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-   -   Drive in December from Washington dc to Grand Canyon (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/drive-in-december-from-washington-dc-to-grand-canyon-1675482/)

SanghaPadhy Dec 20th, 2019 01:22 PM

Drive in December from Washington dc to Grand Canyon
 
Planning a seven-eight day drive from DC to Grand Canyon, and would like suggestion for interesting detours (interesting towns, national parks etc) on the way. Thank you.

tomfuller Dec 20th, 2019 01:43 PM

How are you planing on coming back from the Grand Canyon? I would not plan on driving a rental car from DC to Arizona and then dropping it. There are only 11 more days in December. How many people/drivers?
There is quite a lot of snow in northern Arizona at the elevation of the south rim of the Grand Canyon. If you really want to go now, take the Amtrak Capitol Limited from DC to Chicago and then the Amtrak Southwest Chief from Chicago to Flagstaff AZ. Rent a car in Flagstaff to go to the south rim.
In any case welcome to Fodors! My wife and I went to the Grand Canyon and stayed in Flagstaff last month when the weather was much nicer than it is now.

starrs Dec 20th, 2019 01:52 PM

Do you have reservations at the Grand Canyon.
This is one time I agree with tom that the train may be a better idea than making that drive in December.

Michael Dec 20th, 2019 01:54 PM

Or fly to Phoenix and rent a car there.

janisj Dec 20th, 2019 03:11 PM

>>Planning a seven-eight day drive from DC to Grand Canyon, and would like suggestion for interesting detours (interesting towns, national parks etc) on the way. Thank you.<<

Is this a 'real' question? If so, you do not have time for many detours or national parks on the way? That is about a 6 day drive assuming the weather cooperates. December has 9 days left and you are just asking now???

SanghaPadhy Dec 20th, 2019 04:14 PM

Thanks, will consider Amtrak.

SanghaPadhy Dec 20th, 2019 04:15 PM

It is going to be tight- though we are ok about strechting it longer if needed. We are two drivers.

Cindywho Dec 21st, 2019 05:12 AM

Hello Sanghapadhy!

i am sorry that on your first post to Fodors you received such negative and nasty responses. Of course you can drive from Washington DC to the Grand Canyon. It sounds like an adventure. I am sorry you did not receive an answer to your real question.

i am sure there are definitely interesting stops you can make. One that comes to mind is the Oklahoma City Memorial related to the bombing of the federal building. I have not been but have heard it is worth a visit.

if you plan several days of hard driving, I think you should have a couple days of lighter driving with an opportunity to see some sights. If you can add even a couple of days to your trip, then maybe more.

Some additional places along a route might include Memphis TN, Little Rock AK, and Albuquerque NM.

Good luck.


starrs Dec 21st, 2019 06:15 AM


Originally Posted by Cindywho (Post 17033148)
i am sorry that on your first post to Fodors you received such negative and nasty responses. Of course you can drive from Washington DC to the Grand Canyon. It sounds like an adventure. I am sorry you did not receive an answer to your real question.

"Negative and nasty"?

If you are encouraging such a route at that time of year, perhaps you can provide the driving route with drive times/ distances and suggested stops between.

It's a long drive in the time he has available, through which he may encounter winter weather. Realistic suggestions does not equal "negative and nasty".

tomfuller Dec 21st, 2019 06:30 AM

I did not mean to be nasty or negative. Sorry if I was. If you are going to the Grand Canyon this late in the year, you should fly to either Phoenix or Albuquerque. If you fly to ABQ you can take the train from ABQ to Flagstaff arriving after 9PM. Spend a night in Flagstaff and rent a car to see several places in Arizona including the South Rim.
Among the places we visited last month were Sedona, Winslow, the Lowell Observatory and the Riordon mansion. The last 2 are in Flagstaff.
In case you did not know, winter driving can be tricky and you might not make it to some of the places we might suggest for a summer trip.
As much as I like train travel, my wife and I flew to Arizona (Phoenix-Mesa - Allegiant). We rented a car the next morning for our trip to Flagsaff.
Check with the National Park Service 'plan your visit' website for the latest conditions in Grand Canyon NP.
Not too far out of Flagstaff is the Arizona Snowbowl if you want to try skiing.
In southern Arizona there is a National Monument that is not as heavily visited. I spent several hours driving around in Organ Pipe Cactus NM in February 2017.
Tell us more about your vehicle and how many hours per day you are willing to drive and what the plan is if the road ahead is closed due to weather conditions.

