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Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Sedona how many days

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Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Sedona how many days

Old Mar 9th, 2011, 08:56 AM
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Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Sedona how many days

We are planning a trip to AZ in September. We are planning 2 nights in Sedona, 2 nights at the South Rim, one night at North Rim, and then on to Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly. How many nights should we spend in Monument and CdC? Do we need to spend more time at GC or Sedona? My husband wants to see alot of Native American things and we assume Monument might be the best area. We like to hike and see historic sites but also enjoy relaxing as well. Thanks for any advice.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 02:46 PM
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If you get to Canyon de Chelly lae afternoon, you can drive along the rim and stop at the lookuots. Book your tour into the canyon with a member of the tribe the next morning.
We used Adam Teller at Antelope Tours.
Personally, I would spend more time in Sedona than at the Grand Canyon since I wouldn't want to hike to the bottom of the GC.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 02:49 PM
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For Monument Valley, look at Tuba City and the Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 03:30 PM
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If you can afford it, I'd spend one night at Monument Valley -either at The View or .....darn, I'm blanking on the name of the other nearby lodging. Starts with a G. Someone else will post about it or I'll eventually remember and post it myself.

The View is, IMO, overpriced, but I stayed there for one night and am glad I did. It is right next to the Mittens - the views were drop dead gorgeous. It was wonderful watching the sunset, and the sunrise was pretty good, too.

I spent two nights in Chinle which was plenty of time to enjoy that area. If you are pressed for time, you can probably get by with just one night. I really enjoyed the hike down to the White House ruins at Canyon de Chelly. I went first thing in the morning and it was almost completely empty - a few hikers were on their way out and only one Navajo woman was down there selling jewelry. It was very peaceful, with great views on the hike down and back.

Every story I've read about Adam Teller has been good - except for my own. Maybe he was having a bad day, but he spent a majority of the time bashing his competition and talking about how wonderful he was. But everyone else seems to have had a great experience.

I was at Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley last September. It's a great time of year to visit. The weather was gorgeous.

It's been years since I've been to the Grand Canyon or Sedona so I can't help with that part of your trip.

Here's some photos of Monument Valley: http://suewallace.zenfolio.com/p530595460

and Canyon de Chelly: http://suewallace.zenfolio.com/p518963966

Have a great time.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 06:54 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Sue your pictures are gorgeous and yes we plan to stay at the View for 1 night because of the views Happy Traveler I am in agreement about Sedona but my husband thinks we need more time at the Grand Canyon. What should we not miss around Sedona?
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 06:56 AM
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For Monument Valley, look at Tuba City

Why would you do this? Tuba City is a LONG drive from Monument Valley.

Stay at MV at Gouldings if possible, or if you can't get a room there stay at Kayenta or Mexican Hat, which are both about half-hour drive from MV.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Do you think one afternoon and one full day would be enough time for MV? We were planning to drive from North Rim to MV and arrive sometime in the afternoon then spend the entire next day there and then spend the night and get up early and drive to Chinle and spend that day at CDC. Spend the night and then make our way back to Phoenix probably stopping at the Pertified Forest for a few hours on the way.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Do you think one afternoon and one full day would be enough time for MV?

Both MV and CdC are on Navajo land and familes still farm and run sheep in both places, so you are limited in where you can go and what you can do without a guide. So how long you choose to spend there depends on what tours you decide to do.

At MV you can drive the 17 mile loop on your own and see the major rock formations, which would be a good first afternoon task. A basic guided valley tour will take you into some back areas and stop at a hogan to watch a woman weaving a rug (usually), plus the guide's narrative is usually informative and entertaining. There's also a separate tour to Mystery Valley, which is just south of MV, with some interesting stuff. You can do both of these in a full day, so arriving one afternoon and staying all of the second day for one or two tours works well at MV.

At CdC you can drive the two rim roads and view things from above and you can hike the short trail down to White House Ruins on your own, that's about it without a guide. The shorter valley tours (roughly half day) go up the north canyon branch (Canyon del Muerto, where the Spanish massacred the Navajo 150 years ago), then up to White House ruin. The longer tour (most of a day, I don't think you have time to do it if driving over from MV that morning, but could be wrong) does the same route plus goes further up the main canyon to Spider Woman rock.

My husband wants to see alot of Native American things

Might enjoy a stop at Navajo National Monument between Tuba City and Kayenta, some great ruins there but difficult to access. Also some nice ruins a short distance outside Sedona, and maybe try to loop thru Wupatki National Monument on the way to the GC.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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Bill thanks for all the advice. We will definitely look into the tours.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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On your way back, about 20 miles west of Winslow turn south off I-40 to see the meteor crater.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 02:55 PM
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I'm glad that you enjoyed the photos.

I stayed overnight at Monument Valley and thought that was enough - but I didn't take a tour, which I probably would have enjoyed. So, maybe on second thought, staying an entire day would be a good idea and would give you time to go on a tour.

