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Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

London, United...
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Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Hi all,

In early May we'll be driving from the GC South Rim to Palm Springs and even though my driving stamina is quite good I think I should break up the journey with an overnight stop. This will give us the option not to leave GC at dawn and spend some more time there.

I haven't seen anything along the route that jumped out at me for this stop so so you have any recommendations please?

This is part of our honeymoon so a small quaint town, maybe even with traditional Indian flavours, will be superb.

thanks

Rob

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1. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Depending on which route you take, you have a few options.

You could head from GC to Sedona and spend the night. Then the next day, head to PS via Phoenix and Interstate 10.

www.visitsedona.com

Or you could head west on Interstate 40 from the GC.Maybe run part of Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman or Kingman and Oatman, and make your way to Lake Havasu City for the night. See the London Bridge.

The next day run hwy 95 down the river to Parker, and head across to hwy 62.

Pictures of that.

https:/…

Hwy 62 goes right by the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. You could enter at 29 Palms, do the north loop and exit at the town of Joshua Tree.Then take hwy 62 to I-10 into PS.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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2. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Well, the 'Indian' flavors are mostly in the other direction ... don't know what you'll have done before GC, but what you could do is this: you could take the scenic drive down 89 through Sedona - Jerome 'ghost' town - Prescott - Wickenburg, and spend the night there. That's a quaint, small, peaceful little town, not 'Indian' but definitely 'western', in a gorgeous Sonora desert setting. From there you'd jsut take 60 and then I-10 west.

Or you could take I-40 to Kingman and on toward needles, but then head south along 95 to Lake Havasu City - where you could see 'your' London bridge rebuilt there. Lake havasu is not exactly quaint and small, but you'd easiyl find lodgingm, maybe even on the island across the bridge, and that IS romatic. Lake Havasu is gorgeous to look at. Next day you'd just head on down 95 till you hit I-10 and head west from Quartzsite.

Between Kingman and Topoc as an alternative you could drive a short stretch of historic Route 66 to see Oatman, the old abandoned mining town, not tourist attractin, with feral donkeys living right in the streets. Now there's quaint for you!

London, United...
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3. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Thanks for your replies guys.

Esty, I really like the idea of Wickenburg and I see you're from there. Can you recommend any accomodation and maybe a half day's activity in the area?

Phoenix, Arizona
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4. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Rob: esty is sadly shy and humble about her very terrific, authentic old west town. I would trim back her itinerary like this:

When you leave Williams, turn right and go to Holbrook. Go south on AZ 89 to Prescott. Go downtown and see the territorial court house (still in use) and the one,true,authenitic,original "Whiskey Row." Go in the swinging doors of any of the saloons. Notice the wood planked floors, the nicked up furniture and the highly ornate hand carved bars. If you have very good eyesight look up to the ceiling for the bullet holes. This is where the REAL bar fights and shoot outs happened. Eat lunch here, then move on to one of the great gold mining and cowboy towns of the west...Wickenburg!

This is where you will spend the night. Esty can hook you up with where to honymoon. Eat a juicy, mesquite broiled cowboy steak and then walk around the boardwalks of downtown. EVERYTHING you see there is authentic. You might want to stop in to the Merchantile Store for some real working cowboy blue jeans to take home with you. This is the real deal, old west town...but with mod-cons. The next morning you can stroll down to one of several real diners (everyone has "that smell": when you walk in) for a hearty western American breakfast before you head out for an adventure. You can either go on a real western desert horse ride with your own wrangler who can show you "the ropes". Or you can go up to the Vulture Gold Mine Ghost Town to snoop around. Esty can give you the full info on all fo this.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Probably the previous poster meant Ash Fork, not Holbrook. Holbrook is in the eastern direction from Williams. If you are staying in Wickenburg I'd still make the drive via az89A to Sedona, Jerome and to Prescott first.

Another but longer options is to drive to Needles and west of Needles take National Trails Hw (R66) to Amboy (Roy'Cafe) and Amboy rd to Twentynine palms. (Murals) 29Palms is at the entrance of Joshua Tree NP. No lodging between Needles and 29Palms though.

Phoenix, Arizona
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6. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Thanks, Tet. yes Ash Fork. Dog jumped in my lap as I was posting. I am trying to envision a very casual drive for the honeymooners that wouldn't be rushed or have them staying in some cheesy motel. I think Williams to Prescott to Wickenburg would be the most relaxed and romantic and leave plenty of time for hand holding as they stroll around the towns. I don't recommend trying to jam too much in, or the "most efficient" time saving but boring route for this poster.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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7. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

For accommodation there’s a nice Best Western downtown on Wickenburg Way (= highway 60) right beside the river (don’t be fooled, it’s a dry river bed most of the time). Another nice option, which visiting friends of mine often use and are always happy with, is the Super 8. It’s at the north end of town on 89, there N. Tegner Street, as you come off the rotary heading downtown. It’s not your run-of-the-mill chain motel but in an old and traditional wood-sided historic (and renovated of course!) building. You can have breakfast there – it’s included – or downtown, where I’d strongly recommend the Horseshoe Café. Of you love ice cream (not necessarily for breakfast) you have to go to the Chaparral – it’s all home-made.

Half-day activities: you could look at the Desert Caballeros Museum right at the intersection of Tegner and Wickenburg Way downtown. It’s not very small – you won’t get bored – but very, very nicely done.

A romantic little outing would be to head east (well, southeast, direction Phoenix) on hwy 60 for a few miles and go to the Hassayampa River Preserve. It’s on your right off the highway and there are several loop trails through a lush and very verdant riparian area where the river actually runs above ground. Apart from the various little loop trials there’s a pond with loads of birds and turtles, etc. and a great picnic area underneath a healthy stand of majestic shady palm trees. You could also drive to the Vulture Mine and explore there. Most of the oldest building from the last 19th century are in ruins .- things were just left to themselves and the elements, and the crumbled ‘remains’ are there, but the old assay building still stands, as well as all the newer additions. You’d drive west on 60 to the second large intersection with traffic lights. You’d be outside Safeway now. Turn left onto Vulture Mine Rd there and drive a few miles to the mine. It’ll be on your right.

Partway there, you could also park at the trailhead for Vulture Peak if you want a hike instead and walk the 2-mile trail (one-way) to Vulture Peak. The first part of the hike as you walk through washes and over small ridges is rich in typical Sonora desert flora and seems like a botanical garden. Towards the top it gets more exposed and rockier, and the last bit is a bit steep and arduous, but on a good trail. Many hikers only go as far as the saddle. The views from there are superb, but if you scramble up the last few feet to the top you’ll be rewarded with an all-around view to far horizons – it’s terrific up there. If you do go there, don’t forget to leave your name and comment in the little book in the metal box!

Ok, just a few ideas, if you’d like more information let me know.

Esty, proudly from Wickenburg

Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Rob: What esty calls a "rotary" is the round -about. The nature preserve is great...just don't drink the water!!! Would I lie to you?

She also knows about "Rosie's" which seems a great place for trail riding.

London, United...
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9. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

this sounds to me like a hidden gem :)

Many thanks for all this information. I've just booked the Best Western for the 5th May. Very looking forward to this leg of the trip which is a 3 week loop starting and ending in San Francisco.

Donbacsi - my sat nav over here has an American voice setup so I'm familiar with the rotary term :)

Wickenburg, Arizona
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10. Re: Grand Canyon - Palm Springs

Have a wonderful trip - I'm sure it'll be something you'll remember for a lifetime! Enjoy!