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  1. Default Grand Canyon via Lake Powell to Las Vegas

    Hi all
    Im doing a 3 week road trip in May starting/ending in LA (my 1st ever US roadtrip)

    Id particularly like advice on the middle section of our trip from Grand Canyon, via Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park to Las Vegas in 6 days, departing May 14th, arriving Las Vegas on May 19th.

    My questions are:
    -What are the best routes to cover these places? Wanted to start going East along Desert View Drive and continue along route 64?
    -Best points to stop overnight for the 5 nights before arriving in Vegas
    -Have I missed any TOP attractions from my list along this route?

    Also, a more general question going to be renting a car and really fancy trying a convertible (Chrysler Sebring or similar) for at least part of the trip can you envisage any big problems with using a convertible for the whole trip?

    Many thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Hi, and welcome to the forum
    Drive from GC Village to Desert View, maybe visit Tusayan Ruins and museum. Leave GCNP via it's east entrance and make a stop at the Cameron Trading post for some food (great taco's) and shopping. Then drive through Painted desert then to Monument Valley, maybe visit Navajo NM on your way. You are ""loosing" an hour because of time difference. Visit Monument Valley. Drive your own car (not allowed with a rental car tho) or take a tour, or just admire the Mittens from the visitor Center, Maybe stay at Goulding's Lodge or,if booked, stay in Kayenta.
    Day 2: Drive to Page.Visit Antelope Upper Canyon on your left just just before Page on az89. (You'll get that hour back again). Then take the short walk to Horseshoe bend overlook (on your right just outside Page on us89). Be careful, no fence.
    Visit to Glen Canyon Dam. Free tour. Leave your bags in the car, just bring your camera's. Also see Lake Powell. Stay Page.
    Day 3: Drive from Page to Bryce. Maybe a short side trip to the old Paria Movie set (dirt road, don't drive when wet) although the buildings are burned down. Stop at milemarker 21 on us89. Park your car and a short hike to the Toadstools.
    In Kanab maybe visit Frontier Movie Town, Moqui Cave and maybe make a loop via Coral Pink Sanddunes. Then drive north on 89 to ut12. Stop at Red Canyon and the tunnels. (You lose that hour again). To Bryce.
    Day 4: Visit to Bryce NP and to Zion in the afternoon.
    Day 5: Visit Zions all day.Take the shuttle and do some hiking.
    Day 6: Drive from Zions via Virgin River Gorge (I15) to exit 75 and visit Valley of Fire SP. Then to Las Vegas. You'll gain that hour again between Utah and Nevada.
    Driving a convertible is an old wish of mine but we never had one. Limited trunkspace but fun!
    Have a great trip.
    Yeehaw

  3. #3

    Default

    Visit Monument Valley. Drive your own car (not allowed with a rental car tho) or take a tour,

    Sorry to gatecrash this post but i'm renting a mini van and was planning on visiting Monument Valley and do a very similar drive to ALexyMiss and am wondering whether you mean you cant drive to Monument Valley in a rental at all? Is that because the rental companies aren't too keen on it or just the terrain is to difficult to drive on. If I was to not disclose to the rental company I planned on driving through monument valley but did so anyway (stupid I know, but humour me) would it be possble or would I end up in a world of pain having to dig myself out of deep sand or something? If anyone could shed light on the danger that lies ahead i'd appreciate it, because i'd just planned on getting the minivan and driving. Is that naive of me and should I be looking more into this??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Broken axles aren't fun either

    Monument Valley is actually a Navajo Tribal Park. For a fee you can drive the very rough 17-mile dirt road which is virtually impossible for regular vehicles. It's not getting stuck that should concern you. You should be more concerned about a broken axle. No, I wouldn't take that chance in my own car either but I sure wouldn't want to deal with the wrath of a rental car agency if I did it in their car.

    There are a number of tours you can take by jeep, horseback, airplane, helicopter, or foot. The park's Visitor Center can provide you information on local tour guides that usually can be found waiting in the parking lot.

    So go, it's worth it. But take a tour and enjoy yourself. Far less stress than driving it yourself and worrying about the car. And the tours can take you places where you're not allowed to go even if you were driving a vehicle that could handle the roads anyway.

  5. #5

    Default

    Again Judy... I salute you. Say... your not free around mid July to mid August are you??? Your pearls of wisdom would be invaluable to us! All expenses paid????

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default It is a well-graded road these days

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Monument Valley is actually a Navajo Tribal Park. For a fee you can drive the very rough 17-mile dirt road which is virtually impossible for regular vehicles.
    There are some rough sections in the first 1/2 mile, but most of the route is graded gravel. I was there in January and saw all manners of rental sedans on the road. It is not really a problem at all. (You will violate the terms of your rental agreement though -- it is off the paved road!)

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Thanks for the correction then!

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    There are some rough sections in the first 1/2 mile, but most of the route is graded gravel. I was there in January and saw all manners of rental sedans on the road. It is not really a problem at all. (You will violate the terms of your rental agreement though -- it is off the paved road!)

    Mark
    The websites I visited indicated otherwise. But since I've not had the pleasure of going there myself, I'm sure you're correct. Sorry for the misinformation. That's one of the great things about this forum. We watch each others backs and if there's something incorrect posted, others will always come along and correct it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Yes, it can be done with a normal car and some say the first short part is deliberately kept in a poor condition but those aren't my words. We did the drive in a suv and with a Lincoln Town car without problems and if they should pay me $ 0,01 for every rentalcar driving into MV I would have been a rich man now. I just gave a warning it's not allowed to drive any rental car into it or on other dirtroads.
    There's another drive equally stunning, the Valley of the Gods drive and it's free. Higher clearance recommended although I saw people driving limosines too. It's al oop between ut261 and ut 163.
    Yeehaw

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default One more further correction

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Monument Valley is actually a Navajo Tribal Park.
    Actually, most of Monument Valley is Federal land (USA) and you can see most of the famous views from the public (hence free) highways, (in this case US-163). The Navajo Tribal Park is one small section of the greater "valley". Monument Valley is not really in a valley... I am not a geologist but what has happened is the softer rock has been eroded away leaving the sandstone monoliths in place -- Monument Valley is more of a part of the surrounding "plains" than a valley. Here is a map that shows the location of the Tribal Park. In that map, the road that goes to the right of the arrow (southeast) is the approach road to the Tribal Park. If you were to turn left at the arrow, you would pass the local high school and then make you way up to the Gouldings Lodge. Lunch is recommended here -- great views and the food is OK. Right next to the restaurant is a decent trading post and a great museum documenting the role of Hollywood film making in the region and the development of the local peoples.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default You will be fine

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    There are some rough sections in the first 1/2 mile, but most of the route is graded gravel. I was there in January and saw all manners of rental sedans on the road. It is not really a problem at all. (You will violate the terms of your rental agreement though -- it is off the paved road!)

    Mark
    I would agree 100% with Mark here. We drove the 17 miles in a rental car-Pontiac G6 in December 2007 and we were fine. You might want to take it real slow, if you go. For most parts, the speed limit is 10-15 mph. The graded road can be bumpy at many places, but you will be fine, I am sure.

    The day we were there, I saw more cars than Jeeps.
    But after that 17 miles, trust me, you will be happy to just be on paved road!!

    We stayed over at Best Western, Kayenta, but if you can, Gouldings Lodge has incomparable views.

    In Dec 2007, the Visitor Center was under construction & the water in the women's restroom froze! Hopefully, they've taken care of that now.

    Take your car. And take a whole day, if you can. You will enjoy every bit!

    cool
    Last edited by cool; 03-17-2008 at 12:02 PM. Reason: added title

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