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  1. #1
    athreya Guest

    Default New to America:Request for Advice on Grand Canyon in December-Jan

    Hi
    I am planning to take my family- including my handicapped mother who is completely wheelchair bound- to Grand Canyon between December 25th and January 2nd. My questions are:

    1)What is the probability that the South Rim would be open?
    2)Does anyone have any historical knowledge on its accessibility and weather based on past experience?
    3) Any recommendations for any hotel or lodge?
    4)If one reserves through Xanterra right now, and if the park closes due to inclement weather, does one get a full refund?
    5)How many days on the average does it take to do significant spots of the SOuth Rim? Does the train and Glen n Dam motorboat normally work in this time?

    I understand things will vary every year based on a weather. All i am seeking is some information from experienced travellers on whether to even contemplate doing this trip from las vegas by road AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR WITH A HANDICAPPED PERSON or not?

    deeply grateful for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Grand Canyon in Winter

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Here's a LINK to the National Park's own planning page. Pay particular attention to the sections on climate (winter), and the tabs for weather and accessibility. The south rim is open year round and you can see the significant spots on the south rim in a day if the weather cooperates, but if it may take several days to get good weather. I was once there on a geologic field trip with students from China, and the disappointment was palpable when the canyon was fogged in. So, to ensure a worthwhile visit, I'd suggest scheduling three days or so. There are things to do, for example the Museum of Northern Arizona, if you need to wait for the weather to turn. The Grand Canyon Railway also runs year round. As for weather cancelation policies, you'll really need to contact each of the commercial entities directly. Hopefully some of our other members who have personal experience with the canyon in winter will chime in.

    AZBuck

  3. Default 40 years

    In over 40 years of visiting the Canyon regularly, during all seasons, I have never seen it close because of bad weather. Sometimes it takes a few hours to clear a road of snow, but that's about it. Winter is one of the BEST times to visit. Some of the pathways could be icy at times, which could make it difficult to get around in a chair, but there will be enough to do to keep you all busy. It will be cold (sometimes in the 10s or 20s farenheit, more likely 30s and 40s daytimes if the weather is nice), so be sure to take warm clothing.

    While any of the in-park lodges available through Xanterra are adequate, the first class experience is the El Tovar. For western "cowboy" cuisine (beef) at its finest, try the Arizona Room at the Bright Angel Lodge (if open). Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Wheelchair Adventurers

    Quote Originally Posted by athreya
    Hi
    I am planning to take my family- including my handicapped mother who is completely wheelchair bound- to Grand Canyon between December 25th and January 2nd.
    You will find that the national park system is committed to providing as much access to wheelchair visitors as they can. We also provide some resources on this topic here. Here is some information about the park's accessibility plan.
    4)If one reserves through Xanterra right now, and if the park closes due to inclement weather, does one get a full refund?
    I don't think Xanterra has EVER given refunds -- plus, like Moderator Bob has mentioned, the number of times the south rim has been totally closed in recent years, could be counted on one hand.
    I understand things will vary every year based on a weather. All i am seeking is some information from experienced travellers on whether to even contemplate doing this trip from las vegas by road AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR WITH A HANDICAPPED PERSON or not?
    Sure. Absolutely. It is probably much easier for her to travel now, than it would be in the extreme heat of summer.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-13-2005 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Added another link

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