Help with Arizona trip in March 2004

Jul 28th, 2003, 08:30 PM
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Help with Arizona trip in March 2004

Hi - We will be in Scottsdale for a business trip in March 2004 and want to combine it with a vacation. We have never seen any national park out west and that is a possibility. We are reasonably fit but not great athletes and I do not know how to swim. Any suggestions on where to go would be appreciated. We can drive or fly to a nearby location. Thanks.
axelrod6 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2003, 09:53 PM
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Items numbers one and two should be a trip up to the Grand Canyon and Sedona.
How many days will you have?
TedTurner is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 05:24 AM
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We will have as many days as we need - up to seven.
axelrod6 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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I would recommend visiting Taliesin (Frank Lloyd Wright's studio/home) in Scottsdale and visit the Sedona area if possible.
tennisgirl03 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 07:28 AM
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I did a very similar trip in March '02. This was my itinerary:

Day 1: Drive from Scottsdale to Grand Canyon (S. Rim) via Sedona. Overnight at Grand Canyon.

Day 2: Walk along the rim.

Day 3: Drive to Monument Valley, overnight at Goulding's

Day 4: Drive to Canyon de Chelly, Painted Desert/Petrified Forest. Overnight in Holbrook.

Day 5: Drive back to Phoenix.

Had a blast! I would also have also included Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell if time had permitted.

Here's a link to the thread I started when I got back:

Hope this helps,
Andre is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 12:34 PM
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Andre - I really appreciate the practical suggestions. What time of year did you go - and do you know if weather is a problem on the south rim in late March?
axelrod6 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 01:52 PM
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Weather could be a problem at that time of the year but assuming it isn't in 7 days you could see visit the following
Day 1 - drive to Gr. Canyon arriving early afternoon. Explore the west rim. Overnight at the GR. canyon.
Day 2 - leave the Gr. Canyon by mid afternoon. Drive to east entrance stopping at the various viewing points on the east rim. Head for Monument Valley. Overnight at Gouldings or in Kayeenta.
Day 3 - take a half day tour of Monument Valley. After lunch head for Mesa Verde National Park. Spend the night in the park or in Cortez.
Day 4 - spend the day in Mesa Verde. In early evening head for Canyon de Chelly. Overnight in Chinle or in de CHelly.
Day 5 - spend the day in de Chelly. Do either a half day or full day tour of Canyon de Chelly.
Day 6 - head for Sedona driving through Petrified Forest NP arriving in Sedona in early afternoon. Overnight in Sedona
Day 7 - head back to PHX>
Rob is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 05:21 PM
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Rob - Is there part of your itinerary that would be unaffected by weather? Thanks.
axelrod6 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 05:40 PM
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There could be snow at the Gr. Canyon but it is open all year. There shouldn't be any problems at Canyon de Chelly or Monument Valley. Mesa Verde is the place where snow is a good probability because of the elevation.
Rob is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 07:51 PM
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Two questions: How far is Antelope Canyon from Page?

We'll be driving from Virginia west on I-40 on the way to San Diego. Is it worth the detour and time to stop at Canyon de Chelly on the way? On the trip back east we'll be stopping at GC and the Utah parks and using I-70.
ronkala is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 09:06 PM
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To ronkala,

From what I've read Antelope Canyon is 5 minutes from Page.

If you wanted to make a stop at Canyon de Chelly from I-40 then I would suggest taking Hwy 666 north out of Gallup, NM and then take Hwy 264 by Window Rock, AZ to Hwy 191. Then up 191 to Canyon de Chelly. You will pass right by the Hubbell Trading Post National Historical Site which is a good place to stretch your legs.

After leaving Canyon de Chelly take Hwy 191 back down to I-40. This route is only a total of 120 miles out of your way. Spend the night either in Canyon de Chelly or nearby Chinle.

utahtea is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 04:58 AM
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Utahtea, Thankyou again for your valuable information.

ronkala is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:41 AM
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If you go to Sedona, I would recommend
staying at Enchantment Resort. Great place with incredible red rock views.
Uma is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 12:05 PM
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I wish i could change your mind about arizona vacation. I have been to Jamaica and it's the ideal place to unwind and just totally bask in the novelty of sea, food, fun and people. After your business trip, what you really need is to get away in the tropics of paradise. experience the feeling that we have felt.... come away to life on this side of paradise.

fechweb is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 12:10 PM
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You can see great jamaican hotels etc. at htt://

oh by the way the nightlife is great especially in montegobay (mo-bay)
fechweb is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 01:47 PM
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Why would somebody mention Jamaica in a thread about Arizona? That's like me entering a thread about New England and telling somebody they should visit Germany instead. Silly.

