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  1. #1

    Default Nevada / Utah / Arizona / California help ??

    Hi everyone,

    New member here (from U.K.), looking for some ideas & suggestions for an 11-day roadtrip.

    We are travelling to Las Vegas at the end of April (getting married), staying for 5 nights, followed by 11 nights roadtrip, finishing with another 2 nights in Vegas before returning home.

    I'm just after a bit of help and guidance for the 11 day roadtrip. The only thing I've got booked so far is the first night at El Tovar on GC South Rim, so from there on, who knows ? I would like to have a go on the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West at some point and do a bit of driving on Route 66.

    Other places and things I am considering to see and do are:

    Zion NP
    Bryce Canyon NP
    Hoover Dam
    Monument Valley
    Phoenix / Scottsdale
    Palm Springs
    San Diego
    San Francisco

    OK, I realise we can't do everything and I'll need to cross some off the list. We do want to stay 3/4 nights somewhere though, to relax (honeymoon !). Also, I will consider a one-way car rental and fly back to Vegas if this helps us see and do a bit more.

    Hope there's enough info (not too much !) and thanks in advance for any suggestions and help offered.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,498

    Default Congratulations and Good Planning!

    Quote Originally Posted by tingtong View Post
    New member here (from U.K.), looking for some ideas & suggestions for an 11-day roadtrip.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Congratulations on the upcoming wedding and for the wisdom to remember that this event is a honeymoon and you should take some time to just "be" and relax with your new life partner.
    We are travelling to Las Vegas at the end of April (getting married), staying for 5 nights, followed by 11 nights roadtrip, finishing with another 2 nights in Vegas before returning home.
    Sounds like an excellent plan.
    I'm just after a bit of help and guidance for the 11 day roadtrip. The only thing I've got booked so far is the first night at El Tovar on GC South Rim,
    Excellent, excellent beginning. That lodge is simply breathtaking and a great introduction to the Grand.
    would like to have a go on the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West at some point and do a bit of driving on Route 66.
    I am not positive that they will get the Skywalk open by then -- but yeah, if it is open, it will be a thrill to walk across that chasm in that way. Here is a field report about Route 66 between the Grand and Oatman, California that I think you might find helpful.

    One route you might consider would be to head east over to Cameron and then north to Marble Canyon and follow US-ALT89 over to Kanab and then follow the route I describe in this article to Bryce and over to Capitol Reef in this report by Arizona Bob and over to Durango (great ride) and then back to Canyon de Chelly and back to Las Vegas. Here are a few more suggested routes that might work as well.

    Hoover Dam is always interesting and here are a few of our favorite places around Las Vegas. (The site is in the middle of being converted to another format, so most of the articles about places are further down that page). For instance, two places that are pretty special to us are Grapevine Canyon and Zion NP.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,951

    Default See Less - Enjoy it More

    With everything else you're going to have going on in your life at that point, I think this trip is a bit over ambitious. Given that there are a few 'musts' here, including Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, and assuming that your list of 'other places and things' is in roughly order of preference, then I'd drop the entire southern California section and just concentrate on Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Keep in mind that each of these states is bigger than all of Great Britain. A basic outline of your trip would then be:

    5 days in Las Vegas
    6 days wandering through the National Parks of Utah
    5 days in northern Arizona
    2 days in Las Vegas

    That would put your RoadTrip portion in the middle of two quieter sections where you basically stay put and enjoy things 'close to home'. The Utah section would include visits to Zion and Bryce then across the southern portion of the state, following UT-12 and UT-24, with more stops at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park. A short stint on I-70 and then it's down US-191 to Arches National Park. Continue down US-191 before cutting over on US-666 to Cortez, CO and Mesa Verde National Park. US-160 west, US-191 north and US-163 south will bring you down through Monument Valley.

