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Grand Canyon, Sedona itinerary help

Old Aug 16th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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Grand Canyon, Sedona itinerary help

My family of four (all adults) are spending the week in Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon at the end of September. We’ve never been to this area of the country before and are interested in being outdoors, enjoying nature and the local culture. So far:
1. Arrive PHX mid-afternoon on Sunday. Rent car for the week. No hotel reservations for Sunday night. (Stay in Phoenix, drive to Flagstaff, or drive to Jerome?)
2. Have reservations in the GC Park for Monday and Tuesday nights (with plans to hike the rim and eat at El Tovar).
3. Have hotel reservations in Sedona Wednesday and Thursday nights (with plans to hike and maybe do the pink jeep tour).
4. No hotel reservations for Friday night. Can leave PHX Friday or Sat.
I really wanted to include the float trip in Page, but I had to work around hotel availability in the park. Any suggestions for this itinerary? Thanks.
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Old Aug 16th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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We drove through Jerome on our way back from Sedona - and it's a pretty drive - throught the hills - and it's about a couple hours from Phoenix and then a couple more from there over to Sedona.

Or you can drive directly from Phoenix to Sedona when you arrive (also a couple hours or so) and then you are only two miles from the GC the next day.
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Old Aug 16th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Oops. You are only a couple of hours from the GC once you get to Sedona. Just north of Sedona - you might enjoy a dip in the river on your way to the GC.
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 04:29 AM
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If you can, get a bit north of Phoenix on the afternoon you arrive to avoid Monday traffic into the city in the morning. Sunday afternoon traffic out of Phoenix should not be too bad, assuming no major accidents.

Have a wonderful trip.
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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I did this trip in reverse a few years ago. We knew people in Phoenix who we wanted to see so saved it for the end. This is what we did:

Flew into Phoenix on a Sat afternoon. Picked up the rental car and headed straight to Sedona with no traffic. Stayed in Sendona for 3 nights (Pink Jeep tour, Montezuma Castle, Slide Rock and Sedona Trolly tour).

We couldn't go the direct route to the Grand Canyon due to a forest fire west of Flagstaff with parts of 89 closed off. So, we detoured and stopped at Meteor Crater and Tuba City before getting to the Grand Canyon. It was a long day but tons of fun.

We stayed at the Grand Canyon for 3 nights. We also did the float trip out of Page. If you are taking the float trip directly from the Grand Canyon just be prepared that it is a long day and directly in the sun for most of it.

From there we headed back to Phoenix where we spent our last 2 nights to visit friends and see some of Phoenix.

We drove a lot and for me, driving was a breeze since I'm from the East Coast. This part of the country is beautiful so enjoy your trip.
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Sassy21, the info on other posts confirms what you said about the heat: make sure to take the 7:30 1/2 day float trip because the morning is cooler than the 1:00 afternoon trip. We could drive up to Page Sunday night and stay over night there, but it seems like a long ride that might end up driving in the dark (depending on flight or traffic delays). Is it worth it?
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Since you will be staying in Sedona for a few nights later in your trip, I would suggest driving to Flagstaff, only 2 hours from Phoenix. You can do Jerome as a day trip (1/2 day) from Sedona. When you get to Flag, try to see Walnut Canyon, only a few miles east of Flagstaff. I would suggest you go to Black Bart's for dinner, a unique experience.

http://www.blackbartssteakhouse.com/

The following morning, head up 89, on the east side of Flag, to take the east entrance into the GCNP. Take the Sunset Crater / Wupatki National Monument loop road. When you exit that, head north again on 89. Go a bout a mile past the road leading to the GC and stop at the Cameron Trading Post for some browsing and lunch (try the Navajo Taco). Then into GCNP through the east entrance, which is much less busy than the south entrance.

