's worth of difference between the major rental car companies except in price, so just go with the best deal. They'll all have well maintained fleets of current or late model cars. Most if not all will offer a one-way rental from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Some may offer a significantly lower (maybe even free) drop-off fee. Again, just do some comparison shopping.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    You do not have to go on any dirt roads to get from Vegas to the South rim. The West rim has part unmade road to it, but whatever car you have, it will break your rental agreement taking it of paved roads, making the SUV [in my opinion] a waste of extra money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default look again

    The road to the Grand Canyon is completely paved, and traveled by thousands of people in regular cars every single day. Think about the common sense factor - the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the US - how would a dirt road stand up to that kind of traffic?

    I suspect what you were looking at in terms of a dirt road was a road to one of the Canyon's access points on Indian Lands. You need to look again making sure you are routing yourself to Grand Canyon National Park.

    In terms of car rental, you really just need to shop around for the best prices and policies for your specific trip. There is no one size fits all best company. Mark already suggested National as one good possibility, but take a look at all of them and find out where you can get the best deal. Trips between LA and Vegas are very popular, so its not uncommon for rental car companies to waive the one way drop fee on trips between those two cities.

  9. Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies.

    I might have gotten the wrong directions. The directions I got was from this website http://www.thecanyon.com/webpage.php...anyon-west-rim and a few others. It states:

    Directions from Las Vegas, NV to Grand Canyon West Rim
    Take Highway 93 south over Hoover Dam. Go northeast on Pierce Ferry Rd (County Highway 25). Take Pierce Ferry Rd north to Diamond Bar Rd (County Highway 261). Go east on Diamond Bar Rd. **Diamond Bar Rd will end at the only entrance to Grand Canyon West, which is the Grand Canyon West Airport. Take the park and ride shuttle to Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk.


    When I went into google earth to have a look at the pictures posted by others, it seems like the stretch starting with Diamond Bar Rd is unpaved. I was surprised by what I saw on google earth but then again, my road trip to Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory, Australia a few years back brought me through unpaved roads.

    I do agree AZBuck that it is a waste of money to get a SUV. If a SUV is not required then I will go for a normal car.

    As for the car rental, I only did a search of the more reputable car rentals and it seems like only Avis, National and Hertz allows for return of vehicles at another state. I was living in Australia for a couple of years and some of the smaller car rentals, although cheap, have poorly maintained fleet. That is why I only look at the more reputable rentals. I do not want a situation whereby I get stuck in the middle of my road trip and have to get help. If all the car rentals in USA have a well maintained fleet, then I will look at the other options available.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default 'Reputable' Car Firms

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, but besides the three firms you're looking at you should also check out Advantage, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Payless and Thrifty. I'm pretty sure I've rented from each of them at one time or another and other than a single issue with a local franchise have never had a problem.

    And as you can see, the directions you were following to the Grand Canyon were to the "West Rim" on the Hualapai Indian Reservation - NOT the National Park. The West Rim has its advantages, but it is costly and can only be approached over a long and not well maintained dirt road. Most folks just park and take the native run shuttle for extra bucks. If this is your first time to the Canyon, I strongly recommend the South Rim which is in the National Park almost directly north of Williams, AZ and is reachable by fully paved highways and has a full paved road for a goodly distance along the rim.

    AZBuck

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