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  1. Default Road Trip in 3 weeks time Tuscon, Tombstone, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon LV and LA!

    Hi all going on my second road trip in three weeks, all planned and booked so i thought i would share the route and ask for any advice or suggestions on what i have planned.

    Friday Arrive Tuscon overnight here
    Saturday Drive to Tombstone overnight here
    Sunday Very long Drive to Tuba City nr Monument Valley overnight here
    Monday Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim overnight here
    Tuesday Drive to Las Vegas 4 nights
    Weds, Thurs, Friday Las Vegas
    Saturday Drive to LA 3 nights
    Sunday, Monday,LA
    Tuesday Fly home to UK

    I know the Tombstone to Monument Valley drive is a long one, but i guess i can do it in about 8hrs and the Monument V to Grand Canyon is about 4hrs i estimate. Is this about right or am i way off target?

    I'm assuming North Rim will be closed but i assume this shouldn't cause too much of a detour and again i'm presuming that from Tombstone to MV would be easiest via Flagstaff?

    Apologies for the short notice but i couldn't remember or find this site after my last trip (i've bookmarked it now) , you were all great then hopefully you will be again.

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Doable.

    Hello and welcome back to RTA !

    I am presuming you are planning on heading to MV and stay that night in Tuba city ? From Tombstone that would be closer to 11 hours driving in total. On the other hand, to head to Tuba city and then drive to MV and GC next day would be under 8 hours driving day 1, but 5-6 hours of driving from Tuba to MV to GC. I would think that Kayenta might be a better overnight stop and get an early start from Tombstone to visit MV. Although doable, it's a little rushed to really enjoy the GC/MV and personally speaking I would much prefer less time in LV or LA and add a night here, but thats me. You could just as easily spend a little time between LV and LA, travelling through the Mojave preserve and Joshua tree NP. Hopefully you will find the time during your stay in Vegas to take a trip to Death valley.

  3. Default

    Hi, many thanks for the welcome back

    The plan is to drive the 50 miles to Tombstone from Tucson on Day 2, do the usual, overnight in Tombstone then early start day 3 for the drive to Tuba City.
    I've actually booked a night in the Hopi reserve hotel. I'm hoping to just do the drive there on day 3 and then see Monument Valley and drive to the South Rim on day 4.
    Plan then is to overnight at one of the lodgings within the park (already booked), get up early day 5 see the sunrise and have the day there along the rim etc, leave late afternoon and drive to Vegas.
    I know it's sacriledge to leave the natural beauty to go to Vegas for longer but i love the place, and were seeing Rod Stewart there.
    The last trip i did was the classic SF, Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas round trip and that was the best holiday i ever had, so many highlights, i will never forget Glacier Point for as long as i live.
    Many thanks again and any further advice happily received
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-19-2011 at 02:32 PM. Reason: removed the inline quote format

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More Time Needed

    In my experience, it is going to take you considerably longer than 8 hours (real, total time) to get from Tombstone to Monument Valley (assuming Mexican Hat). Still it can be made in a full day of steady driving with minimal stops such as for fuel, a meal or two, and an occasional mental health break. Also note that I-10 around Tucson and in stretches between Tucson and Phoenix is almost constantly under construction with lane restrictions and lowered speed limits. Most of the rest of the roads you'll be on will be two lane highways which carry 65 mph speed limits but can be slower if you get stuck behind a string of RVs or trucks. Otherwise your time estimates look relatively reasonable.

    The North Rim basically closed for the winter a few days ago and typically doesn't open again until mid-May.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-18-2011 at 12:47 PM.

  5. Default

    Hi, many thanks for the info about the road conditions on I10 and North Rim

    If i may can i ask a couple more questions

    I assume that the closure of the North Rim won't affect my plan, i.e i can still get from Monument Valley to GC south rim without to much of a detour?
    I'm staying at the Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites which i think is not quite as far as Mexican Hat from looking at Google Maps, am i also correct in assuming that Mexican Hat is on the 17 mile round trip of Monument Valley.

    Thanks again

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-19-2011 at 02:33 PM. Reason: inline quote not really needed here, removed for easier reading

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The north rim closure only affects the road that leads to the North Rim, it will have no impact on your trip.

    Monument Valley's scenic drive does not go through any towns, it is only a drive through the scenic features of the area. It is also a dirt road that likely would be a pretty grey area for your car rental agreement. You should at least consider going with one of the many guides available in the area.

    Another idea for you - rather than spending the night in Tombstone, you might consider simply making that a daytrip from Tucson, and spend another night there. That would give you a big head start on your drive to MV the following day.

  7. Default

    Once again many thanks, i have already booked all of the hotals on my route, maybe in hindsight your suggestion may have been better.

    Will try to see if i can fit in Mexican Hat, i hadn't realised that there were any towns in Monument Valley, just assumed that the scenic route and the jeep trails were it.

    Once again thanks for all the help and advice.


    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-19-2011 at 02:33 PM. Reason: Inline quote removed for reading clarity

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Most hotel reservations in the USA are changeable unless you have booked through one of the discount websites (Expedia, Priceline, etc). In normal circumstances, you can cancel a hotel booking up to 24 hours in advance by just phoning ahead. Goodness knows, we had to cancel that way this past summer due to sudden change in our plans. We were not penalized in any way because we called ahead.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Buck and Michael, might you be misreading this a bit? It looks to me like he wants to go from Tombstone to Tuba City in one day, not all the way to MV. That's just over 400 miles and quite reasonable - 8 hours plus possible traffic delays in Tucson and Phoenix.

    It will take you less than 2 hours to get from Tuba City to the actual Monument Valley Tribal Park - it's 96 miles.

    I would highly recommend you book a Jeep tour, don't try to drive a rental car through MV.

    You should be able to make it from MV back to the GC South Rim in about 3.5 to 4 hours.

  10. Default

    Hi yes sorry for any confusion that is correct, Tombstone to Tuba City in one day, overnight there and then on to Monument Valley the next morning. Do the scenic route, then back to GC South Rim to overnight again there.

    Thanks also for the advice about changing hotel plans, both of the hotels i have booked in the area allow me to cancel without penalty up to 24 - 48 hrs ahead. I'm concerned though that if i cancel i will not be able to just turn up and expect to get a room as they are both popular and limited in availability, particularly the GC south Rim one which is actually on the South Rim inside the park.

    re the jeep tour, these seem to get mixed reviews across the Internet with some saying the road is not suitable for a normal car, others saying the first part is difficult and others that the whole route is easy and better in your own car because you can put the windows up to avoid the dust! Presumably the guided tour takes longer but takes you to places the scenic route doesn't Any advice on a particular guide company would be appreciated

    Thanks again

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-19-2011 at 02:34 PM. Reason: removed inline quote for reading ease

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