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  1. Default Phoenix, palm springs, grand canyon and ???

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Phoenix, Laughlin and Palm Springs to visit friends, we are going to tour in between the visiting, I've never been to the SW so a trip to the GC is a must, and I would love as much Native culture and history as I can work into the trip. We are planning between one and two weeks, we are open. We can fly into Phoenix or Palm Springs. Idea is to leave late Feb and return no later than the first week in March. I've read the GC stickies so I think I can figure out where to stay and how to use our time there.

    Do any of you amazing Road Trippers have any ideas of itinerary, routes, must sees or favorite destinations to help us start organizing this trip?

    Thank you
    Ann C.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some Basics

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First of all, while mid-day temperatures in the desert southwest can be surprisingly pleasant to people who aren't expecting them, that is not true for all the locations you'll be visiting. In particular, the rim of the Grand Canyon is at roughly 8,000 feet in elevation. In February you can expect freezing temperatures on any given day and even occasional road closures due to snow. It's also a possibility that the views will be obscured by low-lying clouds or fog. So keep a weather eye out when you are actually ready to head that way.

    I'd also plan on doing a full loop from Phoenix back to Phoenix. That will significantly reduce your car rental costs. And Phoenix, being a major hub, should offer significantly lower air fares than Palm Springs. I'd also plan on making the loop in a counter-clockwise direction for a couple of reasons. It will mean that you might have a bit more flexibility to see the Grand Canyon when the weather is good, and making the loop in that direction means that the canyon itself will be on 'your' side of the road as you drive through the park. You won't be able to see it from the road, but it will make pulling off into the parking areas a bit easier.

    As for other bits and pieces... Plan on using AZ-179 from I-19 into Sedona and then Alt-AZ-89 up through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. That's a gorgeous road. There are also a number of worthwhile national monuments in the Flagstaff area that you should consider, including Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater and Wupatki. Use US-89/AZ64 up to the Canyon and then continue on AZ-64 to Williams and I-40 to Kingman. If you want to drive the longest remaining stretch of old Route 66, leave I-40 at Seligman and take AZ-66 through Peach Springs to Kingman. Then take AZ-68 to Bullhead City/Laughlin.

    Another chance for a bit of southwest 'adventure' will come by using 'back' roads between Laughlin and Palm Springs. Abut 17 miles west of the junction of I-40 a US-95, take the exit for the National Trail Highway and follow that to Amboy CA. There turn south on Amboy Road and follow that to Twentynine Palms and finally CA-52 to the Palm Springs area. From there it's a simple matter of taking I-10 back to Phoenix.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Typo alert:

    Plan on using AZ-179 from I-17 into Sedona.

  4. Default

    Thank you, AZBUCK! Exactly the kind of help we were looking for.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    ...In particular, the rim of the Grand Canyon is at roughly 8,000 feet in elevation. In February you can expect freezing temperatures on any given day and even occasional road closures due to snow. It's also a possibility that the views will be obscured by low-lying clouds or fog. So keep a weather eye out when you are actually ready to head that way.

    It will mean that you might have a bit more flexibility to see the Grand Canyon when the weather is good, and making the loop in that direction means that the canyon itself will be on 'your' side of the road as you drive through the park. You won't be able to see it from the road, but it will make pulling off into the parking areas a bit easier...

    AZBuck
    We were at the Grand Canyon south rim in mid March earlier this year, and there was still some snow/ice at the rim. We started hiking down early in the morning with sweatshirt, pants, and beanie hats... then by 10-11am we were in short-sleeves and no hat, sweating like crazy. But definitely keep an eye on the weather!

    And we drove up with the Canyon on 'our' side of the road, and it was SO nice to just pull off and get back on at each of the overlooks!

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