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need info on Grand Canyon

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Feb 12, 2005
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We are leaving on vacation this week. We would like to tour the Grand Canyon on our way to Las Vegas. Does anyone have any tips? We plan to drive down on the east side and around the south edge enroute to Vegas. Thanks
The mule ride down into the canyon was a wonderful experience. Went down in the middle of a snowstorm, Feb I believe. Thought it wouldn't happen, but they go year round. Warmer down in the canyon. Stayed overnight and up the next day.
Sore rear. :oops: but great trip.
What route are you taking on the way there? There is a lot to see between IA and AZ.

Don't plan on doing a drive by sighting. Once you see that big ditch, you may want to just sit and contemplate the majesty of God for a while. We spent three days of our honeymoon at the El Tovar hotel and were fascinated by the changing aspects of the canyon through the day. ( Yes, we did see and hike the canyon at that time.) A few years ago, two of my sons did a rim to rim hike and the pictures and experience they brought back really changed them. Walking across it really makes you appreciate it.

Talked to a semi-retired neighbor who just came back from Arizona on Thursday, he said that the only thing not green in AZ this year are the rocks. He said it looks like the pictures of Ireland he has seen.
The route we were looking at, according to Map Quest, was to go through Denver, to Utah and down 191 to 160. If there is a better way, I'd appreciate it hearing. I just love the beauty nature has to offer, can't wait.
The problem I have found with mapquest is that it ignores the scenic roads and concentrates on the interstates.

Another way is to take I70 to Copper Mountain, take the road south to Leadville, the highest town in the USA at over 10,000 feet, then south to Buena Vista, Poncha Springs, then over Poncha Pass south to the San Luis Valley, and Monte Vista, or Del Norte and Hwy 160. Then over Wolf Creek Pass (remember the old CW McCall song of the same name?) through Pagosa Springs and Durango and the four corners, kids of all ages love to be in four states at the same time, then through the Navajo country, part of the painted desert and Monument Valley then to Tuba City and on to the Canyon. If the weather is good, it is a beautiful drive over the top of the highest peaks in Colorado. The view of the Sange de Cristo mountains over Poncha pass is something to enjoy, even though I see it several times a year on the drive to Denver.

Another way is Hwy 285 (takes off of C470 on the west side of Denver) to Fairplayand South Park, then on to Buena Vista and south. Check the hwy reports, if the wind is blowing in South Park and there is a ground blizzard, look for an alternate route.

You can also take I25 south to Walsenburg to hwy 160 and head west. Of course you have to put up with front range drivers and traffic through Colorado Springs and Pueblo, but once south of Pueblo, it is not to bad. Seeing I25 and the population concentration slong the front rance puts the plight of the people on the plains and over and in the mountains in perspective. At least this time of year you will be beating the KS, OK and TX rvers who drive slow and take up the whole road.

The route depends on how much you want to see and time. It will be about the same amount of time, no matter which way you take, even the mapquest route will take the same amount of time.

Questions? Let me know.
Thanks so much for the directions!!! Going over Copper Mountain sounds good to me. Do we have any reason to be concerned going that way this time of the year?
You just have to watch the weather. If it is snowing, as it is as I write this at 6:10pm on Monday, it could be a difficult drive no matter which way you go. All the roads in CO can change in a matter of an hour this time of year. However this storm is supposed to move your way in the next 24 hours and it is supposed to be clearing for the rest of the week. It is a beautiful drive following a snowstorm, be sure you have sunglasses.

Any other questions, just post.
Thanks for the info. We'll let you know how we turned out when we get back.

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