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Thread: Grand Canyon

  1. Default Grand Canyon

    Hi there!

    I'm a first time visitor and a first time road-tripper! :-)

    I was hoping for some advice on planning my road trip.

    My boyfriend, his 9 year old daughter and I are going on a road trip from Dallas, TX to Sedona to visit the Grand Canyon. We have 8 days total.

    My only plans right now are to leave Sunday and head toward Albuquerque and stay the night there and spend the following day visiting Santa Fe. The following day, we'll head toward Sedona and then spend a day or two at the Grand Canyon.

    We're on a bit of a budget, so I've been looking at staying at KOAs along the way and on the military bases (that's why we're staying in Albuquerque).

    If anyone has any 'must-sees' or tips to make this a fun, memorable trip, I'd love any help you have to give!! I'm afraid I might be driving my boyfriend crazy with the planning, but I can't help it!!!

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Dallas to Albuquerque is roughly a 12 hour drive - doable in one day to be sure.
    From there to Sedona is about 7 hours, and from Sedona to the Grand Canyon about 2 1/2 hours.

    We have some great tips for keeping costs down on a roadtrip here.

    How much time do you have to plan? From your post, I get the impression that you are leaving this coming Sunday.

    A good portion of your route runs along the former US-66. If you are so inclined to check out some of our automotive heritage, you may be interested in hopping off the Interstate to travel along this old road.
    Also along the way is Petrified Forest and Meteor Crater, for some of the more popular destinations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Covering Miles

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I've never heard of people using military bases for lodging options. Care to tell us a little more about this? I assume you have to be currently serving?

    Dallas to Alb is 750 miles. That's not impossible ground to cover, but it is more than we'd recommend, especially when traveling with kids. Since you're not planning to cover any major distances the next day, you might be ok, just keep in mind, you'll be looking at a minnimum of 13 hours on the road. I'd at least think about breaking that up, perhaps with a stop at Carlbad Caverns or maybe White Sands?

    As far as keeping things cheap, KOAs are usually not the cheapest option for camping. They will have some amenities that you might enjoy, but if you really want to save money I'd be looking at state, county or other public parks with camping and even other private campgrounds which might be less expensive than a KOA.

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

    Default We have an article on that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I've never heard of people using military bases for lodging options.
    We published an article about that in October, 2006 -- while written for RV travelers, there are several such options. As it turns out, the military has some of the nicest campgrounds in the country....

    Mark

  5. Default

    You all are wonderful! Thanks for the help!

    I have about a month to plan, we're traveling the week of Memorial Day.

    Yes, you have to be affiliated with the military in some fashion to stay on the base.

    Do the public parks have similar type cabins as the KOA? We could (and might) bring the tent along and go that way, but I was hoping for something a little more air conditioned! :-) (On that note, I don't even know if the KOA cabins have air conditioning).

    How much time should I plan on spending at the Grand Canyon. We're just going to the South Rim, since we're staying in Sedona, is one day enough? Right now we only have plans to spend two nights in Sedona. The first day will be half spent driving and the other half in the city of Sedona. The second day is planned for the Grand Canyon, but I'm afraid we might want two full days there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Natural A/C!

    Quote Originally Posted by erink329 View Post
    Do the public parks have similar type cabins as the KOA? We could (and might) bring the tent along and go that way, but I was hoping for something a little more air conditioned! :-) (On that note, I don't even know if the KOA cabins have air conditioning).
    The only form of A/C I have ever seen on KOA cabins were windows. Likewise, that form of lodging tends to be a form of private enterprise, I have never seen them in public (eg: government managed) campgrounds. [Note: See below -- Editor is having a memory freeze...]
    How much time should I plan on spending at the Grand Canyon. We're just going to the South Rim, since we're staying in Sedona, is one day enough? Right now we only have plans to spend two nights in Sedona. The first day will be half spent driving and the other half in the city of Sedona. The second day is planned for the Grand Canyon, but I'm afraid we might want two full days there.
    The thing to remember is that this will be the first heavy camping weekend of summer and traffic is likely to be challenging everywhere -- you will be extremely fortunate if you are able to average more than 53 mph over the course of the day. It is about 115 miles (by the shortest route) and you need to figure it will take at least 2.5 hours to drive there and another 4+ hours drive along the scenic drive (stopping in the usual places). Do you have a reservation at the south rim? It might be wise for this weekend. As far as how much time to spend -- if you can spend two days, it will be heavenly.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-26-2007 at 12:56 AM. Reason: correct the oops

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Public Cabins

    I have never seen them in public (eg: government managed) campgrounds.
    While its pretty rare to see Cabin style lodging in public facilities, I have occationally run across them. The last time I stayed in one was at a state park in Northern Maryland.

    I will say if you are looking to camp as cheaply as possible, I don't know how much you'll save by staying in KOA cabins. I haven't priced them recently, but I'd be willing to be you could find budget motel rooms for about the same price - and the motel rooms would have AC.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default good point!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I will say if you are looking to camp as cheaply as possible, I don't know how much you'll save by staying in KOA cabins..
    I never got the impression that people stayed in KOA cabins as a cost-saving measure --it is more of a genteel camping experience (without the fun of sleeping on the ground)!

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Yurts, cabins, and tepees...oh my!

    Oregon State Parks has yurts, cabins, and tepees that you can rent. And Washington State Parks has cabins, Victorian homes, dormitories, yurts, cabins, rustic shelters, and vacation houses.

    I always assumed that other state park systems would offer other options, too, so I did some googling. Arizona has yurts and cabins, too. The New Mexico State Parks website said something about shelters but I didn't find any information about what they have, but I didn't look all that hard. .

    I didn't check out the prices for any of these so I don't know how they compare to KOA's Kamping Kabins.

    Obviously tent camping is going to be the cheapest but this is a nice option, isn't it?

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

    Default Just chalk it up to brain freeze

    Yikes! Sometimes I wonder about my memory -- you are, of course, correct and I have even stayed in cabins in National Parks, like these in Zion....

    Mark

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