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Two week Grand Canyon, Sedona + CA Itinerary

Old Feb 24th, 2020, 05:38 PM
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Two week Grand Canyon, Sedona + CA Itinerary

Hi all! I'd like to finalize my Southwest trip but I'd like to hear thoughts before I move forward. A few things--I know it's a hot time of year but August is the only time we can get here. And I realize ending up in California is a bit unusual, but we love San Diego and are trying to make this work. Is this reasonable? Anything to add/remove?

August 8-9 Arrive Las Vegas

August 9-11: Zion National Park

August 11-13: Grand Canyon

August 13-16: Sedona

August 16-17: Palm Springs

August 17-21 : San Diego
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 06:42 PM
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I take it that you are flying to Las Vegas -from where? How many are the "we"? Ages-interests? I'm hoping that you want to visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon instead of the north rim or the so called west rim.
In November DW and I flew into Phoenix-Mesa and had a rental car for a week to visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Desert View on the east end of Grand Canyon NP and Winslow.
We used Flagstaff as our base before returning the car to Mesa. The rental agency allowed us to return the car to the airport with no fee.
Typically people who go from Las Vegas to Zion also include Bryce Canyon and maybe another Utah national park.
Maybe you could take an Amtrak train overnight from either Flagstaff or maybe Tucson (only 3 nights/week) to Los Angeles. The Sunset Limited from Tucson, does have a stop in Palm Springs but I don't know about getting a rental car there.
I think that you want to avoid dropping a Las Vegas rental car in San Diego even if there is not a drop fee. If you rent and return in Las Vegas, fly from LAS to San Diego and rent another car there if needed.
Avoid driving all the way across the Mojave Desert in the heat of the summer.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 06:57 PM
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We (husband and two kids, 9 and 13) are flying to LV from Boston. Yes, we planned on visiting the south rim.

Is the issue driving across the desert (from Sedona to Palm Springs) because of concerns of breaking down in the hot weather?
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 07:02 PM
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And with the car rental, I've done something similar before where I picked up the car in San Diego and dropped it off in SF. I don't think should be an issue?
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by GF74 View Post
We (husband and two kids, 9 and 13) are flying to LV from Boston. Yes, we planned on visiting the south rim.

Is the issue driving across the desert (from Sedona to Palm Springs) because of concerns of breaking down in the hot weather?
As long as you are comfortable with driving in 100*+ heat and there is not a big drop fee in San Diego, you should be OK. Which route were you planning to get to take you from I-40 (Needles) down to I-10 (Palm Springs? Gas is cheaper in Arizona and Nevada than in California so you may want to fill up in Kingman AZ.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 10:19 PM
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You count the same day in two different places - What you actually have is this:

August 8 Las Vegas
August 9-10: Zion National Park
August 11-12: Grand Canyon
August 13-15: Sedona
August 16: Palm Springs
August 17-21 : San Diego

I personally would forget about Palm Springs - It would add two hours total car time and you will already have been in a whole slew of really
HOT places -- so I wouldn't squeeze yet another Bloody hot stop over. If this was spring time - sure -- but I would not take a family to PS in August. Vegas > Zion > Sedona > GC > San Diego Is a better option IMO. Sedona to San Diego is only about a 1-1.5 hour longer drive than Sedona to PS -- I'd just get that slog out of the way and enjoy more time in/near Sand Diego.

. . . OR - if you didn't want to add a night to San Diego, squeeze in a night in Bryce Canyon between your Zion and GC stops.

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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 12:55 AM
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You have to get from Arizona to California, and it doesn't actually add that much car time to spend a night in the Coachella Valley. But in August, one night is all I'd spend there. The new cars can handle the desert heat, and hotels have air conditioning, but I'm not sure if you realize that August is often humid in addition to hot (monsoon season).You'll probably only have a few hours first thing in the morning for safe outdoor activities like hikes. Although, hanging out a the hotel pool at night will be pleasant if you've got one (in Springdale for example).

Zion is also in the desert, by the way. Average highs in August approach 100 degrees. Monsoon storms can rule out hiking in the Zion Narrows and any other slot canyons.

Are you sure this is the trip you want to do? There's a reason so many Arizonans wind up in San Diego and Disneyland in August.
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 02:43 AM
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A day in Bryce Canyon is completely do-able and very worth it! I would try to squeeze that in...
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 11:59 AM
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I would skip PS and add a night at Bryce.
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 06:14 PM
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I would skip Zion and spend my time in Bryce--higher altitude, better temps. In Zion, you are going to have to hike at 6 am and be done by 10 am. And spend the rest of the day in the pool. I wouldn't go near Palm Springs. Sure you don't want to go to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons?
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Old Feb 28th, 2020, 11:09 AM
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Why Palm Springs; hot and unattractive, nothing for kids; especially. Sedona was great, the Arizona - Sonora Desert was one the best we ever saw but it is mostly outdoors, the saguaro landscape is a must though as you drive to the museum, Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon are exceptional, San Diego - ah? The zoo is the only reason to go,
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Old Feb 28th, 2020, 01:59 PM
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From Sedona to San Diego, via I-17 South to I-10 West (take the route that bypasses downtown Phoenix) it's about seven and a half hour drive. Add on stopping time to get gas, food, etc.

Or, you can take AZ 85 from the I-10 to Gila Bend, then to San Diego on I-8. IMO, that's a more interesting route, but the 10 is good too.. The length of the drive is pretty much the same either way. Do not stop at Dateland for gas. Their prices are higher than in San Diego. Either way, all vehicles will go through an inspection station upon entering California. You're not supposed to bring plants, etc into the state.
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Old Apr 19th, 2020, 05:09 PM
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Hello!
Arizona is a beautiful desert, but it is EXTREMELY HOT from June-late September sometimes late October. Yes, it is a dry heat, but it can become unbearable for those who are not used to it. Just letting you know to be prepared if going this time of the year.
Sedona is absolutely gorgeous and I would highly recommend taking a day or two to visit that location specifically in Arizona. You would be able to get a lot of beautiful vacation photos. The Grand Canyon is also quite the site to see, but I would recommend going in the spring time or late winter for Arizona as there are wonderful tours and hikes that you can take throughout the Canyon and can even take a tour where you can camp overnight in the canyon and hike back up the next day!
Being from Arizona, I've always admired the beauty it holds. San Diego is a "short" drive from Arizona depending upon where exactly you're coming from. My family and I lived in Casa Grande, AZ, not much of a sight to see, but it was only about a 6-7 hour drive to San Diego from there. My family and I drove there once a month when I was young. Ending your trip in San Diego would be a great way to end your vacation, especially because it would be much cooler weather and you would be able to end your trip by the ocean.
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