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  1. #1

    Default Advice on Nevada/Arizona Road Trip?

    Hi Everyone,

    First let me say this forum has been fantastic in providing information, advice and ideas to fuel my desire to do a road trip later this year. A lot of what I had planned has been covered, but I was hoping if I posted my Itinerary I might get some good advice and ideas on a few things I'm not sure about.

    I'll be flying from Sydney, Australia in early Sept, staying in San Francisco for a while, then flying to Las Vegas, where the road trip starts (yeah I know, what a rare idea that is!)

    Day 1: Drive from Las Vegas NV to Kingman AZ
    Day 2: Drive from Kingman AZ to Williams AZ
    Day 3: Visit the Grand Canyon South Rim, return to Williams AZ
    Day 4: Drive from Williams AZ to Kayenta AZ
    Day 5: Visit Monument Valley, return to Kayenta AZ
    Then I have 2 options:
    EITHER:
    Day 6: Drive to Flagstaff AZ
    Day 7: Spend the day in Flagstaff AZ
    Day 8: Drive from Flagstaff AZ to Kingman AZ
    Day 9: Return to Las Vegas
    OR:
    Day 6: Drive to Kanab UT or Fredonia AZ
    Day 7: Drive to Mesquite AZ, or direct to Las Vegas AZ

    A few questions:
    - I have planned on a max of 3- 4 hours driving per day, does this seem reasonable for these locations?
    - Considering I have a day or 2 to play with, is there anywhere else worth stopping for a night along this route?
    - There seems to be plenty of accommodation at most of these places, is it worth booking in advance for any of these places in the mid to late September period?

    Any ideas or advice you have would be great!

    Thanks! - Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    hello there and welcome,
    a couple of things i was wondering with your itenary were like this: is there a reason why you want to stop in kingman on the way to williams and then on the way back? it's only about a 4 hour drive to williams and then you would have more time in the grand canyon,which is well worth it imo. secondly,is there a reason for returning to williams from the grand canyon, as rather than returning to williams from the south entrance you could leave by way of the desert view drive [a fantastic drive with lots of view points and interesting places such as the watchtower]to the east direct to kayenta and monument valley.
    depending on your interests,on the second half of your trip there are some lovely locations fairly close from kanab/mesquite such as bryce canyon and zion n.p which,if interested in natures beauty,are among the best.
    hope you have a great trip!

    i was also just wondering if you have a couple of days spare,[or possibly have time to pinch a bit of time from your san fran time]wether you have considered starting your road trip from san fran instead of flying to vegas. the journey through yosemite n.p and down through death valley really is spectacular. if you want to get an idea of whats ahead then our trip covers a lot of the places you will be near to.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-21-2008 at 07:41 AM. Reason: another thought/link added

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi, thanks for the reply Gommy. I had just read your trip report before I decided to post mine, and have been thinking of changing mine based on your report. A few of the things you asked relate to the drive times between location I guess. To answer your questions:

    1. Stopping in Kingman was only a way to break up the drive to Williams, although if it's only 4 hrs from Vegas to Williams I can skip Kingman all together.

    2. I wanted to return to Williams so I could spend a full day exploring the Grand Canyon, without having to do the drive to Kayenta after a day walking/exploring in the Grand Canyon.

    3. Originally the plan was to drive from SF to LV, then do the rest of the road trip as I layed out, but time restraint will stop me.

    I had planned an additional drive from LV to Beatty NV, to stay 2 nights, then return to LV before heading off for the trip I outlined. Based on your trip report, I'm now considering combining the 2 trips. It would then be LV to Beatty, then head up the 95, and join the 6, then East to the Extraterrestrial Highway and follow something similar to your plan.

    How many hours per day did you average driving on your trip?

    Joe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    1. Stopping in Kingman was only a way to break up the drive to Williams, although if it's only 4 hrs from Vegas to Williams I can skip Kingman all together.
    you should be able to do this in 4 hours direct but you need to add on time for stops,which the most popular one is the hoover dam. it may also be worth taking a detour onto the original route '66 that again with stops will add some time to this,but it's a comfortable enough drive.it depends on if you want to get from a to b in the 4 hours or break up the driving as part of the experience.

