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  1. Default Best route San Diego to Grand Canyon late Jan

    We are driving from San Diego to Grand Canyon in late January. Can anyone recommend a scenic route. We plan to spend one night somewhere on the way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    For us, there are a couple of variations on "scenic route", and there is also an alternative that my husband and I have yet to explore. So let me outline these ideas. (I'm sure others will have yet other ideas.)

    The quickest way, yet scenic, is to head east on the 8 until you get to Gila Bend. Head north on AZ-84, then east on the 10 freeway. When you get to Loop 101 north, use that to get up to I-17. (The alternative, if you want to see Phoenix from the freeway, take I-10 all the way to I-17.) Then north on I-17 to Flagstaff, where you will head west on the 40. Along the 17 is Montezuma's Castle Natl Monument.

    An alternate would be to use 89A to go through Sedona and the red rock country, if the weather permits. That runs parallel to the 17 and while 17 is scenic, 89A is beautiful!

    The route we have yet to explore is to use the 15 freeway to get up to Barstow, where you catch the 40. There are a couple of "old 66" routings from there. Folks on here can give you the particulars. The one near Seligman, AZ, is the scene that the movie CARS ("Radiator Springs") is based on.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Then north on I-17 to Flagstaff, where you will head west on the 40.
    I disagree - at Flagstaff, take US-89 north to AZ-64 and go in the east entrance.

    Head north on AZ-84,
    Typo - it's AZ-85.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default I agree.

    Definitely enter the GC via the east entrance, the same way as the Colorado River does. All along Desert View Driver - AZ-64 - there are view points and overlooks, which are a great introduction to the GC..


  5. Default

    Thanks Donna. Much appreciated and very helpful.

    Where woould you sugest we stay in between? After Grand Canyon we are off to Vegas. We have three nights to get from San Diego to Vegas.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default No single 'best'.

    There really is no single best route, just choices. Which route you decide upon will determine your overnight options but you should be able to make good progress to the GC on day 1. You could drive past Anza-Borrego desert state park towards Salton sea and to Joshua Tree NP before heading north on Amboy road to I70 and Needles, or from Joshua tree you could take 62 towards Lake Havasu City, staying somewhere in that area. On the way to Vegas you could detour onto route 66 through old town of Seligman to Kingman and possibly stop at the Hoover Dam. Sedona is another good option to the GC, if the weather co-operates. Best do a little research and see what appeals to you.

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