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Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

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GA
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Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

I have a meeting in ABQ the end of this month and my husband and I are thinking about flying into Phoenix and renting a car and driving there. We will have Sat-Tues to see as much as we possible can before my meeting begins on Wed. Does anyone have any suggestions on what we can do? Some thoughts my husband had would be to drive to the Grand Canyon and maybe on into Las Vegas (just to say we have been there) and then taking another route to Abq for a few days. Stay for the balloon festival on Sat and leave Sat afternoon to head back to Phoenix. Is this "doable". We aren't afraid of driving long distances. We are from GA and want to see the west part of the US. Thanks for any advice.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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1. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

If you do the Phoenix to Grand Canyon to Las Vegas to Albuquerque jaunt, you will be driving the better part of 3 days or Sat., Sun., and Mon. Phoenix to Grand Canyon is 4 to 5 hours; Grand Canyon to Las Vegas about the same; and Las Vegas to Albuquerque a minimum of 8 hours. "Another route" to Las Vegas would be much longer going up into Utah then over to Page and down to Flagstaff.

The drive from Albuquerque to Phoenix is 6 to 7 hours.

Does this sound like the trip you want to do?

I would suggest you skip Las Vegas. Along with Grand Canyon, you can visit Sedona, Flagstaff and a number of other very interesting places before you head off to Albuquerque. If that sounds better, let us know, and we can make suggestions.

Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

I agree - skip Vegas. If you do it just to "say you've been there", that's all it will be. Save Vegas for another trip.

If you fly into Phx, you could spend a couple of nights in Sedona, and then a night at the Grand Canyon before heading over to Abq. Try to get lodging within the GCNP; call for reservations; don't rely just on their website. (See the Top Questions for GCNP and Sedona for more tips.)

Edited: 02 September 2011, 20:01
Sedona, AZ
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3. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

I'm with HB. Skip Las Vegas. It's in the opposite direction and a total waste of time.

Logical options would be two nights in Sedona and one at GCNP

GA
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4. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

I think we have decided to fly into Abq and rent a car from there. Any suggestions on a road trip. Maybe make a big loop. We would like to drive to the Grand Canyon. We will fly in on Sat and we will have Sun, Monday and head back to Abq on Tues. We will save Vegas for another trip.

Sedona, AZ
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5. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

ALB to GCNP will take almost 5 hours. First thing you MUST DO is book your lodging at the park.

www.grandcanyonlodges.com

It's possible that the website will show it completely sold out. If that's the case, pick up the phone and call Xantera for most up to date inventory.

Not sure what kind of a big loop you think you can do. If you want to add a destination on top of the GC, consider Sedona or Page. Anything more will be all road and no quality time anywhere.

Phoenix, Arizona
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6. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

Here's a thought, so that you don't spend forever on the road.

Sat - drive to GCNP, assuming your flight gets in sometime before 2 PM. Spend the night in GCNP.

Sun - Tour GCNP, spend the night

Mon - leisurely drive out of the park towards Desert View, then head to I-40 and back to Abq.

Tue morning - head up to Santa Fe for the day. Have breakfast at The Pantry, wander the galleries on Canyon Road, and then drive back to Abq that night.

If your flight gets in late afternoon on Saturday, you could always drive partway to the Grand Canyon, and stay in Winslow at the La Posada hotel, then finish your drive the next morning. (It's better not to drive into the Grand Canyon late at night, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Lots of wildlife on the road,and it's REALLY dark inside the park.)

Oh, and the scenic (daytime) route to the GCNP from Flagstaff is Hwy 180. We prefer this over continuing on I-40 to Williams, whenever there's no snow.

Phoenix, Arizona
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7. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

Forgot to add - it's not that I don't advocate going to Sedona, but if you're flying into Abq, it makes more sense to leave Sedona for another time, too. So...plan another trip, and come to Sedona, Phoenix and Scottsdale! And Las Vegas if you must. ;)>

Scottsdale, Arizona
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8. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

At the risk of provoking my fellow Arizonans, I'm going to suggest you forget about coming over here from Albuquerque and enjoy what is available over there. The drive from Albuquerque to Grand Canyon on I-40 is long and monotonous for the most part and would take the better part of two days. If you think this might be your ONE chance to get out this way and see the Grand Canyon, then certainly do it. But if you could come another time, stay around Albuquerque.

A nice thing to do there is to take the tram to the top of the mountains hovering over the city. It is extremely scenic and you go through several different environmental zones, which is very interesting.

Santa Fe is about an hour to the northeast on the Interstate. Down in the center, if you can find a parking place, you can walk around to shops, galleries, vendors, restaurants, etc. and have a marvelous time. I would suggest overnighting there.

If you want to say you have been to Las Vegas, the New Mexico version is just another hour east on the Interstate. It is also an old historic community and has been working to restore sites and bolster tourism.

Taos, another interesting and scenic community, is to the north of Santa Fe. You can visit the Taos Pueblo, which goes back many, many centuries.

Then don't forget Los Alamos, about an hour north of Santa Fe, where the A-Bomb was developed during WWII.

I think you will find a lot to do and see around Albuquerque.

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

While I agree with the above that there is plenty to see around Abq, I just want to clarify the statement that it takes "the better part of 2 days" to get from Abq to the GC - it's about a 5 1/2 hour drive each way; easily added on to the beginning and end of a Saturday-Tuesday trip. That's still a lot of driving, but worth it IMHO if the OP really wants to see the Canyon, and has never been.

That said, the other options that abigguy gave for sightseeing around Abq are great, especially if the OP wants to limit their driving time.

GA
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10. Re: Flying to Phoenix, Driving to Alburquerque

You all have been so great giving advice! I'm not sure what we are going to do but you have given great suggestions and we will certainly take them all into consideration! Thanks a million!