Arizona short road trip questions

Feb 10th, 2019, 05:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 120
Arizona short road trip questions

We are planning a short road trip (one week, including driving days) to Arizona. Ideally, I'd like to spend a few days in Sedona as well as see Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly. We are driving from the SF Bay Area so we have a lot of ground to cover. If we spend an evening and the better part of a day each in MV and CdC, then 2 full days in Sedona, is this a feasible schedule or am I just rushing things too much?
To avoid so much driving, are there similar areas to MV/CdC (native American culture/great scenery) closer to Sedona? Or just spend 4 full days in Sedona and take some day trips? We like to hike, see some cultural stuff, eat good food.
Thanks very much!
joangk is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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That is one long road trip, but it is doable. It will take about 14 hours to go from San Francisco to Monument Valley. If you did a 10 hour first day and then. 4 or so the next day, you would have time to do the loop there, see sunset, spend the night, see sunrise ( which will be plenty for MV). Canyon de Chelley is about 3 + hours from MV, so you could go there in the AM, drive the north and south rims, hit the VC, and maybe hike down to White House ruin (the only part of the canyon you can visit without a Navajo guide). The next day I would want to do at least a half day with a guide into the canyon. Then head for Sedona until you have to head home.

If you just do Sedona, there are several ancient Native American sites in the area that you could visit if you decide not to visit CdC and MV. Right near town were two that we visited several years ago and I think now you need either to go with a guide or get a pass from one of the state or federal agencies to visit. The National Park service regulates Montezuma's Castle and well (really a cliff dwelling ruin) which was not too far from Sedona and also Walnut Canyon which is about 10 miles east of Flagstaff.

We packed a lunch and did a full day tour of CdC with a guide in our 4wd car and it was very memorable. We've done the 2 hr. tour on the back of a truck with a guide and that was interesting but not nearly as interesting although the scenery is awesome. The most memorable views were right from the VC parking lot. These are both Navajo parks where people still live although many of the folks in CdC live in Chinle most of the time and head down into the canyon periodically, although some spend lots of time there.

The town of Sedona is a bit too commercial for me, although the area is beautiful and the historic sites are interesting.
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