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  1. #1

    Default GA To AZ And Back In 17 Days

    Let me first say, this is a great forum! I've read lots of useful information here.

    Our summer 2008 vacation is exactly as the title says: we want to venture from Georgia to Arizona and back in our Jeep Wrangler and we have 17-days to complete the trip.

    Our goal is to visit the Grand Canyon and hit the back country trails around the Flagstaff area in our Jeep. We've decided to establish our home base in Flagstaff. We may do a few overnight camping trips in and around the Grand Canyon area.

    First off, we've allowed 4-days of driving to AZ and 4-days of driving back to GA leaving us with 9-days for adventure. Does this sound reasonable? Should we allow additional time for driving or will we get there sooner?

    More questions to come...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Great plan for a great trip

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got a great plan and a great trip in front of you. 4 days each way is plenty of time to make a nice comfortable cross country trip, and 9 days will give you a great chance to explore that area. You could cut your travel time down to 3 or 3.5 days if you needed too, but I think 4 days will make sure you have time to see things along the way without being rushed.

    I wish I had some information to share about the back country trails, but it certainly sounds like it would be a good time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Public Lands

    Some of the best jeep trails in that neck of the woods are on public lands, particularly those maintained buy the USDA Forest Service (see Coconino, Kaibab, and Prescott National Forests) and the Bureau of Land Management.


  4. #4


    Thanks Midwest Michael, it's good to know that we have planned the time for an enjoyable trip.

    My next concern is the AZ heat. This trip is the first weeks of July.

    We plan to travel in our 1987 Jeep Wrangler - NO AIR! The vehicle is in top condition and comfortable. We had a streak of 100+ temp here in GA this past summer so we got a little taste of what it could be like (I imagine the AZ heat is worse).

    We plan on installing an overhead cargo rack for additional gear, coolers, water, water, and more water. We'll also be installing a rear rack for two 5 gallon Gerry Gas Cans, or one gas and one water can along with our full spare tire. We'll also have an emergency auto kit (hoses, belts, tools, fluids, etc.) and we'll have our service center check out the Jeep before we head out.

    I've read several threads here about desert traveling, survival, etc. The backroad trips will be carefully planned and we will have maps, CB radio, cell phones, tents, sleeping bags, water, gas, etc.

    AZBuck, we have this great book "Guide to Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails". The trails are marked Easy, Moderate, and Difficult. We're staying away from Difficult!

    The trip will be myself, my wife, and our two boys (10 & 5). The whole idea is to enjoy the adventure in our Jeep, but I know there's a tremendous difference between the Georgia Mountains and the AZ trails! My main concern is, am I underestimating the AZ heat while traveling in a non-air-conditioned vehicle? Or if we prepare and use common sense, we'll be ok?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default I'll take the AZ heat myself

    Which do you prefer, a sauna or a blowdryer? Personally, I'll take a dry 110 over a humid 90.

    However, in either case it probably won't be too bad for you Flagstaff is at a high enough elevation that it is typically a fair bit cooler than the Triple Digits that Phoenix is famous for.

    Of course, that "dry heat" also means that you can get dehydrated even more quickly than usual, however it sounds like you are already doing a good job of preparing for that by bringing extra water.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-28-2007 at 11:41 AM. Reason: typo

  6. #6


    You're helping me stay positive!

    Someone suggested that we drive our Dodge Ram and tow the Jeep. Our truck gets 9 MPG on a good day without towing anything and currently takes $75+ to fill it up. We would go broke on gas. We really want to do the Jeep thing!

    I guess this will be our little vacation journal for the next six months!

    Our 4-day driving itinerary to AZ will be using boring I-40:

    Day 1: To Little Rock, AK (470 miles)
    Day 2: To Amarillo, TX (600 miles)
    Day 3: To Albuquerque, NM (288 miles)
    Day 4: To Flagstaff, AZ (330 miles)

    Any alternate, easier, more fun, site-seeing travel route is welcomed!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default "boring I-40"?

    I-40 parallels old Route 66 and people make that trek on purpose all the time just for that reason. It's almost a pilgrimage. I've never heard anyone call it boring before. This page at RTA will give you a wealth of info to find the many unboring places along this route.

    As for problems in the heat. Your plan to bring lots of water is a good one. The air is dry and, yes, getting dehydrated is a problem. I would also suggest buying a few of these personal misting fans and these cool bandanas with water absorbing crystals. Both of these can help quite a bit in keeping you cooler. And be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion.

    I believe traveling with A/C is do-able. However, I did that myself a few years back and did have a heat exhaustion event so I want you to be aware and prepared but not nervous about it. I neglected to drink enough water (was drinking more diet cola than water). And while I had the cool bandana, I didn't have a personal fan/mister. Whenever I stopped, I would splash water on me and my t-shirt. But that wasn't enough. I think if I had been continually misting myself, it would have been more successful in helping keep me cooler.

    I pulled over at an air-conditioned restaurant for well over an hour before I felt good enough to get back on the road. I probably should have just quit for the day and stayed in a cool place for the rest of the evening. I was camping but probably should have gotten an air-conditioned room for overnight. Anyway, it really drained me and I felt overly-sensitive to heat for several days afterwards.

    So be prepared and be ready to change your plans, if needed, to ensure that anybody showing symptoms of heat exhaustion recovers completely before continuing on. And this might mean spending the night in an air-conditioned hotel that night instead of camping.

    My judgment clearly wasn't the best and the heat exhaustion impacted that or I would have stayed in a cool room that night myself. I feel lucky I did what I did and that it didn't get worse. So I don't want to make you nervous or afraid of doing this. Thousands of people have traveled these areas without A/C safely over the decades. But I do feel a need to emphasize the things you might need to do and be aware of so you don't repeat my mistake.

  8. #8

    Default A Bold Plan

    Maybe it's the beginnings of Old Age on my part (age 52 and our two sons are 24 and 20 now), but I would not relish the thought of the trip out and back without A/C. Staying hot all day and having the wind whipping on me just really takes it out of me nowadays. Once you're there,as noted, Flagstaff is high enough to be cooler, even in July, but that would be some tough sledding from GA to AZ.

    You'd certainly want to stay focused on staying hydrated as the sun and road-wind whipping you as you ventilate the Jeep could turn grapes to raisins pretty quickly. Perhaps a plan to roll out at 00:dark:30 each day and get a couple of hours under your belt before the sun gets too high will help. You could then stop for the day before too late in the afternoon, let the boys enjoy a motel pool and an early supper, and do it again the next day.

    You'll all likely enjoy a copy of "Roadside Geology of Arizona". It's written such that laymen and professionals alike can enjoy it. Plus, you can probably find a good used copy on Amazon for < $10. I would not want to travel without one.



  9. #9


    Foy, excellent suggestion about early departure before full sun.

    Based on our travel plans, we were wanting to knock out a lot of driving the first two days when everyone is "fired up" and excited. The third and fourth days of driving would allow us to arrive much earlier and enjoy an afternoon of resting and poolside fun.

    There's something about the Jeep. My boys love running around it no matter what. The choice is the big Dodge Ram or Town & Country w/ DVD players and such... they want the Jeep.

    Go figure.

    The trip is diffinite. What vehicle we decide to drive can be changed. Although, we do have plans to modify the Jeep specifically for this type of trip. We also want to have more Jeep adventures in the future.

  10. #10


    I thought I would show off our little Jeep. We're having a 3" lift kit installed next week.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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