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Grand Canyon in Feb??

Andar

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My sis and I are thinking of taking a road trip from Northern Ca. to the Grand Canyon. She has never been and it has been 35 years since I was there.

We would have to break up the driving stopping in San Diego to visit her son.

Where should we stay in AZ? It doesn't look like there are any TS close by. The Hotel Tov is way out of our price -even in winter.
She doesn't like to do bus tours (I would do that rather than drive).

Help, these two siblings may wind up like Thelma and Louise if we don't get some ideas we can both agree to.:doh:

Thanks for any suggestions you may have on nice hotels, things not to miss, etc.
 

DaveNV

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Stopping in San Diego on the way from Northern California to the Grand Canyon is one heck of a side trip!

Having said that, from SD to GC will require getting up to I-40 and heading East, or heading East from SD on I-8 to AZ and heading North from there. Numerous other routes are also an option, such as I-10, if you want to deal with East LA traffic. Either route, it's still a LONG drive from SD.

You might consider staying in one of the other hotels inside GC park. There are several to choose from, and not all are as pricey as El Tovar. The Xanterra website can give you availability and pricing: http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/

There are also numerous motels right outside the Park, and Flagstaff isn't that far away. Sedona is a bit further South from there, and the drive from I-40 down Oak Creek Canyon into Sedona is quite scenic.

I was just in Sedona, Flagstaff, and GC in October. I'd recommend staying inside the park if you can, so you can see the sunrise. It's worth every minute and extra layer of clothing you can muster. We stayed overnight in the park at Yavapai Lodge. It was fine for one night, in a motel kind of way.

Hope this helps. Have a great trip!

Dave
 

Andar

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Hmmm, thanks for the insight Dave. I guess I just assumed we would head south and then go east.

Which timeshares are the closest? Could we make one of them a 'home base' and then stay in the Canyon a night?

What do we not want to miss in the area.

As you can tell I know nothing of the area and when you look at maps, I feel like someone from the east thinking they can do S.F. and Disneyland in the same day:eek:
 

DaveNV

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Rick's post above has a link to a TS in Flagstaff. That sounds like it might work for you. The drive to the GC from there is about 90 minutes, as I recall. It'd certainly serve as a base camp if you'll be in the area several days.

If I was going to stay several days in the area, I'd stay in Sedona. It's only about 30 mins south of Flagstaff, and there are a lot of cool things to see and do there. There are also lots of TS choices there. Visiting Flagstaff for a day of exploring would be fine, too, but there isn't likely to be all that much to do there in February. Plus, Flagstaff is at a higher elevation that Sedona, and it can be pretty windy there.

Search the threads here about staying in or near the Grand Canyon. There are lots of them, and much more information than I can recall, or recommend. Do your research for things that appeal to you - there is plenty to see and do in and around the park. Armed with a good map, reliable car, and proper clothing, and you should have a great time there.

One thing inside GC not to miss: The Desert Watchtower at the East end of the Park is a multi-storey stone round building with incredible views down into the canyon. But the inside of the building is maybe even more interesting than what's outside. The climb to the top is worth it.

Have a fun time!

Dave
 

Andar

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Armed with a good map, reliable car, and proper clothing, and you should have a great time there.

Have a fun time!

Dave
Thanks Dave, my DD calls my TOM TOM the Dumb Dumb, I live in warms weather clothes and oh yeah, can I borrow your BMW? I think there was an autocross/drifting event in LV about the same time:hysterical:

Rick, thanks for the link we wil check that out.
 

applegirl

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The canyon is great any time of year! It will be cold though.

If you are looking to save money on your accomodation, I would recommend the small town of Williams on I-40. It's called the gateway to the Grand Canyon and has many, many hotels to choose from. The drive to the canyon is about 45 minutes, a very easy drive. Plenty close enough to take a nice long day trip to the canyon. I would also highly recommend having lunch at the El Tovar. The dining room is special and the food is very good and while not cheap, it's not crazy prices either. The walk along the edge of the canyon right there in front of El Tovar is a nice time too, something to do after lunch where you can also get ice cream! Oh, it's Feb, never mind.

Anyway, good luck! Sounds like a really fun trip.

Janna
 

Toughbeat

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If you have the time, I agree with Dave about staying in Sedona. The drive through Oak Creek from Flagstaff to Sedona is definitely a great experience. Sedona also has great weather yr round as it is in a lower elevaion than Flagstaff. I remember one March when it was 30 degrees in Flagstaff and 80 in Sedona!

