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Old 05-02-2014, 09:49 AM   #1
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Grand Canyon ?

What is a good time of year to visit the canyon? Will be coming from NC are there any roads to avoid?


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Old 05-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #2
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Well that depends on whether you like big crowds. We always went the 1st of September when the kids were back in school. The weather is still great that time of the year. There were still plenty of people but much less then when summer vacation travels are going on. As far as roads to avoid I can't think of any that create a problem. We have never been to the North side so can't really comment on conditions there. Good luck and have a great time. If you've never been there get ready for something unbelievable. It's something amazing to see.

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Old 05-02-2014, 01:46 PM   #3
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Hi jettyjock,
Spring (late April - May) or Fall (after Labor Day through Halloween) are the times when there are enough people (adults) to make one comfortable. Fear no roads. All are okay for a coach and toad. Depending on where else you are going, camping near I40 or the canyon is a choice you need to make. For me, I camp along or near I40 and drive the toad to the canyon.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:38 PM   #4
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Rick, those recommended times are right. Be aware the north rim is higher elevation, less crowded, and will close earlier than the south rim due to cold weather in the fall. I camped with a 45 ft. Rig at the south rim, which I recommend. They have programs in the evening and sunsets make a great photo op, so being in the park allows you to go home for dinner and go out in the evening for these events. Hard to do that if you're camped down on I-40.
But if you're coming from that far, make plans to see the Utah Parks. Google "Grand Circle". They are equally spectacular.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:39 PM   #5
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There is a nice campground just inside the park at the south rim. It's called Trailer Village and is run by Xanterra. It's tough to get a reservation there, but the campground is in the park and the park shuttle that stops there. Very convenient and can handle big rigs.

If they're full, Camper Village, about a half mile outside the south entrance is a good place to stay and they always have spots. Camper Village is located just behind the main street store fronts and you can walk to restaurants and stores.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:12 PM   #6
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Don's memory is better than mine. Trailer Village IS NOT on your GPS, so get very detailed instructions as you enter the gate. I like to look at Google maps for access roads, etc. BEFORE I get to a CG, but didn't in this case. For those who have been there I had to do a "youie" just as you get to that first parking lot at the rim's edge. A stupid sign was in the wrong location, forcing me to back up a ft. Or two, which damaged my toad and coach. AND...I had every non-US citizen visitor pointing a camera at this idiot trying to U-turn a house.

The other thing I remember about this and many of those parks in the area was the diversity of foreign languages we encountered. Where were the rest of the US population? Felt almost like we were visitors to a foreign park!
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:36 AM   #7
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We were just there in March. Stayed at Trailer Village on the south rim. The north rim was still closed for winter. No problem getting reservations and the campground was not full. Rigs were rolling in without reservations during this time. It was a good time to visit the park as the tourists had not arrived in mass numbers. However, I was informed by the park staff that beginning April the park would be full of tourists and reservations would definitely be required.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:47 AM   #8
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We visited the south rim this past January. A little chilly, but no crowds, plenty of room in the camp grounds, etc., etc.

Instead of taking the road directly north into the park, we went north on US 89 from Flag, then west on AZ 64 into the east entry to GCNP. Nice drive.

Oh, and Trailer City does show on Google Maps.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:42 AM   #9
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We've been to the canyon in summer & winter. No matter when it's beautiful. Everyone gets pic's of the sunsets, but get up early for the sunrise too. I think some of my best shots were in winter with the snow layered down the sides of the canyon.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:13 PM   #10
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All roads are RV-friendly to the Grand Canyon - both South Canyon and North Canyon. We're been often to both.

Here the park's official website to get a lot of information:

Operating Hours & Seasons - Grand Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

If your time is flexible it's definitely best to avoid June thru August as that's when the summer crowds will be there. However, even the off-seasons will have lots of people. If it's your first time visit I would suggest the South Rim because there is a lot more to do. You can easily spend 4-5 nights there. Take advantage of some of the excellent ranger programs and definitely walk down the Bright Angel Trail if only for a very short distance. You'll get the real feel of the canyon once you go below the rim. It's also recommended that you stay IN the park itself and Trailer Village is the RV park if you want hookups. There are also a couple dry campgrounds.

If you stay in Williams and ride the train as many will recommend, we think it's a boring way to get to the canyon - through open sagebrush. Once there you only have a few hours for touring the canyon. But that's just our opinion.

The North Rim is open typically from May 15 to Oct 15 because it's a higher elevation and much cooler. It's very intimate compared to the South Rim so if you want a quiet experience, go there. We love it. Inside the North Rim is a dry campground. Just outside the main gate is DeMotte National Forest campground - a beauty in Sept. with the aspens aglow. There are forest service roads going both direction near DeMotte and there's plenty of excellent boondocking if you'd like.

Visiting the Canyon you will be very close to the awesome southern Utah national parks so make plans to visit them, also. - Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef. Have fun planning your trip!
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
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I've been to the Grand Canyon summer -fall- and was there 2-1-14
It is always awesome. This last February I got a permit to walk to the bottom. Stayed all night at the bottom and walked out the next day. One of the neatest things I ever done in my life. Easy to get a walk up permit in February. Not so easy other times of the year.

Trailer Village is a great place to camp


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