    2. I wanted to return to Williams so I could spend a full day exploring the Grand Canyon, without having to do the drive to Kayenta after a day walking/exploring in the Grand Canyon.
    to fully explore the g/c i'm not sure a day is enough,but you could consider 1 night lodging here,but if thats not an option this place could be an option. rather than going back on yourself and the fact that desert view drive and watchtower to the east entrance is a big part of the south rim experience it actually would leave you much closer to cameron then williams which in turn is closer to kayenta.

    How many hours per day did you average driving on your trip?
    well we covered close to 3000 miles in 15 days which is 200 miles a day which would equate to 4 or 5 hours a day. but it's not that simple,in certain places,mainly np's like yosemite,zion and g/canyon we were parked up for 2 nights and used the free shuttle bus system and did'nt turn a wheel. the longest day was probably the run from nr tonopah [millers rest] to zion and that was around 10 hours,but that included a lot of stops for sight seeing,photo oppurtunitys and lunch which broke the journey up. i guess on the driving days anything between 4 and 7 hours was "normal" between places,but with so much to see and do around each corner with lots of short stops it never felt like a task. although i must admit i actually enjoy driving and to me it's all part of the journey.
    i hope that has'nt confused you even more,lol!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default I agree with Gommy

    Quote Originally Posted by vimessir View Post
    1. Stopping in Kingman was only a way to break up the drive to Williams, although if it's only 4 hrs from Vegas to Williams I can skip Kingman all together.
    You could stop in Kingman for lunch/whatever, but it makes no sense to stay the night there. Williams is only about 90 minutes or so from Kingman. I would plan for spending the night in Williams, if it was me.


    2. I wanted to return to Williams so I could spend a full day exploring the Grand Canyon, without having to do the drive to Kayenta after a day walking/exploring in the Grand Canyon.
    Gommy suggested that "you could leave by way of the desert view drive [a fantastic drive with lots of view points and interesting places such as the watchtower]to the east direct to kayenta and monument valley."

    Here's how I did the Grand Canyon. Unless you're planning on extensive hiking, this plan should work for you.

    Go to the GC in the morning, as early as possible to enjoy the morning sun. Spend the morning around the Grand Canyon Village area. There are interesting visitor centers/museums, a nice rim walk, and the hotels and other buildings just plain have some fascinating architecture that I found fascinating to check out. Enjoy lunch and then head east on 64 (Desert View Drive). There are numerous lookout points along the way. Each has a slightly different view of the canyon and I stopped at each one. I'm glad I did. Enjoy a short walk through Tusayen Ruins. Your last major stop at the park is at the Watchtower Lookout. If you're hungry, this would also be a good place to get a bite to eat.

    Unless you're going to do some more extensive hiking down into the canyon itself, I'm not sure that there's enough to do in the Grand Canyon Village to fill an entire day. And you will not want to miss driving 64 (Desert View Drive) anyway. I enjoyed this part of seeing the GC far more than I did the part at the Grand Canyon Village itself, but I still suggest doing both for a more complete experience and a chance to learn a bit more about the history of the canyon, etc.

    Here's a short article about the things to see on Desert View Drive. It doesn't list all the viewpoints, just the major ones. There are many more than this and they are all worthy of stopping at.

    Head out to Kayenta after that last stop at the Watchtower. If you don't think you want to drive that far, then get lodging in the Cameron or Tuba City areas.

    Williams to Grand Canyon is about 55 miles. Figure 1 hour.
    Grand Canyon Village to Watchtower - about 23 miles, only about 30 minutes to drive but you'll want to allow several hours more for all the stops
    Watchtower to Kayenta - about 130 miles, figure 2 hours
    Watchtower to Williams - about 80 miles, figure 2 hours, minimum due to traffic through the park

    Anyway, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that even when you just factor in drive times, it makes no sense to backtrack to Williams when you can just drive a tad longer and get to Kayenta. Or, like I said, stop for the night in Cameron or Tuba City instead but at least you're on your way to Kayenta.

    I know I'm rambling a bit here. Hope this makes sense.

  6. #6

    Default thank you both!

    Thanks Gommy and Judy for this information, it is exactly what I'm looking for. My biggest issues were the time for travel (based on Google Maps - not exactly accurate I guess!).

    The suggestion to use Desert View Drive sounds great, and I may go straight to Kayenta or stop in Cameron, depending on how long I spend at the Grand Canyon.

    Again thank you both for the information. I will be posting a report once I get back from my travels!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    i will look forward to hearing how you got on,have a great trip!
    [but don't hesitate to ask if you think of any other questions

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