Anyway, I'll second the Grand Canyon/Sedona mentions, though I would suggest staying a night in Flagstaff rather than at the canyon; just make the GC a day trip from there (Flagstaff in about 1 1/2 hours from the canyon and is a nice town with some good restaurants/microbreweries etc.). Sedona is about 60 miles from Flagstaff and you should take the "back way", Highway 89A for a beautiful drive. Stay a night in Sedona - it's a gorgeous place. While there's a small chance of snow, late March is generally starting to get past the snow season (especially lately - AZ has really lacked in significant snowfall the past couple of years). There's always a chance of some weather, but I wouldn't sweat it. One other place to keep in mind is the Mogollon Rim, which I think is the prettiest spot in the state. It's less than two hours from Scottsdale, near Payson - this could definitely be a day trip from Scottsdale and there are some nice, easy hikes up there.
mitchgx is offline  
Aug 16th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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My April Arizona trip itinerary (one of the best trips I've had!):

Day 1-4: Scottsdale, relaxing
Day 5: Drive through Flagstaff with stop at Walnut Canyon, on way to Holbrook and the funky Wigwam Motel (concrete teepees!)
Day 6: Drive through Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, stopping at different points along the way, then drive back to Flagstaff
Day 7: Museum of Northern Arizona (interesting intro to the area) and on to Grand Canyon, with al afternoon and evening to explore.
Day 8 and 9: Grand Canyon with a lot of Ranger talks and a 3 mile RT easy hike down South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge. There were snow flurries, but we still hiked in just sweatshirts. The week before, we heard the weather was in the 80's. Then, drive through Sedona (beautiful!) and stayed in less-expensive Cottonwood. Also, went to a chuckwagon dinner there -- hokey but fun!
Day 10: Went to Tuzigoot and Montezuma's Castle -- fascinating insight to early Indian life (similar to Walnut Canyon, but all were different enough so that it wasn't repetitious). Then on to Arcosanti for a tour and to stay overnight. Accomodations were spartan, but it was one of the most relaxing ends to a vacation ever!
Day 11: More Arcosanti (be sure to stop at the bakery for delicious sweets), then back to the Phoenix airport.

Driving total was about 1000 miles, and we generally drove no more than 2 hours in one day, except for one 3-4 hour day. If I were to cut out anything, it would probably be Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, only because that is out of the way compared with the rest of the itinerary. This trip was so successful for us that my 13 year old son is already planning to return to the GC to hike rim to rim, and to return to Arcosanti to take part in their internship workshop! (Me, too!)
TravelinMom is offline  
Aug 16th, 2003, 12:02 PM
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How far do you want to drive from Scottsdale? There are countless things to see! You probably won't have time to do ALL of this in a week, but here are some must-sees, IMO:

-you could spend your entire trip in the 'Grand Circle' - the highlights include:

-Grand Canyon: stay at El Tovar if possible, the grand dame of the nat'l park inns (IMO, as nice as Old Faithful Inn)

-Bryce and Zion Canyons, Capitol Reef NP, Grand Escalante NP, Lake Powell/Glen Canyon Rec Area.....AND

-Monument Valley - STUNNING!! Stay at Gouldings if possible.

Closer to Scottsdale:

-Sedona - allow at least 1/2 day for the Pink Jeep Tour of Oak Creek Canyon; lovely accomodations / restaurants also available, if you want more R & R vs. exploring the parks. Try Oacaxa (sp?) for dinner - great food and view

-If time allows, Saquarro Nat'l Park is AMAZING (both e. and w.) or explore Walnut Canyon Nat'l Mt, (easy to see in 2 hours) or Montezuma NP (one hour). Great cliff dwellings and nice museums in their visitor centers.

-Skip Flagstaff - very cute town, but imo, too many other areas to explore!

-I'd skip it, but if time allows, a drive thru Petrified Forest/Painted Dessert. But only if its on the way....

-The Wigwam Motel on old rt. 66 rocks! Stayed there this summer and laughed ALOT. Sparse but sparkling rooms, with some good shoppes and restaurants.

After all, ANYONE can stay in a Holiday Inn!

Again, it will depend on how far you want to drive and in which direction etc. Whatever you choose, it will be great! Have fun!
ellen_griswold is offline  
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