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  1. Default Flagstaff to Durango Colorado

    I am taking a trip this summer from North Carolina out west. We have found a lot of great information through friends except for our leg from Flagstaff to Durango. We want to see the Grand Canyon of course and take the scenic highway, but I didn't know if anyone had a particularly great route or other things to do in the area.

    Thanks so much!
    Very excited first timer

  2. #2


    I wish I could help you better,but when we went to the Grand Canyon we didnt travel on to Durango. If your coming off I-40 just take Route 64 north to the GC its a straight shot,seems like it took us about an hour. From looking at my maps it looks like you can take secondary roads on up into Durango,which you probably already know. Anyways have a super trip and enjoy.

  3. #3

    Default A couple of ideas

    Welcome to the site! I do indeed have a couple of ideas which you may like to consider.

    This is not the most direct route, but the extra mileage is, I reckon, well worth it.

    Take AZ-64 out of the park (I am presuming you're visiting the South Rim) until you hit US-89 where you hang a left and head north towards Page AZ. There are numerous Navajo stools all along this route selling goodies which are well worth stopping at. There is an amazing store along this route also, I sadly cannot recall it's exact location at the moment, but you'll know it when you see it. It's the one with the huge car park full of Trek America and Suntrek buses!

    Anyway, before you reach Page, turn left onto US-89 ALT for several miles until you come across the Navajo Bridge. Check out the bridge (there is a small visitor center IIRC but the thing to see is definately the bridge - walk across it and look down!) then continue a short distance before turning right towards Lees Ferry. This road dips down until you are level with the Colorado river and you can paddle in it if you feel inclined!

    Afterwards, retrace your steps, across the Navajo Bridge, along US-89 ALT and, when you reach US-89 again, turn left towards Page once more. Before you reach Page, look for a poorly marked turning (on your left) for the Horseshoe Bend. It is a short hike across sand but is well worth the effort - especially at sunrise or sunset. I know this is far from the first time that I've recommended this, and the regulars will probably roll their eyes at a further mention, but it is that good!

    If you end up spending the night in Page, be sure to eat at 'Kens Old West' - a great experience!

    Next stop is the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area where you must visit the Glen Canyon Dam. I found this far more impressive than the Hoover Dam - probably because you can view the dam from a bridge across the canyon - this gives you a real impression of the size of the thing.

    As you leave the area and head towards Durango be absolutely sure to visit Monument Valley and take a tour with one of the Navajo guides. I didn't do the tour myself but I am told I really missed out.

    Finally, looking at my map, it would appear Mesa Verde National Park is pretty much on your route and may well be worth a visit if you have time.

    Hope this is of some help to you. Be sure to come back afterwards and let us know how this, as well as the rest of the trip, worked out for you.
    Last edited by UKCraig; 06-29-2007 at 09:14 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Ditto

    (does anyone else remember Ditto machines?)

    Anyway, I "ditto" everything UKCraig said. The only thing I'd add is a visit to the north rim if you have time. If you can swing a night in the campground or at the lodge, do it. The atmosphere there is so relaxed and "old days" compared to the more crowded south rim.

    Enjoy, how could you not!

    Craig Sheumaker

    co-author of A Traveler's Guide: America's Living History - The Early Years

  5. Default Much thanks!

    Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. We are looking at our time frame, and we think that we are going to be able to take the route suggested. I appreciate all of the friendly input and will certainly let everyone know how the trip went.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6

    Default Fabulous!

    You'll not regret taking that route. For your information, this site has more on the location of Horseshoe Bend.

  7. Default just went from GC to Durango

    Boy did I miss out. I wish I'd have seen this thread two weeks ago! Last week, we went from Sedona/Flagstaff to GC to Durango. We just wanted to hit four corners, so our route took us across the painted desert 160 NW. This is probably the quickest route, but not much but dry desert.

    We were a little more pressed for time. I don't know where you're going from Durango, but I strongly suggest the route up 550 through the San Juan Mountains to Ouray. What a drive!! (Guard rails would be nice, though!)

  8. Default Flagstaff to Durango in 1 Day and still See it All?

    I did a search of Flagstaff to Durango road trips and found this thread. Can anyone tell me this: Can you leave Flagstaff, drive to Durango in one day and still see all that was mentioned in this thread? I a, talking about maybe 14-16 hours of traveling. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not all of it

    Welcome to the RTA Forum and thanks for doing a little searching before asking your question!

    There is no way you could see all of the ideas listed in this thread in one day - even with 2 or 3 it would be extremely difficult.

    With 14 hours on the road, I think you'd be doing very well to spend some a little bit of time at the Grand Canyon and squeeze in a quick tour of Monument Valley. You'd be looking at at least 8-10 hours of just driving to cover the miles via US-160. I would be very surprised if you have any extra time if you just doing those two things, but if you do, then you could take a quick run through Mesa Verde which would be right now your way as you get closer to Durango.

    Taking a detour up towards Page for the other things listed in this great old thread will easily add another 2 hours of driving alone, really making it impossible to have time to stop to see anything.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Look at it this way. Flagstaff to Durango via 89, 160, 163, 191, 491, and 160 is 370 miles, almost all 2 lane roads. This will be close to an 8 hour drive with NO sightseeing other than a driveby in Monument Valley. This would basically give you enough time for a driveby in the Grand Canyon and not much else.

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