So here it is. I?m from PA and I want to take an ?adventure vacation? to the Grand Canyon. I also want to visit an Indian reservation or two. Maybe a donkey ride to the bottom. I want the ?locals? opinion, not the opinion of some tourist site. I am posting in both the Arizona and Utah chartrooms.
I can hang pretty well, but the wife and kids may not enjoy roughing it too much. We wave gone camping, but nothing too extreme. They are NOT high maint (i.e. no make-up and curling iron), but the wife does NOT like peeing in the wild!
My dream is to rent a jeep, go offroading and camping for a few days (remember in dreams, jeeps can carry camping gear and enough food and water for a few days), check out the stars on a nice clear desert night, and not get lost. And in this dream there is a porta-potty every place we go.
I guess even a campground that rented ATV?s for the day would be nice!
So my questions are:
1. Is the North or South rim of the Grand Canyon better?
2. What are the best vistas?
3. What are the best reservations to visit (I want to be educated (but not in a depressing sorta way) AND entertained (but not in a casino sort of way)?
4. Do you know any good rental places to check out?
5. How about good campgrounds?
6. Am I insane for even thinking this is a good idea?
How is she going to get from the top to bottom without peeing in the wild? I read a book about people that died in the Grand Canyon, watch out for the hot without plenty of water. Young kids might not be able to do what you want because of the dangers. Explore all options. Rent a RV is an option
If you've never been to a place as remote as the Grand Canyon and Navaho Indian lands, then you could be over your head in a hurry, especially if your only camping experience is "civilized" camping. Just about everything is rustic out there. And if your wife doesn't like "peeing in the wild", I hope she doesn't mind the fact that a lot of campgrounds are "primitive", with pit toilets (fancy word for "outhouses")!
Water is going to be your biggest concern. You'll need lots of it and the places to get it can be few and far between. I agree with the post above this...you might want to consider renting an RV. You could even fly out there and rent one.
I agree with the above posters on renting an RV. It sounds like you're going to be in Northern Arizona. The Hualapai and Havasupai reservations are the closest to the Grand Canyon (and the Havasu Falls area is one of the most beautiful places in the world) but I'd recommend taking a trip East to the Navajo and Hopi land if your family isn't into roughing it.
Both sides of the Grand Canyon are amazing. Access is better to the South Rim and it is mroe developed but it is also more crowded.
If you're going to be in Northern Arizona, I'd suggest swinging down to Sedona for the day. Amazingly beautiful country. Also, if you want to grab a really good local brew, the Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff is great. We have some awesome breweries in Southern Arizona as well but that one is my favorite.
Thanks to all for the replies! Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. Work has blocked the site (I don't know why?). I will STRONGLY consider flying/RV rental, it may be the best option! I am thinking the donkey ride to the bottom will be on the list of things to do, so the 'pee in the wild' thing will be on the wife's list of things to do...
I recently visited Canyon de Chelly in NE Arizona. I have been all over the southwest (and the country) and visited many beautiful places, and this ranks in my ttop 5 in terms of raw beauty, cultura l interest, and uniqueness. VERY remote, but well worth the journey. there is a very nice campground and hotel in the park.
My 2 cents on a few of the replies in this thread:
1. p-saurus mentioned the Beaver Street Brewery. I agree, it has some excellent brews.
2. If you hit Sedona, there is a very nice campground called Cave Spring that is about 20 minutes up Oak Creek Canyon. Also in Sedona...another excellent brewery - Oak Creek Brewery. Try the Nut Brown.
3. kdjose beat me to the post about Canyon de Chelly. I would HIGHLY recommend this. The best bet is to rent a Jeep and hire a guide for a trip into the canyon. Without a guide you are mostly limited to vistas from above the rim. The Cottonwood Campground right at the entrance to Canyon de Chelly is very nice (and free, I believe) with about the cleanest restrooms I've ever seen in a campground.
4. I've always heard that the north rim of the Grand Canyon is excellent, but I haven't been there (yet). In my opinion, the south rim is crowded to a fault, although still very impressive. I don't have any experience with any campground right at the canyon.