However, while I don't know what kind of vehicle you'll be driving, there is no way I would have driven that 17 mile loop in my compact rental car. It's quite generous to call that 17 mile loop "a road." I drove maybe 100 yards of it and was quite glad to be done with it.

While you're in the area, and if you have the time and interest, there's a few nice National Monuments near Flagstaff - Wupatki (as Bill mentioned above), Walnut Canyon, and Sunset Crater. The first two have ruins from Native American settlements.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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Don't stay at "The View" in Mon. Valley, but definitely go see it. Reason: it's so choked with tour buses dispensing massive hordes of sightseers, I really don't think it would be at all relaxing to stay.(We were there Sept. 2009). Agree w/previous poster about staying at Gouldings instead.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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There were a gazillion tour buses when I arrived at The View during the middle of the day, which was part of the reason that I decided not to take a tour. There were just too many people. So I relaxed in my room and went out a little later after the tour bus hordes had left. It wasn't at all crowded later in the day and it was empty during sunrise the next morning.

There will be a huge number of people there during the middle of the day regardless of whether you're staying at The View or elsewhere. I could understand not staying there because of the price, but it was a relaxing place to stay.

Wherever you're staying, however, you should make your reservations now. I booked my reservation for my September trip last April and had to switch to a Thursday night stay because both The View and Gouldings were filled on the Friday I had originally hoped for.
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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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while I don't know what kind of vehicle you'll be driving, there is no way I would have driven that 17 mile loop in my compact rental car.

Just a note on the road ... if it's been graded recently then it's doable in a low-clearance car if you are very careful getting thru the first few switchbacks. If it hasn't been graded then it gets deeply rutted and I wouldn't try it in a small car. Just check out the first bit of it and maybe ask someone coming out in a small car (or if you don't see anyone coming out in a small car then assume it's too difficult).

I once met a guy stuck at MV who had a mid-sized Chevy rental and he had gashed open the oil-pan on a rock on the 2nd switchback. He had started in Salt Lake City and the rental car company told him it would be 4 days before they could get another car to him, which pretty much killed his vacation plans.

Since replacement cars are hard to find on the rez and there are no garages to do local repairs be real careful, but if you can make the first section (most of the time it's not a problem) then the rest of the loop is easier. I've seen literally hundreds of tourists in rentals driving the loop.
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 08:23 PM
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Last summer I spent one night in Monument Valley, took one of the jeep tours the next day, and then drove to Chinle. I spent two nights there, which gave me a full day for CdC. I took one of the Jeep tours of the canyon in the morning, and then drove on the rim road and did some short hikes in the afternoon. I suppose one night would have been ok if you had a short drive to your next destination after leaving Chinle, but I didn't, so I am glad I spent two nights there.

By the way, when I went to Monument Valley, I stayed in a "rustic" but perfect adequate (for me) motel in Mexican Hat, UT, about 20 minutes north of the Monument Valley tribal park. It was a LOT cheaper than the accommodations in the park, and I also stopped by the Goosenecks State Park just outside of Mexican Hat, which I would recommend if you are in that neck of the woods. If you Google "Goosenecks" you can probably find a picture.
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Old Mar 26th, 2011, 01:20 PM
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There are nice Native American sites all over the area you are visiting. About 10 miles east of Flagstaff is Walnut Canyon NP with cliff dwellings you can hike into. As mentioned above Wupatki is right off 89 between Cameron and Flag. Near Sedona is Montezuma's Castle and well and also Palatki and one other ruin. I think you have to get a pass at the VC to visit some of these. Tuzigoot is a little west of Sedona.

At the south rim of GC there is a small ruin and if you keep a sharp eye, there are petroglyphs on the side of the canyon that you can see if you go down Bright Angel trail a short way.


I do have pictures of some of the places mentioned above among others at www.flickr.com/photos/emalloy2009/sets if you want to take a look.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Thanks for the additional advice. Emalloy really enjoyed your photographs. Antelope Canyon looks amazing. I saw it recently on a TV show and I think we may have to go there too.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 07:13 PM
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If you are planning to drive the 17 mile road in MV, a great time to go is late afternoon, a few hours before sunset,when the light is most impressive and just before the shadows start forming.

I'd recommend staying at The View. It's quite nice and the views are really spectacular, and unmatched by the views from Gouldings. I was there last April and didn't see any hordes of tour buses. One night was sufficient there, IMO.

There are two hikes from the View that you're allowed to do unescorted : The Wildcat Trail and a shorter one whose name I can't recall. I did the Wildcat - it gets you very close to the buttes.

I'd recommend at least 3 days in Sedona. There are so many wonderful hikes around the area, and don't miss the Pink Jeep Tour.

Canyon de Chelly is a wonderful area. I spent one night there - an afternoon and much of the next day - which was sufficient, altho' 2 nights would not be too much. Agree that the White House Ruins hike is very special.

If you decide to go to Page to see Antelope Canyon, consider a float trip around Horseshoe Bend. It was very enjoyable and impressive.

You are planning pretty much the same trip I did last year. I think you will really enjoy it. Driving in AZ is really a pleasure.
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