First, you guys are awesome! I have learned so much about GC in my short time researching for our upcoming trip. Conference in Vegas starting Mon 8/15/11. 5 traveling - my wife and I and her sister, our two kids - 13 and 11. All fit and healthy and enjoy hiking. I booked everything only 3 weeks ago, so I didn't even try to get lodging at SR. To my surprise I got lodging on NR just now, even though I already have a vacation rental for the whole 5 nights.
How does the beginnings of our itinerary look? I'm particularly concerned about our South Rim, North Rim plans - will driving work the way we have it, or should we try to drive straight to NR on day 1? I
WEDS 8/10 - 11am arrive in Vegas (from Florida) - drive to Munds Park (MP) vacation rental house (just S of Flag). Bed early.
THURS - 3:30am, or only 6:30EST :) - drive to GC South Rim for sunrise - Yavaipai point since we can drive to it, or should we park and walk to Grandview Point? We'll be short on time to make it.
After sunrise - eat breakfast (probably bring our own) - hike 2 miles down Brigth Angel Trail (~4.5 hrs.)
Perhaps rent bikes to get around mid-day; short hikes
Leave before sunset to get back early
FRI - leave fairly early (not 3:30 though) - drive to North Rim, including all the appropriate stops - arrive mid-day and attempt to check in to GC Lodge early; couple moderate hikes; Condor talk at 4:30; sunset on the patio or near rim.
***I just got a reservation for GC Lodge - North Rim - Rim-Side Pioneer Cabin - There were rooms available Thursday night too, should I switch and drive straight in to NR? I could ask my vacation rental to drop that day, though they probably won't.
SAT - rise early, quick hike?, checkout and drive back to MP, perhaps hike near Flag, drive to Sedona for evening (Red Rock Scenic Byway?), or just relax
SUN - Sedona - hikes - lava river cave, cathedral rock, slide rock - may skip the pink jeep tour and hike instead, though it might be a nice ride if we're tired; sunset in Sedona; drive back to MP
MON - leave mid-morning to return to Vegas
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I originally thought we could start on SR on Thurs, drive up to NR and then drive back to Munds Park in the same day. I guess I was thinking back to our Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park trip. Then I saw is 4 hours from NR to MP.