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GCNP Itinerary Check

Jacksonville...
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GCNP Itinerary Check

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.

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

I just completed a 6000 mile road trip,but your plan is wearing me out.

Commuting from a base in Munds Park s a bad idea IMO. I know you probably got a smokin' deal on the rental, but your driving plans are way too aggressive. Trying to visit both NR and SR in such a short time is a mistake too.

It might be too late, but to me the value of the time saved by staying at the SR or the NR and Sedona would more than offset the difference in cost of accommodations.

If you can get that second night at the NR, take it. Then go straight to Sedona and stay there. Skipping the SR would not be so bad in this case, but it's still slot of driving and cramming too much into too little time.

South Jersey, USA
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2. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

Definitely choose between the rims instead of trying to do both! Just not enough time for you to do this.

Did you try calling the South Rim direct for accommodations? You may be surprised by what's available....888-297-2757 If you can't secure lodging there then take the second night at North Rim and focus your time there. Don't wait to long or that lodging at NR will be gone!

You could more then likely drive right to either rim that first day. Unless there is a specific reason why you are staying in Flagstaff I would drop it for in park accommodations and save yourself the time!

Enjoy

SJG

Chattanooga...
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3. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

Many years ago my wife and I stayed a week in Flagstaff and made a couple day trips to the South Rim, including one in which we got up at 4AM so I could be on the trail at 6AM. My wife should have achieved instant sainthood for that!

Flagstaff is a nice town, I wouldn't mind living there, but you're gonna do an awful lot of driving with this plan. With one night at North Rim already booked and another possible, you might still do a NR-SR loop, but that leaves little time for Sedona.

If you can get out of your Flagstaff reservation and make reservations at NR, SR (or Tusayan) and/or Sedona, you could do this with a lot less time spent in the car. Put it's still a bit of a push.

Edited: 26 July 2011, 14:32
Sedona, AZ
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4. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

Just to be clear, Munds Park is not Flagstaff. It will be about a half hour commute, just to get to Flagstaff. Add an hour or more from there to GCNP SR and several hours to the NR. Even Sedona is an hour away from Munds Park.

Jacksonville...
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5. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

Thanks for your quick replies. Thanks for confirming what I thought was turning out to be an unachievable itinernary. I realize that Munds Park is south of Flag and is right about 2 hrs. to GCNP SR. I put the cart before the horse on this, thinking I needed to get lodging, in one place and that I could make my itinerary from there. I now realize that was a mistake.

I'm calling the vacation rental landlord to see if they will allow me to drop a few days, but they may not. If so, I'll work to get GCNP lodging by calling for NR (add to one day reservation I have) or SR and cancelling my one day NR reservation. If not, I'll have to home base from MP and drive in to SR only; would probably do SR on Thursday and maybe Saturday (to spread out the long drives), with Sedona and Flag hikes in between.

I'll know better for next time. I'm confident this will be only a taste of GC for us, not the last hoorah. We will be back for a rim-to-rim hike in the near future (and not in August).

Jacksonville...
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6. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

Great news...I was able to free up the first two nights from the rental (Weds and Thurs). Not that you need a play by play, but I'm pretty excited about being able to somewhat fix my error and end up with some good time in GCNP. I will diligently call for SR and NR accomodations for the 5 of us for those first two nights. Unfortunately, my North Rim reservation for Friday night won't help.

Jacksonville...
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7. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

With three calls today, I was able to reserve a room for 5 for two nights at Maswik Lodge North (w/ A/C). Call 1 - nothing available, call 2 - 1 night, call 3 - added 2nd night. I was patient, just like you said I should be, and it paid off.

I kept 3 nights in MP and we will stay in the Sedona and Flag areas for hiking and activities during those couple days.

Thanks for your kind coaxing which got me to fix my predicament. While our current set up may not be ideal (should have stayed in Sedona, not MP), we'll be able to make it work with a little driving.

I hope its okay if I ask a few questions when I firm up my itinerary some more.

Thanks again for everyone's help.

Sedona, AZ
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8. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

Good job.

9. Re: GCNP Itinerary Check

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