Advice - Phoenix to Sedona to Hoover Dam

Old Jan 30th, 2022, 05:33 PM
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Advice - Phoenix to Sedona to Hoover Dam

I would appreciate feedback on the feasibility of the following trip to potentially take place in Mid-March. We are a family of 3, pretty well traveled individuals (2 adults, and a 19 yr old - so 3 adults!). We love art, architecture and the outdoors; not serious hikers but all fit. We have basically 4 days that we will be in AZ and are thinking of this:
- arrive Phoenix from Boston early evening, rent car
- spend 1st night in Phoenix or Scottsdale and next day (Day 1) go to Taliesen West for a morning tour
- from Taliesen drive to Sedona and stay 3 nights: Days 2 & 3 see Cathedral Rock, a Vortex and Grand Canyon South as day trips (open to an suggestions here, but would like to be back in hotel for evenings)
- Day 4 drive to Hoover Dam, stay 1 night in Boulder City
- Day 5, drive to Las Vegas, return car, flight home to Boston
Thank you in advance for suggestions and recommendations!
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 06:42 PM
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Your rental car and probably your airfare will probably be cheaper if you fly into and out of Las Vegas. The Hoover Dam Inn is only 3 miles from Hoover Dam and is better than any lodging you will find in Boulder City.
Lodging in Flagstaff is a little cheaper than in downtown Sedona.
The blue and orange free bus routes are running all winter at the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
When we arrived in Phoenix in the evening, we took a taxi to our motel near Mesa and then rented the car from Enterprise who picked us up in the morning. Local rental and not airport.
Things to see in Flagstaff include the Lowell Observatory and the Riordan mansion.
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 08:36 PM
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One way car rental may be super expensive. Plus, you will be spending a lot of time on the road. With your limited time, I would concentrate on Sedona, GC, and fly home from Phoenix.
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 10:02 PM
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Have you already booked flights in to PHX and home from LAS? If not just do R-T BOS > PHX > BOS. That jaunt to Boulder City and Vegas adds hours to your trip. I could even say its 'worth' it if you wanted to see Las Vegas . . . but Boulder City??

Do just Sedona . . . as it is you are only spending one day IN Sedona.

If you only want three nights in Sedona, spend the spare night at the grand Canyon. If you can't get accommodations on the rim, stay in Tusayan. A day trip to the GC is really disappointing because you are only there with all the other day trippers and you miss the glorious sunrise and sunset.


••• Even IF you have already booked your LAS flight, I'd change it to fly home from PHX. Most airlines are being really liberal with their change policies. No only would this save that nasty drive to Boulder City, give you more time for Sedona and the GC, it would save a lot of $$$ on a one way car rental.
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Old Jan 31st, 2022, 12:04 AM
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1. Scottsdale.

2. I hate Sedona.

3. Although plenty of people do day trip from Sedona to the GC, I would try to get a night at Yavapai or Maswick, not Tusuyan, the ugliest place imaginable. Maybe Williams.

4. Yep on Boulder .
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Old Jan 31st, 2022, 02:46 AM
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For a one way rental car out of Phoenix look at AutoEurope. We booked one-way through tham last fall and the rate was cheaper than just a 1wk rental to/from the same location. Car was through Budget, and no issues at all.

I woud definitely not do GC as a side trip from Sedona. If you go to NV, then make it on your way there to save the several hour backtrack.

But with that little time, it's a lot of time on the road just to see the Hoover Dam....

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Old Jan 31st, 2022, 03:18 AM
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Thank you.

Thank you all for your comments. We are very interested in seeing the Hoover Dam hence the flying out of La Vegas instead of RT Boston/Phoenix. If staying in Sedona, is a day trip feasible to Grand Canyon South? We have not purchased any airfare yet.

Last edited by Pilgrim5678; Jan 31st, 2022 at 03:41 AM.
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Old Jan 31st, 2022, 04:08 AM
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You can do a day trip from Sedona but why not put it at the beginning or end of the Sedona part of the trip and stay in the park? This avoids the back and forth and puts you in the park when it is less crowded, before and after the day trippers as well as not driving when it is dark and large animals like elk and deer also are on the roads.,
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Old Jan 31st, 2022, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim5678
Thank you all for your comments. We are very interested in seeing the Hoover Dam hence the flying out of La Vegas instead of RT Boston/Phoenix. If staying in Sedona, is a day trip feasible to Grand Canyon South? We have not purchased any airfare yet.
I would not find 5 hrs in the car (round trip Sedona to GC & back) to be an enjoyable day trip. Add on top of that time to find parking, wait & catch shuttle bus, ride around the park, etc. Too much time butt in seat for me...
About half of that mileage from Sedona to GC you'd drive again a day or so later on your way to Hoover Dam... Why do it twice in the span of just a few days?

