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sedona trip/Grand Canyon trip planning for mid -late October

sedona trip/Grand Canyon trip planning for mid -late October

Aug 5th, 2009, 04:36 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
sedona trip/Grand Canyon trip planning for mid -late October

I am new to these forums, and have spent much time reading over the trip reports and searching for ideas for my upcoming Sedona/Grand Canyon trip. I have had so much fun reading through the forums, but truthfully am getting overwhelmed with all the information. I was hoping that I could get some additional help in planning my trip. We would like to visit in October, hoping for slightly cooler weather, as well as some possible foliage color in Oak Creek Canyon. We are looking at the week of Oct 17-Oct 24. Would there be any color to the leaves at that time of October? Here are my current ideas for our one week trip. Please feel free to give me any constructive suggestions for changes to this itinerary.

Arrival day (Saturday): Land at the Phoenix airport early afternoon, drive to Sedona. Check in late afternoon, relax (haven't decided on a hotel....love the Amara, L'auberge de Sedona (are they still doing construction?), Best Western Inn, Los Pasados, Southwest Inn. Want to keep it under $200/night though, which doesn't look possible. Thinking of stopping at Montezuma's Castle on the way to Sedona (or should we add that to our Jerome/Verden Canyon Railroad day?) Does anyone know if the highway construction I have read about will be completed by mid Oct?

Day 1(Sunday): Meet up with some friends of my husband, and take a Pink Jeep tour. We are thinking of doing the 3 hour Broken Arrow/scenic rim tour. I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions as to whether we should do the tour during the day versus taking a sunset tour. Will also spend some of that day hiking and seeing the rock formations. Not really sure how much time this will take. Just planning on taking it as it comes ( other than the scheduled jeep tour).

Day 2 (Monday): Drive to Jerome in the morning, tour the town. Eat lunch at the Asylum Restaurant at the Grand Hotel. Then we are thinking about taking the Verde Canyon Railroad tour. I have read that the canyon is beautiful during the fall, as that is when the wildflowers come alive. Has anyone taken this tour, and do you think it is worth the time and cost? Any ideas on upgrading to the more expensive Living Room Car (versus the coach seats?). Would we have time to dirve to Montezuma's Castle in the morning before going to Jerome? How much time do we need to fully appreciate Jerome? After a day in Jerome, head back to Sedona, and eat dinner somewhere in town. (haven't really researched restaurants yet). My husband is a vegetarian, so I would love some vegetarian restaurant suggestions.

Day 3 (Tuesday): Drive to the Grand Canyon via Oak Creek Canyon. Maybe stopping in Flagstaff for lunch. Do the sunset thing, check into our hotel (can't get into the El Tovar Hotel, only hotel available at this time is the Yavapai Lodge. Don't think that should make a big difference to us though). Thinking we would go into the canyon via the East entrance. Any ideas on this?

Day 4 (Wed) : Plan on getting up early for the sunrise, doing some of the easier hikes, seeing the Imax movie, maybe eating lunch at The El Tovar, then heading back to Sedona in the afternoon. Here is a big question - is it worth the extra drive out to see the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest? How far of a drive is that from the Grand canyon? Should we stop in Flagstaff on the way back? How long would it take to get back to Sedona from the Painted Desert? I am trying to keep in mind that there is a lot of driving between all these sites, and don't want to overdo it. This is a vacation, and I do want to spend some time just relaxing.

Day5 (Thursday): Thinking of changing hotels, and possibly staying in Oak Creek Canyon area, maybe at one of the Forest Houses, or the Junipine Resort. Any ideas of other nice hotels under $250 night? Thought we would take one day to relax, enjoy the quieter side of the canyon, Slide Rock park, etc.

Day 6 (Friday): Spend the last day in Sedona, shopping, doing whatever we might have missed at the beginning of the week. Would like to experience the Vortex areas. Any thoughts on this? Thinking we should then drive back to Phoenix Friday evening, and stay somewhere closer to the airport, to avoid traffic delays on Saturday. Haven't booked our flight yet, so we are flexible with this. Any thoughts?

Day 7 (saturday) Depart for Raleigh, NC.

