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  1. Default San diego-grand canyon-???-san diego

    We are completely new to road trips.we are first time travellers. We want to see the grand canyon and maybe other places along the way.
    1.we plan to do it before the end of october
    2.we can start friday at 4pm or very early saturday
    3.we need to be back 5 pm sunday
    4.we dont know where to start
    5.we want to drive on a scenic route
    6.any other places we shouldnt miss along the way?
    7.restaurants we shouldnt miss?
    We will appreciate your replies
    thanks guys

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

    Default beyond rushed

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Based on your timeline, I'd recommend you save the Grand Canyon for a trip when you have more time. It's about 10 hours just to make the drive, without extra stops, so even in the best case, if you leave Friday evening, you'll only have, at most a few hours of daylight on Saturday afternoon to explore this huge wonder of the world that is really worth at least a full day of your time. You'd have to be heading home basically at dawn on Sunday to make it back home by 5pm. You certainly wouldn't have time to do anything extra or think about scenic detours.

    Have you considered some closer scenic wonders, like Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley, or Organ Pipe National Monument? Otherwise, can you add more time. I think you need at least a full 3 day weekend to make this trip worth your time.

  3. Default

    Thanks Michael, will the trip be possible if we leave Friday,rest in a hotel start again and enjoy? I know what you mean.We've been planning this and this is the only time we can possibly do it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'm not sure what you are asking.

    If you leave at 4pm Friday, you would have to stay at a hotel somewhere along the way. You can't expect to safely drive nearly 600 miles in one shot, if you've been working or at school or just awake all day to that point.

    The only way you could do this would be to drive a few hours on Friday, stop and spend a night at a hotel somewhere along the way, then finish the drive on Saturday. That means you wouldn't be getting to the Grand Canyon until at least mid-afternoon.

    That means you could at most, spend a few hours at the Canyon, and then after sunset, start driving back to Williams or Flagstaff to spend the night. Then on Sunday, you have to be back up on on the road by sunrise for a long drive home.

    So, yes, it is possible, but it is a lot of hours on the road for very little time at the Canyon, and you just wouldn't have time for anything extra.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I'll agree with Michael -- hubby and I (with the kids) have made the San Diego to Grand Canyon to San Diego trip, a number of years ago. You can go two or three different routes, but you are looking at 10-12 hours depending on which route and whether you get stuck in traffic in Riverside/San Bernardino Counties or in the Phoenix area. That's ONE WAY.

    If you left on Friday at 4 pm, you'd make it to about Phoenix (if you went I-8 to Gila Bend, AZ-85 north, I-10 east into Phoenix) by about 11 pm. Then get up and do the other 6 hours the next day gets you into Grand Canyon...maybe... at 2 pm on Sat. Look around, see the sunset, then turn around and start home on Sunday and drive the other direction. My husband and I wouldn't recommend that. Grand Canyon is just too beautiful to give it a cursory glance. Now, if you can leave Friday morning, then it would be different. Drive all day Friday, see the Canyon on Friday evening and all day Saturday, and head home on Sunday.

    We did Joshua Tree National Park as a weekend one time. It's about 2-3 hours from San Diego. You can get there via I-15 to US-60 to I-10, or take I-8 to US-86 for a pretty drive that takes you through the mountains east of San Diego and then the Salton Sea. Or, if you want an even prettier drive (assuming no fires in the area), take I-15 up to Escondido, get on CA-78 through Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Ocotillo Wells, over to CA-86. If you're brave, you could also take S-3 and S-22 through Borrego Springs and Anza Borrego SP.


  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    but you are looking at 10-12 hours depending on which route and whether you get stuck in traffic in Riverside/San Bernardino Counties or in the Phoenix area.
    This is going to be especially true with a departure time of 4pm Friday. The commute between San Diego and inland empire is murderous. To be completely honest, OP could pull this off, and have a nice day at the Canyon on Saturday, but you guys are going to be so exhausted.

    Even worse than the departure time, is the return time of 5pm Sunday. If you can push that out to 10pm, you'd be much happier.

  7. Default GOING from San Diego TO THE GRAND CANYON ON JAN 2nd...need help

    Hi,we're finally going. We're ready and excited.
    I was told there will be road closures, snow,etc.

    Does anyone know the road condition on the way there?
    Is this the best route to take...I215- I 15E - I 40 E - H 64 N??
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-29-2014 at 04:30 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Keep an eye on it.

    When the weather is unsettled you are better off sticking with the Interstates as they are a priority to keep traffic moving but as always, check your options before travelling. Check out the FHA for latest road conditions and the NPS website for whats going on within the park. Hope you have a great trip but don't let excitement cloud your judgement when it comes to safety.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You have 2 choices - I-15/I-40/AZ-64 or I-8/AZ-85/I-10/Loop-101/I-17/US-89/AZ-64. has links to road conditions in every state.

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