We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Family itinerary in April

new jersey
Level Contributor
65 posts
Save Topic
Family itinerary in April

Re-posting from Phoenix forum (put it there by accident - sorry for duplication)

Just starting to plan a trip for our family of 4 (2 kids 10, 12) in April 2014. I still need help with the big picture before I start to fill in all the details. My son is dying to see the Grand Canyon and to do any other Junior Ranger programs. All of us enjoy hiking, horse back riding.

We are flying into Albuquerque, but not really planning to spend time there (flights just worked much better for us). Right now I'm looking at:

Day 1 - fly into Albuquerque late, stay overnight in Albuquerque

Day 2 - AM drive to Grand Canyon pretty early, stay inside park (2 nights) - vacation rental

Day 3- Grand Canyon

Day 4- drive to Sedona, stay 1 night

Day 5 - Pink Jeep Tour AM

drive to Tucson late in the day to vacation rental

Day 6-7 Tucson

Dessert Museum (eat lunch there)

Kartchner Caverns

Tombstone

Day 8- drive back to Albuquerque, fly out late

Several questions -

1) We may have 1 extra day - where would you recommend we spend it?

2) We are currently skipping Phoenix - thoughts about that?

3) Should we try to go to Page?

4) As I'm writing this my son is announcing that he would like to camp at the bottom of the Grand Canyon - which we would consider but - don't know how the weather is for that in April? and we would need to rent/borrow equipment since we don't want to drag all of our stuff on the plane for 1 night.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
58,211 posts
231 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Family itinerary in April

Camping at the bottom of the canyon is out. Reservations and permits were issued over a month ago. I doubt that your family would be able to do the trip anyway. You'll understand when you see the GC.

Consider an extra night at Sedona. You'll be able to do more outdoor activities there than at the Grand Canyon National Park.

I'm surprised that ALB worked that much better for you. You're adding many hours of driving to your plan.

new jersey
Level Contributor
65 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Family itinerary in April

Thanks RedRox -

Thanks for putting the GC camping question to rest. If we can't add an extra day to the trip would you recommend 1 night in GCNP and 2 in Sedona (instead of reverse).

Yes - I know ALB is not ideal, but the times/fares/airport at our end just all worked better. It's not so bad at the beginning of the trip, but it definitely adds a fair amount to the trip Tucson-> ALB.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
58,211 posts
231 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Family itinerary in April

It has been my observation that most travelers find more things to see and do at Sedona than the Grand Canyon National Park. If you must choose where to spend more time, Sedona usually makes the most sense. However, because you're driving to the Grand Canyon National Park from Albuquerque, the drive will require most of 5 hours. This will reduce your time at the GC. Plan to enter the park at the east gate above Cameron and tour the east rim road that day. Then tour the west road and GCV the next day and proceed to Sedona, making certain that you arrive well before sunset.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Family itinerary in April

Hi

What do you mean by "vacation rental" inside GCNP? For Page, no that will take too much extra time. I'd keep the itinerary as planned and add an extra day for Sedona. Make a reservation for Katchner Caverns.

Tet

new jersey
Level Contributor
65 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Family itinerary in April

Thanks RedRox - We'll plan to explore GCNP as suggested, and add a day in Sedona if possible

Tet- So glad you asked about vacation rental - because I now see that it came up as GCNP, but it is actually between Williams and Flagstaff. Going back to look for something inside park...

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Family itinerary in April

Good decision! Please check www.grandcanyonlodges.com for accomodation. El Tovar, Kachina, Thunderbird and Bright Angels sit right at the rim.

Manhattan Beach...
Level Contributor
2 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Family itinerary in April

Your time in Tucson looks ambitious. Desert Museum can easily be a most of the day affair, and is well worth it. Other popular things to do are Sabino Canyon. (Take the tram up to the top, then walk down and do a picnic when it tickles your fancy.)

You may also enjoy Pima Air & Space museum where they have lots of old planes. It is on the south side of town along I-10. Tombstone is quite a drive and will take a good portion of a day by itself, depending on what you do. (Beware a bit of tourist trap.)

Finally, if you enjoy old churches San Xavier del Bac is a popular South of Tucson site to see. Or go see the Titan Missile Museum. You can actually go down into the old Titan Missle Silo! << I found this fascinating.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Family itinerary in April

And, of course, Tucson highlights also are Saguara NP east and west. West will be close to the excellent Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

Jackson, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
567 posts
176 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Family itinerary in April

An extra day could also be worked in on your day 2 around Flagstaff. You could spend a couple hours at Meteor crater and a couple more at Walnut Canyon National Mounment . I presume there would be a Jr ranger program there too. If you were interested you could even spend a half day at petrified forest NP first. Overnight in Flagstaff, then short drive up to the Grand Canyon on Day 3.

new jersey
Level Contributor
65 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Family itinerary in April

Thanks to all for the advice - We now have a reservation that is in the park (rather than a reservation I thought was in the park!) We'll take a closer look at the Tucson days-- Sounds like theres lots that the kids will enjoy there. We'll check out the activities/sites around Flagstaff - I'll get my son looking up the Junior Ranger programs to help plan the itinerary. Thanks again!