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  1. Default 6 Days in Arizona?

    Hey Everyone.. Boy am I glad that I have found this site! And that too, right on time, I hope.

    I know it might sound sill but I booked my flight before planning the actual trip. I'm flying to Arizona this Sunday morning and staying there till next Saturday.. 6 days!

    Given the limited time I have to plan - I would like take all your advice please. I was thinking about driving down to New Mexico around El Paso (1st day).. Then driving up Albuquerque (2nd Day).. After that Grand Canyon (for the rest of the trip).. I have a feeling this trip would be boring right?

    Should I head towards LA or San Diego instead? After that Las vegas and then Grand Canyon?

    I honestly don't care which way I head and how long I spend where as long as I have some good time and relax.. Grand Canyon is a must though ;-) I would love to go to all the trails..

    I read in one of the threads that the North rim is closed at this time of the year.. Would I miss a lot?

    Looking forward to your help. Please ;-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A true adventure trip

    Quote Originally Posted by aaahaa View Post
    Hey Everyone.. Boy am I glad that I have found this site!
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    I know it might sound sill but I booked my flight before planning the actual trip. I'm flying to Arizona this Sunday morning and staying there till next Saturday.. 6 days!
    Sounds like a reasonable way to conduct a road trip to me.
    Given the limited time I have to plan - I would like take all your advice please. I was thinking about driving down to New Mexico around El Paso (1st day).. Then driving up Albuquerque (2nd Day).. After that Grand Canyon (for the rest of the trip).. I have a feeling this trip would be boring right?
    Not likely to be boring -- you will be driving through some of the most scenic landscapes in the world -- but I think you haven't really considered how stretched out this country is. I assume you are flying into Phoenix? If so, it is 430 miles to El Paso -- at full speed you could make it in about eight hours, but you would be zipping past some remarkable national parks, great history sites and fantastic scenery. Perhaps you should consider exploring the Verde Valley as Bob Schaller suggests in this article? Spend a couple days around here and rthen maybe a quick dash to New Mexico for a couple of days and then back to the Grand Canyon. There is a good chance that the upper trails in the Grand are snow covered -- are you prepared for winter hiking conditions?
    I read in one of the threads that the North rim is closed at this time of the year.. Would I miss a lot?
    It is a beautiful spot -- here are some photos from a trip I took.

    We can provide tips for hundreds of places to explore in Arizona alone...

    Mark

  3. Default

    Thanks Mark.. Your advice sounds good.. I'm flying down from NJ.. I'm assuming this way instead of heading towards LA would be much better? The article is great by the way..

    I saw the pics from your site.. I guess I'll miss some nice spots since the North side is closed.. I'm hoping there are things to do on the South? I wanted to try the Havasu Trail.. Is that in North or South?

    Once I'm in New Mexico.. I'm hoping I'll get the Mexico feel out of it? The tacos.. Great Spanish poople and all that?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default New Mexico is not Mexican

    Quote Originally Posted by aaahaa View Post
    I'm assuming this way instead of heading towards LA would be much better?
    The Phoenix airport is more centrally located for your road trip and so, yes, I would recommend using it as your hub.
    I'm hoping there are things to do on the South?
    About 90% of the visitors to the Grand Canyon never see anything besides the South Rim -- it is the view that most folks associate with the Grand Canyon.
    I wanted to try the Havasu Trail.. Is that in North or South?
    Hmmm. Are you thinking of the trail to the Havasu Falls? It is accessible from the south side -- here is some more info. But it is the end of end of Indian Road 18 and about three hours from the Grand Canyon National Park -- here is a map of the area. Several of our posters have hiked there and here is one of those threads.
    Once I'm in New Mexico.. I'm hoping I'll get the Mexico feel out of it? The tacos.. Great Spanish poople and all that?
    You are aware that New Mexico is a USA state? Many residents of New Mexico have lived in the area long before the United States was even created. I don't think you will find any long-term New Mexico resident who considers themselves to be Mexicans. Yes, there is wonderful cuisine in New Mexico, but again it tends to be New Mexican and not from Mexico. Here are some eating ideas in Albuquerque...

    Hope that helps!

    Mark

  5. Default

    You have given me some wonderful links! And yup.. I was talking about the trail to the Havasu Falls.. It is definitely a priority for me..

    After reading through all the articles.. And as per your earlier comment.. I was thinking it would be more realistic to stick with just Arizona? It would be more of a relaxed and pleasure journey instead of rushing through different states..

    I was thinking about driving towards the Grand Canyon first and anything on the way? I tried to find the Havasu Trail area in the Google map but no luck.. I'm guessing it is toward the same direction?

    After that may be a night or two at Las Vegas before heading back to Phoenix? I'm open to any suggestions.. This is my first time and you seem to be experienced ;_)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Mexican Experience

    If you are looking to get a glimpse of the Mexican and Spanish influence on the southwest, there is plenty to see in Arizona. The Tucson area has lots of spanish and Mexican history, like the San Xavier Mission, and it also has the some of the best mexican restaurants in the world (including those in Mexico!). And of course, you could also cross the border and actually visit Mexico. Nogales is only an hour south of Tucson, and you can park and walk across the border.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-10-2007 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Fixed typo in title

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Less is More

    Besides the recommendations you've already received, here's a list of just a few of the things to do around the Grand Canyon, to which you can add some places that are a bit farther afield like the Petrified Forest National Park and Monument Valley. Everything you're looking for without the freneticism!

