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4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

St Paul, MN
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4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

Hello- My husband and I are planning a road trip from MN to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta from Oct 5-8.

We are interested in seeing AZ for possibly 4-5 days after leaving NM..We are in our early 60's- enjoy hiking, photography, seeing wildlife, small towns, staying at B&Bs.

Have read some about Sedona, Flagstaff & the south rim of GCNP. Is it advisable to have reservations at these places? Weather-wise, what can we expect? Too much to try to see for the amount of time?

Thanks for your help.

tucson az
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1. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

Where would you go after AZ?

It is advisable to have reservations at GCNP. Flagstaff and Sedona both have enough lodging to "wing it" unless you find some special places that you might like to stay.

From ABQ to GCNP South Rim is about 6.5 hours. I would recommend 2 nights at GCNP and 2 nights at Sedona.

The best place to stay at GCNP is in the park in a lodge. None are B&B's however two are unique, El Tovar Lodge which is a full service hotel and Bright Angel Lodge which has historic cabins. The others are motel-like but are comfortable, clean and well-maintained. Sedona has many B&B's.

Sedona, AZ
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2. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

October is possibly the most desirable month to visit northern AZ. Absolutely plan and book ahead of time. Start with the GCNP. You'll find most of the lodges there heavily booked already.

www.grandcanyonlodges.com

Uden, The...
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3. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

We often come in october (indeed great time of year) and always found places to stay in Flagstaff and Sedona. But in GC definitely make a reservations.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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4. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

GCNP (Grand Canyon south rim) should be your absolute top priority - there's such no other place exactly like it. And you can sure hike to your heart's content there. You can expect nice daytime temps but cool to cold nights at that elevation. You'd need to book accommodation ASAP. For the in-park hotels, visit www.grandcanyonlodges.com or call 888-297-2757.

Failing that you can get lodging right outside the south gate (main entrance to the park) in Tusayan, about ten minutes' drive from the rim. What some people do is reserve a room at one of the Tusayan hotels, but then keep calling Xanterra for cancellations – which happen all the time, but don’t make it back onto the website before they’re snatched up again. That way you might still get ‘inside’ and then just cancel the prior reservation at Tusayan.

If you're into photography, you should also consider going to PAGE for Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell - a photographer's paradise.

St Paul, MN
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5. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

Thank you all for your comments.

On the website for GCNP it looks like there is a cabin in the west section of Yavapai and a room at Bright Angel without a shower. Seems to be a lot of mixed reviews about Yavapai as far as cleanliness,etc. Everyone has different expectations, right? We are looking for somewhere clean and safe. Don't need frills.

Good suggestion to book something & keep trying back for a cancellation.

How are the crowds in Oct?

Would you suggest to stay in Flagstaff or Sedona if we are looking for a quiet place for a day or two on our way to the park?

Thanks for your help.

St Paul, MN
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6. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

We are looking at making reservations for 3 nights at a B&B in the Sedona or Flagstaff area for early Oct. Both sound great for hiking and photography. i

Any suggestions for which place to choose? Guess we are leaning towards Sedona. Is Sedona more expensive in lodging and food?

Both look beautiful!

Thank you for your help.

tucson az
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7. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

Looks like no one replied to your question about GC lodges. Yavapai is fine. I have always found the lodges to be very clean. They're a step above basic but they are not luxurious by any means. They are well maintained, clean and comfortable.

Flagtsaff vs. Sedona: Both have all types of lodging at all price levels. Dining costs are similar. Flagstaff probably has more choices for both. There are a lot of things to do in either place. Sedona is more scenic and lacks the "busyness" of Flagstaff. I would stay in Sedona and do a day trip to Flagstaff.

Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

There are some who will recommend Sedona over every other place in AZ. However, looking at your desires, I have to say you are better off in Flagstaff. There are a GREAT many more food choices there and you are right next to so many different types of natural and man-made sites...you will get much more mileage out of your time if you stay in Flagstaff.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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9. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

You like photography, hiking. from Flagstaff you could go to Sunset Crater, Wupatki and Walnut Canyon, among a lot of other things ...

Uden, The...
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10. Re: 4-5 days in AZ in Oct- please help with itinerary

Between ABQ and Flagstaff enough places worth a visit already. So you can stay in Flag that night. Next day to GC vka Sunset Crater Volcano, Wupatki and Cameron and stay the night in GC Villager. From there to Sedona to spend 2 or 3 nights.