Help with Arizona Itenerary

Jun 4th, 2008, 06:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
Help with Arizona Itenerary

I will be traveling with my wife to Northern Arizona in late June. We have a basic itenerary worked out, but would like to get some advice on details:

What are some good trails to hike at the NORTH Grand Canyon?

I have listed some items as 'time permitting', because I'm not sure how much time any of these visits will take. I don't want to feel rushed, but also don't want to get bored!

Are there any 'must see' areas on the drive from Kanab, Utah to Kayenta, Arizona? It's a 4 hour drive, and we'd like to stop and see some sites along the way.

Any advice on scenic routes?

What should we do on our last full day? We are staying at the Cameron Trading Post and heading back to Phoenix. I see our options as being the SOUTH Grand Canyon, and possible some of the National Monuments (if we can't squeeze those in on the way up to Page).

The times that I have listed aren't necessarily accurate, just estimates.


11 am Land in Phoenix
12 pm Get rental car / eat lunch
2 pm Visit Desert Botanical Gardens
6 pm Eat dinner, leave for Sedona
8 pm Arrive in Sedona

Time Permitting Taliesin West in Scottsdale


6 am Eat breakfast / Visit Red Rock State Park
12 pm Eat Lunch / Drive to Oak Creek Canyon
6 pm Leave for Page / eat dinner
9:30 pm Arrive in Page

Time Permitting Wupatki National Monument and/or Sunset Crater Volcano


6 am Eat breakfast
6:30 am Colorado River Float
1 pm Return to Page / Eat Lunch
2 pm Visit Antelope Canyon
4 pm Leave for Kanab, Utah
5 pm Arrive in Kanab

Time Permitting Visit Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon Dam and/or Grand Staircase Escalante


6 am Eat breakfast
6:30 am Visit the Grand Canyon
8:00 pm Return to Kanab


6 am Eat breakfast
6:30 am Visit the Grand Canyon
2 pm Leave for Kayenta (Monument Valley)
6 pm Arrive in Kayenta


6 am Eat breakfast
6:30 am Visit Monument Valley
4 pm Leave for Cameron
6 pm Arrive in Cameron


6 am Eat breakfast
6:30 am Visit Cameron Trading Post
? ?
6 pm Arrive/stay in Scottsdale

Time Permitting Visit Wupatki National Monument, Sunset Crater, and/or Montezuma Castle if you didn't already


Leave Arizona
adam09 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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What are some good trails to hike at the NORTH Grand Canyon?

If you want to hike into the canyon the only practical one is North Kaibab, which is maintained. Maybe hike down to the tunnel or the picnic area. If you're young and strong maybe to Ribbon Falls at about 7 miles, a scenic place rarely visited with two cascading waterfalls over moss-covered rocks. Used to enjoy eating lunch here on rim-to-rim hikes.

There are several non-maintained trails but not recommended unless you have experience on other GC trails first. Hiking on these in late June is a good way to get in trouble since there is little water and no help. You can easily die on those trails if you make two mistakes.

It will be somewhere between very hot and killer hot the further into the canyon you go, sometimes up to 115-118 F in late June as you near the river (the rim is much cooler because it's higher). So don't overdo it.

There are a couple of nice trails that stay on the rim, can't remember the names (one goes out to the point, another goes east). These are OK but nothing special compared to hiking inside the canyon. But a helluva lot cooler.

Are there any 'must see' areas on the drive from Kanab, Utah to Kayenta, Arizona?

Maybe the Old Pareah movie set near Kanab, I think the turn-off is at mile marker 33 or 31 (there's a historical plaque on the left as you are heading to Page, but easy to miss). Beautiful Chinle rock formations a few miles off the main road ... this used to be a popular TV and movie set but I think the last movie made there was "The Outlaw Josey Wales" with Clint Eastwood in the 70's ... here are a couple of pics of the rock formations ...

Also you will pass by the turnoff to Buckskin Gulch and Coyote Buttes, which are beautiful areas but require a hike to get in. Last I heard you can hike in Buckskin without a permit. 200 ft walls in a deep slot canyon, you can touch the walls on either side in many places.

You'll need a permit to hike into Coyote Buttes, which you can try for on-line or try for day permits at the Ranger station at (I think) mile marker 21 or so. Beautiful sandstone swirls, the major feature is The Wave (google it to see some great photos). Here are a couple of our shots from near there, they aren't that great though:

This is about a 60-90 minute hike, with no water or shade (it will be hot here, it's 3,000 ft lower than the north rim). But a beautiful place, limited to 20 people per day.

