Albuquerque to Vegas drive and sights

Old Sep 16th, 2014, 04:33 PM
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Albuquerque to Vegas drive and sights

I'm flying into Vegas, going up to zion, bryce, antelope canyon, monument valley and down to Albuquerque for the balloon fest. In order to save on flight prices and car rental I chose to drive back to Vegas for my return flight

How does this following portion sound to you?

We will leave Albuquerque on October 5 in the am - Our plan for that portion is to see acoma pueblo, petrified forest/painted desert, odd sites along way with an overnight somewhere. The la posada sounds interesting as does the wigwam motel. Not sure if that is too soon to spend night or if I should drive further west to flagstaff or williams.

Next day - the 6th - possibly go up to Williams, bearizona, big toy playground sounds interesting (interesting but way too expensive). flintstones bedrock village, drive thru seligman and king man, Grand Canyon caverns (not south rim - really no time) is the skywalk a distance or within a short detour? chloride ghost town and junk yard. I hear Delgados snow cap drive-in and angels barbershop are interesting. Is oatman too far out of the way? Thought we'd stay overnight by Hoover dam and tour it in the morning before our flight out of Vegas at 3pm on the 7th

The only thing that throws a small wrench into the plan is the weather on the 4th at the balloon fest. If the balloons don't go up, the 5th is the backup day.

Any suggestions of things to do or places to stay would be appreciated
powers118 is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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It depends a little on how much time you spend on the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest NP and other stops how far west you want to go. I would shoot for Ash Fork or Seligman (se-LIG-man).
Following the old US 66 out of Seligman to Kingman takes about 2 hours plus the time you spend at the Grand Canyon Cave.
I have gone out to see Chloride. I did a virtual geocache there. I had to email the cache owner the number of gallons and the amount of sale on the last purchase from an antique gas pump.
It is interesting as ghost town go. Once you get back to US 93, it is less than an hour to Hoover Dam. It is your choice whether to see it at sunset or early in the morning.
Drive across the dam to the AZ side. Park in the second or third parking lot after you cross the dam (free) The parking garage is a rip off IMO.
When you come back across the dam and start up the steep winding road, make a stop at the parking area where you can take a path up to the big new bridge. There is a nice walkway on the dam side of the bridge. The apex of the arch and the state line are marked on the walkway less than 25' apart.
Not far from where you join US 93, stay at the Hacienda casino/hotel. The rooms are nice and there is a decent all you can eat buffet downstairs that you don't have to walk through the casino part to get to.
It is less than an hour from the Hacienda to the LAS rental car center. The shuttles are efficient to get to departures.
BTW do NOT rent from Fox. They are the only company not in the rental car center.
tomfuller is online now  
Old Sep 17th, 2014, 05:14 AM
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I would always opt for the Grand Canyon NP south rim over the other sites, and in reality it won't take any longer to visit on your route than your other choices. I would even opt to just look at the petrified wood and painted desert from the hwy than miss GC. IMO the West rim is a rip off. I think you have to pay even to take a picture.
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Old Sep 18th, 2014, 04:33 PM
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Thanks emalloy! Your GC suggestion here gave me the solution I needed to my similar road trip dilemma as posted on another thread.
wekewoody is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2014, 08:01 PM
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I really found Acoma Pueblo so very interesting, but it requires quite a bit of time, and as stated above, the GC trumps all!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 01:38 PM
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If you have to go to the Balloon Fiesta on the 5th, drive and park there so you can get on the road as soon as you're ready to leave the balloon park.

You probably could still drive to Flagstaff to spend the night on the 5th, since it's only about six hours from Albuquerque but you will have had to get up early for the balloons so you might be tired and want to stop sooner. I've never been all that impressed with Petrified Forest, so I wouldn't bother stopping.

If you've never been to the Grand Canyon, I would skip all the tourist trap things like Bearizona and go there. Spend the night of the 5th in Flagstaff, get up early again, drive up to Cameron and take the east entrance into the park. Stop at some of the scenic overlooks and then head south out of the park to I-40.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 02:35 PM
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Oatman is quite a bit out of the way and pretty touristy, but it is kind of fun. It's on the very old Route 66.

I agree you GC should be on the top of the list. Don't shortchange yourself there. Spend a little time on the paved rim walk and allow yourself to experience the grandeur. So many people just stop and snap a picture and miss the magic.
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 09:03 AM
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Thanks all, I have been thinking hard about the Grand Canyon. I have been to the south rim twice - both times I stayed at a bright angel cabin. This time, not sure my friend would enjoy. She has been to the north rim and I can't understand - didn't seem that impressed. She did not hike down any at all. Maybe if we did that she would change her mind.

Anyway. Why Cameron thru? Is that suggested as a beautiful drive thru? Which is closer/faster from flagstaff? If we chose to do a short hike, what would you suggest? S kalib or bright angel. I have been on bright angel but question this as I think the drive from Cameron would bring us closer to a kalib. Plus I'd love to convert my friend
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 12:07 PM
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Why Cameron? Mostly because it's a good way to go in and see parts of the South Rim.

Lee Ann
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Old Sep 24th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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What Lee Ann said and Cameron Trading Post is an ok place to spend the night if that fits with your travels and is less expensive than in the park. It is about a half hour to the park from there, and you can stop at Wupatki to see some ruins on the way up.

South Kaibab is a bit steeper than Bright Angel trail, so if that makes a difference for your friend, then pick the one that is better for her. BA is a little farther from Cameron, but you could continue east on 64 and then south to Williams to pick up 70 again and not backtrack to Cameron anyway, check the map. BTW I like the south rim better than the north, esp if you are there off season.
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