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Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

West Chicago...
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Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

On my recent September road trip (TR still in the works), I had a chance to visit Grand Canyon NP (both south and north rims), Page (Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River Float Trip) and the 3 National Monuments: Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki. In November I'll be spending a few days in Sedona. Now I'm thinking about a 10 day Arizona (plus Monument Valley) trip for next May. Here's my thoughts:

MONDAY, 5/20 - fly MDW to PHX, pick up rental car offsite, Heard Museum (including 2 docent tours). STAY: Budget Lodge Downtown Phoenix.

TUESDAY, 5/21 - Taliesin West Insights Tour, Musical Instrument Museum (I am a musician and expect to spend hours here). STAY; Budget Lodge Downtown Phoenix.

WEDNESDAY, 5/22 - Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Art Museum (including 3 docent tours), drive to Flagstaff, Lowell Observatory (open to 9:30pm on Wed). STAY: Little America Motel.

THURSDAY, 5/23 - Museum of Northern Arizona, Pioneer Museum, Arboretum (including tour), Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, downtown Flagstaff. STAY: Little America Motel.

FRIDAY, 5/24 - Drive to Page, Upper Antelope Slot Canyon Photographic Tour (Chief Tsosie's - was scheduled to do this on road trip but rain forced cancellation due to flood danger), drive to Monument Valley, possibly taking Gouldings Full Moon Monument Valley Tour (it's the night of the full moon). STAY: The View

SATURDAY, 5/25 - Half day Monument Valley Tour including restricted backcountry sites (probably with Navajo Spirit Tours), drive to Tuba City, Explore Navajo Interactive Museum. STAY: Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites.

SUNDAY, 5/26 - Full day tour with Hopi Tours (Micah Loma'omvaya), drive to Holbrook. STAY: Wigwam Motel (can't help myself).

MONDAY, 5/27 - Petrified Forest National Park (including park programs and tours, some short hikes and all the overlooks, etc.), drive to Winslow. STAY: La Posada Hotel

TUESDAY, 5/28 - Little Painted Desert County Park, Homlovi Ruins State Park, Downtown Winslow (First Street Pathway, Winslow Visitor Center/Hubbell Trading Post, Snowdrift Art Space, Standin' on the Corner Park...again, Old Trails Historical Museum), optional trip to Meteor Crater (which will be open to 7pm). STAY: La Posada Hotel.

WEDNESDAY, 5/29 - Drive to Phoenix, return car and fly home

Always open to ideas, changes, challenges, repudiations, affirmation, etc. Biggest questions are whether to do the Full Moon Tour (or just hang out on the balcony at The View) and whether to visit the unique but expensive IMHO Meteor Crater.

Keith

Edited: 10 October 2012, 04:51
West Chicago...
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1. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

(Should also mention that I DO plan to return to Grand Canyon NP and Page and probably the NMs. Plus I expect my trip to Sedona to be the first of several. I just wanted to plan this particular trip as all new places for me - with the exception of picking up that missed and wanted tour in Page. Also, I know there are other sites that would fit well with this trip such as Window Rock and Canyon de Chelly. Planning on those more down the road and probably combined with Mesa Verde NP. Keith)

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2. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

Looks like a decent plan. If you were a family, I'd encourage cutting back, but traveling solo you should be fine.

West Chicago...
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3. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

Thanks for the feedback, RedRox. And you're right. I've found that travelling solo makes all the difference in doing so much and yet still being relaxed and enjoying myself. (On recent road trip with old grad school roommate, we ended up dialing back from a similarly intense plan, which we thought we might.)

BTW, absolutely loved your photos of the North Window at Arches from the west side at sunrise.

Keith

Wickenburg, Arizona
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4. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

Have you considered inclusing a visit to Canyon de Chelly since you're going to that quadrant anyway? You'd want to spend a night there and take the guided tour into the canyon, half- or full-day. It's awesome.

West Chicago...
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5. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

Thanks Esty,

Yes, I did consider CdeC. I know that when I DO visit I want to do the full day "Shake and Bake" tour as well as have enough time to visit all the viewpoints on both the south and north rims.

If I included CdeC, I'd have to drop something else, perhaps Petrified Forest NP and/or the Hopi Tour. Who knows, I still might. But at this point I'm leaning towards including CdeC in a future (2014) loop from Albuquerque with something like this: El Malpais/El Morro NMs, Zuni Pueblo, Gallup, Window Rock, CdeC, Mesa Verde NP, Durango and back to Northern New Mexico.

Keith

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6. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

LOL ... seems you're a long-term planner. if you do know you'll be back for yet another trip to AZ, among other places, then of course it makes sense not to cram too much into one trip. Don't drop Petrified Forest; it's a revelation.

Lots of people will also say Meteor Crater is not worth it - IMO it definitely is though. Some feel it's just a hole in the ground - well, if you stand at the edge and then consider why it's there, what caused it and what it meant for the surrounding area - well, then it's daunting to say the least.

BTW, come next May I'll be on another road trip that way as well.

Edited: 10 October 2012, 13:29
West Chicago...
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7. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

Thanks again, Esty.

And yeah, I am a long term planner! I enjoy researching and planning trips almost as much as taking them. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but you get my drift.

And thanks for advice on Petrified Forest NP and Meteor Crater. I've seen so many conflicting posts. I noticed that most negative reactions to PFNP were visits that were essentially just a drive through. So I'm planning on giving myself the day, taking in the visitor centers, the Ranger led tours/programs, some hikes as well as the drive.

Keith

Harleysville...
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8. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

So glad you are including a stay at La Posada. It is just wonderful.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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9. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

Good plan indeed for PetFor. The different sections are really very different, and some of the best spots are a little hike off the road. It needs some time to truly explore and experience the separate parts fully.

BTW,I really enjoy the planning stage of trips as well.

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10. Re: Considering more Arizona for May, 2013

Hello there,

My husband & I have done several of your listed stops on our 2 trips to GC. We've gone to Pet For & Painted Dessert twice...loved it...just awesome. In Holbrook area, El Racho has great mexican food. There's a small museum there too. Jim Gray's has great pet wood items too. Monument Valley is amazing as well. The View hotel is beautiful. We done the back country tour w/ Nav Spirit..Larson was our guide...loved him....so interesting & so much fun. The meteor crater was amazing we thought...we really enjoyed it. Canyon deChel....incredible...that's one of our favorite places..Hubbell Trading is interesting.. We gone in May both times and the weather was perfect...Sounds like an wonderful fun trip! Enjoy & be safe.