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22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

west sussex uk
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22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

We are in the process of planning next years (2009) holiday (yes I know it's a long way away but we like to plan ahead and I am aware that some places do fill up well in advance!) and I'd like some help and advise please on where to spend 3 weeks in Arizona and Utah.

We don't want to spend 3 weeks in a car, but on the other hand don't mind a reasonable amount of driving. I think we'd rather stay in the same place for 2/3 nights and then do a longish drive on one day rather than drive every day.

Most of the destinations I've listed below I haven't put down how long to stay or if I have then we obviously very flexible - looking for your guidance.

Also if you feel that we are doing this trip 'in the wrong order' please let me know - for example should I have listed lake Powell, but am not really sure as to where this should be fitted in! Same goes for Zion NP, I justthoughtthis would be best as the last stop before Vegas.

There are 3 of us (2 adults and one child aged 15)

We will be coming early July 2009

How does the following sound:

Fly to Phoenix and spend 2 days (3 nights) relaxing.

Short dive up to Sedona (1 night) Worth a stop or not?

South Rim GC (2 days/2nights)

Monument Valley (2 days/2nights)Is that too long - we would like to do some exploring and also go to 4 corners Monument.

Up to Moab (3 nights here) we would like to do a white water raftingtrip and from Moab looks to be the best bet. Go to Canyonlands NP and Arches NP whilst here.

Lake Powell(2 nights)

Zion NP (1 nights.)

Las Vegas (3 nights)

Should we then return to Phoenix OR with the 5 nights left go on and do the following:

Death Valley (1 night)

Mammoth (2 night)

(We've been to Yosemite before just in case you thought we should go there!)

Lake Tahoe (2 nights)

Internal flight from Reno to Phoenix and then back to UK.

What do you guys think!!!!

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

Sedona is definitely worth 2-3 nights on the front end of your trip!

2 nights is plenty at the South Rim. This will be one of the toughest reservations to get, but since you're planning far out, you should be able to do it. Start checking in June of this year.

I would do Page/Lake Powell on the way to Monument Valley. One night at MV is probably enough.

Then Moab for 3 nights.

From Moab I would go across to Torrey and drive the incredibly scenic Rt12 down to Bryce Canyon

Plan one night in Torrey (Capital Reef NP) and then one night at Bryce Canyon NP (get reservations inside the park if you can, otherwise stay at Rubys Inn just outside the park.

Then go to Zion for 2 nights.

If my count is correct, I've given you 14 nights so far. You still have time to do LV and Death Valley.

You could drive back to PHX with a stop or two along the way.

Most important reservations would be GCNP, Bryce NP and Zion NP. All can be booked through the park service and should be done one year in advance.

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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2. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

Tahoe's pushing it a little too much. Plus, you'll find that your already high rental car price for three weeks will skyrocket by dropping it off in a different city. The companies don't like their vehicles moved, especially between states. It may not even be allowed between those two by the few who do allow it.

Sedona, definitely. If you want something most people don't see, do a night in Prescott as well and spend a day in Jerome. Maybe even do the Verde Canyon Railroad. Several other interesting things up there like Tuzigoot, Dead Horse Ranch, Montezuma Castle and various wineries.

Phoenix is not a comfortable place to be in June, so, if you want somewhere else to go, you can head east into Arizona's White Mountains as well and spend time in Show Low, Springerville or even in Payson. It's a beautiful area.

hth

Uden, The...
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3. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

Hi

I also would add Mesa Verde NP to your trip.

Here's a schedule based on RedRox's itinerary.

Day 1: Arrive Phoenix

Day 2: Do some shopping in Phoenix and drive to Sedona.

Day 3: Sedona

Day 4: Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon, Flagstaff-GCNP

Day 5: GCNP

Day 6: GCNP east rim, Cameron and to Page.

Day 7: Page for Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend overlook, Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell.

Day 8: Page to Monument valley. Visit to MV and the drive to Cortez, Colorado.

Day 9: All day Mesa Verde NP

Day 10: Cortez-Moab, visiting Canyonlands The Needles on your way.

Day 11 and 12: Moab for Canyonlands Island in the Sky, Dead Horse Point, River rafting. Arches NP.

Day 13: Moab-Hanksville-Torrey. See Capitol Reef NP

Day 14: Ut12 (www.scenicbyway12.com) to Bryce. First visit to Bryce.

Day 15: 2nd visit to Bryce and the drive to Zion NP

Day 16: Zion NP

Day 17: To Las Vegas via Valley of Fire SP.

Day 18: Las Vegas

Day 19: Las Vegas

Day 20 and 21: Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Bullhead City-Oatman, Sitgreaves Pass-Kingman, old R66 and the drive back to Phoenix

Day 22: Home planning your next trip.

As you can see, there won't be much time left for Death Valley, Mammoth, Lake Tahoe and Reno if you want to make it a more or less leisurely visit.

Tet

west sussex uk
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4. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

WOW - some great ides there - many thanks for all your help.

It looks like to pick up and drop off the car at Phoenix is the best bet.

Tet - your route looks great - although would there be too much driving each day?

I guess I need to get a decnt map and start working out some distances between the places listed.

Again, many thanks. If you have hotel/motel recomendations in any of the places listed that would be great.

west sussex uk
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5. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

RedRox - thanks for your advise regarding bookings for Hotels at GC. (We found that out when we went to Yosemite too!)

You suggest to start looking in June of this year - where would you recommend?

many thanks

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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6. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

You can access the park lodges at www.xanterra.com. Use the link from the Grand Canyon forum page to pick one of the GC lodges on the rim. My corder of choices there would be El Tovar, Bright Angel, Kachina or Thunderbird.

At Bryce and Zion there is just one lodge in each of the parks although accomodations may vary (cabins vs rooms etc).

Your other destinations are at towns where you can find traditional lodging options depending on your style. The only exception is Monument Valley. There you will want to stay at Gouldings. Roomsa re limited, so make that reservation ASAP.

Longview, Washington
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for Mount Rainier National Park
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7. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

I like Tet's itinerary. He usually comes up with good ones. You will see all the major national parks, plus some very interesting places, like Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Hoover Dam, etc.

Death Valley is way too hot to visit in the summertime. The last time we were there in April it was 104º F.

Uden, The...
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8. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

Thanks Kitters! Like to hear that!

Billy, you could fly back from Las Vegas, saves you 2 driving days to Phoenix (although you could do in one) but you'll probably face drop off charges for your car and maybe the flight will be more expensive. We did that once (fly Phoenix, and depart Las Vegas, without extra costs for the flight but we had to pay for the one way rental).

The last part LV-PHX is not that interesting and you already were in Sedona before, so if money is no object, I would fly back from Las Vegas. You'll save some gas as well.

Tet

peterborough
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9. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

we were only in arizona for a short time a few years ago taking our daughter to the university of arizona. when we arrived in sedona it was night time and dark. imagine our surprise and delight when we opened our drapes in the morning and saw the most incredible mountains and scenery. it was breathtaking. i have always wanted to go back. you won't be disappointed!!!!!!!!!!!

peterborough
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10. Re: 22 Days - Arizona/Utah (and maybe California!)

we were only in arizona for a short time a few years ago taking our daughter to the university of arizona. when we arrived in sedona it was night time and dark. imagine our surprise and delight when we opened our drapes in the morning and saw the most incredible mountains and scenery. it was breathtaking. i have always wanted to go back. you won't be disappointed!!!!!!!!!!!