Re-Thinking My Itinerary - Need Advice!!!

Apr 26th, 2010, 02:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 723
Re-Thinking My Itinerary - Need Advice!!!

I am re-thinking the middle part of my itinerary and need advice please.
From Grand Canyon going to Petrified Forest & Canyon de Chelly - stay 2 nights CDC
Then on to Mesa Verde for 1 night before heading to Moab.

Wondering if we should change to ONE night CDC and TWO nights Mesa Verde???

My reason is I'm wondering if 2 nights is too long at CDC and would be better used at Mesa Verde???

FWIW, we have been to Mesa Verde (back in the 1980's) and never been to CDC/Petrified Forest.

Of course this all depends on being able to add one night at Far View Lodge but I think they still have vacancies.

Looking forward to your input! TIA
TAW is offline  
Apr 26th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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Petrified Forest ranks as one of my least favorite NP's. Certainly worth a few hours if you are going in that direction. You are aware that there are two areas to Mesa Verde? You really need two or three days to do both of them. Petroglyph trail is a nice trail there as well.
spirobulldog is offline  
Apr 26th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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I would not advise going out of your way just to see Petrified Forest. We did and were disappointed. I also reccommend two days at Mesa Verde. Enjoy your trip!
annieO is offline  
Apr 26th, 2010, 03:11 PM
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1 or 2 nights at CdC depends on what you are trying to fit in there. Most people drive the two rims and stop at the overlooks, plus take either the half-day or full-day tours inside the canyon. You can also hike down to White House ruins and also take horseback rides.

Staying one night might give you enough time to do the half-day tour if you get there early enough, plus the rim drives. If you want to do more then you'll need 2 nights.
Bill_H is offline  
Apr 27th, 2010, 05:08 AM
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Petrified forest is not worth it to take a detour.You'll need more time in Mesa Verde than in CDC.Paul
tovarich is offline  
Apr 27th, 2010, 05:22 AM
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I agree with the advise you've been given. We stopped at Petrified forest for the "drive through" as it was on our way. It was a nice stop, but not a destination-type attraction.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 27th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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I watched Ken Burns again the other day and was suprised to see that PF was one of John Muir's favorite places. Evidentally he spent hours there with a magnifying glass looking at them.
spirobulldog is offline  
Apr 29th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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I just got back from Arizona yesterday and will add my two cents. I agree about the Petrified Forest. There's not much to see there and I wouldn't go out of my way, but if it's along your route, an hour or two for the drive through and a few stops at points of interest is really all you need.

I spent a night at CDC on my way from Monument Valley to Winslow, and was very impressed but I think a full day there is sufficient, altho' as Bill_H said, it depends on how much you want to do or see there.
The rim drives stay open so you can do them at any time. Although I had time to do at least one of the drives the afternoon I arrived, I was tired of driving and opted for a swim at my hotel pool instead. The next morning I did the South rim drive, stopped at all the lookout points, took lots of pictures and did the White House Ruins hike (highly recommended if you like to hike). I didn't do any guided tours and was on my way to Winslow by 3 p.m., via the Petrified Forest.
panecott is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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Never been to CdC but I think one full day at Mesa Verde is enough, having been there last week, especially if you've been there before.

Not sure of your itinerary, but I'd be tempted to work in a side trip to Page/Lake Powell. There's a 4:15pm lake cruise for 75 minutes, which is a nice length of time. The view from nearby Horseshoe Bend overlooking the Colorado River is worth seeing but that requires about a 20 minute fairly easy hike. The Glen Canyon Dam is interesting and tours are available. Plus there's nearby upper Antelope Canyon which is spectacular if you catch it at mid-day with full sun. From Page, it's an easy drive to Monument Valley where you could spend a nite before heading onto Mesa Verde.
dcd is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 02:50 AM
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One full day at Canyon de Chelley should be enough. Do the drive around the top and stop at the view points on both the north and south rims and as suggested, hike to white house ruin. Do sign up for a tour in the valley with a Navajo guide and if you can get your own tour, not the shake and bake tour. Mesa Verde can easily take more than one day. You will need to sign up for a ranger led tour of one or more of the ruins, but be aware that you will be hiking up our of Cliff house and Balcony house on ladders. This is quite strenuous for people used to lower elevations. The drive with stops along the mesa top route has fantastic views of several ruins. If you are there after Memorial Day, Wetherill mesa will be open also. It has ruins that can be toured also. If you can, get lodging at Far View lodge as it is a long way in and we were there Monday night and there is lots of road work on the road in which will make going in and out even more of a chore.

Have a fantastic trip.
emalloy is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Thanks all for your replies. We've decided to keep our itinerary as it is for now and only change if necessary. So we'll be 2 nights at CDC and 1 at Mesa Verde Far View Lodge. We did a similar trip in 2005 and went to Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, etc.
We just move slower than before so 2 nights anywhere isn't too long for us.
Thanks again.
TAW is offline  
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