“I’ve driven thousands of miles around the West, and have showed nice people from all over the world some of the great sights out here in the Great Southwest Deserts.”
- Who is Doc Wymer?
- Are you really a doctor?
- What do you mean by ‘Gonzo Guide’?
- How long have you been doing tours?
- Where have you been?
- What tour would you give if you could choose?
- Where do you go on day tours?
- What is a multi-day tour?
- Don’t you get tired of going to the same places all the time?
- Where is the best place to see the Grand Canyon?
What do YOU want to know? Ask Doc Wymer
Who is Doc Wymer? (rhymes with ‘timer’)
I’m just a guy who loves Las Vegas. I love everything about Las Vegas, and certainly all the natural wonders around Las Vegas.
Plus, the food is good in Vegas, especially any Las Vegas buffet. I haven’t tried them all, yet, but it is my belief that “The last buffet was the best buffet. Until the next one.”
‘Doc Wymer’ is a made-up name.
I don’t want strangers calling me at midnight asking if I can loan them twenty dollars. I might loan you twenty dollars, but probably not.
Tell me, Doc Wymer… Are you really a doctor?
What do you mean by ‘Gonzo Guide’?
‘Gonzo Guide’ comes from the idea of ‘Gonzo-Style Journalism’, made famous by Hunter S. Thompson. Gonzo-style is written without claims of objectivity, and it often includes the reporter as part of the story through a first-person narrative.
Doc Wymer is not always objective… sometimes we just know what we know. Gonzo journalism often uses personal experiences to provide a context for the topic or event being covered.
Gonzo is unpolished and rough around the edges, same as Doc Wymer, same as real life. ‘Gonzo Journalism’ attempts to place the viewer directly into the scene.
Same with my tours from Las Vegas. I believe the tour is about you, and doing what I can to make sure a good tour happens for you.
Trying hard to make it ‘right’, to make everything work the way it should, while knowing full well that something just outside my vision may screw things up at any time.
A gonzo tour guide is good at being real, taking the day the way it is, handling whatever comes at you, and making sure a good time comes out of it.
Life isn’t smooth and perfect – tires go flat, for example – and as we go along down the path, we recognize that the occasional ragged, dirty conditions on the road are often the stuff of the best stories.
‘Gonzo Guides’ show you the way, make things happen, and keep it real.
How long have you been doing tours?
Unofficially, unpaid, tours for friends and family, searching out those ‘cutesy-little-roadside-places’ – I’ve been doing that for a long time.
Getting paid to do tours – and having a great time doing it, I might add – since 2004.
Where have you been?
As the song says…. “I’ve been everywhere, man I’ve been everywhere…”
Actually, that isn’t true. It’s a big world out there with lots to see.
Sure, I’ve been to the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Skywalk, Zion, and those places hundreds of times. Sometimes, though, the most special places are the ones right in front of you, the ones you pass by everyday and never slow down enough to take a look.
It isn’t good to go too fast… there are nice people to meet, with great stories to tell, in every little cafe in every little town along the way.
Even with all the new places to see, there are special people and places you’d rather see again when you have a chance. Swap a few tall-tales and have another laugh and one more hug.
And along the way, I get a few good stories of my own to tell.
For example, I’ve been places out in the desert you can only imagine. I remember one time up in northern Nevada, driving up a mountain road so narrow I couldn’t turn around, and the wind came up and it started to snow big, heavy flakes. I’m sure the wild horses along the side of the road had never seen a car before. I had to drive another mile or so before I found a place to turn around, and by the time I got back to the wild horses the snow was 6 inches deep and I couldn’t see the tracks I’d just made. I was within maybe 4 miles of the old mine i was looking for, and I had to get out of there quick. I never did make it back up there.
What tour would you give if you could choose?
40 million people will come to Las Vegas this year. If I could, I would give every one of you a personal, custom tour of any place you want to go, and show you all the places you have read about and seen only on television.
Better than that, I’d like to show you those special places my friends and I have discovered, places you never even dreamed existed. There are some really cool things to do outside of Las Vegas.
Where do you go on day tours?
Nearly all of the tours I drive are popular day trips out of Las Vegas.
Skywalk Tour at Grand Canyon West is hugely popular, especially with the helicopter upgrade. The Skywalk is truly awesome-cool.
So is the Grand Canyon South Rim is the most popular in the region, no doubt about it. The National Park System is one of the really great things our government has done. South Rim tours are a great day trip – drive through the Mojave Desert, see the great vistas of the Grand Canyon, and sleep on the way back to Las Vegas.
Closer to home, half-day tours include Red Rock State Park, in the Spring Mountains west of Las Vegas. You can see it from almost anywhere in Las Vegas, and drive there in about half an hour.
Valley of Fire State Park is east of Las Vegas, about an hour’s drive. Valley of Fire has the most amazing ancient petroglyphs. Drawings on the rock, a thousand years old. I am convinced the aliens from Area 51 were there, because many of the drawings show rockets and space-suits.