Thanks to all for taking the time to give me your opinions. This forum is very helpful.
MicheleF is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Arrival day - I'd try to stop in at Montezuma Castle this day. It's doable in an hour or so. Doesn't make sense to add it to day 2. Visitor center is open 8a-5p so you should be OK on arrival day.

Day 3 - I'd enter Grand Canyon via south entrance and stop in to see the IMAX movie before getting to the South Rim. Plan on trying to do a little bit of hiking this day too.

Day 4 - Do a little more easy hiking, then drive out via the east entrance. Drive through Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments on your way back to Flagstaff/Sedona. This will get you to the edge of the Painted Desert. I would not drive all the way to the Petrified Forest - too much driving and there's enough to see already.

As I read it, you have ~4+ days in Sedona with one day trip to Jerome, a Jeep tour and otherwise, a lot of time to relax, shop, etc. You can afford to push yourself a bit more on the trip to/from the Grand Canyon given the amount of time you have in Sedona to relax, but I still wouldn't include a drive to Petrified Forest.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Did you try Sedona Rouge resort and spa or Garlands Lodge?
You can get rates below $200 a night in Sedona or close to it.
Try Expedia.com for some prices.
Love Asylum at the Jerome Grand Hotel..this place is very haunted too.
Great eats in Sedona are: Elote Cafe, Yavapai at the Enchantment Resort..stunning views and the Coffee Pot for breakfast.

ksucat is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion of keeping Montezuma Castle as something to do on our drive to Sedona. That makes more sense for sure. Like your idea of coming into the Grand Canyon via the South and exiting via the East. I picked up several books about the Grand Canyon today and plan on doing a lot of reading tonight! Will add the Sunset Crater to our day on Wednesday. Thanks again.

Ksucat: Garlands Lodge looks wonderful, but sadly,is booked for the days we need. Sedona Rouge is beautiful too. So many great choices....Thanks for the restaurant suggestions. The Yavapai has amazing views! I can't wait. Sunday Brunch on our first day....
MicheleF is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,873
The Verde Canon RR is a great trip. The only time I took it was in June - a thunderstorm caused a rock slide on the tracks so we didn't get all the way to the end. It was still a memorable trip.

Fall colors in AZ are iffy at that time. My wife's brithday is around that time and we used to try to find some color on her birthday. Not successful every year.
bigtyke is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I have stayed at all the resorts you have listed..except Garlands but that is on this years trip..sorry its booked.
Sedona Rouge resort and spa was awesome for the price, beds, linens, flat screen tv, great sauna & spa..very Kimptonish hotel..

Safeway next store..and a great restaurant at the hotel called Red's that serves BLD and its quite good.

Sunday brunch at Yavapai in Enchantment is excellent..need to make reservations.. since its gated and you need to be on the list.
ksucat is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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thanks for letting me know about the railroad trip. i am really excited about that. ok, fall colors not too big a deal, but thought it would be neat to see some foliage changes after looking at all those red rocks!

reservations are in order for Yavapai, as i don't want to miss out on that.

anybody know a cheaper way to rent a car? rentals seem to average $500 for one week (from Phoenix). that is steep!
MicheleF is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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I am in a planning stage of the same trip, only shorter.

I did see something about cheaper car rental, give me a couple of minutes for a search.
Dayenu is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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thanks for the car rental info, going to check out enterprise now.
MicheleF is offline  
Aug 7th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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still trying to decide on a hotel. many beautiful hotels, but prices are high, 250 plus for the ones I am interested in. Does anyone know if any of these hotels and resorts are available on priceline? have never used them either, and would rather not stay at a big name hotel like the hilton, preferring something more creative.
MicheleF is offline  
Aug 7th, 2009, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Sedona Rouge is over $250 a night?
Did you check direct too?
Stayed in a 1 bedroom condo with full kitchen and washer/dryer at the Hyatt for $109..that was on Expedia.
BW inn of Sedona is $149
I don't understand what you are checking or maybe I've got the wrong dates.
If that is the case, I would do the La Quinta Inn for $80+ which has free breakfast and its newer and just fine and spend the extra on other things.
ksucat is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 01:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,614
Try FOX car rental at Phoenix airport. Cheaper than any of the others and it is a good company in my experience.
emd3 is offline  

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