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Trip Planning help

Adelaide, Australia
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6 posts
3 reviews
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Trip Planning help

Hi Trip Advisors hope someone can help - we are trying to organise our itinerary for our once in a lifetime USA trip, my husband and I are early 60's and 50's respectively and we'll be travelling with our two sons - aged 21 and 25. We plan to stay in LA for one night at Santa Monica beach and then take a bus to Las Vegas to stay 2 nights at Belagio. Then we want to see and probably stay a night at Grand Canyon, and we've been told to book a room in Grand Canyon as close to the rim as we can. so that's the first question - best options for accommodation there and best way to travel from Las Vegas. Then we want to drive the Arizona part of Route 66 - Kingman to Flagstaff - so next question where are logical places to stay for a night and nicest hotels, and my husband wants to do this in a Mustang convertible - but we don't think 4 lots of luggage will fit, so actually considering hiring the convertible and a second car - we are in no real rush so happy to take our time and soak up the atmosphere ?

From Flagstaff we want to get to El Paso, but we aren't keen on driving into Phoenix as the big city driving is way to stressful especially when we drive on LHS of the road in RH drive motor vehicles - so that's the last question how do we get to El Paso and where are good stop overs if there are any - or where to stay in El Paso ? Thanks so much

Uden, The...
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60,942 posts
42 reviews
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1. Re: Trip Planning help

Hi

What time of year are you coming? Why do you want to go to El Paso? Are you flying back from there? How long do you have for the total of your trip?

From Las Vegas it's a 5 hours drive to GCNP south rim. You can drive a stretch of R66 between Kingman via Hackberry to Seligman. Not much of R66 between Williams and Flagstaff.

Make a reservation for GCNP via www.grandcanyonlodges.com 6 lodges there. El Tovar, Kachina, Thunderbird and Bright Angel are right at the rim. Yavapai and Maswik on a short distance.

A Mustang convertible with 4 people is not a good idea. Not enough room for luggage and no fun to travel at the back seats of the car. With 4 people and a lot of luggage I suggest to rent a standard or full size SUV.

You can get to Flagstaff by leaving GC by its east entrance to Cameron Trading Post and make the Wupatki/Sunset Crater Volcano loop. There's Walnut Canyon NM just east of Flag and don't forget to visit Sedona www.visitsedona.com Phoenix has motorways that go around it (101) . It's not that bad to drive via Phoenix and you can visit Tucson on the way to El Paso. If you don't want to do that you can drive I40 east (many places for R66 and a NP like Petrified Forest) and near Albuquerque head south to White Sands NM and on to El Paso. EP is a big city with countless places to stay right along I10. But why El Paso. Have you thought of visiting places like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Carlsbad Caverns etc? You will pay a drop off fee for the rental car between LV and Tx.

Tet

Houston, TX
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4,567 posts
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2. Re: Trip Planning help

Don't fret too much about driving through Phoenix--as Tet mentions you will be on the motorway for that drive and everyone will be on the same side of the road as you, going in the same direction. Just try to avoid rush hours if you can.

Lots of interesting places to visit around Tucson--Saguaro National Park (two sections--one east and one just west of Tucson), Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Old Tucson Studios, Pima Air and Space Museum including "The Boneyard."

You really should have a look at the website for White Sands National Monument--very different place.

Re GCNP lodging--there aren't really many rooms with a view of the canyon so don't be too bothered by that. The ones Tet mentions as being closer to the Rim are just that--our latest stay was at a Bright Angel cabin and we were 25 steps from the Rim. The other two are fine--just a short walk away from the Rim. Anything within the park is good.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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59,771 posts
243 reviews
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3. Re: Trip Planning help

Forget the Mustang convertible. I own one and 4 people won't fit in it, even with no luggage. Follow Tet's advice and rent a full size SUV.

Book your GCNP lodging right now. www.grandcanyonlodges.com The best rooms book as much as a year in advance.

4. Re: Trip Planning help

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