Is 4 days enough to see the Grand Canyon from LA in January?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Sep 16, 2012 9:00 AM Last Post By: amethyst86
Sep 9, 2012 1:16 PM
Is 4 days enough to see the Grand Canyon from LA in January?I am a 26 y/o solo female Aussie, who will be heading home after a stay in Guatemala in January. I have to fly through LA and would love to take the chance to see the Grand Canyon.
Would 4 days in California be enough time to make it worthwhile?
And I can't seem to find any tours running in January; I would love one that incorporated Las Vegas as well.
I need to fly out from LA in Jan 13th.
Any tips welcome!! Thankyou so much
Sep 9, 2012 1:56 PM
Sep 9, 2012 2:17 PM
2Here's the train schedule between LA and Flagstaff.
Arrive in Flagstaff sometime between 4:30 and 6:30 AM. (Train schedules are notoriously 'flexible')
Then jump on a local shuttle bus which leaves from the train station at 7:45 AM.
Amtrak may be able to book this for you(?)
Arrive at GC, head for your reserved room, and take a well deserved nap!
As Carracar says, getting to/from Vegas with public transport (in a timely manner) will be hard.
If you must see Vegas, renting a car from LA is the most flexible way to do so.
Zip to Vegas for a day or so before heading out to GC for at least one night.
Sep 9, 2012 3:30 PM
Sep 9, 2012 8:33 PM
4If you go to Vegas, you can get a helicopter into the Grand Canyon. Just did it a month ago, you will land in the canyon near the colarado river, we had some champagne and snacks, then flew back to Vegas, it was approx $375US. It suited us as we didn't fancy driving hour after hour through desert.
Sep 10, 2012 12:18 AM
5#4: While you technically flew into the Grand Canyon, you did not go anywhere near Grand Canyon National Park, and missed the deepest and most colorful portions of the gorge. That $375 would pay for a rental car, park entrance and a couple nights hotel at the South Rim. I mean, if that was what the OP wanted - i.e. to spend a bit of time in the National Park and see a few things.
You have several basic itinerary options that might work. If you're more interested in Vegas and see Grand Canyon as quick diversion, then getting to Vegas via plane or bus and taking a trip similar to #4's suggestion would work, easily. If you're mainly interested in GC and willing to pass up Vegas, take the train to Flagstaff and shuttle from there. Or, if flexibility is more important, rent a car in LA, and drive straight to GC on interstate 40. Detour to Vegas, or not, along the way. You'll have a hard time doing much in Vegas or GC if you try to see them both with only 4 days out of LA.
Since you're an Aussie arriving via Guatemala, keep in mind that it can be COLD at Flagstaff and Grand Canyon in January. highs in 40s F are typical, with lows in the teens F - although it can easily be 20 degrees colder than that if you get a cold snap. Snow is common, and can come in buckets at times. Or, it can be crisp and clear and beautiful. But be aware that decidedly non-tropical weather will be the norm.
Sep 10, 2012 4:26 AM
6Flagstaff to Las Vegas: Greyhound bus, 5 1/2 hours with no change of bus, or about 3 hours flying on a scheduled airline, with a change of planes in Phoenix (Expedia showed US Airways as cheapest). Amtrak shows train to Kingman and then bus to Vegas, but gets to LV at 3 a.m. (not that Vegas would be dead at that hour).
I'd certainly put a priority on the GC and definitely go to the park, not just a chopper ride to the West Rim area. Idea of flying to Las Vegas and then driving to the GC, either South Rim or North Rim, is a good idea.
Sep 10, 2012 4:41 AM
7We had a very tight time frame a few years back so flew to Vegas, then did a one day tour to the GC with Scenic Airlines. We picked this trip because it landed near to the rim, then out us on a bus, and gave us a few hours seeing the GC, before flying back to Vegas, avoiding the 5 hour drive each way, but giving us an aerial view, and the up close view from the lookouts. You could combine this with an actual day in Vegas on a 2 day trip. However this is not cheap - you're up for an air fare to vegas, then $200-$300 for the GC day trip. This would then allow you another day or 2 in LA.
Sep 10, 2012 9:03 AM
Sep 10, 2012 3:11 PM
9Option 1 -
Fly LAX to LAS, rent a car in LAS, drive to GC, do the reverse to get back to LA on time.
Option 2 -
Rent a car in LA, do a straight shot to GC (~8 hours), stop by LV on the way back.
Option 2 is nice, because:
- you're not tied to an airline's schedule=more flexibility
- driving LAX to LAS is ~5 hours. Flying is probably 30 minutes, but once you add on transit time to/from both airports, check in times, security, flight delays, etc, it could easily total 4 hours point to point (of course traffic could be a concern when driving, so factor that in)
If you have the energy (you're 26, why wouldn't you?), then I'd personally avoid doing any tours. LA to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon are easy enough without much planning. Just pick up a map and go!
Sep 16, 2012 9:00 AM
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