Apache Trail vehicle advice please

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May 16th, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #1
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Apache Trail vehicle advice please

Well, at long last the trip and all hotels are booked and I hope my husband and son enjoy it. They'd better - I'm almost cross-eyed with all the reading and the constant change of dates was a headache and so many places were full, so I had to keep checking back until there was a vacancy and I was lucky some of the time.

They fly into Phoenix on Saturday and will be staying in Chandler - simply because my husband wants to drive the Apache Trail. As yet we haven't booked the vehicle, because they can't decide what they want. My son thinks they'll need an SUV because of some of the places they'll go. My husband seems to think this is not necessary. The only concern regarding an SUV is that it only does 18mpg and I'd hate them to run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. I'm laughing now, they just yelled at me that they're having a Ferrari! (They are joking).

Any advice would be greatly appreaciated.

Here's the itinerary...

Phoenix (one night at San Marcos Golf Resort), Sedona (two nights at Briar Patch Inn), Grand Canyon (one night at Cameron Trading Post), Monument Valley (one night at Gouldings), Lake Powell (one night at Wahweap Lodge, which now has a new name that I can't remember), Bryce Canyon (one night inside the Canyon at the motel), Zion National Park (boy was this place busy - managed to get them into Bumbleberry Inn where the people have a great sense of humour) then onto Las Vegas (two nights at Bally's - oh and a helicopter trip into the Grand Canyon, landing, eating and back to Vegas) and driving back to Phoenix (come to think of it I have only one route for that drive and I've read that the driving is erratic owing to those leaving Las Vegas either very rich and excited or very poor and not happy at all! I understand there is another route, but I haven't found it yet. Their flight isn't until 7.15p.m., so they should be there in plenty of time. Shouldn't they??)

Oh and the reason they are flying into Phoenix instead of Las Vegas is that the company my daughter insists they fly with only fly direct to Phoenix, whereas the British airline which flies direct to Las Vegas is to be avoided, she says. (She flies for a living, so I bow to her knowledge and experience).

That's about covered it, I think. The advice I was given previously was of great assistance, so thankyou to you lovely people - if only they had more time as there is so much to see. A month would have been good, but it wasn't to be!

Thanks again everyone.

M
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May 16th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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We drive a motorhome that gets 7 1/2 miles per gallon and never had a problem with finding gas stations and running out of gas, so you shouldn't have a problem finding gas for an SUV...paying for gas is another thing!

Utahtea
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May 16th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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Hi: Lots of people drive the Apache Trail in an ordinary vehicle. They might want to get a full size indstead of a compact, just for the extra horsepower, but should not need 4-wheel.
Sounds like a wonderful trip, except I'm confused about the GC. They are going there by road from Cameron, and then flying in from Las Vegas, also? And are they driving back to Phoenix on the same day as the helicopter trip into the Canyon? That's at least a five and a half hour drive.

Vera
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May 16th, 2005, 10:21 AM
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Oops, I should have mentioned we've never done the Apache Trail! I was talking about the paved roads you plan on traveling.

Utahtea
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May 16th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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Good grief, that was quick! Thankyou Utahtea that makes me feel better. I was under the impression that fuel stations were few and far between in that area - thank goodness I was wrong.

Hi Vera, thankyou for your response and I'm sorry I have confused you - I belong in a home for the terminally confused and it tends to have a knock-on effect!

Thanks for the advice on the vehicle, that's a great help. They are travelling to the Grand Canyon from Sedona straight after breakfast. They only have one night there, so they wanted to see as much as possible. I have tried and tried and couldn't get them to the lodgings inside the Grand Canyon and the only place in Tusayan that they thought might be ok was the Grand Hotel - which is full and has been for a while. Then they decided, after reading of the long queues to get into GC from Tusayan, that it would be a good idea to stay at Cameron. Everyone liked the look of the Trading Post and, although it isn't ideal, that's where I booked. I have checked for cancellations with Xanterra and my daughter has phoned (she's in the US at the moment) to no avail. As time is of the essence it was decided this was the best bet. Flying into the Canyon and seeing it from the bottom will be great - they just wouldn't have time to hike it down there and back up again with the short time they have. Neither of them are keen on crowds either, so the helicopter was a good option. They leave for Phoenix the following day, before breakfast.

