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Driving from Phoenix to Grand Canyon-tricky when dark?

Driving from Phoenix to Grand Canyon-tricky when dark?

Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 08:16 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Driving from Phoenix to Grand Canyon-tricky when dark?

This may seem like a silly question but I was wondering just how difficult the drive from Phoenix to the South rim of the Grand Canyon is. We can save $300.00 on our airfare if we don't arrive in Phoenix (in late March) until 3:30. I'm guessing with a 3-4 hour trip to the Grand Canyon ahead of us we'll get there around 9:00 that evening. My husband votes for this plan but personally I'd rather get there earlier (our options are 10:30 or 1:30) so we wouldn't be driving in an unknown area in the dark. Does anyone have any opinions on this? Thanks!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:28 PM
  #2  
 
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You are right about arriving around 9 pm or even closer to 10. The drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff is high speed freeway which should not be a problem. From the airport I would guess the distance to be about 140 miles or so. From Flagstaff, you drive through the city to pick up Rte 180 which is a good secondary, flat road. You take that to Rte 64 which is a similar road directly to the canyon. The drive is not necessarily difficult, but you will find that it is extremely dark up there (no city lights once you leave flagstaff). Combining the darkness with fatigue after flying all day (I assume you're coming from the east coast) you may find the latter part of the drive difficult.
An alternative would be to consider driving to Flagstaff and then making a fresh start in the morning. Another thing to take into account is the possibiility of a late season snowfall(though not likely) which would make driving difficult in northern AZ.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 02:40 AM
  #3  
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Or you can do it the really nice way and drive to Sedona, stay overnight, then drive up through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. The road thru OAk Creek Canyon to Flagstaff is one of the most spectacular drives in the U.S. Breathtaking. Beautiful vistas, and you go through several eco zones so the trees keep changing. I woudln't miss it if it was me. That road takes half hour from Sedona to Flag. Adn th ebonus is you get to see the red rocks coming into Sedona, also spectacular. Lots of good budget hotels in Sedona.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 04:00 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I vote for option number two. It would be a pity to be so close to Sedona and not at least drive through the area. It is truly awesome. Even if you already have reservations for the GC that night, the money you'd save on air fare + breathtaking scenery + less anxiousness re driving = worth it.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 06:12 AM
  #5  
jwc
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I also vote for staying in Sedona. We have stayed in Sedona as well as visited the Grand Canyon. Sedona is very spectacular and the Oak Creek Canyon is definitely worthwhile seeing. I would recommend taking a tour to the Grand Canyon from Sedona rather than driving. We did this and were very pleased. If you are interested, below is the Tour company's web site. Check it out. They pick you up and drop you off at your hotel in Sedona.

http://www.greatwesttours.com/index.html
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 06:35 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Don't let these Sedona lovers lure you into Sedona! You may never leave that area - LOL!

Another vote for spending your first night in Sedona.
easytraveler is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2004, 02:09 PM
  #7  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. We do plan to stay in Sedona for 2 nights but we had planned to go up to the GC first for 3 nights and then work our way back down (Sedona and then Cave Creek for the last 2 nights of our vacation). I'm not sure what to do at this point but at least I know what I'm in for if we decide to drive up to the GC from Phoenix. It's worth $300 to me to arrive earlier but my husband disagrees.
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