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  1. Default road trip to the southwest--itinerary review

    I was going to post this under the atlanta to grand canyon thread since i'm doing the same trip, but thought i'd start a new thread since i'd like everyones input on my schedule. I've been planning this trip for a while and in fact have already made hotel reservations at several stops along the way.

    I plan on doing a lot of hiking on this trip and have been trying to workout in preperation of this trip. however, the first hike i went on this year in georgia which had a 1750 foot gain in 2.2 miles, which i figured would simulate going up and down in the grand canyon. well i did the hike fine, but for the next week i could barely walk as some fluid seemed to build up in my left knee. So I'm definitely looking for some advice on non hiking activities in the areas i'm going to in case this happens on my trip. Any other advice would also be appreciated!


    Day 1: Atlanta to Rayville, LA 477 miles

    Day 2: Rayville, LA to Abilene, TX 487 miles

    Day 3: Abilene, TX to Carlsbad, NM 291 miles
    Guided Tour of Kings Palace in the afternoon
    Self Guided tour of the Big Room if time

    Day 4: Hike at Guadalupe Mountain National Park in the morning
    Drive on to El Paso in the late afternoon

    Day 5: Visit White Sands National Monument in the morning
    Stop at a winery along I 10 possibly
    Drive to Wilcox, AZ in the late afternoon

    Day 6: Hike at Chiricahua in the morning
    Maybe check out Tombstone, AZ in the afternoon
    Drive to Tuscon
    Go to a night viewing at Kitt Peak National Observatory

    Day 7: Go to Sonora Desert Museum in the morning
    Drive to Cottonwood, AZ in the afternoon

    Day 8-9: Hike in the Cocino National Forest (potential hikes include Boynton Canyon trail, Devils Bridge, Lost Canyon, Deer Hill, Inner Basin Trail #29), visit montezuma castle and well.

    Day 10: Drive to Williams, AZ
    Grand Canyon: Hike 2-3 miles down on the Bright Angel Trail in the afternoon.

    Day 11: Grand Canyon: Hike 2-3 miles down on the South Kaibab Trail

    Day 12: Leave Williams hike at the Petrified Forrest....start heading back to Atlanta.

    I was thinking about stopping off at either canyon de chelly, bandelier, chaco, or el malpais on the way home. not interested in a guided tour at the canyon de chelly thats why i'm leaning towards one of the other 3 choices.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this long post!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Great Trip

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    That looks like a great trip to me. Even if you can't hike as much as you want, I think you'll find most of these areas you are planning to go are great even for driving tours. At the Grand Canyon for example, even if you only hike for one day, there is still plenty to enjoy just by going to the various lookout points on the rim.

    You'll probably get some more specifics from people with more experience in the Southwest, but I think you're off to a great start.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Looks good to me!

    I think you've planned a great trip!

    There is a LOT to do at the Grand Canyon even if you find you can't hike. If your knees can handle a bit of walking on level ground, that is. Along the South Rim there are several interesting visitor centers and places with architectural value to check out. Don't miss Kolb Studio, Lookout Studio, and the Hopi House! And just driving along the South Rim and getting out at the different lookouts is worth it. Each view is different and equally amazing. Don't miss the Tusayen Ruins & Museum and the Desert View area with it's amazing Watchtower.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default I'm a little worried about Rayville

    Not sure about hotel accomodations there. VERY small town and off of I-20 quite a ways (the roads in that part of Louisiana aren't very good and have lots of farm traffic - I've been stuck behind many a tractor near there). However, you're less than 25 miles from Monroe at Rayville and Monroe has a ton of hotels, restaurants, etc.

    Hiking - Most places have shorter trails and driving tours as alternatives. I'm asthmatic and often have trouble breathing in the higher altitudes. So, I'll usually take the short trails to sites rather than the longer trecks into the wilderness. I've never felt like I was missing much.


  5. Default thanks for the replies

    thanks for all the feedback so far. Regarding Rayville----I pretty much randomly picked this city as its about the halfway point from atlanta to abilene...i'm just going to stop wherever I can find a hotel around there. Thanks for the heads up about Monroe.

    Keep the suggestions coming!

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