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please review my itinerary for CA/AZ/UT road trip May, 2010

please review my itinerary for CA/AZ/UT road trip May, 2010

Old Oct 4th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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TAW
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please review my itinerary for CA/AZ/UT road trip May, 2010

Hi,
Our Spring road trip May 2010. We've been to GC but only for an afternoon so want to return and spend 2 nts. Have also been to Zion & Moab but really loved those areas so want to go again. Never been to Canyon de Chelly or Petrified Forest.

Here's what I have so far:
San Jose to Grand Canyon (2 nts) O/N somewhere along the way – where?
Grand Canyon to Petrified Forest, then Canyon de Chelly (1 nt)
Canyon de Chelly to Zion (3 nts)
Zion to Moab (3 nts)
Moab to Salt Lake City (3 nts to visit family)
Return to San Jose

We have been to Bryce (too much altitude for us), Monument Valley, and Page, AZ.
Also been to Mesa Verde and might include that if we want to add a day or two.

We like great scenery and easy to moderate walks without a lot of climbing.

Am I missing anything? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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TAW,

Your plan sounds quite good and the only strong recommendation I would make is to find a way to add at least 1 more day to Moab. If you can add days, do it in Moab! If you must steal a day, take it from Zion since you have been there before. I loved Mesa Verde, but I would always (and alway have) choose Moab over a repeat visit there.

3 days isn't nearly enough for Moab, 5 is good.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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Oops, I guess I need to head to bed. Just saw that you have visited Moab before too! Have you considered Capitol Reef?
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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If yoou are going down to Bakerfield to take SR 58 to I-40 the places that offer the most choices are Barstow, which might be too early, and Kingman, might be too late. A little off track, but an hour closer than Kingman is Lake Havasu city with a good selection. Not much in Needles.

You're plan is good. IMO 3 days in enough form Moab since been there before.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 08:37 PM
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How many people will be driving?

I've done San Jose to Las Vegas in one day.

If you have more drivers, you could conceivably get all the way to Flagstaff, Arizona, in one day with about 13-15 hours of straight driving allowing a few pit stops and stopping at fast food places.
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Old Oct 5th, 2009, 03:42 AM
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Petrified Forest is worth a stop, but it is one of my least favorite national parks. What about any of the Grand Staircase/Escalante area? Calf Creek Falls, Cap Reef, Goblin Valley, Natural Bridges, Goosenecks, Moki Dugway. Just some quick thought of places we have enjoyed.
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Old Oct 5th, 2009, 09:19 AM
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Thanks everyone!
As for the drive down, there are two of us but it's too far for us to drive that long even for just one day. We could go the Las Vegas route and stay there (did that before)then on to GC. Or we'll just drive til tired and stop in one of the places boom_boom suggested.
Have already been to Grand Staircase/Escalante, Cap Reef, etc. Did a Utah/AZ circle a few years back and hit all the parks except GC.
This one is mainly for GC and return to Zion & Arches (our favorites) and on to family in SLC.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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OK, now I have another question about this itinerary...

On the day we drive from GC to Petrified Forest, then on to
Canyon de Chelly where we stay ONE night - will we have enough time to see PF/Painted Desert AND CdC??? I want to fit in a tour with an Indian guide either once we get there or the next morning before we leave for Zion. I'm now wondering if I should add another night to Canyon de Chelly to give us enough time to do all of this and not have to rush to get to Zion. We don't like driving after dark.
What do you all think? Add a night or not? OR skip Petrified Forest/Painted Desert and just see Canyon de Chelly?
We haven't seen any of these places before (PF/PD, CdC)so I want to make sure we leave enough time so we're not rushed.
All input is appreciated.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 06:39 PM
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We drove up through Window Rock and approached Canyon de Chelley from the east and drove and stopped at pull outs around the north side then hit the visitor center then drove and stopped at pull outs on the south side. That took the better part of the day. We then filled our cooler with lunch stuff for the next day and hit the motel. The next morning we were at the VC early and got our guide who took us in our car and spent all day with us in the canyon. We then drove to Kayenta and made it to a motel in the worst dust storm I've ever witnessed. It is a very looooong way to Zion from Canyon de Chelley, but the ride is interesting.

We've been to Petrified Forest/Painted Desert a couple of times. Most recently we saw several nice petroglyphs but didn't hike other than to see things within a few hundred yards of the pull off. I think we spent a couple of hours there and it is interesting but we didn't spend much time in the Visitor's center since we had done that before.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 06:45 PM
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Oh, and if you take the mapquest route from Canyon de Chelley to Zion, you go up to Page. That would be a place to stop and visit Antelope Canyon. I have some pictures of it from a trip in 2008 at www.flickr.com/photos/emalloy2009/sets. I think they are in the 2008 set
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