What should we do on our last full day? We are staying at the Cameron Trading Post

Drive up to the East entrance of the GC south rim early in the AM and check out all the overlooks ... the south side, especially on the east, looks much different than the north rim and if you are there early there are no crowds until you get near the visitor center.

If you have plenty of time the Grand Canyon IMAX movie in Tusayan is worthwhile, especially for the river running scenes.

6:30 am Visit Cameron Trading Post

I assume this is where you are staying, at their lodge? I'd view the trading post tack the evening before, some of the rugs are very nice. I doubt the post is open that early but since the restaurant etc is there I'm probably wrong ... but I'd be on the GC rim at 6 AM for the sunrise

Bill_H is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 05:16 AM
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Posts: 93
If anyone reading this knows how long I need to allow for seeing the National Monuments (Wupatki & Sunset Crater), please let me know! Are there any other non-canyon sites I should see?

Bill -

We are not experienced hikers but are young in average shape. Do you think there's enough to do at the North Rim for two days? Since we'll be staying in Kanab for two nights, we could always go see some other places in that area. We've been to Zion NP, but that was in March a few years ago.

Since we'll probably be seeing the South Rim on the last day, that would give us two days at the park (although in different areas).

adam09 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 341
If you love animals, you might consider visiting the Best Friend Animal Sanctuary outside of Kanab. It's the largest animal rescue organization in the county. Their shelter in located in a canyon. They have a gift shop, memorial garden, and shelter areas where you can "visit" the dogs, cats, birds, horses, etc. The drive to these areas is a dirt road that winds along the canyon wall, and has some very nice views. We volunteer at a shelter here in Florida, and it was amazing to see the scope of their organization! If you get the National Geographic Channel, they occasionally run a show called Dogtown that shows the shelter.

We loved Horseshoe Bend outside of Page! Be sure to carry two bottles of water each, it's a hot walk to get to it. Also, wear closed toe shoes. The sand burns your toes if you are wearing sandals or flipflops.

If you don't have enough time to do the Glen Canyon Dam tour, I'd still stop at their visitors center. They have lots of interesting exhibits, and you still get some great views of the dam. There is also a scenic overlook, past the dam, near the Denny's (watch for the sign). Got some great pictures from there.

Have a great trip!
rascat is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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Would you recommend visiting the Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater? How long does it take to visit these monuments (I wasn't sure if they are an all-day trip, or just something you stop by to see).

adam09 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 05:59 PM
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Do you think there's enough to do at the North Rim for two days?

There are a limited number of overlooks compared to the south rim (the lodge and main visitor area is actually several miles from the river). You could do two days here if you do a couple of different hikes, but since you are overnighting at Kanab I think I'd visit the GC the first day and then decide if you want to come back the next day or go to say Bryce Canyon, which is close enough to Kanab to do as a day trip. It's very different from GC and Zion.

There is a dirt road that goes west to Point Sublime, if you want to go where fewer people visit. I *think* this road is OK for passenger cars but may be wrong. Sometimes it's closed due to fire danger but if open (ask at the entrance gate) you can make this day # 2 and have some solitude with great views.

Would you recommend visiting the Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater?

Wupatki is OK, there are some interesting ruins and exhibits, but it's open prarie for the most part and most people aren't impressed. There's little to do at Sunset Crater, you can't go up to the rim, it's just a drive-by with some into on how the crater formed at the visitor center.

How long does it take to visit these monuments

Instead of driving straight south from Cameron to Flagstaff on 89 you'd take the loop thru Wupatki and then Sunset Crater, then catch 89 a bit further south of where you turned off. I guess it would add 1 to 2 hours to the drive. It's definitely a day trip, there's not that much out there.

On the day you move from Kanab to Kayenta you could take the spur road to Navajo National Monument, which has some excellent cliff ruins (the ones at Wupatki are not in cliffs like these, more in the open). If you did this you could skip Wupatki and still have your quota of ruins The best ones at Navajo NM are only accessed by hikes into the canyon but you can still get some good views from the rim.

Bill_H is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 05:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 341
You need a high clearance 4x4 to get to Point Sublime, and you need to get there early in the day. DS has a Nissan Pathfinder, which the rangers said had high enough clearance, but we arrived at noon and they said it was too late for us to start out. You have to be back well before dark.
rascat is offline  
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