The Flagstaff area besides the GC north of it, has a few National Parks within a 30 min drive. Painted Desert, Meteor Crater, the rest escape me for now. In the Sedona area you have Montezuma's Castle nearby. The red rock formations in Sedona are unique to it's region and are incredibly beautiful. Just a short 20 min drive away is the town of Clarkdale, where you can take a wonderfully scenic 2 hr rd trip train ride through some cliffs/mountains only accessible by train. You'll see some eagle nesting areas too! If you can afford it, I'd recommend the first class option as this includes a very good buffet style breakfast...(the crepes are great), and the couch seating is more comfortable.

If you continue another 10-15 mins up from Clarkdale, you'll find the town of Jerome atop Cleopatra Hill. It's an old mining town with lots of cool shops and restaurants. Very much worth it to take this side trip.

Ok, I talked myself into it....I gotta go back to Sedona soon!:)


Enjoy your trip.
 
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Andar

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If you have the time, I agree with Dave about staying in Sedona. The drive through Oak Creek from Flagstaff to Sedona is definitely a great experience. Sedona also has great weather yr round as it is in a lower elevaion than Flagstaff. I remember one March when it was 30 degrees in Flagstaff and 80 in Sedona!

The Flagstaff area besides the GC north of it, has a few National Parks within a 30 min drive. Painted Desert, Meteor Crater, the rest escape me for now. In the Sedona area you have Montezuma's Castle nearby. The red rock formations in Sedona are unique to it's region and are incredibly beautiful. Just a short 20 min drive away is the town of Clarkdale, where you can take a wonderfully scenic 2 hr rd trip train ride through some cliffs/mountains only accessible by train. You'll see some eagle nesting areas too! If you can afford it, I'd recommend the first class option as this includes a very good buffet style breakfast...(the crepes are great), and the couch seating is more comfortable.

If you continue another 10-15 mins up from Clarkdale, you'll find the town of Jerome atop Cleopatra Hill. It's an old mining town with lots of cool shops and restaurants. Very much worth it to take this side trip.

Ok, I talked myself into it....I gotta go back to Sedona soon!:)

Enjoy your trip.
What is the reasonable driving time from Sedona to GC?
 

ricoba

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While I really like Sedona, that's why I suggested Flagstaff as your base, since it sits between Sedona and the GC.
 

applegirl

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Driving time to the canyon:

Tusayan 10 minutes (there are hotels here too, will cost more $$)

Williams 45 minutes

Flagstaff almost 2 hours

Sedona at least 3 hours, Oak Creek Canyon is slow and windy. In winter this would make me very nervous, if it's open!

You don't want the drive to be a major part of your day. I'd still recommend Williams.

Janna
 

Charlie D.

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I’ll throw out another “possibility”. The family wanted to work in a trip to the Grand Canyon on our way from San Diego back to Oklahoma. An individual I had met in San Diego said he did a lot of gambling in Laughlin, NV and got us an unbelievable deal at one of the casinos there. I think two adjoining motel rooms on the top floor were something like $70 for both of them. My wife and daughter blew $20 each in the casino while the grandkids and I did some swimming. We didn’t get out of San Diego until noon and got to Laughlin well before dark (in June).

We left the next morning and drove to the Grand Canyon, goofed off there for 3-4 hours, drove to Flagstaff to spend the next night. Drove down through Oak Creek Canyon and then headed for home. Mapquest says it is about three and a half hours from Laughlin to the Grand Canyon. I am not into gambling myself but that casino (I think it was the Flamingo) sure had nice facilities (buffet to kill for) and both rooms cost just a little more than what we were going to have to pay for one of the rooms at a Super 8 in Kingman, AR.

Charlie D.
 

Andar

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OMG, so many options. :shrug:
I know it will be a long drive for us, but if we can break it up and stop somewhere interesting, it will be worth it.

It sounds like Williams might be out best bet to be close to the Canyon. We will have to have lunch at Hotel Toval as so many recommended it.

Sis is more of a one or two night stay and move on, type person. I like to have a home base and go out from there.

I used to a have a link of weird roadside attractions that someone had posted on this site. Does anyone remember that?
 

Htoo0

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I skimmed through pretty quick and it seems like you're certainly going to the south rim. But just in case anyone else considers it, the north rim is closed this time of year.
 

Neesie

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Another vote for Sedona!

I agree Flagstaff may be centrally located to both GC and Sedona but I'd rather spend more time in Sedona and make the GC a day trip. I recall some saying, forget where I read it: Sedona is the like the Grand Canyon's younger, prettier sister.

There are so many activities, places to stay and eat in Sedona. And it's one of the prettiest locations I've ever been.:whoopie:
 
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