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  1. #1
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Phoenix to Las Vegas - 9 days

    We are planning spring break trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas with two kids. Does it seem doable or are we trying to accomplish too much?

    Here is our itinerary:

    April 8 - early morning arrival into Phoenix, drive through Jerome to Sedona, stop at the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, visit Chapel of the Holly Rocks, time permitting, Montezuma's Castle. Drive to Grand Canyon, late check-in.

    April 9 – Grand Canyon, staying near the park, hiking.

    April 10 – another day in the area, leaving for Canyon de Chelly in the afternoon, arriving to Chinle late at night

    April 11 – exploring Canyon de Chelly. Do we have enough time for a full day canyon trip arranged with Thunderbird Lodge considering the fact that we are planning to leave for Monument Valley (staying in Kayenta)? If not, we will try to take a half-day trip and a hike to the White House Ruin. Leaving for Kayenta in the afternoon.

    April 12 - tour of Monument Valley (do we need to arrange it in advance?), leaving for Page in the afternoon

    April 13 – staying in Page, Antelope Canyon, possibly, boat tour of Lake Powell, leaving for Bryce Canyon, late check-in

    April 14 – exploring Bryce Canyon, staying another night there

    April 15 – more of Bryce Canyon or not, short tour of Zion on the way to Las Vegas. Hope to make it early enough for a show in Las Vegas

    April 16 – Las Vegas. Red eye flight home.

    Any ideas, warnings and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
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    Default Road wisdom & strategy...

    Road Greetings Nsk and welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    We are planning spring break trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas with two kids. Does it seem doable or are we trying to accomplish too much?
    Well, your plate's kind of full, but I still think it is doable. Just don't put too much pressure on yourself, maybe you won't be able to do it all in a single trip. It all depends on a lot of factors, predictable or not...but especially on the endurance of your kids!:-) You have to be prepared to handle the traditionnal "Are we there yet?" matter with patience and strategy. How about some tips on how to keep the kids entertained?

    April 8 - early morning arrival into Phoenix, drive through Jerome to Sedona, stop at the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, visit Chapel of the Holly Rocks, time permitting, Montezuma's Castle. Drive to Grand Canyon, late check-in.
    Jerome is awesome, magnificient views, old buildings, nice people. Stop by the fudge place while you're there and spoil your kids with a tasty treat.:-) I doubt you'll have any time left for other attractions than the ones you listed above, but if you do, you should visit Oak Creek Canyon and Red Rock State Park in Sedona.

    April 11 – exploring Canyon de Chelly. Do we have enough time for a full day canyon trip arranged with Thunderbird Lodge considering the fact that we are planning to leave for Monument Valley (staying in Kayenta)? If not, we will try to take a half-day trip and a hike to the White House Ruin. Leaving for Kayenta in the afternoon.

    April 12 - tour of Monument Valley (do we need to arrange it in advance?), leaving for Page in the afternoon
    Here's a great post by Bob Schaller, our Arizona expert, including some useful information on Canyon De Chelly and Monument Valley.

    Have a great trip!:-)
    Gen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Potomac, MD
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    Default

    Jen, thanks a lot for the prompt response!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    Jerome is awesome, magnificent views, old buildings, nice people. Stop by the fudge place while you're there and spoil your kids with a tasty treat.
    Could you please tell me the name of the place? Or there is only one fudge place in Jerome and I can hardly miss it?:-) I was also thinking of eating at the Palace-Haunted Hamburger while we are there, a lot of good reviews on this board! By the way, what other interesting, special, authentic places where to eat along the way would you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    I doubt you'll have any time left for other attractions than the ones you listed above, but if you do, you should visit Oak Creek Canyon and Red Rock State Park in Sedona.
    I am open for suggestions. May be, I should trade visit to Montezuma castle for Red Rock State Park or stop in Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village for Oak Creek Canyon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    Well, your plate's kind of full, but I still think it is doable..
    This is my main concern. I was thinking of eliminating either Canyon de Chellly or Monument Village from the list but so far am being optimistic :-) Besides, we are planning to take organized tours at both places.

    From what I've read, Lake Powell seems to be the least impressive but I think the change of scenery (and boat tour instead of hiking) would be nice besides Antelope Canyon seems to be a short yet exciting walk not to be missed. But this stop might be another candidate for making the trip less hectic...

    We are also scheduling 2-nights hotel stays twice to pace ourselves and give our kids time to sleep in (well, sort of…)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default I love you "planners"...

    Quote Originally Posted by nsk
    We are planning spring break trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas with two kids. Does it seem doable or are we trying to accomplish too much?
    Unlike many of our members on this forum I rarely do itineraries when I roadtrip -- so I am always impressed by those who are able impose structure on what it is, for me, an inherently free-form style of travel. Personally, I think the schedule might be pushing envelope a little, but technically it all looks doable. A couple of thoughts:
    time permitting, Montezuma's Castle. Drive to Grand Canyon, late check-in.
    An understatement... I really like Montezuma's castle (field report here) and even though the paved trail is relatively short (1/3 mile) I don't think you can really see it in less than two hours and when coupled with the other destinations mentioned for this first day -- this could be a 12 hour marathon if you stop and enjoy those other places too.
    exploring Canyon de Chelly. Do we have enough time for a full day canyon trip arranged with Thunderbird Lodge considering the fact that we are planning to leave for Monument Valley (staying in Kayenta)? If not, we will try to take a half-day trip and a hike to the White House Ruin. Leaving for Kayenta in the afternoon.
    Tough call, short answer -- If you can afford the time -- do the all day trip in Canyon de Chelly and simply drive on the public roads of Monument Valley.
    tour of Monument Valley (do we need to arrange it in advance?), leaving for Page in the afternoon
    In years past, you could drive yourself down the private toll road administered by the Navajo Tribal Park -- an awesome place in early morning and late afternoon -- but the road is really in bad shape and so these days local guides do that route. However, given your time constraints, I would just drive the US-highways.
    staying in Page, Antelope Canyon, possibly, boat tour of Lake Powell, leaving for Bryce Canyon, late check-in
    Do the dam tour, it is quite good. Take your time in Antelope Canyon and get to Bryce Canyon in time to see the sunset hitting the rocks!
    short tour of Zion on the way to Las Vegas. Hope to make it early enough for a show in Las Vegas
    We did a similar leg a few months ago -- read here for a field report.
    Las Vegas. Red eye flight home.
    Whew! Now that is a whirlwind trip. Here are some of our favorite things in Las Vegas.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-15-2006 at 03:21 PM. Reason: fixed a typo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
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    Default Fudge, eateries & other attractions

