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Grand Canyon and Arizona itinerary, suggestions please!

Grand Canyon and Arizona itinerary, suggestions please!

Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 06:38 PM
  #1  
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Grand Canyon and Arizona itinerary, suggestions please!

My husband and I are planing a 10 day trip to Arizona - primarily Gand Canyon, Sedona and ? in April - May 2020. We're flying in/out of Las Vegas. I had originally thought we would do a 2 day raft trip, then to GC for 3 days and Sedona and environs for 3 days. But now I'm thinking about how to get to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and maybe Lake Powell and the Wave in Kanab UT with GC and Sedona, (and cut the rafting which wasn't going to be in the GC anyway). Any suggestions for an itinerary that would include some of those spectacular spots and Sedona? We did visit Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands a few years ago, so don't need to see those on this trip. Thanks so much for the experienced folks who help in these forums!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 08:03 PM
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As I read more and think about how to manage the time/distance, I'm thinking drive from LV to Kanab UT for one night and visit Wave ( if able to), then spend 2 nights in Page, visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend - time for Canyon de Chelly?
3 nights Sedona, 3 nights at GC, return to LV
Experienced Fodorites, does this seem reasonable? not too much driving? Any other sights we shouldn't miss in these areas? Suggested places to stay in Kanab or Page? Thanks so much!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 09:05 PM
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In early November DW and I flew into Phoenix-Mesa and rented a car. We spent 6 nights in a Flagstaff motel. We only visited the Grand Canyon on two days. The first day was to the South Rim with the visitor buses out west as far as Powell Point. On the way back to Flagstaff, we encountered some snow at high elevation along US 160 west of the Arizona Snow Bowl.
The next day was our anniversary. We went to Sedona and bought some tourist stuff for gifts. We also visited the Heritage museum on the east end of the city and learned how the city got its' name (daughters' name). We left Sedona in the late afternoon and went south to the small town of Cornville where we had a great anniversary dinner. DW insisted that we go to a place that made authentic German food. The Manzanita restaurant fit the bill very well.
The next day we headed east on I-40 and got off in Winslow AZ. We got our picture taken by another tourist "Standin' on the Corner" with the statue of Glen Frey. We headed north from Winslow through Second Mesa to Tuba City. (Tip: fill up the gas tank in Flagstaff or Winslow) There are no gas stations between Winslow and Tuba City - 150+ miles.
After we filled the gas tank in Tuba City we headed for the east entrance of Grand Canyon to see Desert View. I was lucky enough to be among the last people to be allowed to go to the top before sunset when they close the tower. We got back to Flagstaff quite late that night.
In Flagstaff we visited the Lowell Observatory and the Riordon mansion.
One day of Sedona was enough for us YMMV.
While in the Las Vegas area see Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire and the Red Rocks area.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2020, 11:23 AM
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thanks for update on your experiences. We are trying for 2 -3 night stays with no single nights. Is Flagstaff a better spot vs. Sedona as a 3 day stay? I had impression there were lots of things to do, easy hikes, etc in the Sedona area but I may be mistaken. We will be in GC park for 3 nights.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2020, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by imgwiz View Post
thanks for update on your experiences. We are trying for 2 -3 night stays with no single nights. Is Flagstaff a better spot vs. Sedona as a 3 day stay? I had impression there were lots of things to do, easy hikes, etc in the Sedona area but I may be mistaken. We will be in GC park for 3 nights.
IMHO, no. Flagstaff is not better than Sedona for a 3 day stay. Sedona is so beautiful.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2020, 02:32 PM
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Yes Sedona is beautiful but it has become a bit of a tourist trap IMHO. Flagstaff was more central for us and had a better selection of restaurants. I also got a good deal on the motel room along the old Rt. 66.
We enjoyed the tour in the daytime at the Lowell Observatory. Lowell was one of the sons of the founder of Lowell MA. I went back for a night time show about Lowell's beliefs about life on Mars and how Pluto was discovered long after P. Lowell had died. P. Lowell is in a mausoleum of his own design next to one of the telescope domes that he used.
In an autograph book owned by one of the astronomers, I saw a Neil Armstrong signature from before he went to the moon.
The Riordan mansion is next to the NAU campus. The brothers founded the Arizona Timber & Lumber Company and started what became Northern Arizona University.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2020, 02:57 PM
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I don't care for Sedona the town, personally, for the reasons tomfuller mentioned.I don't think Oak Creek Canyon impresses if you've traveled to the red rock country elswhere in Utah including around Kanab, etc. I think it's popular with city people who live nearby in Arizona, hence it can be mobbed.

