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Unread 11-29-2013, 08:22 PM   #16
trivialy
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I am a rather experienced off-road driver on this side of the pond and I will likely visit the US next summer. I was wondering whether it is feasible and reasonable to land in Phoenix, rent a jeep for a couple of weeks, explore the Grand Canyon (perhaps with a guide?) and return the vehicle at San Francisco international airport before flying back to Europe.

Would off-road driving be allowed in the US on a European driving license? What about insurance on a rental car? Am I allowed to go off-road on it at all? I guess the answer to this last one is "it depends on the company and policy", so here is another question: what rent-a-car company would you recommend for such a plan?

Should it be relevant, I will be travelling with my wife, who is a great fan of camping and nature.

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Unread 11-30-2013, 01:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trivialy
I am a rather experienced off-road driver on this side of the pond and I will likely visit the US next summer. I was wondering whether it is feasible and reasonable to land in Phoenix, rent a jeep for a couple of weeks, explore the Grand Canyon (perhaps with a guide?) and return the vehicle at San Francisco international airport before flying back to Europe. Would off-road driving be allowed in the US on a European driving license? What about insurance on a rental car? Am I allowed to go off-road on it at all? I guess the answer to this last one is "it depends on the company and policy", so here is another question: what rent-a-car company would you recommend for such a plan? Should it be relevant, I will be travelling with my wife, who is a great fan of camping and nature.
Your best bet is to request a Jeep that is 4wd. Through who doesn't really matter and don't tell them what you are going to be doing with it. Basically, all you really have to tell them is that you will be renting it and that you will be returning it at LAX. From there what you do with it is up to you. Make sure you opt for the insurance and if something bad happens, find a way to get the thing on a road before calling the rental agency. Short of taking a few chances, there isn't anything that I know of.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 07:36 AM   #18
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Your best bet is to request a Jeep that is 4wd. Through who doesn't really matter and don't tell them what you are going to be doing with it.
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From there what you do with it is up to you. Make sure you opt for the insurance and if something bad happens, find a way to get the thing on a road before calling the rental agency.
This is what I thought too.

Regarding the trails, do you have any advice? It will be summer, so I expect the weather not to be an obstacle. I am mainly looking for scenic trails, fun to drive on but not hardcore, as it would definitely be best if I do not have to call the rental agency at all. Although I like to meet fellow travelers from time to time, I do not enjoy driving behind a line of jeeps, so I'd like to avoid routes where traffic is intense (off-road measure of "intense", I hope you get me).

Regarding camping, what is the law like in the US? Can we just bring a tent and stop to sleep when it gets dark? Or do we need to go to an authorized camping site? In any case, I'd like to have a couple of places in mind to have a shower every couple of days. Refueling will also be a concern, I guess the desert is not rich in gas stations

If you could give some leads on the points above and point me to an extended map or guide of the area, I would be very grateful. I naturally do not mind paying some extra bucks for the material to plan this trip.

Thanks!
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Unread 11-30-2013, 09:00 AM   #19
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The law varies from place to place.. You can get to the river from Peach Springs on the reservation.. South rim.. Just contact the tribal office there.. The national park is great for scenic drives .. Just before entering the park there are national Forrest areas to camp and drive in.,
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Unread 11-30-2013, 11:36 AM   #20
trivialy
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Starting point - PHX or LAS?

Thanks a lot for all the input so far, greatly appreciated!

When you say to contact the tribal office there, do you suggest calling? In case you do, how long in advance should I do it? Days, weeks, months?

Besides, what airport would you recommend as starting point, Phoenix (PHX) or Las Vegas (LAS)? Some preliminary research tells me it is equally easy to rent a 4x4 in both of them.

