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Monument Valley day trip detour?

NY
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Monument Valley day trip detour?

We've got 1-2 nites in between Sedona & GCNP for a possible detour. My husband is now interested in Monument Valley but there are no rooms there or in Kayenta. Is it worthwhile to still go for 1 day and then maybe stay that night in Cameron before our night in GC? It will be August & we've got 2 boys 8&11. Don't know much about MV, how hot it will be, how much time we should have there, will kids enjoy? Friends said they drove around MV themselves, but I see tours are recommended. Thanks again...

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

It's a long way to go for a day trip. MV is a cool place, but depending on how much time you've allowed to be at the GCNP, you might want to spend it there instead. And the other great alternative that the kids would dig, would be to spend the extra day up at Page. Do the half day Glen Canyon float trip which also gives you a great look at the Glen Canyon dam and see Antelope Canyon.

Page is closer to Sedona and GCNP than MV so you'd have less driving and more fun. If you can't get a room at Cameron, you could spend the night in Page.

NY
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2. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

Yes, Page float trip looks like fun but in August we're afraid it may be a long, hot ride or too early for us if at 6:30am.

So how much time should be spent at MV? With a guide or on our own? Will temperatures be like GC South rim or hotter? I guess it's only worthwhile if we can stay a nite closer to MV?

We'll be in GCNP for at least 2 half days and 1 nt, maybe longer each day depending on where we decide to go before & after.

Sedona, AZ
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3. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

If anything, being on the river will be cool and refreshing. Much more so anyway than being in MV. Remember you'll be at 5,000 feet above sea level and there will be breezes as well. This is not like the heat in NY or in PHX for that matter. That's why Page is such a popular place in the summer.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

Count on a leisurely 4 hours between Sedona and the MV visitor center but there are many things to see on, or not far from, this route like Oak Creek Canyon, Flagstaff, Walnut Canyon NM, Sunset Crater Volcano NM, Wuptki NM, Cameron and Navajo NM. In Monument Valley the views on the Mittens from the visitor center are unbeaten but also a drive into the valley is cool. A rental car is not allowed to drive into it (dirtroad) but many people do. It can be a rough drive but it's certainly doable. You also can take a tour from the parkinglot by the Navajo people. Tours are from 1 hour to much longer. From MV to Page is 2.5 hours and if you want to do the smooth river raft, bite the bullitt and take the 6.30 am tour. From Page to GC Village app. is 3 hours. So Sedona-MV-Page is 4+1.5+2.5 = 8 hours.

Is it worth it? You are the only one who can judge about that. My honest opinion? With 2 kids in tow I would not want to make the long detour to MV in that short amount of time and concentrate myself on the mentioned NM's before your visit to GCNP. For the heat. We often visit Australia with stop overs in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur etc. Singapore is 85 but with high humidity and hardly bearable for us. The Outback is 100F and a dry heat (well most of the time). Same goes for many places at the eastern USA and the westen USA. Wear brimmed hats and slop on sunscreen.

Tet

NY
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5. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

Redrox & Tet - I appreciate your patience and advice as always. We can easily fill our time between Sedona & GC but just wanted to find out if MV was doable. Sounds like it would be tough without a room in the area. With the heat and little kids, it's not that easy to "bite the bullet" and they'll be no escape, like into an air-conditioned car, if out on the boat.

Sedona, AZ
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6. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

I really think you should do the float trip at Page. The heat here is entirely different from what you are used to in NY. Without humidity it's not nearly as oppressive. And at the higher altitudes, you won't be bothered. Wear a decent hat and use sun screen. And the other thing about the Glen Canyon trip is that shade that you get from the canyon walls. Out here, the difference between being in the shade and being in the open sun can be as much as 10 degrees. I was amazed when we moved from FL to find that I could get instant relief on the golf course, just by getting to the shade of a tree. In FL that made no difference at all. You would still sweat like a pig. Here in AZ I never perspire. You just have to experience it to understand it.

But I promise, your kids (and you) will love the float trip at Glen Canyon.

One of the things that we learned about the river when we did our GC raft trip 2 years ago was how radical the temperature changes were. We would be floating in the sun with temps over 100, but the breezes would keep us cool. Then we'd hit a rapids and get splashed by the 40 degree river water and we'd be chilled to the bone. If we were still in the shadows of the canyon walls, we'd stayed chilled for quite some time. But when we got back in the sunlight it was warm and comforted us again. And all of that could happen inside if 5-10 minutes on the river.

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

Yes, I also think the kids will like the waterraft better than MV and after the float, drive to Horseshoe bend overlook at Page's southern edge on us89 and show them where they have been on the meandering Colorado River. Takes some 20 minutes to walk to the edge from the parkinglot and be careful, no fence here.

NY
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8. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

ok, sorry this has turned into a Glen Canyon post but I am seriously considering everyone's advice. We could spend 2 nts at Page between Sedona & GC. Redrox - what time of the year was your raft trip? You mention rapids, so I guess you were in the Grand Canyon? Should we expect highs around 100 in Glen Canyon?

Sedona, AZ
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9. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

My own raft trip in the Grand Canyon was in August. You'll be on a much tamer part of the river, but still at the higher elevation. The river drops almost 3,000 feet from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead.

Western NY
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10. Re: Monument Valley day trip detour?

We did both the raft trip and a tour of MV in April. If I had to choose I would be hard pressed to decide which to do and which to leave out. As we flew into Az from NY we could actually see MV from the air. It was an incredible sight. We did the Colorado River Raft trip which my 13 y.o. daughter loved. We saw California Condors circling over head. The Petroglyphs were amazing. And as Red Rox said, the temps ranged in April from hot on the beach to very chilly in the water. The only negative which wasn't huge was the wait for our baggage to go through the tunnel. At MV we took a tour with Gouldings Lodge. We were taken to a Navajo Hogan to see a demonstration on rug weaving. It was really neat. Then the tour of MV, which for me was amazing. (So glad we took a tour and didn't try to drive through, the road was quite rough). The views are incredible and in my opinion well worth the time it takes to get there. Our tour began at 9:00 and ended around 11:00. Just a note...on our bus my daughter was the only child. She enjoyed seeing "cows with horns" that were grazing on the land (can you tell we're from NY), and liked the views and the opportunity to shop at the Navajo road side stands. In her opinion, the raft trip was the best though. Whatever you decide I am sure you will enjoy it.

D