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  1. Default my southwest itinerary

    hi everyone,
    I had one week off so i decided to check out some parts of the southwest i have not yet seen. I am just posting my itinerary here; of course any tips/suggestions/warnings etc. would be really appreciated:)
    I am flying into Vegas and renting a car for the week.

    Day1: get up early and drive to zion national park. Hike around, and camp there for the night.

    Day 2: early drive to bryce canyon national park. Hike and cmap there for the night.

    Day 3: Drive to the touristy south rim of grand canyon [north rim will be closed still] just because it seems like one of those things i should do! Spend a littel bit of time there and then go to Flagstaff for evening/night. Maybe treat myself and my gf to a nice dinner and B&B.
    question: how will this drive be? Any road suggestions to get from bryce canyon to GC? Will the roads be too icy/dangerous etc.?

    Day 4: Drive to Canyon De Chelly. I need tips on what to do there. I will also camp there for the night.

    Day 5: Spend the morning at Chelly and then drive to Chaco in NM. Get there in evening. Just relax and camp there.

    Day 6: spend some time at chaco- visit some sites and then start the drive back to vegas. Maybe visit the petrified forest NP on way back if time permits.

    Day 7: back to vegas

    Any tips? Do I need a 4x4 to complete this trip? If anyone ahs any suggestions on driving hours/roads/any unrealistic plans i may have...all input is sooo welcome! Thanks guys!!

  2. Default

    Drive to the touristy south rim of grand canyon [north rim will be closed still] just because it seems like one of those things i should do! Spend a littel bit of time there and then go to Flagstaff for evening/night. Maybe treat myself and my gf to a nice dinner and B&B.
    question: how will this drive be? Any road suggestions to get from bryce canyon to GC? Will the roads be too icy/dangerous etc.?
    Despite your idea that the South Rim is "touristy," you will find it an awesome place. I wouldn't sell it short. I have spent days at a time there and not been bored.

    If you like beef, try the Horseman's Lodge for dinner at Flagstaff. It is on US89 north of town. If you head to Flagstaff from the east rim drive, via Cameron, you'll pass right by it on your way. The roads will be fine -- try US89 & US89A thru Kanab, Fredonia and Jacob Lake.

    Drive to Canyon De Chelly. I need tips on what to do there. I will also camp there for the night.
    The campground is easy to find. Take as much tour as you have time for and can afford -- the Navajo guide will take you back into the canyon bottom in a 6-wheel drive utility vehicle with nothing but a driveshaft brake. The tour is spectacular, dusty, often uncomfortable, and worth every single penny. I recommend the tours originating at the Thunderbird Lodge -- they're the original. The only place you can hike to on your own (without a guide) is the White House ruin, from the Canyon de Chelly overlook drive (on the south side, the north side is called Canyon del Muerto). It's an easy hike down to the ruin and back.

    Want to learn a little Navajo? "Chinle" is "where the water comes out." Above the Canyon, you'll find Tsaile. "Tsaile" means... "where the water goes IN." (top of canyon, bottom of canyon, Navajos are pretty methodical, eh?)

    Spend the morning at Chelly and then drive to Chaco in NM. Get there in evening. Just relax and camp there.
    Take Indian 64 to Tsaile, Indian 12 down past Wheatfields Lake to NM SR 134, that to US491, then up to Shiprock, and across through Farmington to south on US550. This is a spectacular drive, through and over the Chuska Mountains. Turn onto CR 7900, and CR 7950 to get to the park. Access to the park is permanently closed via SR57 from the north, and from the south through Crownpoint is NOT a recommended route -- it is often impassable. If you want to try that way, call the park for the latest information FIRST.

    I've done these roads all year round with 2wd pick-ups -- no problem. There can however, be seasonal problems during heavy-storm times. Not expected this time of year!

  3. Default car

    Thank you so much for that post! I have totally noted all the roads you mentioned and will follow them! Beef it is on my menu in flagstaff! Very excited.

    Quedtion: just to clarify, so in your opinion i would be ok driving a simple car i can rent in vegas? [no need for an SUV or anything?] That would actually be ideal, since i noramlly dont drive an SUV and would probably feel more comfortable driving a sedan. Thank you again.

    I will post a journal ont his once i am back. Also working on a journal of a road trip i took last winter from jersey to southern new mexico.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    169

    Default passenger car

    I did basically that same trip a couple times with rentals out of Vegas. No problems with a "regular little car". I took the guided Navajo "jeep" ride into Canyon de Chelley & also highly recommend it.

    If time at Bryce Canyon (might need to be booked in advance) the 1/2 day horseback (mules actually) ride down into the canyon is fun.

  5. Default Sedans OK

    Yes, you won't have any trouble in a passenger car on the roads I recommended -- the only exception is the southern route into Chaco Canyon via Crown Point (which I'd avoid anyway) -- I haven't driven that one but it is my understanding that it is rough and is not maintained -- probably fit for 4wd only.

    You're really going to enjoy this trip!
    Bob

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