It's similar to doing Boston to Provincetown day trip, then next day or so turning around and driving back to Hyannis to catch a ferry...

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Old Jan 31st, 2022, 08:12 AM
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While it's possible I think one it's better to drop an overnight from Sedona, admitting my bias against that place. From Sedona head north and sightsee on the way to Cameron (only worth seeing the high end gallery). Enter Grand Canyon NP at the east Desert View Tower Watchtower entrance (NOT the congested south/ Tusuyan Entrance). Look at the historic watchtower building exterior and viewpont, a decent gift shop although the tower itself isn't open. Continue along Desert Drive WHICH IS OPEN TO VEHICLES YEAR ROUND (no shuttle required), with six viewpoints, including Moran Point, look briefly at the Tusuyan Pueblo ruins (museum closed). If you find parking from Pipe Vista onward you can walk the easy Rim Trail or you can park at the big main Visitor Center parking lot or at the Yavapai Geology Museum (highly recommended). If you are day tripping find your sunset spot near wherever you parked and join the crowds. It is about 2 hours back to Sedona from the main parking lot near the Geology Museum. You do need to be careful driving around sunset and after dark, animals are a particular hazard.

I would book a night at the Yavapai Lodge (2 queen bed rooms), book direct here https://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/yavapai-lodge. Food is pretty miserable inside the park, but at least the deli is now open at Yavapai Lodge. Bringing picnic supplies from Sedona is probably a better option.

At this point you might wish to brave the shuttle sytem, walk to the historic Grand Canyon Village, or not. Yes the park is mobbed around sunset. Many take the shuttle out toward Hermit's rest for sunset but I think some of the points you passed at the east end are also good, including Yavapai.

If overnighting, next morning you can do sunrise at one of the viewpoints. Sunrise is my favorite time to walk the Rim Trail. If you were interested in seeing the historic buildings at Bright Angel, I would suggest packing up early and checking out because chances are good you will not make it back to your room before official checkout time. Note that driving east to west to Boulder City is best done early in the day or you will have sun in your eyes.

As you exit out via Tusuyan, keep going without stopping unless you haven't filled up in Cameron, continue on to Williams for any supplies or lunch and then on to Boulder City. I always recommend a short detour onto Hwy 66 at Seligman, for a look at Delgadillo's Snow Cap which inspired the Disney movie Cars https://www.facebook.com/Delgadillos...9894931438847/ . The food is nothing special but it's fun to go inside , even if just for a 'shake' and the joke that goes with that.

Enjoy your quick trip and don't let the Fodor's naysayers tell you what NOT to do. Probaby because so many of these posters are from California or fly in to Las Vegas, they are not familiar with doing the park from east to west.

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 31st, 2022 at 08:51 AM.
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Old Jan 31st, 2022, 08:46 AM
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Personally, I love Sedona.

Here's what I like.
- Countless hiking opportunities among the red rocks, ranging short 1mile loops to 5-10mile out and back or loops.
- quite a few intersesting, tasty, special diet friendly places to eat.
- a strong sub (or maybe parallel) culture of being present, caring for others, and keeping life simpler. - parallel to the spa/resort/boutique shopping part of the culture.
- dark skies for star gazing
- warm (hot), but no oppressive heat like Phoenix area
- many different types of accommodations - ranging from chain hotels to airbnb to resorts to time share condos. Good options for different types of travelers...

What I don't like, or otherwise just avoid. Your preference may vary.
- any of the main drag shopping centers
- traffic along said main drags
- lack of any town center, or central gathering spot
- lack of a walkable town center
- any shop with vortex, energy, or crystal shops
- spas.
- pink jeep tours - we prefer "human powered" adventures


Last edited by J62; Jan 31st, 2022 at 09:08 AM.
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Old Jan 31st, 2022, 08:58 AM
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PS The Arizona Biltmore is worth a walk through as an add on to your interest in Taliesin West.

