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Old 06-28-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
hsmamato2
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Western Experts....advice?

So...I've gotten lots of good advice here so far....now,with my trip coming up(I like to plan) I have a few questions....I can do a couple of things
plan 1-fly into PHX,
drive to Montezuma
sightsee-drive to Grand Canyon,stay 2 nights-
drive to Hoover dam-sightsee-
drive to Death Valley,stay 2 nites at the ranch
Drive to Yosemite,stay 3 nights
Drive to Anaheim- stay 7 nights( can't switch this)
OR
We could fly into PHX-
drive to painted desert,maybe stay 1 nite(?)
drive to GC-stay 2 nites
drive to H dam-
drive to D Valley,stay 1 nite
drive to yosemite,stay 3 nites

really debating here....which of my choices are worth spending time on?
AND....is a side trip to Sequoia park between Yosemite and Anaheim worth the extra 4 hours it adds to that drive? We will see giant trees at Yos.,I know
We are a fam of 4,(older kids) but I am not a fan of just driving,I want to soak in some cool stuff between the driving....
if not painted desert,are there any good options for seeing desert stuff near any other things?
and if we skip Montezuma area....I might not want to do that,as I really want to see some of those cliff dwellings.....
Thanks for the help.....
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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I'll respond in bits & pieces....

We went to Yosemite for two nights with family members who were visiting from out-of-town. We left Yosemite around 9am and drove to Sequioa. While there, we had lunch at Hume Lake, and swam a bit there. It was a wonderful, relaxing stop, and my cousins (from Spain) just loved it. We continued on General's Hwy, stopped at the General Sherman (largest living thing on Earth), and then went to Crescent Meadow, where we went on a small hike/walk around the meadows. From there we went home (Los Angeles).

Personally, I would recommend going through Sequoia and visiting those locations.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
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thanks....is Sedona a good place to visit,to get that 'we're in the desert now' feel?
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:46 AM   #5
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MaryJo- it appears on my maps that a side trip to Sequoia might add 4+ hours to our driving that day....do you find that to be true? it's already going to be over 5 hours without that stop (yes,we're east coast folks,used to smaller distances) unless there's a way to get there I don't see....
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmamato2 View Post
thanks....is Sedona a good place to visit,to get that 'we're in the desert now' feel?
Sedona is a unique place in Arizona and is a not miss. The Red Rocks are beautiful. There are good places to eat and good shopping as well. I would also consider driving 89-A from Sedona up to Flagstaff and drive through Oak Creek Canyon.

Don't worry, you will get plenty of 'we're in the desert now" feeling the minute you step off the plane in Phoenix.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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hmmmm...oak creek canyon? is Sedona/Flagstaff 'big' enough that it would be worth a stop? for instance,our plane (hopefully) gets us there by noon- by the time we hit the road,maybe 1-ish-
then see the ruins,stop in sedona(I want to see those red rocks in a big way),then we could either head to the GC that night,I'm thinking we could see Sedona on the way up,then stay GC 3 nites,since we'd be getting in kinda late that 1st evening,which leaves time to take it all in....(?)
....or.... which is more interesting to people who've never seen this before...painted desert of Sedona area and canyon? I know it sounds weird,wish we had 6 weeks to travel!

