Phoenix to Grand Canyon to Taos, NM ?

Sep 23rd, 2000, 11:28 AM
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Phoenix to Grand Canyon to Taos, NM ?

My family (husband and kids 10 and 13)and I will be flying in to Phoenix and driving up to the Grand Canyon in June. We have 8 days to do this trip. Can anyone recommend some "must sees" along the way and a good place to stay in the Grand Canyon (not TOO expensive). Also, is it feasible to drive from the GC to Taos/Santa Fe in this time frame? Is the drive all desert? Are there enough diversions to keep the kids from getting bored? Any input from someone who's done this would be a big help. Thanks!
Sep 24th, 2000, 06:11 AM
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From Phoenix to Grand Canyon, first brief stop would bePioneer Village a replica of an old town and second would be Montezuma Castle on right side of I-17...large Indian cliff dwelling....second would be Jerome...a historic mining town where the mine undermined the area and the town slid down the mountain and caved in areas, then taken over by hippies in the 60s and now is artsy interesting little town with great museum. This all would take a day and then on up to the canyon. We always stay at rimside at Thunderbird Lodge with reservations made through Bright Angel Lodge. You could also add ,for another day, Sedona. You could do the Pink Jeep Tour and generally poke around the town and creek area. June will be hot so any extra time could be spent at the hotel pool.
Sep 24th, 2000, 07:57 AM
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Debbie, 8 days is not enough time to work your way all the way over to Taos. Recommend see the GC (including the IMAX film) and then, maybe, check out Canyon de Chelly and some of the smaller places close to Flagstaff as well as Sedona area. There is a whole lot to see & do and 8 days is not nearly enough time to see it all this trip.
Sep 24th, 2000, 02:26 PM
Bob Brown
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Hi Debbie. I will take a contrarian view of the above posta. I think 8 days would be ample to cover the ground you describe, but you would probably bypass a few noteworthy sights in the general area. It all depends on how you want to approach it. You could poke around Arizona, north, for 8 days visiting various places. But if you want to visit Taos, regardless, there are some major attractions along the route that will hold your attention, and you can fill in the Sedona's and the Prescotts next time around.

The Bright Angel Lodge is the cheapest accommodation I know of at the GC, south rim. I think 3 nights, two full days, at the south rim would give you a chance to take the West Rim Drive, visit other overlooks on the rim, visit the museum, etc. Then you could drive to Taos by way of Canyon de Chelly, spending a 4th night on the way. I don't know how long you plan to be in Taos, but a day there to tour the pueblo should be ample. That would give you 3 days to get back to Phoenix.
You will be so close, you might consider visiting Mesa Verde in addition to, or instead of, Canyon de Chelly.
By the way, get ready for tax sticker shock if you rent a car. The on-airport sites really stick you with a lot of tax. And beware of the slick talkers that want to sell you an upgrade. I got took at Hertz. I protested, and the manager said he would adjust the bill.
I have yet to see the adjustment.
If you know someone in Phoenix, see if you can talk them into meeting you at the airport and taking you to an off airport rental site so you don't get stuck with that huge tax. What you save will more than double the cost of taking a taxi from the off airport rental site back to the airport, if there is no van to do it for free.

And before anyone gets bent out of shape, I was at the South Rim back in May for two full days of rim trekking and feel like I saw the show. We covered everything from Hermits Rest to the east entrance. The one thing I did not do was go down in the canyon, that leads to another order of magnitude if you introduce that variable into the equation. By the way, Montezuma's Castle is perhaps the least of the various cliff ruins you can see in that area. Tuzigoot and Walnut Canyon have more to offer, as does Aztec National Monument in Aztec, New Mexico. The name is a misnomer because the ruin, well preserved and restored, had nothing to do with the Aztecs. But if you are into Indian ruins, Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon would be my two choices, even if Chaco is hard to get too. Moreover, the route in and out can be messy if it rains. (It is not a piece of cake in good weather!!)
Sep 25th, 2000, 06:43 AM
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Hi Debbie. I just got back from my first trip to the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago. If you type "Grand Canyon" into the search box you should bring up my trip report. I stayed in a cabin at Bright Angel and liked it; it was $70 per night for one with a queen bed but they may have some with two beds, I'm not sure. Make sure you eat at the Arizona Steakhouse one night -- their ribs are great. Yes I think there are definitely enough diversions to keep your kids from getting bored -- the main thing is do NOT just stand on the rim and look at the Canyon -- to experience it you really need to get down into it! Hike a short distance down one of the trails to get a feel for what it is like to be INSIDE the canyon. Go to one of the ranger talks to learn about the Canyon's history or geology or flora and fauna. Most of the kids I saw were eating it up (OK, I did see one kid sitting on a bench playing Game Boy, but that was an exception). Have a great time.
Sep 25th, 2000, 03:16 PM
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A big thank you to everyone who responded to my questions! We're looking forward to this trip and you've all given me some great ideas. Thanks to Bob Brown for the car rental tip. As we have't got to that part of the planning yet I will indeed search out all options to try and avoid the tax. It does sound like the kind of thing you wouldnt know about in advance unless someone warned you so I appreciate the warning! One change we've made in our planning so far is to skip Taos in favor of Santa Fe alone, plus whatever diversions we find along the roads to and from Santa Fe. Again, thanks to all.
Sep 26th, 2000, 01:55 AM
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We had a wonderful holiday in the area. You must go to Sedona & Canyon de Chelley. We also had two boys with us aged 11 & 13. We used the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams to GC and stayed a night at GC. This was lucky as the train only stays 3 hrs and it was snowing (in April) and we couldn't see a thing when we arrived - clear next day. The Grand Canyon Railway will arrange packages. The train is old and they have a cowboy hold-up en route. I believe the GC is car free at peak times so a car would be useless - driving & parking is a nightmare there at the best of times.
If you need further info, email me.

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