    Nsk,

    Could you please tell me the name of the place? Or there is only one fudge place in Jerome and I can hardly miss it?:-)
    I believe the name of the place is Copper Country Fudge, and yes, you can hardly miss it, it is located right on Main Street.

    I was also thinking of eating at the Palace-Haunted Hamburger while we are there, a lot of good reviews on this board!
    I wanted to try that restaurant very badly but it wasn't lunch time...Ahem and I had too much fudge!:-) I heard the Red Rooster Café is another place not to be missed.

    By the way, what other interesting, special, authentic places where to eat along the way would you recommend?
    Here's a list of tried and tested roadside eateries and a link to our Road Eats page.

    This is my main concern. I was thinking of eliminating either Canyon de Chellly or Monument Village from the list but so far am being optimistic :-) Besides, we are planning to take organized tours at both places.
    I would recommend not to strike off any possibility, you'll establish your priorities as you go along. Canyon De Chelly and Monument Valley are two marvellous attractions, I wouldn't want to miss any of them. Personally, If I was running out of time, I would at least consider taking a half a day guided tour through Canyon De Chelly and just drive through Monument Valley on route 163.

    From what I've read, Lake Powell seems to be the least impressive but I think the change of scenery (and boat tour instead of hiking) would be nice besides Antelope Canyon seems to be a short yet exciting walk not to be missed. But this stop might be another candidate for making the trip less hectic...
    I've never been to Lake Powell, but it is definitely on my "to-do" list for my next road trip to the South West. Like I said earlier, every place in that area looks impressive to me so I doubt I'll find Lake Powell least fabulous. The last time I went to AZ, I had to pass Antelope Canyon because I was running out of time and I regretted it so badly. Cork Screw Canyon is known as one of the most beautiful slot canyon in the States.

    I guess it's up to you and your family, wether you want to visit every attraction or skip a few parts and spend more time in some places. Get your family involved in the preparation of the trip, gather informations booklets and pictures, start a poll, ask them what they absolutely don't want to miss!

    Happy planning!
    Gen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
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    8

    Default It is only getting better!

    Unlike many of our members on this forum I rarely do itineraries when I roadtrip -- so I am always impressed by those who are able impose structure on what it is, for me, an inherently free-form style of travel.
    Not this time, not with the kids, not during the spring break when everyone hits the road :-)

    Personally, I think the schedule might be pushing envelope a little, but technically it all looks doable. A couple of thoughts: An understatement... I really like Montezuma's castle (field report here) and even though the paved trail is relatively short (1/3 mile) I don't think you can really see it in less than two hours and when coupled with the other destinations mentioned for this first day -- this could be a 12 hour marathon if you stop and enjoy those other places too.
    Sounds good, then we might skip Chapel of the Holy Cross, make a short stop in Sedona for some pictures and spend as much time as possible at the Montezuma's Castle.

    Tough call, short answer -- If you can affard the time -- do the all day trip in Canyon de Chelly and simply drive on the public roads of Monument Valley.
    I'll probably call the lodge and ask them what time the full day trip ends and if we would have enough time to get to Kayenta if we leave early in the evening. We'll go from there...I'd rather do one leg of the trip per day.

    And thank you very much for all the links, the information is priceless and I will surely use it!

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    Default

    Jen,

    Thank you for the Road Eats link, I'll try to map some of them to our trip! I really appreciate your feedback, everything is so much easier when you can talk it over with experts :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    9,492

    Default Chapel of the Holy Cross

    Quote Originally Posted by nsk
    Not this time, not with the kids, not during the spring break when everyone hits the road :-)
    Point taken, what I was trying to imply is that roadtrip vacations don't have that many "givens" -- it is lot different from going to an amusement park, where nearly all of the "trip variables" have been conveniently removed from the equation. RoadTrips are, by nature, unpredictable and subject to change.
    Sounds good, then we might skip Chapel of the Holy Cross, make a short stop in Sedona for some pictures
    Well.... the views from the parking area are really great. I would vote for driving up there and seeing the view... Oak Creek Canyon is really great too.
    And thank you very much for all the links, the information is priceless and I will surely use it!
    We aim to please.

    Mark

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
    Location
    Potomac, MD
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    Default

    Point taken, what I was trying to imply is that roadtrip vacations don't have that many "givens" -- it is lot different from going to an amusement park, where nearly all of the "trip variables" have been conveniently removed from the equation. RoadTrips are, by nature, unpredictable and subject to change.
    And I indeed expect some "variables"! That's the beauty of any trip, I am sure I'll be able to relax and appreciate every minute of it, planned or not planned, just trying to optimize :-)
    Well.... the views from the parking area are really great. I would vote for driving up there and seeing the view...
    just got added back to the list! drive and see the views

    Oak Creek Canyon is really great too.
    just in case, will have direction on hand and play by the ear

    We aim to please.
    well, you succeeded!

    Thanks again,
    Maria

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