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Old 06-29-2011, 10:57 AM   #8
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I guess I'm asking is if you think that one afternoon would work....get off plane- start driving have lunch/see ruins/ visit Sedona and canyon- get to GC by night(maybe 9-ish?) and stay 3 nights,rather than 2...since my original thought was to get to GC much earlier....I can adjust
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmamato2 View Post
hmmmm...oak creek canyon? is Sedona/Flagstaff 'big' enough that it would be worth a stop? for instance,our plane (hopefully) gets us there by noon- by the time we hit the road,maybe 1-ish-
then see the ruins,stop in sedona(I want to see those red rocks in a big way),then we could either head to the GC that night,I'm thinking we could see Sedona on the way up,then stay GC 3 nites,since we'd be getting in kinda late that 1st evening,which leaves time to take it all in....(?)
....or.... which is more interesting to people who've never seen this before...painted desert of Sedona area and canyon? I know it sounds weird,wish we had 6 weeks to travel!
I would recommend Sedona and Oak Creek over the Painted Desert. I would also recommend, since your plane isn't getting in until noon that you plan on spending the night in Flagstaff. If you drive at night, you'll miss some nice scenary. That way you can stop at Montezuma's Castle and drive through Sedona at a liesurely pace. It'll take about 90 minutes to get from the airport to Montezuma's Castle. It will only take another 30 to 40 minutes to get to Sedona (you'll see red rocks before you actually get there). It will take an hour if you go through Oak Creek Canyon to get to Flagstaff. It is another 90 minutes from Flagstaff to the South Rim.

Coming from Phoenix, you will pass the desert, high desert and pine forests before getting to the canyon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmamato2 View Post
I guess I'm asking is if you think that one afternoon would work....get off plane- start driving have lunch/see ruins/ visit Sedona and canyon- get to GC by night(maybe 9-ish?) and stay 3 nights,rather than 2...since my original thought was to get to GC much earlier....I can adjust
Again, consider staying in Flagstaff the first night, driving directly to GC in the morning and spend 2 nights at GC before moving on.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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I second the suggestion to stay in Flagstaff overnight. It would be very hard to visit Montezuma's Castle AND shop in Sedona (or even just look at the lovely rocks) AND drive all the way up to the canyon (which is not close!).

It is an all-day plan, not an afternoon plan.

With Flagstaff slipped into the agenda, you will have a wonderful time and get the feel of the high desert.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:55 PM   #11
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so..is Sedona near Flagstaff? (have to go check my maps) and which is the better place to stay overnight? my fam isn't into shopping,etc but the natuarl stuff might appeal...and you say it's more appealing than the painted desert?
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmamato2 View Post
so..is Sedona near Flagstaff? (have to go check my maps) and which is the better place to stay overnight? my fam isn't into shopping,etc but the natuarl stuff might appeal...and you say it's more appealing than the painted desert?
When did you say you were planning this trip? If the fall, Oak Creek will be beautiful with red sumac and oaks in full color. Also, the drive just outside Flagstaff to the Canyon will also be awash with golden aspens.

Anyway, Sedona is an hour south of Flagstaff. I would recommend staying in Flagstaff only because you would be closer to the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff is a relatively large city and there are tons of choices to stay from inexpensive to moderately expensive.

The painted desert is just a large expanse of landscape stretching from the Grand Canyon east to the Petrified Forest. If you were driving to the North Rim, you would drive right through it. It is beautiful to drive through, but that is it. I think for the amount of time you have, you will get more bang for your buck by going through Sedona.

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Old 06-30-2011, 02:34 PM   #13
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thanks for the tips....so now I'm thinking we could get off plane, see ruins....go to Sedona- then oak creek area- then on to Flagstaff for a night- then proceed to Volcano crater,check that out on our way to GC....sound do-able? My dh has expressed that 2 nites at GC is probably enough time for him... Sedona looks lovely.....
.and my biggest ? also...is General Sherman worth and extra 4 hours of driving? so much to see...so little time
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:27 PM   #14
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is it best to head from Flagstaff- GC by the crater national paerk,or the more western road in?
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:55 PM   #15
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To get to the GC from Flagstaff you can either take the I-40 West to Williams or 180 west past snowbowl (better scenery, little longer). Thats how you get to the south rim park. You might want to check out Bearizona on your way up. Its just south of the 40 in Williams, you can check out bears and wildlife from your car. Crater is the other direction than you will be heading.

The drive from Sedona to Flagstaff be careful it is really curvy road, so unless your used to driving that don't do it in the dark. Sedona has some fun shops even if your family doesn't like to shop (like me) that are a lot of cool native american stuff and really westerny feel.
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