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  1. Default road trip sw usa

    I arrive in Las Vegas from Australia in mid November. After a couple of days, including a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon I am planing a road trip from Las Vegas up to the Bryce and Zion National Parks, across to New Mexico (Sante Fe and Alburquerque), back to Arizona ( I would like to see the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Scottsdale) and then up to Las Vegas to drop the car off.
    All this in 3 weeks. Is it possible? What are the "must sees" ? Have you any suggestions on the best routes to take.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Yes, this trip is entirely doable in the time you have planned. I think you've hit on the major "must see" areas, but what constitutes that is largely up to the individual taking the trip. It sounds like you're interested not only in the natural wonders in the area, but also in man-made wonders.

    Other areas of interest near you are Death Valley and Joshua Tree parks. Some of your routes will likely be limited due to the time of year, but the interstates and US routes will be able to provide you with access to all of the locations you've mentioned.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Possible and More

    As Tim notes, three weeks is way more than enough time to take in a good bit of the Southwest, and your proposed route hits some of the best. Some other spots to consider...

    As you work your way east from Bryce Canyon, take the time you have and put it to use seeing such sights as Grand Staircase-Escalante, Vermilion Cliffs and Navajo National Monuments; Monument Valley Tribal Park; Canyons of the Ancients National Monument; Mesa Verde National Park; Bandelier National Monument; Petroglyph National Monument; Petrified Forest National Park; Walnut Canyon National Monument; and Oak Creek Canyon between Flagstaff and Phoenix on AZ-89A.

    Also the Grand Canyon deserves a special word. The helicopter flight from Las Vegas will go to what is known as the 'West Rim'. This is not part of the National Park, but is within the boundaries of the Hualapai Indian Reservation. As you are driving west on I-40 you will come close enough to the National Park and the iconic views and hiking trails of the South Rim that I think you should add a visit even if you take the helicopter ride into the West Rim. You would head north on US-89 past Wupatki National Monument to Cameron, then west on AZ-64/US-180 following the Rim Road to Grand Canyon Village and finally south on US-180 back to Flagstaff. From there, the aforementioned AZ-89A down through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, then AZ-179 to I-17 and Phoenix.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Thank you. I will research Death Valley and JOSHUA TREE parks. I had been using Lonely Planet's "Arizona, NM &the GC TRIPS" but they are not mentioned.I imagine i will be able to get a good road map from a petrol station (opps sorry -gas station) once I get on the road. is that right?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Sort Of

    I'm old enough to remember when gas stations gave away free road maps as a matter of course. That hasn't been the case for many years. Nowadays the norm is for gas stations to have an attached mini-mart or convenience store with snacks, coffee, travel accessories and maps for sale. you can expect to pay about $2-3 per state map which makes it worthwhile to buy a 50 state atlas (such as one of these) through RoadTrip America, a bookstore or an on-line retailers like Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

    AZBuck

  6. Default

    Dear AZ Buck, Thanks for all your suggestions. Would you cut out going W on the I-70 to Green River and the Arches/Canyonlands NPs?
    I gathered the helicopter to GC would just give me a taste of what it is about and I am eager to see more. I will make sure I have enough time towards the end of my time to see a bit more of Arizona south of Grand Canyon.
    I get the shapes of the signs for interstate,US and state Hwys but the numbering of the roads is still confusing to me. Is there some logic/rationale to it all?
    Only 8 more sleeps till I leave for USA. Yippee cant wait!!

  7. Default

    Thanks AZ Buck - will buy maps when I get to the States. My luggage is just nudging the max 20 kilos.
    Last edited by sharyn o grady; 11-03-2010 at 01:46 AM. Reason: didnt name the guru

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Hmmmm...

    I don't know which I'd rather include, Arches or the Grand Staircase/Vermillion Cliffs/Navajo NM. Fortunately (for me) I don't have to make that choice, you do. Whichever one you pick, you won't be disappointed, so simply go with your gut. In either case, you can visit all the other places I mentioned, such as Monument Valley and Mesa Verde on your way from Bryce to Santa Fe.

    There is a system to both the Interstate and US highway numbers. In both cases even numbered roads run generally east-west while odd numbered roads run basically north-south. That's where the similarity ends. In the older US system highway numbers increase from east to west and north to south, so that the lowest numbers (US-1. US-2, US-3...) are in the northeast and the higher numbers (US-90. US-101...) are in the southwest. To avoid confusion (!?!?!?) the Interstate system is just the opposite with the smaller numbers (I-5, I-10...) in the southwest and higher numbers (I-90, I-95...) in the northeast. The use of three digit numbers is also different between the two highway grids. In the US highway system, three digit numbers (US-201, US-301, US-401..) are major spur highways that join the base highway (US-1 in this case) at some point along it's length. {Note that US-101 is NOT a spur of US-1, just to confuse matters further.} While in the Interstate System, three digit numbers are short auxiliary routes where an odd numbered first digit (I-380, I-195...) indicates a spur and an even numbered first digit (I-210, I-495...) indicates a beltway or loop that reconnects to the main route at some point. Each state is free to number their highways in any manner they wish. Some generally follow a grid system similar to those described above, some don't

    AZBuck

  9. Default

    Phew. I am glad I got the numbering system sorted! Cheers Sharyn

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