My idea was to spend 7 days exploring the landscapes of the Grand Canyon and then take 3-4 days to see the west coast, all the way from LA (or even San Diego) to San Francisco. The final destination (to return the vehicle) has to be SFO and the whole trip should not last more than 10-12 days.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 01:35 PM   #21
3Samudra
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When I went to peach springs I just showed up and purchased a permit to drive the road down to the river.. About an hour long drive, the last mile in the creek bed to the spot by the river known as the last drop off..an easy drive.. If you go to San Diego be shure to check out Anza Borrego Desert State Park 400 miles of roads to drive on for free.. Camping is allowed most everywhere there.. Bordering the park is an OHV area that allowes driving off the track..

Beware, the desert can be very hot during the last part of the summer.. I usually go to the Big Bear mountains when it gets real hot..
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Unread 11-30-2013, 03:25 PM   #22
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About an hour long drive, the last mile in the creek bed to the spot by the river known as the last drop off..an easy drive..
This one looks terrific! Is it doable without proper offroad tires? I do not expect rental cars to come equipped with anything but road tires, hence the question. In fact, would it be reasonable to try it on something cheaper/smaller, like the Ford Escape? I ask because I keep getting very nice quotes for this one ("or similar", as the rent-a-car companies love to say).

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If you go to San Diego be shure to check out Anza Borrego Desert State Park 400 miles of roads to drive on for free.. Camping is allowed most everywhere there.. Bordering the park is an OHV area that allowes driving off the track.
I will definitely write this one down. San Diego is a bit out of the way if we go from Las Vegas or Phoenix to San Francisco but I will see if we can make this work.

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Beware, the desert can be very hot during the last part of the summer..
I am very aware of this. We are probably doing this in June/July, which is probably the worst time in the year to go there. Unfortunately, my job does not allow for me to take vacation in a different time of the year (except some days for Christmas). Taking this into account, do you recommend that we drop the camping idea altogether and try to sleep in hotels? My fear is that they will be nonexistent or very scarce, that's why I thought camping would be more practical.

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I usually go to the Big Bear mountains when it gets real hot..
Just to be sure, you are referring to the mountains close to LA, with a ski resort open during winter? I thought about going up there for the view in one afternoon but I had not considered spending more time (or even sleeping) there. I will investigate.

By the way, do you know of a good map including offroad trails in this area (Phoenix, Las Vegas, LA)? I would like to buy one and start proper planning.

Thanks!
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Unread 11-30-2013, 03:37 PM   #23
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The road out of Peach Springs was doable in a variety of vehicles as they haul out the water craft coming down the river there. The Tribe keeps the road open for that purpose. I saw trucks with trailers and a couple of busses down there.. Tires would not be an issue..you would have to judge the road at the time you were there as conditions may change..

Motels are usually plentiful and usually have room..
Big Bear is really scenic and has lots of well kept roads and camp grounds..
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Unread 11-30-2013, 03:49 PM   #24
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As for maps I would go to the Visitors center in Anza Borrego or Big Bear. They are well supplied with detailed maps you can buy and some careful information about the area..
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Unread 11-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #25
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My wife and I flew in to Phoenix, rented 4x4 Jeep Wrangler Sport. Drove it up to meteor crater then all through the Navaho Nation. Then went to the Grand Canyon. Stayed 2 days in Sedona Az, ya gotta see Sedona. Then back to Phoenix. Total miles 3,236 miles on Jeep. About 100 miles off roading. Good times, good luck with trip.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 04:42 PM   #26
trivialy
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My wife and I flew in to Phoenix, rented 4x4 Jeep Wrangler Sport. Drove it up to meteor crater then all through the Navaho Nation. Then went to the Grand Canyon. Stayed 2 days in Sedona Az, ya gotta see Sedona. Then back to Phoenix. Total miles 3,236 miles on Jeep. About 100 miles off roading. Good times, good luck with trip.
Looks like a great itinerary! If I may ask, when did you do it?

What did you like the most about Sedona?

Regarding the route, how did you navigate? Did you know the area beforehand, did you bring a map or did you buy one in Phoenix? I am a fan of the Wrangler but I doubt I will have one for my trip because the quotes I am getting are a bit outrageous (because of the one-way fee). Would you recommend against doing those 100 miles off roading in a "lesser" SUV (e.g.: Ford Escape) equipped with road tires? If you have your itinerary/maps on record, maybe you can share them or PM me?

