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Arizona Road Trip

Pittsburgh...
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Arizona Road Trip

I am planning a road trip in May with my husband and parents to visit the great state of Arizona. We are flying in to Phoenix and traveling through the state, then ending in Las Vegas to fly home. Our rough itinerary looks like this (items with the star are definites):

Day 1 - Fly into Phoenix, visit Heard Museum, Superstition Mountains, overnight in Casa Grande

Day 2 - Drive south to visit the Titan II Missile Museum* then continue south to visit Tombstone for the afternoon. Overnight in Benson/Vail??? (Seems like there is little to do at night in Tombstone and few decent hotels)

Day 3 - Drive north with stops along the way depending on the route. Perhaps Kartchner Caves, San Xavier Mission, Besh-Ba-Gowah Archeological Park in Globe. Overnight in Show Low?

Day 4 - Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Sunset Crater, Homolovai Ruins. Overnight Flagstaff

Day 5 - Drive North and stop by the Wupatki Monument, Grand Canyon via east entrance. Overnight at rental in Parks, AZ*

Day 6 - Drive south to Sedona. Take a trip on the Verde Canyon Railroad*. Check out the red rocks park. Overnight at rental in Parks, AZ*

Day 7 - Drive to Las Vegas. Stop at the Hoover Dam and take a behind the scenes tour*. Overnight Vegas

Day 8 - Las Vegas

Day 9 - fly home

Any comments on our itinerary? We already have overnight arrangements from day 5 on. Otherwise I was thinking Casa Grande, Benson/Vail, Show Low and Flagstaff. Please let me know if these are good areas to stay. Sometimes they are just convenient stops for our travel and not so much the "destination" itself.

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Arizona Road Trip

Sunset Crater and Wupatki are at the same place. Make it on day 5.

Your day trip to Sedona will be a drive by. The VCRR takes all of he afternoon. Red Rock SP is a minor destination at Sedona. Choose to tour the rest of the highlights instead. You'll wish you had skipped the train.

Houston, TX
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2. Re: Arizona Road Trip

There are two tours at Hoover Dam. The shorter one is 30 minutes and can be booked in advance online. The longer one is one hour, and can only be booked in person on the day and costs more. On this tour, you are with a large group for the first 30 minutes and do essentially the 30 minute tour. Then your guide pulls the longer tour people aside (maximum number is 20 because only 21 people fit into the elevators you use for the next half hour), and you go to other places inside the dam. Have a look at the website for tour times so you know what to expect when you arrive at the dam. In busy times you may have to wait a while for the next tour with availability. We did the longer tour and were glad we had--for us the most interesting parts were in the last 30 minutes. However, if you have only time for or interest in the shorter version you will still learn lots about the dam and its construction.

Pittsburgh...
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3. Re: Arizona Road Trip

RedRox - what other attractions would you recommend for Sedona? We already reserved our tickets for the VCRR. We aren't the most "active" bunch so we wouldn't do much hiking. Are there other attractions we'd be able to stop by before/after our trip on the railroad? We'll have the whole day in Sedona, minus the hour or so it will take drive back and forth from Parks.

Thanks!

Sedona, AZ
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4. Re: Arizona Road Trip

Sedona doesn't require hiking, but it does require time. There is more to see than you can imagine, but you can't just drive by it. You need to stop and get out of the car. You don't need to hike, but you'll want to wander.

The VCRR is over 20 miles away from Sedona. It's in a pretty canyon, but nothing like Sedona itself.

I often say that Sedona needs at least 3 days and nights. Obviously you won't have anything like that. I put the VCRR on about day 5 or 6.

Try to at least get to the Chapel of the Holy Cross and Red Rock Crossing. In reality you'll have about 3-4 hours for Sedona at best. Way too little time IMO.

tucson az
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5. Re: Arizona Road Trip

The Titan Missile Museum is south of Tucson off I-19 near Sahuarita. You might want to see Mission San Xavier on the way. Tombstone is southeast via I-10 to Hwy 80 through Benson. For overnight, Benson (nothing to do there either) or Tucson. There are no hotels at Vail.

Be sure to travel between Globe and Show Low in daylight...... scenic Salt River Canyon that you don't want to miss, and animals after dark.

Tucson's premier attraction is the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a world-renowned zoo of desert animals and a botanical garden.

Tucson, Arizona
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6. Re: Arizona Road Trip

General comment -- you are trying to squeeze too much in. There is a LOT of driving You need to be aware of the distances involved. And to get everything in, you will need to be VERY early risers.

Day 1 -- if you will be visiting the Superstition Mountains, rather than backtrack to Casa Grande, consider overnight in Florence.

Days 2 & 3 require a lot of backtracking. Here is how I would do it:

Day 2 -- Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, San Xavier del Bac Mission, Titan Missile Museum. Maybe back to overnight near the Tucson airport.

Day 3 Kartchner Caverns, Tombstone, finishing in Bisbee for overnight. Or head up to Benson to make the following day shorter.

Day 4, drive up through Globe, Salt River Canyon and take the road that goes through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. That drive itself will be 6 hours, with no stops. Skip the Crater (I think you meant Meteor Crater, not Sunset) and go right to Flag. That is a long day.

Day 5 -- If you just want to make the GC a day trip, don't stay overnight in Parks. Drive to Sedona.

Day 6 -- Cancel your VCRR reservation. It is nice but, as RedRox says, it would be several days down the list. Instead, take the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow tour, drive down to Bell Rock, see the Chapel of the Holy Cross, visit Red Rock Crossing, maybe for sunset. Again, overnight in Sedona.

7. Re: Arizona Road Trip

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