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Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

bury,uk
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Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

We are 2 active pensioners from the UK. Just been let-down with a long-planned African trip so want to try something different from our usual 3rd.World trips.( Going to India again for 3 months from Dec.) First time in your area.

Thinking of 2-3 weeks in SouthWest U.S. plus possibly fly/drive on for 2 weeks in Mexico( Beach?, somewhere neither too remote nor too touristy). Sept/Oct when the crowds thin out. Prefer experiences over whistle-stop tours on coaches, but only 1 driver so don't want to get worn out with driving. Like scenery, easy hiking, local people and culture, fishing(if feasible), and just enjoying places which are special.. Small & friendly accomm. preferred/better than 5 star . Have to watch the budget a little 'cos of trip length but that is for us to judge.

After all the wasted effort planning defunct Africa trip we need all the help we can get to sort out every aspect quickly and simply.

Long question but a lot for us to find out. Thanks for all help. Best regards, Keagem

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

The SW USA is big, very big but as you asked for Az and Ut maybe first give this a try. It makes a difference wether you are coming 2 or 3 weeks so first try to establish that.

Here's a trip at leisurely pave for 2 weeks: (but many more options)

1. Arrive Las Vegas

2. Drive to Zion NP

3. Zion NP

4. Zion NP to Bryce Canyon NP

5. Bryce Canyon NP

6. Bryce via ut12 www.scenicbyway12 to Torrey

7. Capitol Reef NP stay Torrey

8. Drive from Torrey to Monument Valley via ut24/95/261 and us 163

9. Monument Valley to Page

10. Page

11. Drive to Grand Canyon NP south rim

12. Drive to Sedona www.visitsedona.com

13. Sedona

14. Drive to Phoenix and depart. Or drive back to Las Vegas.

If you have 3 weeks you could add places like Moab (Canyonlands NP, Dead Horse Point SP, Arches NP etc) in Ut and Mesa Verde NP in Co.

This is one of the most beautiful "starters" trips in the West. You definitely should make resevations for Grand Canyon National Park www.grandcanyonlodges.com but even the other NP's still can be busy, not crowded. Lots of more details to give. Not sure if you want to stay in Las Vegas longer. Love it or hate it but don't miss. You also can make this trip in reverse of course.

Tet

bury,uk
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2. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

Thanks Tet, That's a great start. Using your route I can draw a big map and start putting some ''flesh on the bones'' using ideas from the Forums. One other question: cost effective car hire. Better to use an on-line agent from here or deal locally? regards, Keagem

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

You can use an on line agent like Carrental3000 or go to a travelagency and ask for fly drives. Often good deal and no dropoff charges and they can tell you all about insurances. Don't rent a too small car because your luggage won't fit in the boot. A midsize car will be fine but for the "King of Road" feeling I'd rent a SUV. Midsize SUV also will be fine. No need to rent Standard of Full size with 2 people on board. You don't need 4wd on this trip.

Tet

Sedona, AZ
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4. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

Tet has given you a great base plan to work from. Since you want to spend quality time on your own schedule, renting a car is the way to go. Any coach tour that claims to cover this list of places will really just drive by them with an occasional stop for a view and a photo.

Keys to planning a successful trip will be booking lodging accommodations. Many of the park lodges book up as far as a year in advance. You can find links and advice for where to stay here at TA. I would make a list of lodges and hotels and start working on those bookings. Availability could determine the order or dates for your trip.

Most of the destinations on your list will require a drive of 3-5 hours when moving from one place to another. You can easily make these into one day drives with brief stops for minor diversions along the way. The point is that you will need to plan 2 full nights at any place in order to enjoy one full day at that destination. And know that sunset and sunrise are times of day when you want to be at the place, not commuting or rushing to enjoy the peace and tranquility of those moments.

Come back with more specific questions as you develop your plan. The team of posters in these forums will help to fine tune your trip and make it the best.

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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5. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

I would forget about the fishing, unless you go to Mexico. There will not be any areas where you will travel with accessible fishing worth your time.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

I thought there was good fishing in Lake Powell and the river below the dam.

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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7. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

If you're looking for a fishing destination besides Mexico, definitely try Lake Powell. Cooling temperatures in September and October can make for a challenge - I've seen guys who go out in October come up empty, but then again I've seen them find a "sweet spot" where they bite like nobody's business. No matter what happens, the incredible scenery and wonderful weather will more than compensate for a lack of "bites." It just depends on the whims of Mother Nature.

Lees Ferry, 15 miles down from the Glen Canyon Dam, is another excellent fishing area, fly-fishing is the specialty, mostly catch and release, but here again, the scenery is so amazing who cares if you don't catch a thing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgA2TWxGir0

Edited: 05 July 2010, 21:18
uk
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8. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

Hi, Im from the UK as well and doing a similar trip but startinging from LA.

You will want to get an America the Beautiful pass for entry to the national parks - this can be bought at any park entry gate for $80, otherwise its about $25 to enter each park.

Car hire - try Holiday supermarket.com, we got a very good deal for a 4x4 all ins included - dont bother getting a tank of petrol (gas) as its just not worth it, collect almost empty (Gas stations always close to airport) return empty

PS car hire building at LAS is seperate to the airport - a connection bus will ferry you from one to the other.

Another site to try is http://www.usrentacar.co.uk/

The route taking in all the parks is called the Grand Circle tour - type it in here and google and youll get some great info

9. Re: Arizona/Utah ? in Sept'10

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