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  1. #1

    Default St Louis MO to Grand Canyon and back in June

    My family (including a 15YO and 13YO) is taking its first real road trip. We will depart St Louis, MO mid-June. MapQuest estimates 20 hours of driving though OK, north TX, and AZ. We hope to split this into 2 days with brief pit stops at some of the route 66 places. We are estimating 2 full days at Grand Canyon. We are plotting 3 days to drive home on northern route through CO.

    I'd like ideas on what to do/ see, Grand Canyon adventures, rafting options, tours, etc. I think we will do the southern rim. Should we drive to Hoover Dam?

    Also, where do we stay near the GC? The hotels in the park are full. It seems like the available hotels around the GC are kind of yucky. Flagstaff seems to be an hour away.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Mapquest is being very optimistic, it's assuming you will be driving over 70 mph AVERAGE including any delays and stops, which isn't going to happen. You would be doing well to average 55 by the time you get done. You are looking at 3 days from STL to the GC. It's 1500 miles which would be 750 miles a day, well above the commercial driver legal limit of 600 miles.

    The only hotels really near the GC are in Tusayan, then the Cameron Trading Post. Next closest are Tuba City, Williams, and Flagstaff. Tusayan is quite expensive, but the hotels are decent.

    3 days back on the northern route would also be pushing it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    I don't think you have time for Hoover dam and you would have to travel to find rafting as well. With 2 days at the Grand canyon it will give you a nice amount of time to check out all the viewpoints along the rim from the Old Watchtower all the way to Hermits rest. You don't need a tour, it's much nicer to do things at your own pace and be able to slip away from the crowds. You could do a mule ride or if you want a memorable [and expensive] ride you could take a 45min helicopter ride over the canyon. I agree that 2 overnight stops each way would be a comfortable pace, but you could arrive in GC by mid afternoon on day 3 and then leave mid afternoon on day 5 and head through Monument valley if you are tied to 7 days.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

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    Welcome to RTA!

    As one who has done that I-44/I-40 route you're mentioning, several times (including some with kids), your teenagers will revolt if they are forced to sit in the car for 14-15 hours each day for two days. If you do 600 miles a day for the first two days, then 300 miles on day 3, they'll be happier and so will you. My kids always did better if promised a pool at the motel.

    You could overnight at Clinton, OK, then Grants NM on the way out to GC. Dave probably has the best idea if you need to return through CO -- go through Monument Valley. It's probably going to mean three long, long days going that way, though, since much of the AZ/CO portion will be on 2-lane highways.





    Donna

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for all the feedback. Based upon your information, I've given our trip some more thought and think I will break it up into 3 days to the GC. Each leg will be about 7 hours of drive time. We will drive from STL to Oklahoma City, to Santa Fe (small detour) to Flagstaff.

    These items caught my eye:
    The Rock Café 114 W. Main Street Stroud, Oklahoma 74079
    Oklahoma route 66 museum 2229 Gary Boulevard Clinton, Oklahoma 73601 USA
    or
    National Route 66 Museum Complex 2717 W 3rd Street Elk City, Oklahoma 73644 USA
    Big Texan Steak Ranch 7701 I-40 East Amarillo, Texas 79118-6915
    Georgia O Keeffe Museum - Sante Fe
    The Plaza - Sante Fe
    San Miguel Mission - Sante Fe
    Painted Desert Visitor Center, Petrified Forest National Park - 1 Park Road Petrified Forest, Arizona 86028 USA
    Standin' on the Corner in Winslow Arizona 2nd Street and Cambell Winslow, Arizona 86047 USA (kids wont like this but I want a pic!)
    Meteor Crater Interstate 40, Exit 233 Winslow, Arizona 86047 USA

    Thoughts?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    If you are in Amarillo at mealtime, I can highly recommend the Big Texan. They are primarily a dinner place, but they do have a few lunch specials that aren't huge meals. The ribeye steaks are excellent. They also have a breakfast buffet from 7 to 11am. Also in Amarillo, the kids may like the Cadillac Ranch, bring your own spray paint, graffiti is encouraged.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Memories.

    Before you leave, get the teenagers a nice blank book, and encourage them to keep a journal. Need not end up being a novel, just their recollection of the day's activities, at the end of each day. These are wonderful to look back on and can be illustrated with photos afterwards. My grandchildren have a shelf full of journals from all the trips they have been on with their parents, since they were toddlers.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Trade off.

    Standin' on the Corner in Winslow Arizona 2nd Street and Cambell Winslow, Arizona 86047 USA (kids wont like this but I want a pic!) - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum....Klv7iLRy.dpuf
    Stop here with the Kids and a can of spray paint !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default Santa Fe

    One place your teens might enjoy is El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a living history museum in Santa Fe. They aren’t open every day, so be sure to check their hours of operation before you visit.

    Open June 1 through October 2, 2016
    Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
    Plus Special hours for Fairs and Festivals

    Each leg will be about 7 hours of drive time.
    OKC to Santa Fe will take more time than that. More like 9 hours.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    As has been stated before, electronic mapping programs such as Mapquest and Google will give you the most optimistic DRIVING time. But it doesn't allow for traffic slowdowns (construction, congestion, accidents), or for you to stop to get fuel, food, or use a rest area. Always take the *mileage* that these programs give you, and divide by 55 or 60 to get a more accurate prediction of time that it will take.


    Donna

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