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Grand Canyon vacation

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We want to go here this spring without breaking the bank. Any ideas or links to places to stay? Special places to see etc?


We don't have any camping equipment but might be able to borrow some. Ideally we'd like to find a relatively cheap but decent hotel, but not sure if that's possible there.



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We camped at the South Rim and stayed in a cabin in the park on the North Rim. It was really cold to be camping even in June when we were there. Sedona and Flagstaff have hotels near the South Rim. Sedona was a beautiful town with lots of red clay formations.


Our cabin on the North Rim was for just dh and I. I don't know if they have bigger cabins or not. There is a hotel inside the park as well and not anywhere to stay outside the park.


I had always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon and it was so incredible.


The glass platform that sticks out was further west than where we were.


Have fun!

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No advice on hotels but we camped there last October... and FROZE! It dipped down to 21 degrees during the night. If you decide to camp bring your warmest clothes to sleep in. During the day we only wore very light jackets over t-shirts.

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We were at the south rim in September and it was COLD!!!! We had to go buy more sweatshirts. We stayed about an hour away in Williams, AZ. It was a little dive Best Western and we paid around $150 for it. But, we just needed it for one night and then we went and hiked all day. We left and drove to Sedona that night.


I'd have liked more time at the Grand Canyon. But, it's what we could do!

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The Grand Canyon is such an amazing place!


The lodges within the park are nice, and of course, some are cheaper than others. I can personally recommend the Yavapai Lodge. There is a wonderful cafeteria onsite at Yavapai, as well as a nice grocery and deli. The campground is also nice, but I would guess that springtime temps would be too cold for camping. Have you thought about mid to latter June? The temps are much better for camping then. If camping in springtime is the only option for you price-wise, I would suggest to find good sleeping bags for the chilly weather. Borrow from friends or scour thrift shops for these. I can usually find Coleman or better quality in my local thrift shop.


If you do decide on a hotel, then I would again, strongly suggest staying inside the park. You would waste too much time going back and forth to the out-lying towns to make it worthwhile. YMMV, though.


Take as much food/snacks as possible. There is a Walmart in Flagstaff and a nice grocery next-door in a shopping center to stock up on supplies before heading into the park.


The shuttle buses are all free inside the park. Take a daypack-type backpack for touring around during the day. Make sure to buy batteries and what-not for cameras and any electronics before entering the park, as they are $$$ at the store there. Make sure to pack some chapstick or other lip balm and sunscreen. Take a good star chart for night sky viewing. The view is amazing there!


Let the kids try the Junior Ranger program for a free activity. They can earn a badge, and you can then buy a patch for ~$1.50 or so. It will be hard to pass up the ice cream shop on the rim without having a scoop. The gift shops can be very enticing! Bring a copy of Brighty of the Grand Canyon, and read it aloud on the drive. Wear shoes with a good tread. The path along the rim is narrow. Take empty water bottles and fill them at the *watering hole* just before the descent down the rim trail. Beef jerky and oranges are good snacks for the trail. Pack some kind of hat for everyone, as the sun is intense. I bought several *hiking quality* clothing items at various thrift stores. We took flashlights and bandannas and kept a jacket rolled up in our daypack.


Try to spend a bit of time in the porch swings and rocking chairs on the wrap-around of the El Tovar Lodge. The view from there is amazing, and it is a peaceful respite---free, too!


If I think of more, I will post later. Have fun!


Editing, as just checking some random dates....


* Maswik Lodge ----- $92 for a 2 Queen room

* Yavapai Lodge----- $120 for a 2 Queen room


Both of these lodges have cafeteria-style dining. Call Xanterra for reservations at 1-888-29-PARKS. I have found from experience that the phone reservation system has more availability than what is shown online. I have also found last-minute availability by calling the reservation number. I even saw some people getting rooms on the spot at the check-in desk.


The Yavapai rooms have a fridge and coffee maker. I think the Maswik rooms may as well. We took packets of instant mashed potatoes, instant refried beans, hot chocolate, powdered milk for reconstituting (NIDO brand), fruit, instant oatmeal and other lightweight foods. I studied on a hiking forum to know how to dress and what foods to carry before making the trip.


The cinnamon rolls in the cafeteria will tempt you greatly. (Ask me how I know.....)


The America the Beautiful Pass might be a cheaper option for getting into the GCNP. There are many other sights to see and various national monuments within driving distance.

Edited by Poke Salad Annie
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You're welcome. :)


We spent three nights there, and were very sad to leave. I could have stayed a week! :D


I forgot to note that there is a nice washeteria in the campground which we used for washing our clothes. I think the showers for the campground are pay showers. I don't remember the price, but they are located in the washeteria building. I'm not sure of the price of the campsites, but I think they were ~$18 a night or so. If you can assemble all of the needed supplies, it would make for a very cheap trip!


The campground is walking distance to the Yavapai Lodge area at which the cafeteria and general store/post office are located.


Be aware that the gift shops have some very cool stuff to buy. Just so you know....


Forgot to add....The bus system goes all the way to the campground, so you will be fine to get around the park if you are camping. Take a camera. The wildlife is everywhere! We saw elk on the lawn of the Thunderbird Lodge while we were walking along the rim sidewalks! (Can you tell that we miss it and want to go back?)

Edited by Poke Salad Annie
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