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Too much driving?

Old May 30th, 2005, 11:17 PM
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Too much driving?

I'm planning a touring holiday in Arizona in October, ending up with a few days in Las Vegas. According to Mapquest it's 252 miles/4.5 hours from Flagstaff to LV which sounds perfectly doable (even for British drivers who do not routinely drive your long distances) but is it? Is this an easy route to drive (via Kingman) or should I plan an overnight stop in Kingman?

Secondly, my planned itinerary at the moment is:

2 full days in Santa Fe
fly to Phoenix - spend 2 full days there
drive to Flagstaff - spend 2 full days
drive to Vegas

Should I allocate another day to either Flagstaff or Phoenix to allow for more sightseeing? (We have been to GC but nowhere else in AZ). I'd be grateful for any comments.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 11:46 PM
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It would really be a shame for you to miss Sedona. I'd skip Flagstaff and spend those two days in Sedona. The red rocks, hikes, views and food will knock your socks off! Flagstaff pales by comparison.

The drive to Las Vegas from Sedona is a little longer than from Flagstaff -- about 5 1/2 hours total, which is doable.

You may want to stop at Hoover Dam on the way.

Good luck with everything. We did a GC, Sedona, LV trip last summer and it was awesome!
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Old May 31st, 2005, 04:18 AM
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i'd skip phoenix drive up to sedona from sky harbor airport (phx) it will be hmmm about 3 hours depending on traffic. phoenix is a city with a lot of traffic!

OR a radical change which i haven't calculated mileage but food for thought. fly into las vegas from santa fe. drive to southern utah and visit Zion National Park in springdale, then Bryce Canyon, down to the Grand Canyon and back to las vegas. for just a week, this could be a little ambitious. I know this kindof doesn't tour arizona....

as for the grand canyon see if you can get a room in the GC, it's a long drive from sedona for a day trip.

you can get a lot of information on the area from this board, search phoenix, arizona, utah and you'll see what your possibilities are.

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Old May 31st, 2005, 06:19 AM
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I'll second most of what others have said, specifically about the Arizona part of the trip.:
1. The two days in Phoenix may be too much unless you're staying at one of the resorts in Scottsdale and just want to unwind. I've been to Phoenix several times, and it's not one of great US cities to visit.
2. The suggestion to drive to Sedona from the Phoenix airport is a good one, I think. Once you get out of the city, it's an easy drive on mostly straight highway. Try to make the drive in the daytime so you don't miss the sights driving into Sedona. You can skip Flagstaff.
3. You can do the Grand Canyon in a day trip from Sedona, although as one poster mentioned, it does make for a long day. If you're up for it, however, you can arise early in the morning, drive up to the GC, and be back in Sedona in the evening. I think it's a couple of hours' driving time each way, if memory serves me correctly.
4. The weather in Phoenix in Oct. is nice, but it can get a lot cooler heading up to Sedona and the GC, so dress appropriately. We once made the trip in April, which is similar to Oct., and hit snow.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old May 31st, 2005, 06:30 AM
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If I'm reading this post correctly, we are talking to a Brit who has already been to the Grand Canyon and wants to see other things in Arizona.

The Sedona suggestion is wonderful!

I wish there was a way you could also see the incredible Saguara (sp) cactus native to the area just south of Phoenix. Locals, help me out. How far south of Phoenix would he have to drive to see a 'good stand' of cactus?
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Old May 31st, 2005, 06:41 AM
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First, the drive from Flagstaff to Las Vegas is an easy drive. More than half of it is on the interstate. There's no need to spend the night in Flagstaff. Give yourself a break in Kingman and go to the Old Route 66 museum for an hour or two.

What do you have planned for Flagstaff for 2 full days? Do you want siteseeing like the Grand Canyon? Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley are excellent choices, but I wouldn't do them from Flagstaff. If you want something closer, I'd go to Utah's Lake Powell, Bryce and Zion and then to Las Vegas.

Utahtea
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Old May 31st, 2005, 10:14 AM
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The saguaro cactus area (that I know of) is south of Tucson, quite a way from Phoenix and in the opposite direction they want to travel. It is an interesting spot but seems impractical for this person, given the rest of the itinerary.
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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 12:31 AM
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Thank you so much to everyone who replied. You've certainly given me food for thought.

It's extremely helpful to have your comments about Phoenix - I won't waste time on it now. Trouble is, we Brits grow up with these evocative names and just assume they are fabulous places (apologies to any Phoenix fans!).

Trouble is, the more research I do the more I want to see and our time frame of 14/15 days just won't allow it - I'd need about 6 weeks.

Is this feasible?
Santa Fe
Sedona
Monument Valley (would really love to see that - what's the best place to base ourselves for that?)
Las Vegas (need about 3 nights here - meeting relatives who are going direct)

We are both 60 and not into hiking or anything too energetic. More interested in the history and geography of the area. We saw the Hoover Dam and GC on previous visits.

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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 02:08 AM
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Most of the good driving information is contained within a thread you can locate by using the search function and entering the words "Hey Fodors".
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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 03:15 AM
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Thanks for the tip, however it came up "nothing found".
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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 03:44 PM
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given your time restraints and the desire to go to monument valley (that is a GREAT place!!!!) you may want to rent your car in sante fe and drive directly to monument valley from there. it appears to be about 300 miles, which is quite doable. 6 to 8 hours. THEN spend the next day in monument valley taking the private native american tour, and then the self drive.

stay at gouldings that is the hotel name. (do two nights) then start out fresh the next day for sedona.

do 2 or 3 nights in sedona then onto las vegas from there.

