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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4

    Default 5 Day Grand Canyon Loop from Vegas

    Hi All,

    I've been trolling around the forum for a while and finally decided to join up. Lots of useful info, thanks everyone!

    FYI ~ I love to drive and have been on a few road trips in the past. My favourite so far has to be the Rocky Mountains in Alberta & BC, and my craziest has to be the long weekend to Key Largo, Florida from Ontario, Canada! ~ Left Thursday night, back Monday afternoon.... co-driver and I weren't speaking by the end of it :0)

    I'm planning a 5 day solo-road trip as part of a 10 day trip to Vegas in late October and was wondering if I could get your opinion on my itinerary. (It's going to be just me and my camera) My route is fairly close to the 4-day route posted on the Favourites forum, a few modifications, plus it's reversed.


    Day One ~ Las Vegas, NV to Kanab, UT via Valley of Fire & Zion National Park

    Day Two ~ Kanab, UT to Page, UT with day trip to North Rim

    Day Three ~ Page, UT to South Rim with optional day trip to Sunset Crater & loop

    Day Four ~ South Rim to Kingman, AZ via Historical Route 66

    Day Five ~ Kingman, AZ to Las Vegas, NV via Mojave National Preserve

    I think that my biggest concern is Day 2 with the trip to the North Rim. Given that the visitor's centre seems to closed starting mid-October, I'm fairly sure it will have just closed when I'm on my way there. How concerned should I be about this? especially since it will be just me.

    Also, since it will just be me I was thinking of renting a compact car to help save on gas.... any concerns with this idea?

    Thanks in advance!

    Liz

    p.s. incase it you are wondering I'm planning 2 nights in Vegas before and 3-4 nights after.
    Last edited by arjay9; 08-15-2010 at 04:03 PM. Reason: spelling oops...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,303

    Default

    Welcome!

    You can still go to the North Rim if the visitor center is closed. The roads will still be open till they are closed by snow. You just won't have any facilities.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Ok good. Thanks :o)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,329

    Default Bryce ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Personally I would spend night 1 in Springdale and give yourself a little more time in Zion NP, it's a fantastic place and you might feel a little rushed through there after going to Valley of fire. I would also consider heading to Bryce canyon afterwards and having one less day in Vegas, it's spectacular.

    A compact car is a good budget choice for a solo traveller IMO.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Oh thank you, Bryce Canyon is a great suggestion. I wasn't really looking much further North, but it's so close, I just may add a day and/or re-jig things a bit.

    a few quick question as look at alternate options......

    1) Hwy 9 through Zion... I've seem mixed reports (and Google maps won't let me use it as a through route) but it's open year round, correct?? The Summer bus-only road is different??

    2) Would Kanab to North Rim to South Rim be a crazy idea in one day?? Google maps shows me just under 6.5 hours of drive time, and with a 1.5 - 2 hour stop at the North Rim an 8 hour day seems long, but do-able. I could arrive at the South Rim in time for sunset, relax and then spend time exploring the next day... thoughts?

    3) Speaking of google maps, I know that can't be 100% trusted, but as far as drive times go, what is your experience? trust or don't trust? (I plan on getting a back-up Trip-thingy from CAA when I'm more sure on itinerary)

    Thanks Again Southwest Dave & glc !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,844

    Default yes, no, no

    1 - Yes, Highway 9 is open year round (except for specific storms of course, and there are RV restrictions because of the tunnel). Its the Floor of the Valley road that is limited to NPS shuttles.

    2- I would never recommend trying to see both Rims in one day. Realistically, you're looking at a minimum of 7 hours of driving, and spending 3-4 hours (round trip from US-89) driving to the North Rim, if you're only going to spend an hour or two there just doesn't seem worth while, and seems like you'd really be short changing the north rim.

    3- Google (or any other computer based estimate including a trip-tik) is typically quite low, with 20% low being a common number used around here. It will always depend upon their exact math to calculate the time, and each program will have their own quirks. I will say I find them to be a bit more accurate on 2 lane roads and over shorter distances, but they are always going to assume a best case where you almost never have to slow down or stop.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks Michael! I appreciate the feedback! I don't want to over-plan too much & end up feeling rushed! (I'm just feeling a little greedy & want to squeeze everything in!) I'll be sure to keep the plan to one rim a day :o)

    Ok, off to do some re-planning.... which I find to be almost half the fun anyways.... (well, maybe more like 1/3)

    Thanks again everyone! Feel free to make additional suggestions, knowing me, I'll be re-planning for the next few weeks anyways :o)

  8. #8

    Default I second the motion to spend a full day at Zion!

    Zion is a wonderful park!

    As I've advocated before on this forum, hiking IN the NARROWS of the Virgin River is a unique and fantastic experience.

    http://www.nps.gov/archive/zion/ZionNarrows.htm

    http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisi...tle-system.htm

    Keep in mind that your nights will be below freezing in many areas, although your daytime temperatures should be pleasant. Here is a wonderful website to see historical temperatures. You can select by name, or select by points on the map.

    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/summary/Climsmut.html

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