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trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

Ft. Worth, TX
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trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

We are trying to plan a trip to Disneyland from Fort Worth, TX with several stops in between. I don't have dates because of the nature of my husbands work we cannot plan in advance. We are thinking this will be around the beginning of March sometime. We have children ages 10 and 5. Here is what I have so far:

Day 1:Fort Worth to Albuquerque

Day 2:Albuquerque to Grand Canyon...afternoon/evening at Grand Canyon. We would like to stay at one of the lodges.

Day 3:get up for sunrise. Drive to Vegas. Stop at Hoover Dam. Evening in Vegas. Stay at Excalibur(fun for the girls)

Day 4: Vegas to Anaheim stay at a Disney hotel

Day5-7: Disneyland

Day 8:Anaheim to Las Cruces, NM

Day 9:White Sands in the morning. Carlsbad Caverns in the afternoon.

Day 10: Hobbs, NM to home

My main questions are day 4 should we try and do Disney that afternoon or do something else?

On the way home we are totally open to suggestions. White sands and Carlsbad Caverns are not a must do on our list. We thought it would be fun for the girls. Is there anything in Phoenix or Tucson that is a must see?

Again any suggestions/tips/places to eat are greatly appreciated!

Sorry if its too vague, but that's all I have right now! :)

Jana

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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1. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

Anaheim to Las Cruces? That's an 11 hour drive without stops and without traffic. There will be traffic in Phoenix. I'd allow 12 hours plus stops for that drive - are you *sure* you want to do that?

Excalibur is as good as any other Vegas hotel for a brief stay - but try to get an online deal. It is in the middle of the pack, in terms of quality, so don't overpay for it.

I've done Albuquerque to Grand Canyon several times and did manage to arrive in mid-afternoon. Resist the temptations to drive through Petrified Forest or to the Crater on this kind of trip - reserve the time for the Canyon.

I like the route through Flagstaff so much better than the route through Phoenix that I'd probably go back that same way. To me there's more to see in Albuquerque than in Phoenix or Tucson, but I have a New Mexico bias. It would be great if you could see White Sands, etc., but...really, that's a long, long day in the car...

You are going to be arriving Vegas (presuming that you'll surely drive along the rim of the Canyon a little bit before you leave) in late afternoon (stopping at the dam, right?) The girls will barely have gotten to go in the pool one time and they're going to want to go in the morning again after all that driving. You'll want a Las Vegas breakfast because there really isn't any place worthwhile to mention stopping to eat between there and Anaheim and you're going to be driving all day. Expect a 5-6 hour drive. So, although you might want to see Downtown Disney, there are other choices (GardenWalk) for dinner that night, rest up, and then go to Disneyland the next day.

3 days in Disney/California Adventure is not overkill, but...with that drive ahead, if you're really thinking of Las Cruces, you might want to cut the 3rd day short and head out on the looong road towards Phoenix. It'll be around 6 hours to Phoenix without stops.

If you went from Anaheim to Sedona (7 hours) and saw Sedona instead of White Sands, then went part way to Albuquerque on Day 9, you might see a little of Albuquerque and still get home with far less driving.

Check out Sedona and see what you think.

Tucson, Arizona
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2. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

Around Tucson / southern AZ, there are two "must-sees" for someone not staying more tnat a day or two:

Kartchner Caverns

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

If enough time:

San Xavier del Bac Mission

Pima Air & Space Museum, if you are an airplane buff.

Saguaro National Park east or west

Sabino Canyon

Mt. Lemmon Highway

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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3. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

OMG! I was thinking that the trek to Disney would be a nightmare for the kids. But then to attempt Anaheim to Las Cruces in a day on the way back, I think you could cure them from ever wanting to do a road trip with you again.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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4. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

On that day 7... I suggest, a drive down to Legoland & a overnight in say, El Cajon... To avoid the San Diego AM.commute on the I-8... Stop for lunch & a shake at Dateland East, of Yuma ... By the time you hit Deming NM. The family revolt will have started ... Time to go into camp !!! carracar...

Uden, The...
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5. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

White sands easily takes a couple of hours. Then it's a 4 hours drive to Carlsbad caverns and 3-4 hours for the Caverns entering via Main Entrance and up by elevator. And Las Cruces to White Sands is another 1 hours drive.

Not sure why you want to stay Hobbs. Carlsbad to Ft. Worth will be one of the shorter drives in your trip ;-)

Kids will be exited by visiting Arizona Sonora desert museum in Tucson.

If you drive from Anaheim in the Tucson directlon take 85 between I10 and I8 and avoid Phx traffic.

Tet

tucson az
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6. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

This trip is not possible to be anything except a lot of driving, with the exception of Disneyland.

After FTW to ABQ, ABQ to GCNP. That will be a 7 hour drive or more with stops. So you would have a few hours in the afternoon to see the canyon. You need at least a full day. You will also not be able to stay in a park lodge without an advance reservation. There is likely not any availability in early March, so make a reservation somewhere, Tusayan or Williams, and call Xanterra frequently for cancellations. If you don't have reserved lodging for GCNP, you are likely to end up staying at a poor choice.

Sit down and figure out time and distance point to point, and allow time for rest stops and food. Then eliminate something from this trip to allow you to enjoy it and actually experience it. I would start with dropping Las Vegas. The only place you have allowed enough time is Disneyland.

Tacoma, Washington
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7. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

This is crazy driving.

I would suggest ....

Day 1 drive as far as you can go....

Day 2 drive rest to GC. Look at maybe staying just outside of the park at best western or holiday inn express.

Day 3 at GC...after sunset drive to Kingman or Barstow

Day 4-6 Disney

Day 7 drive to Tucson

Day 8 explore Tucson area

Day 9-10 drive home

An extra day send it in Tucson area

Ft. Worth, TX
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8. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

Thanks for all the advice. Yes this is a lot of driving. We are used to it though. My husband is a pipeliner so he travels for his job and we travel with him so a 6-7 hour drive is not a big deal to us.

That is why I came here though for the suggestions. Like I said nothing is set in stone. My husband has never been west of Texas so we are trying to see as much as we can.

LeBiscuit can you tell us more about Sedona? I never thought about stopping there.

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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9. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

Maybe already check this Sedona site: www.visitsedona.com and the poster in #3 is our Sedona expert! He lives there...lucky devil -lol-

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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10. Re: trip advice Grand Canyon and southern Arizona/New Mexico

https://vimeo.com/57884666

Sedona Time lapse video

Get answers to your questions about Grand Canyon National...