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AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

Richmond, VA
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AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

About us: 2 50-somethings and sons 14 and 16. Architect hubby says he doesn't want to hike but thinks nothing of carrying a golf bag around for 18 holes! Sons are into baseball and basketball. I love adventure and drove across country, and back, after college and am looking forward to doing part of that trip again!

I have been reading this board and stying the maps for days and this is the plan:

Monday, July 12th – Drive to Raleigh for 3:15 pm direct flight to Phoenix. Arrive Phoenix 4:55 pm. Get rental car and drive to Camp Verde or Flagstaff for the night. Which is feasible?

Tuesday, July 13th – Tour Montezuma Castle or Sunset Crater/Wupatki Ruins. (?) Get supplies in Flagstaff (water, snacks, crackers, fruit, breakfast items?). Lunch at a DDD (a "Diners, Dive, and Drive-Ins" place) Photo op by Route 66 sign. Drive to Grand Canyon. Take shuttle to west rim for a look-see. See sunset. Check for night time ranger programs. Overnight at the rim in Thunderbird Lodge (confirmed).

Wednesday, July 14 – See sunrise at the canyon. Check out El Tovar. Tour the east entrance sites, overlooks, and tower. Stop at Cameron Trading post for lunch (gas, Indian taco). Stop in Page for Dam Tour (call ahead if time allows) and Horseshoe Bend overlook. Drive to Springdale. Overnight at Desert Pearl Inn. (confirmed). (More in Page later)

Thursday, July 15 – Tour Zion National Park. Tube in river behind inn. Overnight at Desert Pearl Inn.

Friday, July 16 - Let the boys sleep in a little bit. and get a later start - Bryce Canyon: Start at furthest point and do overlooks on the way back. Stay to see the sun set and the stars. Overnight at Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand.Hotel. (confirmed)

Saturday, July 17 - drive to Page, AZ. Last Antelope Canyon tour? Horseshoe Bend overlook. Dam Tour? Overnight Courtyard Marriott (confirmed)

Sunday, July 18 – 7:30 morning Glen Canyon float trip. Drive to Sedona. See Sunset Crater/Watpuki ruins along the way? Overnight at Southwest Inn (confirmed- currently ranked #2 on TA)

Monday, July 19 – Pink Jeep Tour. Slide Rock Park at Oak Creek Canyon. Sunset at Sky Ranch Lodge. Overnight at Southwest Inn.

Tuesday, July 20– Drive to Phoenix. Tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Swim in hotel pool. Diamondbacks game in the evening. (6:05pm start). Will look for a resort deal closer to that time.

Wednesday 21 – Either stay at hotel and swim/late checkout or take the ATV Hummer tour. Flight back to Raleigh at 3:55 arriving Raleigh at 11:15 pm. Overnight near airport.

Thursday July 22 – Drive back to Richmond

Questions: I get motion sick and will probably wear a patch the entire trip. Will the Coyote Canyon Pink Jeep tour be best? How far in advance should I book (and therefore pay) for the Glen Canyon Float trip? How long does it take to hike and tour Horseshoe Bend? Recommended "must sees" along the way? Is doing alittle in Page, Az going up and more on the way back ok?

Thanks for any help in tweeking or recommendations!

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

You already know it, but I have to say, you're covering a lot of territory in minimal time.

Arriving in PHX at 5PM means you won't be on the road until after 6PM. You could get to Camp Verde by 8PM (11PM by your body clock) or an hour later in Flagstaff. Long day either way.

Where ever you stay, I'd head straight to the GCNP in the morning. You'll want to maximize your time there since you'll be leaving the next morning.

I'd skip Page the next day because you've got a 5 hour drive without stops on the east rim. Detouring and stopping at Page would mean you don't to Zion till after dark.

Your plan makes more sense from that point forward, but I'd stay one more night in Sedona, mainly because if you really want to do all that stuff up in page, plus Wupatki, you've only left yourselves one day in Sedona. Stay one more night and do Montezuma's castle on the day you drive to PHX. You'll miss the ball game, but Sedona will be more fun

Richmond, VA
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2. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

GHAK! We can't miss the ball game! We are trying to hit all the MLB ball parks (and one of the reasons we are flying into Phoenix)! And my boys will revolt! This will make #10 on the ballpark list and will be a great way to end our trip. If we stay in Sedona an extra day, what are some more ideas of things to do/see? I am afraid it will all start to blend together, and that is one of the reasons I want to see the Grand Canyon first....go get the wow factor in at the beginning. What if we skip the Sunset Crater area all together and did Montezuma on the way back into Phoenix like you suggest? Also, if we don't do anything in Page on the way up, we will have to eliminate something. How long would the Antelope Canyon tour take? I would rather do that than the dam. And there are some dinosaur tracks near Tuba City....worth seeing?

Uden, The...
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3. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

Well, isn't playing Golf gloryfied walking???? (we're off in 2 hours for a round, it's freezing and light snow, but DW insists....).

Ok, I agree with RedRox, you're packing a lot. Maybe:

Day 1: Transport, p/u car and stay in a hotel in Phoenix North. Relax...

Day 2: Straight to Grand Canyon NP. Take I17-I40 west to Williams and to south rim. Maybe stock up at the Safeway in Williams (and fill your tank).

Day 3: Take as much time for east rim etc., drive to Cameron and take us89A via Navajo Bridges and Marble Canyon (no need to drive to Lees Ferry, you'll be there after the float trip) to Kanab and to Springdale. Already will be a long day. Us89A is very scenic and not much of a detour instead driving via Page.

