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?
If visiting Utah a few things need to be Known
1- How much time will you have?
2- Travel by car, Plane or Train?
If coming from the East by car come up through New Mexico up to the Indian Ruins North East Corner. Then you have to decide weather to go up Through Colorado, or Arizona. Colorado is good for Mesa Verde National Park Then Up Through South East Utah This area is full of things to see to many to list.
If up through Arizona Also much to see and also to much to list but I have been both ways and both are worth seeing and would take the same amount of time.
Utah is a fun place to live in as one doesn't have to drive far to see something new.
Arizona is much the same much to see and always changing
a trip out west is one of a lifetime trip however once visited you will always continue coming back.
I'm originally from Utah and now live in Pottstown PA. We went to UT this summer on vacation and had a blast. We went down south and stayed by Brian Head ski resort. If you are in to the national parks you can rent a jeep and there is a cool jeep road to get over to Zion National Park from the same canyon. Over all it was an amazing trip and I would do it all over again. If you need more details PM me and I'll hook you up.
It sounds like the OP might might like Moab a little bit more. Its a huge playground of sorts, with stuff for everyone to do. A couple wineries, several breweries, hotels with nice pools, good food...and that's all just the in-town part.
Out of town, there are hundreds of trails that one can take a Jeep on, with varying levels of difficulty. Some are technical and extremely challenging, and others are just long dirt/rock roads. Camping along the way is definitely possible! Some might even have pit toilets too, depending on what you chose.
As far as the Grand Canyon goes, the North Rim of the National Park is a beautiful place to visit. It is utterly spectacular- the views, the lodge, the temperatures in the heat of summer (warm days/cool nights in summer!). You can also visit the south rim as well, but it is a few hundred mile detour to get around the canyon, or ~22ish mile hike down the Bright Angel trail and up to the south rim. The south rim has more amenities than the north, and is more spacious, but it is also further away, depending on where you're coming from.
Riding into the canyon on mule is possible from the south rim, if I remember right. I don't know about the north, but there are mule trains that run all the way to the bottom regularly to service Phantom Ranch. If you have the opportunity to do so, hiking rim to rim is breathtaking (literally and figuratively). The view from the middle and then the bottom of the canyon is quite different! If not hiking rim to rim, taking a mule train down and up would also be pretty fun, I imagine. There is even lodging at Phantom Ranch, if you schedule it far enough in advance.
If it were me, I would recommend hitting Moab for the jeep stuff, mountain biking stuff, and to see all the redrock, then driving out to the North Rim of the GC and staying there a bit and having a mule tour down into the canyon.
If u go to Moab u can rent 4 wheelers / rhino's and modified Jeeps at cliffhangerjeeprental.com good guys, I highly recommend them. We've taken their rhinos up tip over challenge on hells revenge. Which took a few very scary attempts lol..
The grand canyon is awesome! I think there is more to do on the south rim.