    AZBuck

  8. Default Food recommendations and hiking to Supai

    If you wish to hike into Supai (to Havasupai Falls) you MUST make reservations with the Indians before you hike. I doubt you'll have trouble getting them this time of year but you never know -- they only allow a certain number of tourists onto their reservation at one time.

    You can find the phone numbers in the reservations section of this website. If you don't want to hike and camp, try the Lodge -- it isn't that expensive and while spartan, it is more comfortable than the campground and the only cafe in the vicinity is right across the road. You still have to walk the 9 miles to get there though, unless you want to hire a horse or a helicopter...

    The road you take (as Mark mentioned, BIA-18) is from SR66 just west of Grand Canyon Caverns and before you get to Peach Springs. It runs north across the Hualapai and Havasupai reservations for about 60 miles. It is narrow and often potholed. Make sure you have enough gasoline, water, food, etc, as there is nothing in that regard any closer than Peach Springs or Seligman, AZ. Also, it is open range -- if you hit a wandering cow-type creature, you have bought it. They have the right-of-way. State Law.

    Supai and the waterfalls will be beautiful this time of year -- but much too cold for swimming unfortunately. This time of year, the danger for flash flooding is less than it is during the summer wet season, but if the weather is wet when you go, ask the guides and staff at Hilltop (at the trailhead) about trail conditions. If they predict flooding, DON'T GO. I personally know people who ignored that advice, or got caught at the bottom after rains, and almost didn't get out. They had to scramble up rocks in a hurry to get away from the rising water. Cold weather clothing is also recommended right now.

    In Phoenix, try some Mexico City-style food at La Parilla Suiza. For authentic Sonoran-style food -- what most folks think of when they think "Mexican" around here, try El Bravo on North 7th Street, or The Teepee (I think it is on Thomas Road). For excellent New Mexican style cuisine, the very best is Richardson's (again, in Phoenix).

    In Tucson, Las Pocas Cosas downtown is to die for.

    A couple of things I heartily recommend at GCNP -- see the IMAX film outside the park in Tusayan. It is worth the freight. Also, if you can, take an aerial tour of the Canyon from Grand Canyon Airport. It can be as little as $75 or $100 and you'll see it like NO one else does -- low and slow. It's awesome.

    Bob

  9. Default "Mexican Food"

    I just gotta post this..

    If you want to really have fun with Mexican food and a bit of the Southwest Culture, Arizona and New Mexico are really fun places to be.

    First the food -- what we get in the US is usually a pretty bland version of Mexico's cusine, which can be highly varied and quite different over the regions of Mexico. (What follows is a gross oversimplification of a complex cusine....) What's typically served in the US a blandish version of Sonoran style (tacos, enchildas, refried beans, rice). The border regions in the NE of Mexico have their own style, highly influenced by Texan foods -- TexMex uses a lot more Chiles (the food, not the peper) and a lot more barbequed or prepared beef in its meals. Very hearty and very good foods, and sometimes quite spicy. New Mexico has its own style -- more and different type of peppers, black beans, blue corn and more corn and vegetables than found in the usual Sonoran style. New Mexico grows some of the hottest peppers in the world, so some of the food can very spicy (and very flavorful as well). California (alta and Baja) has its own style -- which can include fruits and sea foods into the mix as well, including a number of different fish tacos, tamales and other styles such as I've seen some funky fusions of asian and Mexican styles of cooking.

    You can find all of this in Arizona. One of the places to visit is the local Mexican restaurant in Tucson that originated the Chimicanga burrito, which is served just about in every standard Mexican restaurant around.

    (There are other Mexican regional cusines which I'm sure you can find in Arizona as well, but I don't know any places. There are somewhat different west and east coast styles of preparing and serving sea food in Mexico, ranging from Shrimp and Lobster to snapper, swordfish and others. And in the south of Mexico styles that involve lots of more tropical fruits. You can find some of these dishes sometimes on the menus in good Mexican restaurants, but they are sometimes quite rare. I live in SoCal where we have a large number of people from Mexico, and you can find specialty restaurants in all these styles... )

    And after writing this.. man.. I am hungry now...

  10. Default

    MMMMmmmm MMMmmm MMmmnn I'm looking forward to Arizona and getting hungry for some Mexicana food ;-)

    I tried to call for the reservation for the Havasu trail but it keeps ringing and ringing.. I'll try back again later once i get the recomendation from you peeps.. I can hike but not a camping kinda person.. So I'll stay at the lodge..

    Phheeww.. I have to jot down all the recommendations and do as much as I can ;-) I'm hoping there would be internet connections on the way so that I could update you guys ;-)

    As for clothing - I'll be going shopping for the trip.. Should I take light clothes or warm? I'm hoping it is warmer than NJ.. I plan to hike around during the day and be done by 5ish..

    I'll list the items that I would like to do and may you experts can tell me which directions I should travelling first? I'm not sure which one to do first..
    If it helps - My flight is to and from Phoenix Arizona..

    The Diggy Dee Ding Plan
    Tucson
    Meteor Crater
    Havasu Trail
    Grand Canyon
    Las Vegas

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