MmePerdu Dec 21st, 2019 06:53 AM

Is the drive one-way, or round-trip in 7-8 days?


Gretchen Dec 21st, 2019 08:37 AM

I think you are visitors to the US and want to see this natural wonder. The other "wonder" of the US is its enormity/distances even with two drivers.
The advice to fly to Phoenix and rent a car or even arrange a bus tour from there would make this somewhat possible.
There are many sites in the Arizona/New Mexico/Utah area that could be interesting if you were already there having flown.

I don't think anyone meant to be nasty but the question of driving (and as someone has asked, returning?) on such a trip in 8 days is just really not possible.

janisj Dec 21st, 2019 11:18 AM

CindyWho: I was not mean or negative -- unless you think realistic is being mean. They do NOT have time for detours and national parks.

And the one place you do recommend . . . you have not even seen? That seems super helpful.

jamie99 Dec 21st, 2019 11:49 AM

Google Maps shows the distance to be almost 2300 miles from DC to Grand Canyon Village. Now Google Maps assumes you will drive the speed limit of 55-65mph the whole way (which you cannot do) and will not be making stops for food, fuel or to use a restroom en route which is not realistic at all.
I agree with flying and even Tom Fuller who is a huge fan of taking trains, especially Amtrak, admits that this time of year and given your circumstances you should fly, probably to Phoenix.

Dukey1 Dec 22nd, 2019 07:43 AM

I hope none of the roads were "mean and nasty." Advising someone of the varioius factors they may be overlooking is not "mean and nasty."m Nobody said you CAN'T do it did they?

MmePerdu Dec 22nd, 2019 08:48 AM


Originally Posted by Dukey1 (Post 17033647)
. . . Nobody said you CAN'T do it did they?

When I'm tempted to say it can't be done I remember questions about trips posted that I considered impossible and are then reported to have been wonderful, though one person's wonderful is another's hell. I'd say that this one is impossible as conceived, certainly if it's RT. The "2 drivers" comment leads me to believe that rather than cancel they may be willing to make a beeline pedal-to-the-metal which may be fun in a perverse sort of way. I remember a cross-country trip in my youth, San Diego to NYC with a friend, 2 drivers & if I recall correctly just 2 stops to sleep, Carlsbad NM so we could see the caverns & Paducah KY. Which tells me one's age may be the critical piece of information.


tomfuller Dec 22nd, 2019 02:47 PM


Originally Posted by MmePerdu (Post 17033673)
When I'm tempted to say it can't be done I remember questions about trips posted that I considered impossible and are then reported to have been wonderful, though one person's wonderful is another's hell. I'd say that this one is impossible as conceived, certainly if it's RT. The "2 drivers" comment leads me to believe that rather than cancel they may be willing to make a beeline pedal-to-the-metal which may be fun in a perverse sort of way. I remember a cross-country trip in my youth, San Diego to NYC with a friend, 2 drivers & if I recall correctly just 2 stops to sleep, Carlsbad NM so we could see the caverns & Paducah KY. Which tells me one's age may be the critical piece of information.

I do not recommend the "cannonball run" record that was set in late November by 2 crazy guys in a modified Mercedes. They went from a garage in Manhattan to a famous hotel in Los Angeles in 27 hours 25 minutes at an average speed of 103 MPH and a top speed of 165 MPH (no speeding tickets).
I do remember a cross country trip from PA to Seattle when I allowed my daughter to drive in Montana. She was going 83 when we were passed by a pickup pulling a horse trailer.


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