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  1. #1

    Default Flying into Las Vegas- want to see more

    My family of 3 will be flying into LV the middle of July and stay for2 1/2 days. We want to see the Grand Canyon, Yellow stone National park, along with other beautiful areas within these areas. We would love to have an experience of white water rafting somewhere along the way. Is there a bus tour available that would take us and perhaps leave home from either Salt Lake or Denver for 5-6 days in a reasonable price range?
    We might consider renting a car and driving, but want to see what the options are. Any advice or help is greatly appreciated.

    Mary Alice Leal

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default How much time do you have ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your best option [and possibly only option] would be to rent a car and create your own trip, but I am not 100% clear on your plans. To start with, Yellowstone and the Grand canyon are a long way apart and there are thousands of attractions in each area. Are you saying you only have 5-6 days available before flying home from SL or Denver ? To see Yellowstone really needs a minimum of 3 days to see the highlights.

  3. #3


    I apologize for not being clear, I guess I am excited about this trip. I want to see some awesome things that are in my bucket list. LOL

    Arrive in Las Vegas on July 14 and will stay until July 18 due to a convention. We plan to leave Las Vegas July 18 and travel with hopes to see the Grand Canyon, and then make way towards Yellowstone National Park. We plan to leave either out of Salt Lake or Colorado by July 23 or 24th.
    Would love to squeeze in one day for White water rafting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    If you want to visit Yellowstone then SLC would probably make the best departure point. The GC North rim would be the most convenient rim to visit and you could include a visit to Zion and Bryce canyon NP's as well, but as mentioned your time is quite limited when you would have the best part of 3 days worth of driving and the fact Yellowstone is huge. If Yellowstone wasn't a 'must do' this time around you could consider doing a small loop trip and fly back out of Vegas where you could visit Zion, Bryce, Grand canyon, Monument valley and at a more relaxed pace. It would also mean you would escape the one way drop off fee on a car rental. I would recommend you do a little research and study the area and see what appeals.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    With your timeline, I don't think that it's really possible to see both the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone - and certainly not have time to squeeze in a raft trip on top of it all. You could drive between those points, but you'd be so rushed that you really wouldn't be seeing anything at all.

    The best case I see - you leave Vegas very early on the 18th and do a rushed 1/2 at GC. It's close to 2 full days of driving from there to Yellowstone, so that's the 19th and 20th. That puts you at the 21st and 22nd to see Yellowstone, but remember, it's then another half day drive to SLC and a full day drive to Denver. Even at a fairly optimistic/pushed pace, you're basically giving yourself the bare minimum amounts of time to see these places.

    As much as I love Yellowstone, on your timeline, I think it would make a lot more sense to see the Grand Canyon, and then enjoy some of the other great National Parks between GC and SLC or Denver. You'd have about a dozen places you could pick from, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Mesa Verde, perhaps even Rocky Mountain NP - and getting some whitewater in along the way too. Doing that would give you a lot more enjoying and exploring relative to covering miles. Alternatively, I guess you could probably make Yellowstone work as well, but then I'd skip the Grand Canyon, and that would really make it pretty important to fly out of SLC instead of Denver.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona



    Since your time frame is fairly compressed, I'm assuming you want to restrict the white water rafting to a single day? If you're set on the Grand Canyon for your rafting trip, options are limited, but there are a couple of outfitters that leave out of either Williams or Peach Springs (Arizona). Believe it or not, there's a road from Peach Springs that follows a series of ravines all the way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, at the outlet of Diamond Creek. The Hualapai Tribe has vehicles that will transport you down that road to the river's edge, where you board a pontoon raft, and travel about 50 miles down river to Pearce Ferry, at the upper end of Lake Mead, where you get surface transportation back to your starting point. It's a long day--probably 12 hours or so--but you'll see real whitewater, and you'll be in the real Grand Canyon. I believe there are 11 named rapids between Diamond Creek and Pearce Ferry, including a couple of Class 3 (on the scale of 1 to 5--considered moderate, meaning thrilling, but safe). I rafted this section of the river once myself--but it was on the last day of an eight day rafting trip that started at Lee's Ferry. Every single mile of that river is amazing--you really can't go wrong.

    I can't honestly tell you what the van ride down to the river from Peach Springs is like, other than the fact that the road is said to be pretty rough. Tours are all inclusive, and don't require any hiking. Also, because it's all on the Hualapai Reservation, you can book such a trip pretty much last minute. (By comparison, the week long "full immersion" river trips, like the one I did, are restricted by a tightly controlled permit system, and they generally have to be booked a year or more in advance). I should warn you: none of these excursions are cheap!

    If you're not absolutely set on rafting the Grand Canyon itself, there are a number of alternatives in southern Utah. Check the area around Moab, or Green River. There are one day rafting trips in Cataract Canyon--where there's a 14 mile section of rapids rated all the way up to Class 5, on a scale of 1 to 5. (Yikes)! There are also tamer trips in Westwater canyon out of Moab. A rafting trip in that area could easily be combined with some of Utah's gorgeous National Parks, Like Bryce Canyon or Zion, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is just as scenic, but far less crowded than the South Rim.

    It pays to do some research in advance when selecting a whitewater rafting company. They're all reputable, but some are better than others.


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