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Originally Posted by 3Samudra
As for maps I would go to the Visitors center in Anza Borrego or Big Bear.
Thanks! Do you know if any of these is available online? I'd like to do some of the planning in advance... Around the Canyon area, any recommendation regarding navigation?
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Unread 11-30-2013, 07:00 PM   #27
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You can google any of these areas but being there and asking some of the people you meet is the way to go. The centers are well stocked with maps.

Around the south rim of the Grand Canyon I used a forest map I bought at REI. I stayed in Williams AZ and drove to the nat park cause it was too cold for camping when I was there..October.

I recently went to Moab and drove the white rim trail ( 90 mi ). Doable in a stock JK .. I think Moab rivals the Grand Canyon for scenic beauty.. There were plenty of JKs to rent right in Moab. The camp sites on that trail have to be reserved 6 mo. In advance !! I really liked Moab as it was a small town devoted to outdoor recreation.. Mountain biking, river rafting and 4X4 vehicles great vibes..
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Unread 02-25-2014, 09:44 PM   #28
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Hey guys, I hate to cut into this conversation, but I'm hoping for a little help.

I'm heading to Vegas in April with a friend and we both want to check out the Grand Canyon, but on our own terms if possible. Here's what I would LIKE to do. Rent a Grand Cherokee for 2 or 3 days... Drive out to and around the GC (haha, GC = Grand Canyon and Grand Cherokee, sorry it's late and I'm getting a bit crazy. lol) Hopefully to the bottom if possible. We want to try and camp for a night or two as well. I'm getting a G Cherokee because we can just sleep in the back, (kinda unreasonable to rent/buy a tent and sleeping bags).

SO... My question for you guys: WHERE can I do that? I'm an experienced off-roader with my WJ here in PA, but I'm not looking for anything crazy. Just want to get off the pavement and into nature. Preferable somewhere closer to Vegas. Where we can camp without getting in trouble. I don't mind spending some cash for permits or tags.

If anyone out there has a 'map' they would be willing to share with me, I would seriously appreciate it... I really want to make the best of my trip so I'm hoping to pick your minds. Feel free to PM me or email me: ViperGTO99@hotmail.com
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Unread 02-28-2014, 12:20 PM   #29
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there is no hard wheeling in the GC. just forestry roads that about anything could do. If its wet though it can get muddy. rain what rain......snap its raining right now. Maybe there is Unicorns?
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Unread 03-22-2014, 07:49 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by vipergto99 View Post
Hey guys, I hate to cut into this conversation, but I'm hoping for a little help.

I'm heading to Vegas in April with a friend and we both want to check out the Grand Canyon, but on our own terms if possible. Here's what I would LIKE to do. Rent a Grand Cherokee for 2 or 3 days... Drive out to and around the GC (haha, GC = Grand Canyon and Grand Cherokee, sorry it's late and I'm getting a bit crazy. lol) Hopefully to the bottom if possible. We want to try and camp for a night or two as well. I'm getting a G Cherokee because we can just sleep in the back, (kinda unreasonable to rent/buy a tent and sleeping bags).

SO... My question for you guys: WHERE can I do that? I'm an experienced off-roader with my WJ here in PA, but I'm not looking for anything crazy. Just want to get off the pavement and into nature. Preferable somewhere closer to Vegas. Where we can camp without getting in trouble. I don't mind spending some cash for permits or tags.

If anyone out there has a 'map' they would be willing to share with me, I would seriously appreciate it... I really want to make the best of my trip so I'm hoping to pick your minds. Feel free to PM me or email me: ViperGTO99@hotmail.com

You could drive your rental car (or personal vehicle, if thats what your in) to Sedona and rent a Jeep and do sedona for a day or two, then run north to flagstaff/Williams and on up the 64 to GC. Lotta side trails to see. May even get lucky and see the steamie running.







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