    From there, I'd move on to my next 'home town' which would be either Flagstaff or Sedona. Since it's your honeymoon, I'd recommend Sedona. There is a lot to do and see in that area, but all of it can be done as easy day trips from one of those two towns, including a visit to Phoenix and Scottsdale. On the way back up to Las Vegas, you'll cross Hoover Dam. So you'll have hit everything on your list except southern California and had a great time with your new wife.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default Thanks !

    Thanks for the great suggestions and ideas, that'll keep me busy !

    I think you are both right, we'll leave the California section until next year when we'll probably come back for my wife's birthday.

    By the way, do any of you have any experience or comments regarding weddings at Grand Canyon West (booked with Little Chapel of the Flowers). We've booked it and they seem OK, just after some re-assurance !

    Thanks again.

    Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,498

    Default Wedding at the GC West

    Quote Originally Posted by tingtong View Post
    By the way, do any of you have any experience or comments regarding weddings at Grand Canyon West (booked with Little Chapel of the Flowers). We've booked it and they seem OK, just after some re-assurance !
    I looked at the website, we are not familiar with this particular operator -- a number of Forum members have gotten married at the Grand Canyon West facility but none of them ever wrote back to tell us how it went.

    I think you will find the El Tovar very grand by comparison, but it is your wedding and the location of the ceremony is less important than the fact that you will both be there. It seems to me that the GCW location is a little rustic -- but I hope you provide us a post and tell us your impressions after you have been there.

    Congratulations again,

    Mark

  6. #6

    Default

    Hi,

    Just for everyone's information, I did manage to book a trip on the new Grand Canyon Skywalk and when I spoke to the lady she did confirm that it would be open at the end of March. Cost $25 each.

    Hope this helps someone !

    Steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,940

    Default Worth Checking Back

    Despite what they told you, it still wouldn't hurt to double check that the skywalk has infact opened as you approach the actual date of your arrival. While we're now at the point where they should know exactly when the Skywalk will open, from my understanding, this project has seen many many delays. So until they actually see their first customer, I wouldn't be 100% certain that they will in fact be open.

    Its probably not a cause for concern, but I certainly wouldn't want you to have to drive all the way out to GC West if its not actually open. A simple phone call either before you leave, or when you arrive in Vegas will be a very easy insurance policy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,364

    Default

    Congrats on the wedding!

    Did a similar trip (sans marriage!!) last year and it was absolutely brilliant, I'm jealous of you, especially if you get to go on the Skywalk!! I would definately agree with Midwest Michael that it'd be wise to check it is actually operational before driving out. It has been 'ready to open' for aaaaages... but it has yet to do so. Some people believe it will never be given the required certificate to operate, I hope they're wrong!

    I do also agree that losing the southern part of the trip will make for a far more relaxing way to spend your trip. San Diego is a LONG way south unless you have a specific reason to visit on this trip. Nice place, and all, but personally I wish we'd spent a couple more days in Utah rather than speed on down there, only to end up shattered for the last couple of days of the trip.

    I'm not sure it will fit with this trip but I'd suggest a trip to Death Valley NP if you end up ahead of schedule before heading back into Las Vegas. Amazing place.

    One place I'd suggest that you should definately make an effort to work into the schedule is Horseshoe Bend just south of Page, AZ (which is, in turn, a shortish drive east from the Grand Staircase as suggested above) - watching the sun rise there was magical. You might also want to the nearby Navajo Bridge and Glen Canyon Dam

  9. #9
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Thanks for the Tip

    Quote Originally Posted by tingtong View Post
    ...regarding weddings at Grand Canyon West (booked with Little Chapel of the Flowers). ...
    Steve,

    I'm glad I came upon this particular post. I looked up their site and they seem to have some good packages... I may have to look into them myself here in the next year or so. Thanks for the tip!

    -Brad

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the extra information, much appreciated. I've got brochures and maps everywhere, Tomtom out and I'm on Tripadvisor for hours !

    I will definately check the Skywalk is open before going to GC West, although we are staying over anyway so it won't really matter.

    Have now managed to plan (I think !) most of the route but always seem to keep finding somewhere else to see !

    Anyway, thanks again for everyone's input.

    Steve

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