Day 4: Zion

Day 5: Bryce

Day 6: Bryce to Page only is 3 hours. If you start early you can visit Antelope Canyon midday. Count on 2 hours for it. Will be busy, maybe better reserve a tour from Page via Caroline Ekis or Chief Tsosie. After Antelope Canyon you could take the Glen Canyon Dam tour (app. 1.5 hours) before relaxing at the Courtyard's Pool (for your hubby, it has a golfcourse at its backdoor, no shade....and steep).

Day 7: www. raftthecanyon.com and the drive to Sedona. Maybe make the Wupatki/Sunset Crater Volcano loop. I'd skip horseshoebend this time. It will be sizzling hot (no shade) and you already are floating Colorado River. If you want to visit Horseshoe bend, bring water, hats and sunscreen and count on 1.5 hours extra.

If you feel like visiting you could go Montezuma Castle between Sedona and Phoenix. Won't take more than 1 hour imo. You didn't mention Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona. That's a must visit! Also maybe consider visiting Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Tet

Ohio, USA
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4. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

Well, looks like I'm late to the party, as RR and tet have covered most all of the major points, and I agree with what both have written. I think tet has a very good suggestion for an itinerary. Skipping Page on the way from GC to Zion, but hitting it on the return trip (from BC) makes sense to me as well.

If you can fit it in, I think seeing Horseshoe bend from the rim would be really cool, particularly since you are planning on a raft trip that will take you through the Horseshoe Bend (just seems like it will give an interesting perspective). Maybe you could fit this end at the end of day 6 (per tet's suggestion), rather than hitting the pool (then you get the view from the river the next day).

BTW, we stayed at the Courtyard when we were in Page. Very nice place. The golf course also looks very nice (alas, I did not get to play, but golf was not the point of that trip).

Ohio, USA
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5. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

As for golf, I think RedRox, tet and his DW and I need to get together for a round sometime!

Mesa, Arizona
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6. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

Tet has given you a good itinerary. I'd listen to him.

Your July 14th especially is too full. It will be impossible to see all you want to see at the canyon, stop in Page and still drive to Zion. Please note that if you drive the Jacob Lake/Kanab/Springdale stretch after dark you will have to keep a very careful eye out for wildlife on the road and you will be going thru the tunnel and doing the switchbacks in the dark... not my cup of tea!

Sometimes it's better to have a list of things you'd like to do and then choose which one are most appealing when you get there. There is a lot to see and you can't do it all in one trip.

Sedona, AZ
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7. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

OK, Keep the ball game in the plan.

Antelope Canyon tours take about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, but you need to allow 3 hours in your window for time to get there, wait to be transported up the wash and back, etc. I'd do that over the dam tour though. You'll see the dam up close on the raft trip.

Skip Sunset crater. And don't bother with the detour to Tuba City for dinosaur tracks. Sedona will amaze you. As much as you will have already seen and done, it will still be unique.

You've gotten a lot of good info here that should help you to tweek this trip and make it work.

Nashville
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8. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

We did most of the same areas in 7 days in May 2009. We drove about 1,000 miles. It would have been better if we had taken 12-14 days, but you make do with what you have.

In Phoenix, you might want to take a look at the downtown Spring Hill Suites. It had suites with 2 queens and a sleeper sofa, a nice pool area and it was an easy walk to Chase Field for Diamondback games and the Arizona center.

Here are a few observations I have.

If you plan to visit Montezuma Castle (worth a stop), stay in Camp Verde.

I would try to get to the Grand Canyon as early as possible on Tuesday. We did your basic plan at the GC, but we got there about 10:00 a.m. You don't have a lot of time there. We did the west section shuttle on the first afternoon and then worked our way east the next morning as you have planned. My family didn't want to hike at the GC, so I got up at sunrise and hiked about 30 minutes down the Bright Angel trail. It gave me a different perspective from the rim. I probably spent 75 minutes on that trail.

When you drive to Springdale, you may get delayed at Cameron, but it is worth a stop. In my mind, I thought we would be there for 45 minutes for a quick lunch and looking around. My wife and daughter had other ideas. We ended up being there close to 2 hours and didn't eat lunch until Page (we had a big breakfast at Bright Angel that morning.) With 2 sons, you may not have that problem. My son and I were ready to leave after 20 minutes. At Bryce, make sure you hike to the bottom on the Navajo Loop trail. Make sure you plan time after dark for star gazing. It is incredible.

To see different country, we drove through Page one way and on the way back, we headed south at Kanab and went through Jacob Lake. If you plan to stop at Page both ways, that might not be practical for you.

Spend as much time in Sedona as you possibly can. It is a beautiful place. The pink jeep tour is a lot of fun.

Enjoy your trip.

Edited: 25 January 2010, 16:46
Salt Lake City, Utah
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9. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

<<GHAK! We can't miss the ball game!>> I had the same reaction. Definitely leave the ball game in. :-)

At Zions, rather then do the tubing in the river plan on hiking the Narrows. It is a classic hike and will get you into the river on a hot day. (Hubby can carry a golf club and swing at some of the rocks). I just hate to have you drive all that way to see the park and not spend every second you have in it. Otherwise leave Zions out. It would help with your too packed schedule.

Edited: 25 January 2010, 16:59
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10. Re: AZ-UT Itinerary tweeking - redrox, ohiohick, tet...

I will suggest you skip Wupatki/Sunset Crater on your way from Page to Sedona. Two reasons:

1) Sedona deserves more time than you can give it. Spend as much time there as you can, so don't delay in getting there.

2) We loved Wupatki and highly recommend it. That being said, it will be brutally hot in July. It is located out in the desert, with not a smidgen of shade to be found for miles. We were there on Sept. 25th and it was 95 then!! It cooled tremendously when we headed toward Flagstaff and got up in the higher elevations, but in the desert it was uncomfortable even in late Sept. I can't imagine the discomfort in July. While it is a fascinating ruin, you can't do it all, so I would skip this site, as you will be very hot and rushing through it anyway.