NOTE in any of these scenarios, you appear to need a one way car rental. make sure you shop around because one way charges are extra in the hundreds of dollars sometimes. be sure to confirm the amount that must be paid for drop off charges before securing your car rental.

If Phoenix tix already bought, monument valley becomes a trip requiring a lot of extra miles. and you will have one less day in sedona and a full day on the road. enjoy.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 10:17 AM
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What great advice. Thank you all so much. Nothing cast in stone yet but I am now thinkingbr />
Drive from Phoenix to Sedona, spend a couple of days seeing Prescott & Jerome,
On to Zion NP (couple of nights so a full day there)
Zion to Las Vegas

Will have to leave Monument Valley for another time.
My husband will be doing all the driving and it is supposed to be a holiday for him!
I've looked into the one-way car hire - the Hertz site specimen "hire" would only cost about 60 pounds more for a one-way hire.
Thanks again for all the help. There'll probably be more questions later!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 10:37 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34509211

I found the Hey Fodors thread by doing what TripleSec instructed. Here's the link.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Hi Sandiemac,

You have got a wonderful trip planned. From Phoenix (assuming you arrive at Sky Harbor at a reasonable time of the morning) take I-17 north then turn of for Prescott and Jerome and on to Sedona. That way will give you a full day or two to explore the wonderful town and appreciate the red rocks.

Accommodation can be expensive but there are some reasonably priced B&B's as well as cheaper place south of town in the rather soulless village of Oak Creek. Try to find somewhere more central if you can afford it.

The drive on 89A up Oak Creek Canyon is beautiful, especially so in October but it is then a long drive to Zion. Doable but not a lot of time to stop at places especially as may lose an hour going into Utah (depends on when the clocks change - Utah changes, Arizona doesn't - long story!)

Springdale is a great base for Zion. Accommodation is cheaper than Sedona but a good selection of motels and B&B's and a few decent restaurants. Park the car for the day and take the free town shuttle the short distance to the park entrance where you pick up another shuttle that takes yo along the valley. Truly a beautiful place.

On the way back to LV you may have time to stop at Snow Canyon SP near St George and/or Valley of Fire SP back in Nevada.

Sadly Monument Valley will have to wait for another time but it is another amazing place in an area of amazing places!

If you need more advise then please don't hesitate to contact me and have a great trip,

Adam C
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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We've been waiting for No.2 son to announce his wedding date in the Autumn which he has now done, so we can go ahead and make firm plans. Whilst waiting I have been doing a lot of reading on this forum and have found it extremely helpful.

My itinerary at the moment is:

Oct. 15 Fly into Alberquerque and spend 3 nights in Santa Fe (hopefully at the St Francis). Bearing in mind we will be tired and jetlagged on the first day is 3 nights about right or too much? We are not hiring a car until later.

Oct. 18 fly to Phoenix, pick up car and drive to Sedona for 3 nights (Arroyo Robles BW hotel)

Oct. 21 drive to Springdale for 3 nights (Desert Pearl if possible but it is a weekend)

Oct. 24 drive to Vegas (had planned on Bellagio but niece has just come back and says standards have slipped and recommends the Wynn) 4 nights

As mentioned earlier, we are not energetic types - the Sedona stop is designed to be a base to see the surrounding area (Jerome, Prescott, Verde railway) rather than for hiking. The Springdale stop is to see the Park and relax before hitting Vegas!

What do the experts think - are the timings about right? Have checked driving distances with Mapquest (another great tip) and it seems perfectly doable, although I notice that their instructions make it an average 40mph between Sedona and Springdale. Is this a difficult road?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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That is going to be a great trip. The drive from Sky Harbor Airport to Sedona will take about 2-3 hours. I went to school in Flagstaff and it would only take the shuttles from the airport and my friends and everyone I've talked to about 2 and a half hours. However it does depend on when you are flying in. If you arrive around 4-6pm M-F then it will take more like 3-4 hours. Using Sedona as a central location is a great idea. The drive to and from Jerome is somewhat challenging but fun. I'm not sure of the city Springdale. I don't know of it being in Arizona, I've never heard of it. And I did find one in Nevada but it was west of Vegas so i can't help you there. It's a 5 hour drive from Sedona to Las Vegas and it's a really easy drive if you stay on I-40 and the 93. I've never had a problem with that trip before. Arizona is really pretty in October. Hope you have a great trip.
Jenna
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 10:54 PM
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Thanks for your response Jenna. Sorry, I should have said Springdale, UT (for Zion NP).

I'm hoping to get a plane from ABQ to PHX that will get us on the road before lunch and therefore allow a visit to Montezuma's Castle on the way to Sedona.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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A note from a Brit recently returned from AZ - the driving over there cannot be compared to in the UK. I was quite concerned we had stretched our plans too far but we probably averaged 300 miles a day during our tour week and found it worked well. I would cringe at the thought of travelling from Shropshire to London in a day (about 300 miles) but when you have no time pressures and can stop and take in the views or have a snack or stroll whenever the mood takes you it is totally different. Whichever route you take you will have sights to marvel at. Allow more time for the "scenic" drives - this appears to translate to "hairpin bends down or up steep inclines" but they are worth it! You can check out my trip report and tips if you copy this link into your address bar then scroll down to the intro and travelogue. Most of the photo's will enlarge if you click on them.

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/58bd4/4fc/

Good Luck
Krissie
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 08:13 PM
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If you like history and want to see the real west don't skip TUCSON. It is a drive but well worth it. Sedona is gorgeous but Tucson and surrounding area is like no place else. The drive from Phx to Tuc is 1 1/2 hours and it is an easy drive. If you want more info let me know.
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