Another favorite about an hour south of Las Vegas is the Techaticup Mine in Nelson, NV. I have been on every mine tour in the state, some that don’t operate anymore… and the Techaticup Mine is by far the best.
I adore the Zion Park tour in Utah. It’s like the Grand Canyon but smaller, and instead of looking at it you are right there in the middle of it, participating, watching the water flow and feeling the trees grow – being a part of the natural wonder. Zion National Park is one of my personal “Top Three” favorite day tours.
What is a multi-day tour?
Multi-day tours are really cool. They are usually designed around of the specials things you want to do, special places you want to see.
And they can be less stressful than a day tour because the timing and scheduling is different.
For example, on a day tour to Skywalk / Grand Canyon West, pick-up and drop-off times are carefully organized to make sure you get to see the Skywalk, maybe do the helicopter tour upgrade, certainly have lunch, and return to your Las Vegas hotel in a timely fashion because someone in your tour group may have dinner reservations or show tickets.
Multi-day tours are less regimented and more relaxed in many ways.
For example, a day trip requires that you go and return the same day; a multi-day trip allows you to go to your destination, and once you get there you can begin to enjoy the destination in a more leisurely way, and go to bed instead of heading back to Vegas. The next morning, you go to your rafting trip on the Colorado, or your day hike through Zion, then back to your hotel, and return to Vegas the next day.
Or your tour might take you to the Navajo lands and Monument Valley; then drive the next morning to another destination where you’ll shop or visit a special interest museum or whatever.
I’ve taken guests on multi-day trips from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim, then overnight in Page, AZ for for an early morning river raft tour; overnight in Moab, Utah, to see Arches National Park and Canyonlands; north to Salt Lake City, then to Yellowstone Park in Montana, where another tour company took them into Wyoming for a rodeo, and then Denver for a return flight home.
Don’t you get tired of going to the same places all the time?
Even after a few hundred trips to Hoover Dam, or the Grand Canyon West at the Hualapai Nation, I never get tired of seeing any of these places one more time. That includes Grand Canyon South Rim, North Rim, Bryce Canyon, Zion Park, Red Rock, Mt. Charleston, Valley of Fire – you name it, I am ready to go again. There are many beautiful places out here in the desert.
Where is the best place to see the Grand Canyon?
Every place to see the Grand Canyon is the best place.
That’s the truth. I have seen it all more than once, and any way to see the Grand Canyon is the best way.
Grand Canyon – Skywalk Tour at the West Rim, Hualapai Nation
- Skywalk gives a spectacular overall experience.
- You are really out there in the middle of it. Like in the Titanic movie, where the girl is standing on the bow of the ship, wind in her face, arms outstretched, flying across the water. Standing on the Skywalk, there is a sense of something you can’t get anywhere else.
- If you don’t want to actually go on the Skywalk, you can get dangerously close to the edge and get a similar view (without the safety of the Skywalk, of course.) Mama, don’t let those kids run off.
- I like the simple western-style cowboy food.
Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim
- Great history. Rustic feel. Buildings with remarkable, thoughtful design and architecture.
- Finished, clean, tourist-friendly. All the amenities.
- The Grand Canyon Railroad run from Williams, Arizona to the Grand Canyon Station is a terrific experience.
- Amazing and spectacular vistas.
Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim
- Grand Canyon Park at the North Rim is far less traveled than the south. Harder to get to from Phoenix; much easier from Las Vegas.
- Higher elevation (9,000 feet); buried in 10 feet of snow in the winter. Closed from November through about May.
- Wonderful old lodge; rustic cabins; great viewpoints from inside the lodge.
- Trails right on the edge, great views of the canyon from the edge of the forest.
- Better chance of seeing wildlife because of the alpine environment.
Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
- I adore helicopters.
- I believe that anytime you can get on a helicopter you should do it, especially if the helicopter is going to the Grand Canyon. Helicopter Tours rock.
- Seeing the Grand Canyon from a helicopter is something you should do.
- If you can’t go and a Grand Canyon helicopter tour, you should at least go on a Las Vegas Strip Helicopter Night Flight.
- Did I mention that I think helicopter tours rock?
Grand Canyon Colorado River Rafting Trip
- I feel the same about River Rafting Tours on the Colorado River as I do about Grand Canyon helicopter tours.
- Some of these river raft adventures are multi-day experiences.
- The Black Canyon River Raft experience below Hoover Dam is an extraordinary addition to a Hoover Dam tour.
- The Hualapai Nation has the only road to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Much of the road is the dry stream bed or wash from Peach Springs to the Colorado River. Rafts can dock there, and they are either continue down the river or are taken out, put on trailers, driven up the wash and returned to their starting point for their next adventure.
- Look into a Colorado River Raft trip – it could be an adventure of a lifetime.
What do YOU want to know? Ask Doc Wymer
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