Another option for the first day would be to drive to Page (maybe 4 1/2 hours from PHX) and take the float trip the following morning before heading to the GC. Or drive to the Cameron Trading Post (3 hours from PHX, rise very early, and drive to Page for the float trip.
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 11:03 AM
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All of these suggestions are really helping me narrow down the choices.....thanks everyone! (So many choice, so little time!!)
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 11:21 AM
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Your drive from the Grand Canyon should include the Oak Creek Canyon, spectacular scenery as you go south -- and downhill -- from Flagstaff to Sedona (I don't think it would be as exciting northbound).
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 08:33 AM
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MikePinTucson, I like your idea of driving from PHX on Sunday to Flagstaff. Now I'm trying to decide on WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT or CANYON DE CHELLY for Monday. I would like to be able to walk in the ancient cliff dwellings rather than just see them from afar. Our reservations in GCNP are for Monday and Tuesday night, but we would consider knocking Monday off if Canyon de Chelly is a good option. Any ideas?
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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PS Which is the better option: float trip from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry, or the full day tour to Rainbow Bridge?
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 09:39 AM
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I would save Canyon de Chelly for another trip, since it is over 4 hours each way from Flag. At Wupatki, you definitely walk among the dwelling, but they are not cliff dwellings. At Walnut Canyon, you walk among the cliff dwellings, although they are pretty much just single room dwellings. You can also walk through the dwellings at Tuzigoot National Monument and Montezuma Well.

Sorry, can't help you with either the float trip or full day tour to Rainbow Bridge. I have only done the Canyon Adventure tour on Lake Powell.

I definitely agree with kayd about driving down Oak Creek Canyon when going from the GC to Sedona.
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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OK, how's this sound: (....anyone??)

SUN: Arrive PHX mid-afternoon. Rent car for the week.
Drive to hotel at Sedona or Flagstaff.
MON: Hike in Tuzigoot, Walnut Canyon, and Wupatki;
drive to GCNP.
TUES: Hike rim GCNP; dinner at El Tovar.
WED: Hike rim GCNP; drive to Page; kayak 3-hr moonlight tour.
THURS: 7:30 am 1/2 day float trip out of Page;
drive to Sedona by way of Oak Creek.
FRI: Hike and pink jeep tour (sounds scary).
SAT: Fly out of PHX.
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 01:31 PM
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Definitely stay in Flag the first night. It is much closer to Walnut Canyon and Wupatki.

Skip Tuzigoot on Monday. It is west of Sedona, in Clarkdale, while the other two are east and north of Flag.

Thursday -- try to fit in Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, south of Page.

In Sedona, do visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It is a special place, and you don't have to be religious to feel it.
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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OK, thanks Mike!
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 02:54 PM
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And definitely do the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow tour. Reserve in advance.
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Old Aug 21st, 2012, 05:20 AM
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musictub, I agree with MikePin on all accounts. If it is sunny do go to Antelope Canyon, you can just go to the parking lot and get on a tour with a Navajo guide, you don't need to book from Page.

Have a fantastic trip!
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Old Oct 7th, 2012, 07:24 AM
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Thank you for all your advice! Our final itinerary (see more detail in my trip report recently posted):

SUN: Arrive PHX mid-afternoon. Drive to the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix.
MON: Drive from Phoenix to A Shooting Star Inn, Flagstaff. Drive to GC South Rim.
TUES: Hike west side of GC Village. Dinner at El Tovar.
WED: Drive to viewpoints on the east side of GC village. Drive to Page.
THURS: 6-hour kayaking adventure on Lake Powell.
FRI: 3-hr Float trip down the Colorado River from the dam to Lee’s Ferry; Tour the lower slot canyon. Drive to Sedona by way of Oak Creek.
SAT: Breakfast at L’Auberge on the creek-side terrace in Sedona. Tour Wupatki National Monument; view red rocks from the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
SUN: Fly out of PHX.
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Old Oct 8th, 2012, 05:12 AM
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Oops. The above itinerary should have been:

SAT: Arrive PHX mid-afternoon. Drive to the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix.
SUN: Drive from Phoenix to A Shooting Star Inn, Flagstaff. MON: Hike area around Flagstaff. Drive to GC South Rim.
TUES: Hike west side of GC Village. Dinner at El Tovar.
WED: Drive to viewpoints on the east side of GC village. Drive to Page.
THURS: 6-hour kayaking adventure on Lake Powell.
FRI: 3-hr Float trip down the Colorado River from the dam to Lee’s Ferry; Tour the lower slot canyon. Drive to Sedona by way of Oak Creek.
SAT: Breakfast at L’Auberge on the creek-side terrace in Sedona. Tour Wupatki National Monument; view red rocks from the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
SUN: Fly out of PHX.
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