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  1. Default From Vegas to Sedona and back - Early December

    My girlfriend and I are going to Sedona for a week, and have decided to fly into Las Vegas. We extended the edges of our vacation to include a day on each side for driving and seeing all that there is to see on the way. No terrible need to soak it all in - but I'd love to get to see as much in the drives as possible. I've been reading about "the southern route" and hitting the hoover dam, but I'm not sure what the northern route would be. Zion/Bryce?

    Any ideas for routes or for things to see in and around a week in Sedona I'd really appreciate!! Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Lovely Sedona

    You will enjoy it. Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    Driving to Sedona from Las Vegas via Hoover Dam is a nice drive. You might want to add a detour to Oatman. This report about the Oatman to Williams drive should give you some ideas.

    I think a drive through Grand Canyon-Zion would be a great circle back to Vegas but you're really going to need two days to do this. If you skip Grand Canyon (and you really shouldn't unless you've already seen it), it's do-able to drive up to Zion then Vegas in one day but it would be a very long day. So, if you do that, leave early and don't expect to get into Vegas until evening.

    If you don't want to take an extra day for that,

  3. Default this is so exciting!

    thank you for the link to the article - that leg of the trip is looking like it's a bit less complicated - so i'm NOW thinking that we should do that one back to vegas from sedona, and go the northern longer route in. if we do that, i was thinking of driving to zion or bryce the day we get in, then we'll have gotten at least that two or three hours out of the way - leaving the whole next day to get from the utah parks to sedona. does that sound more do-able? i haven't seen the GC, but my gf has.

    also, how do i go about finding out actual routes? (and is this a silly question? is it as easy as google maps?)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Yes, it is exciting!

    I think you're going to have a great trip.

    I agree that it might make more sense to do the longer route to Sedona and then return to Vegas via Oatman.

    What time does your plane lane in Vegas? If you get an earlier enough start, you could easily see Zion and Bryce in the same day. It's only about 122 miles from Vegas to the entrance to Bryce. You can drive through Zion on the way.

    Zion only allows individual cars to drive through the main road of the park. Exploring farther into the park requires taking shuttle busses. Again, with an early enough start, you should be able to do at least a short shuttle trip. But you will be limited on time to make any hikes.

    I'm not able to give you any specifics about Zion. When we were there, I was feeling poorly. I had done a dumb thing the day before and gotten a bit of heat exhaustion going. Zion was very hot and I just couldn't handle it. So we drove in, enjoyed the air-conditioned visitor center, and then drove out again to Bryce...where I enjoyed cooling off in the pool at my campsite. Sorry. But the lesson here is to drink lots of water. Lots.

    Bryce can easily be seen by car. We only had a short whistle-stop there ourselves. We drove to the end of the road and then stopped at the various look-outs on the way back out. Except for a few short walks to the top of ridges to get better views, we didn't have to hike to see anything. Of course, you could if you have time though. I think it took us about 3 hours. Of course, you could always linger longer but our time was tight.

    I'm a bit confused on what to advise you for a place to spend the night. Grand Canyon is very cool and worth more time. So I don't think you should do the addition 420 miles that day AND Grand Canyon, too. So I'm thinking a good stop for the night would be in Page. If that seems too far, then at least try to get to Kanab.

    You will enter Grand Canyon on the east end of the rim drive. Be sure to stop at the first overlook, the Watchtower. Cool buildings and first view into the canyon. We stopped at every overlook between Watchtower and Grand Canyon Village. It's well worth it. Each place is a bit different. All equally magical in their own way. Also watch for the stop at Tusayen Ruins.

    When we did this trip, we went the other direction. We stayed in Flagstaff leaving at about 8am, drove to Grand Canyon Village, drove east along the rim with Watchtower as our last stop in the park, and then spent the night in Page. We didn't get into Page until well after dinner time.

    The next morning, we did the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, driving to the various overlooks, then stopped in Kanab for lunch and a quick tour at the kitschy old movie studio sets there, then did Zion, then went to the campground for the night at the entrance of Bryce (Ruby's Inn & CG, cool place).

    We did Bryce the next morning and headed north towards home.

    The North Rim is very cool. It's quite different than the South Rim. But there's no way you can do the North Rim, then South Rim in one day. To see the North Rim, you'd need to take another night away from Sedona.

    Now, if you want to do the North Rim, you could stay in Kanab or Fedonia, do the North Rim the next day and drive straight to Sedona. While it would make a long day, visiting the South Rim is do-able as a daytrip during your stay in Sedona.

    Lots of choices! You're never gonna see it all so don't sweat over it. Just make the choices that seem best for the both of you and go for it. No matter what you decide, it will be a great trip!

    Here's a map that will give you a better picture of what I'm talking about.

    I recommend using a combination of paper maps and an online program like Google, Mapquest, Yahoo, etc. Whichever you prefer. AAA also has an excellent trip planner. What I like about it is that, if you zoom in, you can see the attractions, restaurants, hotels, etc. along the route. You don't have to be a member to use it.

    But it's not so simple as plugging things into the mapping program and calling it good. Sometimes people knowledgeable about the area can spot pitfalls and offer better, alternative routes.

    You could play around with the map I sent you or do your own with another program, whatever, and then I suggest you come back here and give us your planned route, itinerary, etc. and then we can help you further tweak things, if needed.

    Happy planning!

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