If you don't know about Best Friends/Angel Canyon, you can drive through the Canyon without going on a tour.

There is also a vege cafe there. Appears that there is now a visitor center in downtown Kanab next to the Holiday Inn. We snagged a night at one of their motel units and did a volunteer shift after taking their sanctuary tour. I did cat socialization, my friend walked dogs. Wonderful place if you are an animal lover.

I did an overnight in Flagstaff recently also on Rte 66 in a cheap motel room (the nicest Rodeway Inn I've been in, anywhere)>

In addition to the museums etc, Walnut Canyon National Monument is about 10-15 minutes away. The trail down into the canyon and some of the cliff dwellings has a lot of steps, but good handrails and paved surfacing. There is also a great view from the visitor center if you can't do steps.

https://www.nps.gov/waca/planyourvisit/hours.htm
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Old Jan 4th, 2020, 06:46 PM
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The Wave is a worthwhile goal, but make sure you have a good backup plan -- your chances of snagging a permit for The Wave are miniscule. There's a lottery you must enter now (during the month of January) for May visits. It sounds like you'll only have one potential date. Depending upon the date chosen, your chances are between 200 to 1 and 300 to 1 against getting a permit.
You can improve your odds by: (1) choosing a less popular month; (2) making second and third choices for dates (the lottery allows up to three choices); (3) showing up in person at 9 am on the day BEFORE your desired date, and entering the in-person lottery. However, your chances will still be pretty poor.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 10:57 AM
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We stayed st the Best Western at Lake Powell in Page for two nights on a similar trip 4 years ago and I enjoyed it. Iím a total hotel snob so for a Best Western to make me happy tells you itís nice lol! My only regret is not requesting a room with a view. Also note the town of Page isnít very large or exciting...restaurant choices were minimal. Do the half day float trip which goes through horseshoe bend then drive to horseshoe bend for sunset so you can see the view from the top as well - spectacular!!!
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 01:13 PM
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mlgb - we were SO impressed with Best Friends in Kanab. I was able to arrange a recurring donation to them via our company payroll, and am glad I did. Kudos to you for doing some volunteer work there.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 03:16 PM
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Thanks for all these suggestions! I'm so glad to learn about Angel Canyon and Walnut Canyon! I will definitely research and ty to find them as well. I know the the Wave is s long shot, but sounds like there's lots of other beautiful stuff to see around there. And any other cafťs or restaurant reeks, appreciated, especially glad to know of good vegetarian spots like the cafe in Kanab, I'll look for it. Thanks capecod for the BW hotel tip. And I also congratulate mlgb for including some volunteerism during your travels, hats off to you!
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 05:46 AM
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With two nights in Page, you could do the half day raft trip on the Colorado River from the dam to Lees Ferry in addition to the Antelope Canyon tour and visit to Horseshoe bend overlook. I would do Horsesooe in the morning to avoid having the sun in your face.

Walnut canyon is great,it does involve a lot of climbing up stairs though. Sedona town is a bit tacky, but the surrounding area is lovely. Do include the time to get from one site to another in your plans.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 05:39 PM
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If you aren't planning on hiking, then there is no need for three nights at the Canyon. With your current plan you could not fit Canyon de Chelly in but you could if you took a night or two from the Canyon. Or you could add Monument Valley. And do realize you could get socked in with snow at the Canyon at that time of the year.
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