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/...jor-renovation

https://www.arizonabiltmore.com/about/history

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 31st, 2022 at 09:00 AM.
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 02:34 AM
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Thank you everyone for your input. Mglp's advise to drop a night from Sedona and add one night in the GC park we just what we needed to figure out. It was actually less expensive to get one way airfare, a little bit more but not a lot to drop off the car rental at a different airport so we are booked on flights into PHX and out of Las Vegas. Surprised at the how pricey the hotels are (haven't traveled for 2 years so maybe that's just me not appreciating what has gone on in the hospitality industry) and limited availability. The GC park hotels are almost all sold out, but managed to get the last room at Miswak for one night. We have also booked hotels for our first night in Scottsdale and last night in Boulder (Boulder Dam Hotel!) but struggling to find something for 2 nights in Sedona. Would prefer a place with a pool and some character but finding most are sold out on our nights. Any suggestions on Sedona area hotels will be appreciated - and again thank you everyone for your comments!
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 03:29 AM
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I think you will be happy with your decision to spend the night in GC. If you really want to be closer to the rim, you can keep checking for cancellations as people do make plans a year in advance then cancel as time gets close. We walked up in December and got a cabin at Bright Angel which was perfect for location but the room was much smaller than we have had in ant of the other lodges. Although Maswick is fine and none of the lodging is fancy there, the views are really not until you are very close to the rim. The other thing that is nice about staying in the park is that you can park your car and walk to dining, the shuttle, etc. and not have to drive around looking for a spot to leave the car.

We did stay at the Boulder Dam Lodge too and it was fine. If your flight out is late in the day, you could take the long way back to Vegas. When you leave the lodge, turn right at the end of Lake Meade and follow around the lake until you see the sign for Valley of Fire state park ($15). Spend some time in the park and continue through to I15 then south to the airport.

Last edited by oldemalloy; Feb 1st, 2022 at 03:34 AM. Reason: More info
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 10:06 AM
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Was Yavapai sold out?
Yavapai is a different vendor. Try here https://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/yavapai-lodge

True you can find other lodgings by continuing to check back. But with three (not two) adults the Bright Angel historic cabins won't work. They barely work for a happily married couple, LOL.

If you are interested in all of the historic Mary Jane Colter buildings in addition to the Watchtower, then Maswick is better. Be warned it is decent walk from Maswick to the village. You can still drive over to the Geology Museum area et al. For sunset around the west end you'd want to get to Maswick parking a few hours before (allowing time to checkin, walk or and take a shuttle to a viewpoint). If that doesn't work as it may not with sightseeing along the way in, I would stay in the east end for that, and then drive to Maswick after. It is just too hard to find parking around Bright Angel after check in time. After dark the shuttles are crowded or you have to walk back (do bring a flashlight).

Sorry I am no help for Sedona. Sedona may be full partly due to your timing and also because it is so close to Phoenix. I think someone mentioned Flagstaff, so that is another option I prefer anyways. The Museum of Northern Arizona is always worthwhile if it is open on your dates. Check the website. I wonder if March is pool weather in Sedona, for sure not in Flagstaff.

https://weatherspark.com/m/2630/3/Av...-United-States

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 1st, 2022 at 10:28 AM.
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 11:18 AM
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at GC, we typically stay at Yavapai - you can park right near your room and there are food options right nearby, including a coffee shop with grab and go sandwiches. From Yavapai it's about a 10min walk to the rim, 15 or so to the village. Definitely bring a flashlight... Rooms are basic, but comfortable for two. A room with 2 queens may be ok for 3...

Last time we were there, last Sept there was a paucity of dining options throughout the park, be prepared for that... including possible long waits, or inability to get a table.. There is a small general store /grocery store by Yavapai, but selection is limited and prices are high. But they do have some of everything so you don't need to go hungry. Before you leave Sedona pack up lots of supplies (incl lunch fixings, breakfast foods, and maybe even dinner sandwich makings) or stop in Williams along the way. The rooms at Yavapai have a small fridge - not sure about Maswik or others.

IMO a view from your room is irrlevant.... You'll have plenty of time to enjoy the views from many different vantage points and time of day...

Here's our short trip report. short trip to the Grand Canyon this week

On the days we were there you could have gotten a room at Yavapai just walking up. There are large tour group operators who book blocks of rooms then release what they don't need at the last minute.
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 11:42 AM
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Re Sedona Lodging . . . My guess most recommendations any of us could give would also be booked up. March is a pretty popular time of year there and with the pent up demand, likely more so now than usual.

I'd just hit booking.com, plug in your dates and see what if anything is available.
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 12:33 PM
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I wouldn’t worry about a pool in Sedona as it won’t be warm enough there to enjoy it. We have been in snowstorms in Sedona in March.
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 12:40 PM
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Maswick had refrigerators when we were there.

I recommended that they approach from the east entrance which should be less congested. Stocking up in Sedona would be better on that route.

Probably even more snow in Flagstaff!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2022, 02:35 AM
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Thanks again everyone - and we're from New England so even if it only reaches 60F, if it's sunny we will be delighted to have access to a pool!
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