Hello fellow travelers,
I am planning a 9 day trip with my boyfriend across the Southwest (specifically Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico) in early October. We plan to fly into Phoenix and fly out of Albuquerque, driving a rental car to all the stops in between. Here's my tentative itinerary- can anyone give me feedback on whether this is doable in the time I've allotted, and whether the selected destinations are the best (and most efficient) use of our limited time? Any and all suggestions are appreciated- we have never been to this region of the country before.
AUS -> PHX (arrive 10am)
•pick up rental car (10:30-11am)
•drive to Flagstaff (11am-1pm))
•lunch, check into hotel (1pm-2pm)
•drive to Petrified Forest National Park (2pm-3:30pm)
•Enjoy Petrified Forest/Painted Desert (4pm-6pm), drive back to Flagstaff (6pm-8pm)
•Dinner, overnight in Flagstaff
•Check out of hotel (4:30am)
•Sunrise balloon ride over Sedona Desert- breakfast included (5-10am)
•Drive to Grand Canyon (12-1:30pm)
•Spend afternoon at Grand Canyon’s South Rim (2pm-7pm)
•Stargazing? any programs for this?
•Dinner, overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim (lodging suggestions?)
•Breakfast at South Rim
•Spend the day at the Grand Canyon South Rim
•Mule ride, hiking trails, scenic drive?
•Lunch, dinner, overnight at South Rim
•Breakfast, check out of hotel (7-9am)
•Drive to Monument Valley (9am-1pm)
•Lunch at Monument Valley (1-2pm)
•Afternoon in Monument Valley (2-5pm)
•Dinner, check into nearby hotel (where?)
•Breakfast, check out of hotel (9-10am)
•Drive to Four Corners Monument (10-12pm)
•Lunch at Four Corners (12-2pm)
•Drive to Cortez, CO, check into hotel (2-3pm)
•Afternoon, evening, dinner in Cortez
•Breakfast, check out of hotel (7-8am)
•Drive to Mesa Verde National Park (8-9am)
•Day at Mesa Verde, lunch at Mesa Verde (9-6pm)
•Drive to Durango, CO (6-7:30pm)
•Check into hotel, dinner, overnight in Durango
•Breakfast, check out of hotel (8-9am)
•Morning in Durango? (9am-11am)
•Drive to Pagosa Springs, CO (11am-12:30pm)
•Lunch in Pagosa Springs (12:30-2pm)
•Drive to Santa Fe, NM (2-5pm)
•Check into hotel, dinner, overnight in Santa Fe
•All day in Santa Fe (spa, cultural activities, etc)
•Overnight in Santa Fe
•Breakfast, check out of hotel (10-11am)
•Drive to Albuquerque, NM (11-12pm)
•Lunch in Albuquerque (12-1)
•Drive to airport, drop off car (1-2pm)
•ABQ -> AUS
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