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amal1216 May 4th, 2012 04:47 PM

travel itinerary needed for arizona trip
We are planning a trip to Arizona for one week in June. We are a family of four with two teenagers. We will be landing at PHX airport and will be renting a car. We would like to visit Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Hover Dam and Las Vegas ( just for the sights we do not drink or gamble). I would love to know your suggestions on places to visit with young teenagers as we are hoping this will not become a Griswald vacation. We are on a very tight budget and would appreciate any suggestions on reasonable places to stay or visit. This will probably be our only visit to this area, so what sights would you recommend as "must sees"?

emalloy May 4th, 2012 05:03 PM

Unless you are planning to camp, the most inexpensive lodging will be with the motels near the interstates. For lodging near Grand Canyon, try Cameron Trading post. It is on rt 89 a very short distance north of rt 64 (the road that goes into GC) and has reasonable rates.

About 10 miles east of Flagstaff is Walnut Canyon, a national park service area that has cliff dwellings that you can climb up into. Just off rt. 89 is Sunset Crater and Wupatki (another aincient Native American site).

When you go to Hoover dam, instead of heading directly to Vegas, circle around Lake Meade and then go through Valley of Fire State Park then head to Vegas.

amal1216 May 4th, 2012 05:27 PM

Thank you for your great suggestions! Do you recommend a specific number of days that we need to stay in each area?

Myer May 4th, 2012 05:31 PM

Is there a reason you're landing in PHX and ending in Las Vegas? Expensive dropoff charges.

If this is going to be your only visit to this part of the country I might do it differently starting and ending in Vegas.

I would try to see Zion and Bryce Canyon. Then on the way south stop in Page long enough to hike to Horseshoe Bend and go to Antelope Canyon in the middle of the day when the sun is high.

Then on to the Grand Canyon and down to Sedona before turning back up to Hoover Dam and back to vegas.

Sedona may be too far out of the way but a day there would be great.

spirobulldog May 4th, 2012 05:48 PM

Since you mention you don't drink and gamble(we don't either, but we have been to Vegas several times), do be aware that your teenagers will be handed cards/brochures for prostitution/sexual activities. This will happen several times and it doesn't matter if it's day or night. A lot of people then just throw them down on the ground and they are scattered everywhere.

You are very near Petrified Forest. It's not my favorite, but certainly worth 3 or 4 hours there.

I love Bryce and Zion, so that would be awesome if you could do those that myer mentioned.

Hoover Dam is right on your way too, so do stop and see it. I like going to the bottom on the tour(I guess they still do that).

amal1216 May 4th, 2012 06:16 PM

We are flying into and out of PHX.. we thought we would make a large loop touring the area. The reason we chose Phoenix is the price. From our hometown airport it will save us about 200.00 a person to do this. I did not realize this about Vegas but should not be surprised. Thank you for that information. Would it be even worth it to drive through the strip so so they can say they have been there?

DebitNM May 4th, 2012 07:26 PM

Are they 13 or 19? makes a bit of difference.

amal1216 May 4th, 2012 08:20 PM


DebitNM May 5th, 2012 05:37 AM

Well, for my 2 cents, I don't see how just being in Las Vegas to say "been there, done that" as a drive through to see the "sights" would mean much to teens. Take the time and spend it more wisely elsewhere, where they could really see some [good] memorable sights, rather than Las Vegas.

bigtyke May 6th, 2012 06:13 AM

Flagstaff makes a good place to stay while you travel around the area. There are loads of motels there. Lots near old Hwy 66 which are older and inexpensive. Downside of being along train tracks which are very busy. South of town are more modern and quieter motels.

amal1216 Jun 13th, 2012 08:53 AM

I can not thank you enough for your help. Another couple is joining us on our trip and they want to include Las Vegas. This is what our itinerary looks like at this point. I feel like it is too rushed and would love to know your opinion.

Day 1 arrive in Phoenix at 10pm stay overnight near airport.
Day 2 drive thru Jerome and stay in Sedona (village of oak creek)
Day 3 drive thru Flagstaff stay in Thunderbird Lodge GC
Day 4 drive from GC village thru Page see Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam and travel to Kanab for night
Day 5 travel from Kanab to Bryce Canyon and try to also squeeze in Zion stay in St George for the night
Day 6&7 Las Vegas
Day 8 travel to Phoenix (see hoover dam)
Day 9 flight home 9 am

I would love to know your thoughts on this trip and how you think it could be more enjoyable. Thank you so much!!

K_Bot Jun 13th, 2012 11:33 AM

@amal1216 - your plan sounds a bit rushed. Shame to not be able to enjoy the Colorado River Smooth Water Float Trip while you're in Page. Wonderful, relaxing rafting trip, no rapids, but lots of beautiful scenery. If you can possibly switch your lodging to Page AZ instead of Kanab UT, perhaps you can do the morning float trip before heading to Bryce. Info re: Page hotels ->: For the float trip, visit

Seeing Zion National Park as a "drive by" en route to St. George is less than ideal as well. It deserves at least a night. Lots to see and do there. Here again, perhaps switch out that night in St. George for Springdale UT, the gateway community to Zion on the Western border of the park. That would put you 3 hours from Las Vegas. Info re: Springdale hotels ->:

No matter what you decide, plan to purchase an America the Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass. It's a card that looks like a credit card that gets you into all the National Parks and Monuments in the country for 1 year's time for $80. In your case, just purchase it at the first National Park you come to. Same for overseas visitors (international postage to preorder is very expensive). For those US visitors reading this thread and planning a visit for the future (a few months out), you can preorder it online at

Good luck.

amal1216 Jun 13th, 2012 11:59 AM

Thank you for this information! I too believe it may be too rushed. I will check into rearranging cities. The couple that we will be traveling us with will have mobility issues so we will not be able to be to do much hiking. I have read where bryce can be a "drive by and see" area, but wondering if Zion has these areas as well. I have read that Zion is by bus only in the summer. If you arrive at the east entrance in Zion does this apply also? I am getting nervous with our plans because will be leaving in 4 days.

ElendilPickle Jun 13th, 2012 01:56 PM

I would skip Vegas - hot, tacky, sleazy.

You can drive through Bryce Canyon NP, but if you can be there for sunrise, it's spectacular. There is a trail along at least part of the rim that is wheelchair-accessible.

If you can get a reservation closer to Bryce, I would cancel your Kanab reservation and stay closer. That way you could get to Bryce at sunrise, drive through the park, and head back down to spend the afternoon in Zion. It would be quick, but doable.

The only way to see the main bits of Zion Canyon that people come to see is the shuttle bus. You'll need to park at the visitor center and catch the bus there. The Riverwalk trail is wheelchair-accessible, though they were working on it when we were there a couple of weeks ago, so only about half of it was accessible. But who knows, they might be done when you get there. Check at the visitor center.

Lee Ann

spirobulldog Jun 13th, 2012 02:52 PM

I don't like Vegas really at all either. However, I do think it should be seen at least one time in a persons life.

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