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  1. Default Santa Fe-Sedona-Grand Canyon-LA w/3 kids

    Hi. I need help planning a westward trip in August with 3 kids 12 and under.

    Probable overnight stops: SF-Holbrook-Sedona-Flagstaff (Grand Canyon)-Needles-LA.

    I prefer to drive 4 hours or less per day.

    1) a) Can I make the drive to Holbrook from Santa Fe in one day?
    b) Where shall I stop to break up the day well for my brood?
    c) Can I reasonably make such stops and then still fit in the Painted Desert toward the end of the day before ending in Holbrook?
    2) Is the Sky Bridge at Grand Canyon super crowded, reserved far in advance, and worth it?
    3) I think I shall stop in Oatman for a while on the way to Needles. Anything to stop at between Flagstaff and Oatman?
    4) Someone suggested stopping at the Mojave National Park en route to LA. It seems well out of the way. Is that so? Anything else to do on the way from Needles to LA?
    5) Any tips re the heat?

    Thanks for being such an awesome resource.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default We Hit 115 Today

    1) At Nearly 300 miles, it's probably not possible to get from Santa Fe to Holbrook in 4 hours of driving, but could be done in 5 or so. Choices for stopping points are somewhat limited, but two that would be of use to you are Petroglyph National Monument just west of Albuquerque, and Bluewater Lake State Park near your halfway point. The Painted Desert is perhaps best seen in the Petrified Forest National Park which is right off I-40, so easily accessible if you still feel up to it as you approach Holbrook

    2) All matters of opinion. In my own estimation, and from reviews I've seen by people who have been there, I would say not, particularly for three antsy kids. It is a long arduous trek in, and is fairly expensive. Make use of your taxpayer supported parks. I think the kids will get a much better experience seeing the canyon from multiple vantage points along the Rim Drive.

    3) To be truthful, there's not really much along that stretch, but there is lots to see and do in the Flagstaff area

    4) Mojave National Preserve is your one option. I think it would be worth at least a short drive up in to it to see the other-worldly terrain. The Kelso Visitor's Center is only 22 miles (all on paved road) from I-40. Just take the Kelbaker Road exit and go north.

    5) Where light-weight, light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and trousers and a wide-brimmed hat. Drink plenty of water (NOT sodas), and don't push it.

    Finally, this resource is nothing more than the collective knowledge of people who have been on a trip or two and are willing to share their experiences. You're getting to be such a 'pro' yourself, and we hope you'll feel up to contributing when you feel that you have something to share.


  3. #3

    Default Holbrook/Winslow

    I like Holbrook, but I like Winslow better. The La Posada is a fun--especially if you like trains. Plus, in Winslow, you can take a picture of yourself Standin' on the Corner. The Little Painted Desert is located about 15 miles (one-way) north of WInslow. Walnut Canyon National Monument, located just off I-40 between Winslow and Flagstaff, has easy access to scenic views and ruins.

    Driving through the Painted Desert on the way to Holbrook makes sense, but it can take a while depending on how much you want to hike around. We enjoyed spending a night at the Wigwam Village Motel in Holbrook.

    When in Flagstaff, Beaver Street Brewery has excellent beer and food. If you spend the night in Flagstaff, then motel selection is important because of the excessive train noise. [Note: You don't hear the trains at the La Posada.]

    I like Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman. The Grand Canyon Caverns is worthy of a visit. The drive from Kingman to Oatman is a slow drive because this stretch of Route 66 is one curve after another on thin road.

    Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve are fun, but the sand will probably be too hot if done during the day (i.e. get there early).

  4. Default More tips pls: on Grand Canyon & Holbrook & anything on trip

    Hello! Thanks all for your review and response. If anyone has any remark about any of the trip, please post! I have a family of 5, including 3 kids, ages 5-11.

    I have more questions.

    1) Any recommendations for dinner in Holbrook?
    2) I've read the road that was Rt 66 is no longer named that. Can I figure out the path you suggest between Kingman and Oatman, or are you talking about getting off exit 1 on I 40 W (Topock/Bullhead City) for "Old US 66?"
    3) Where best to eat around Oatman?
    4) Can I really do Flagstaff-Oatman-Needles in one day? If I stick to my 4-5 hour drive a day plan with a trip to Oatman, it doesn't seem possible. Is Oatman a worthy diversion?
    5) Any detailed recommendations for the best drive at the South Rim, Grand Canyon? (We are opting out of the Skybridge.)
    6) I see a lot of bad reviews for eating options around Grand Canyon. Any ideas?


  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by momof3east View Post
    2) I've read the road that was Rt 66 is no longer named that. Can I figure out the path you suggest between Kingman and Oatman
    Take a look at this page

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