Does that sound better? (Of course if they win lots of money, I may never see them again. I won't hold my breath!!!)

Thanks again folks,

M
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May 16th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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Oh, I've just seen your last post Utahtea - I'll let you know whether they enjoyed it. You know, the SUV may be good because they will be higher up off the ground and may see more. Or is that just because I live where there are Cornish hedges either side of the road and it's good to look over them!

Thanks again.

M
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May 16th, 2005, 11:01 AM
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Cameron is only 30 or so minutes to the entrance of the Grand Canyon at Desert View and then it's about another 45 minutes to the S. Rim Village.

I've heard that the 10 days before arriving is the key time to get in on cancellations! I'd keep trying for a room in the Grand Canyon.

Utahtea
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May 16th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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Thankyou Utahtea, I will keep trying even though I have a gut feeling it won't do any good. Cameron Trading Post looks fine although I thought it would take longer to get to the East entrance, so thanks for that information.

They intend to drive in through the East entrance, as there are said to be such long queues at the south rim entrance. I wanted to ask whether it's true that the best place to have your first view of the GC was at the tower on the Desert View drive - and is the best sunset view at Hopi point? Their idea is to take a leisurely drive to the Hermit Trail shuttle then board that for the sunset views. I'm not sure what time it gets really dark there, but here sunset is at 8.30 and it isn't dark until around 9.30 (I love May!!) You are an hour earlier, so they should be able to see the sunset then drive on to Cameron in time for an evening meal. I noticed on the menu at Cameron that no alcohol (wine or beer) was mentioned. Is this because it's Navajo land?

Sorry to keep asking silly questions, I just need to get it right for them - then I won't be getting abusive phone calls!! (I am kidding - they wouldn't dare!)

Thanks again.

M
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May 17th, 2005, 07:15 PM
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Not silly questions at all. First, Cameron is a very nice motel. Tell them to visit the trading post and buy you a nice Navajo silver necklace to reward you for your efforts. And while they are there, be sure and see the Navajo museum that is on the site. Quieter, and higher class goods than the somewhat touristy store.
No alcohol sold on the Navajo reservation. True. If they want to take it along, stock up in Flagstaff.
As for best views of the Canyon--don't worry, wherever they first see it, their jaws will drop.
Vera
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May 18th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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We have drive the Apache trail several times, it is one of my favorite things to do.
You have probably already read about Tortilla Flats; it was a stop on the stagecoach. Now there is just a restaurant and a general store that also sells ice cream. Make sure you/they stop in Tortille Flats.
We have always used our regular rental which is an average mid-size car. The road is very winding in places but you won't need a special car.
It's a very scenic drive. Have fun.
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May 29th, 2005, 11:00 PM
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Thankyou Vera and Sandy49, They are now on the last leg of their trip and are having a great time. They loved the Apache Trail and ended up driving a Dodge Magnum. They stayed at Cameron Trading Post and said it was the best food they had had up to that point - in fact it's the best food they have had up to now. The worst? Bryce Canyon - they stayed at the Motel in the Canyon and I had booked them a table at 7.30pm. They said it was awful. Did they complain? No.

As for buying me something from Cameron, I'm afraid I send silver black, so I always wear white gold. I did ask for a Totem Pole (I've been asking my daughter for years whenever she's in the vicinity of Native American products, to no avail). My husband has told me he bought me a gift from Cameron and I was so excited I said "I know what it is! It's a Totem Pole". His response was they didn't have a roof rack to carry a 25foot pole and anyway, it wouldn't be allowed on the plane. So I guess it isn't even a teensy weensy one.

Their favourite place so far has been Monument Valley (they stayed at Gouldings) and the Navajo jeep tour. Today (well, tomorrow their time) they are taking the helicopter trip into the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. The following day they drive from Las Vegas to Phoenix for their flight home - and that part of the trip is causing the most problems!!

Anyway, thanks for your input - I'm very grateful, even if I did see your messages too late!

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