Arizona Road Trip

Old Dec 27th, 2013, 09:15 AM
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Arizona Road Trip

We are planning a trip to Arizona in May of 2014. We thought we would fly to Phoenix and rent a car (4 adults) would like to see Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Canyon and Sedona. We plan on spending two weeks in AZ one of which will be in Sedona at the end of the Canyon visits. Any suggestions on how long to stay, where to stay, best roads to take when visiting the canyons? We will have our lodging in Sedona and want to stay there for a week before we return to Phoenix for our flight home. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old Dec 27th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Bryce and Antelope are in Utah. If you haven't been to Zion, you should consider it too. I wouldn't do Antelope and/or Bryce as a day-trip from Sedona.

How long you stay at each place depends on what you want to do. Most people spend 3-4 hours in a National Park. I typically spend 3-4 days. It depends on if you want to just see it, or if you want to hike, horseback ride, raft, or etc? The longer I stay the better I usually like a place.

You can do the Grand Canyon in 1 day and 1 night, if you don't plan on hiking down into it. I would suggest seeing it from the South Rim first. Only 10% of visitors see if from the north rim. That opens on May 15. You certainly could do the north rim, it is somewhat different. More trees and far less crowded.
On the south rim, you have several lodging choices. I would have a meal at El Tovar. On North Rim, there is only one lodge.
You could ride a mule down into the canyon a bit, easier on the north side than the south side. The south side rides are usually overnight.

For Bryce 1 or 2 days is probably enough. I would stay at Bryce Canyon Lodge, in a cabin. My 2nd choice would be Ruby's. Be sure and hike Navajo Loop and Queens Garden. The horse ride there is nice too. Bryce is a fairly small park.

In Zion, stay at Zion Lodge(again in a cabin). There are many hikes to do here. My favorites are Angels Landing and The Narrows. These are both fairly "wild" hikes. 1-3 days here.

Antelope Canyon. I assume you would stay in Page/Lake Powell. There is a lot to do on Lake Powell too.

In Bryce, Zion, and The GC seeing both sunrise and sunset should be high on you list of things to do.

Get you lodging ASAP, they fill up fast. Buy an Annual National Park Pass, or a Senior Park Pass(if you are of age)--this will save you some $$$) The pass will not work for Antelope. You will want an indian guide there.
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Old Dec 27th, 2013, 11:26 AM
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Your list leaves off some of my favorite places in Arizona, including Canyon de Chelley, Chiricahua National Monument, and the region surrounding Bisbee and Tombstone. I also especially like the stretch of Route 66b that runs through Williams, AZ.

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Old Dec 27th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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Check the cost of airfare and car rental (with drop off fee) if you fly into Vegas and out of Phoenix to maximize the time you get in the parks.

If you could do that then head from Vegas to Zion (2.5 hours drive) for a night or two then to Bryce (1.5 hours drive) for a night then to Page for Antelope Canyon and maybe a smooth water raft trip on the Colorado River, then on to Grand Canyon perhaps with a stop at Chinle for Canyon de Chelley and then down to Sedona.

The airfare should not be too much different and cars are generally less expensive to rent in Vegas, so the drop off charges may be a wash.

As has been mentioned, do get a National Park pass and if anyone in the car is US citizen and over 62, they can get the senior pass ($10 good for a lifetime and everyone in the car gets in)

Have a great trip.
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Old Dec 27th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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Antelope Canyon is in Arizona. Page.

While in Page make sure you get to Horseshoe Bend. Less than half hour from Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Canyon is a truck ride from the parking lot. Horseshoe Bend is a 3/4 mile very flat hike with no shade.

You want to go to both of the above when the sun is high in the sky. In Antelope Canyon the sun bounces off the canyon walls for that orange effect.

For Horseshoe Bend you want the sun to be high so that the bottom is not in shade and she sun is not in your eyes (late afternoon).
Myer is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2013, 11:46 PM
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You have received a lot of good advise. I agree that adding Zion is a very good idea. Also making a round trip from Las Vegas to Zion, Bryce, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Sedona and back to Las Vegas makes a lot more sense than trying to do this from Phoenix. You will have a lot less back tracking.

Is there a reason for spending so much time in Sedona?

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Old Dec 29th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Thank you all. The reason for staying in Sedona is that we have a time share there and we are bringing friends who have never been. We can also do a lot from there during the week in the surrounding area. I will check out the airfares and car rentals from Vegas. We thought Phoenix because we like to fly Jet Blue nonstop. We live in the Boston area.
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