Road tripping LV - GC - Sedona - PHX

Old Dec 28th, 2015, 07:54 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 22
Road tripping LV - GC - Sedona - PHX

I have a problem. A nice one, sure, but a problem nontheless. In roughly a month me and two friends will start a two week vacation in the US. First up is four-five days in LA, then two nights in Vegas and the following part is the one creating something of an issue. Mainly because there is just way too much to see, experience and check out, my brain is bursting at the seams. I'm longwinded, I know, but please bare with me.

The rough plan is to drive Las Vegas - Route 66 - Grand Canyon - Sedona - Jerome - Prescott - PHX. We have five nights. Problem is how we should divide our time, which sites to stop at and which ones to give a pass, considering our rather short stay in the area. For example, considering we will probably visit Jerome and Prescott, would it be wise to ditch Oatman from the agenda?

We are three active friends around our 30s and enjoy the outdoors, history and a good cheerful pub-environment. No shopping or galleries on this trip (we're on a strict budget) nor do we do fancy dining (it is just not a priority on a trip for us). Great scenery is on the top of our list, along with photography and seeing as much as possible within the time frame we have.

Here's the outline:

* Monday 2/8 - Leaving Vegas in the morning towards Grand Canyon. We want to drive parts of route 66. Should we take the longer route via Oatman, or should we save the time and skip it? I don't expect us to be able to get all the way to GC before nightfall, but we might, MIGHT, do it if we cut out Oatman. In any case, the closer we are to Grand Canyon Village come Tuesday morning, the better (no accommodation booked for this night yet).

* Tuesday 2/9 - Spending the whole day at Grand Canyon, going along the Rim, maybe doing some short hikes below it. Sunset and hopefully a starry sky. Staying at Maswik Lodge (the only place we have booked up'n'til now for this road trip-part of the trip).

* Wednesday 2/10 - Moving on early morning after sunrise towards Sedona. Should we stop at Sunset Crater? Oak Creek Canyon is of course a given. Now, depending on how much time we use on the drive we should have time to get to some of the places of interest in Sedona. This is more of a road trip, so no hiking per se (short strolls would be okay), and we won't be taking any jeep tours or the likes. It will mostly be about driving around and having a looksy, inhaling and exhaling here and there while appreciating the views.

Thursday 2/11 - The question here is that should we move onwards or stay another night in Sedona. Would love to visit Jerome and Prescott seems like a wonderful little place to spend an evening. Hence I thought about perhaps doing something in Sedona in the morning, continuing onwards to Jerome and then ending up in Prescott.

Friday 2/12 - This day is rather open. By the end of the day we'd have to be somewhere close enough to Phoenix airport to be able to be there around 9am on Saturday. Cave Creek? Is there places of particular interest between Prescott and Phoenix?

I'd appreciate any input, truly. The main issue are the last three nights (the Sedona-Prescott-Phoenix-bit). I'm just not sure what would be the wisest thing to do. Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!
brightdawns is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2015, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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For your Monday: It is only a bit over 2 hours to get to Oatman from Vegas (down 95 etc.) and from there to Grand Canyon Village is less than 4 hours. The stretch of 66 through Oatman to near Kingman is the more interesting part of the route between there and Grand Canyon. We did the part up to Peach springs and it was not very exciting IMHO, so I would not bother to spend the extra time to do that route if I had done the Oatman to Kingman section.

Get out of bed early and head to Oatman, have lunch and then head east on 66 to 40 and be at Grand Canyon Village for sunset. Call and see if you can get lodging there Monday night. If you do, and are not going to hike much, you may find that you can see the sights and head out after lunch on Tuesday. Go east on 64 and stop at any of the viewpoints you haven't seen then go south on 89.

Spend a little time driving through Wupatki and ancient Native American site and a quick stop at Sunset crater on your way south.

You could do day trips to Jerome and Prescott from Sedona if you get a good deal on lodging there, or if you'd rather look for something in them.

Have a great trip
emalloy is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2015, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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For me it is a tossup re skipping Oatman. But I do remember thinking how neat is was when I saw it.

For the other parts of Route 66, if you are running short of time, you can stay on I-95 and just pop off the freeway to see Seligman (Delgadillo's Sno Cap). Photography buffs love it.

Hackberry is also good but it's on the longer detour between Kingman and Seligman. Be sure not to speed through the Indian reservation around Peach Springs. Actually, be sure not to speed at all in AZ.

Another option is to end the first night in Williams, rather than the Grand Canyon if you think you may not make it by dark (remember daylight will end fairly early). Then you can see some of the Route 66 neon signs there.

If you do decide to reach the park by sunset, I think it's worthwhile to lodge as close as possible to the rim, since it can be a pain to drag the butt up early for sunrise, and parking can be difficult. The shuttles are limited in winter (which is good if you have a car, but bad if it's busy).

BTW I am also a fan of Wupatki. Have never been to the crater as I always run out of time.

I am not a big fan of Sedona city, think it's too touristy. Part of it was that I was coming from the north, where the scenery and red rock country is better. I think the fan-boy dom may come from all the people who live south in Phoenix.

I have never been to Jerome or Prescott. I wonder if you visit Oatman, you can skip Jerome? Hopefully someone else can advise.

Phoenix is a big sprawly city. Wouldn't spend a lot of time there myself.
mlgb is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2015, 11:02 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 22
Thank you both so very much!

It seems Oatman is the way to go. Check.

And considering none of you were completely over the moon about Sedona (in a "you absolutely have to go there and don't you dare do anything else"-kind of way) I might relax regarding that part of the trip. It definitely seems beautiful and worth much more time than we can afford, but. I feel more comfortable now with just scraping the surface and continuing onwards instead of investing most of our time to that immidiate area. It seems lodging is pretty steep in Prescott though so will have to research some more about accommodation.

If we relax a bit when it comes to Sedona and surroundings it might be worth it to keep GC as is and expect to stop somewhere before the Village on Monday night. Williams perhaps. Just to not have to hurry, but be able to take our time. Heaven knows if we suddenly decide to party on Sunday night in Vegas and end up hangover and tired on Monday. Might be a slightly later take off in that case. And so on.

Sunset is around 17:10 at that time of the year. Terribly early! But we'll just have to be efficient when the queen is up.

The Phoenix-area is really just to crash before the flight on Saturday, would for sure be nice with some funky bars or shops (more alternative than posh) to spend time in on our last evening in the US, but it is also possible, that we're so tired after intensive travelling that all we need is a clean bed to lay down on and go to sleep.

Also, check for Wupatki. Will definitely try to fit it in.

Thank you again!
brightdawns is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2015, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,514
In Williams, there is a lot of lodging. On my last trip I stayed there the night before GC, went over and saw the train station, and then did some of the turnouts in the GC before ending near the hotel in the afternoon. I think check-in is late, about 4 pm. Just be careful to allow enough time for the slow service at the desk if sunset is early. In fact you may want to skip check-in until after dark. It can be tough to find parking up near Bright Angel.

BTW be sure to check for Winter rates at Maswik, here
mlgb is offline  
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