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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tustin, California, United States

    Default Sedona, AZ - Spring 2009

    Well, thanks to a 3-hour presentation about how you really should invest in a timeshare (yes, I kindly declined), I was given the reward of a week-long stay at any of the 60 timeshare resorts dotted throughout the US.

    My family and I decided that, even though Sedona, AZ, was not our most favorite destination from the last road trip, we could use it as a "base camp" to visit some more scenic areas in Arizona, since it's more or less smack dab in the middle of the state.

    So we're thinking about an 8-day stay for the latter half of April 2009. From the last 4 road trips, we've seen most of the highlights, including all of the National Parks. However the mom can't seem to be torn away by this "Arizona Highways" magazine and is insisting on seeing all these gorgeous places, although a great deal of them are quite "off-road" and out of reach for them.

    So once again, here I am plotting out some stops for us. For the first day or two, we'll probably head over to the southeast portion of the state (since we skipped this last time) and at least check out the town of Tombstone and the nearby area of Chiricahua National Monument. (AZBuck I kept your notes previously about Bisbee and Douglas. Anything else in this area or does that pretty much cover it?)

    After that we'll head up to Sedona and begin our free 7-day stay and trek out to different areas. Here are some of the things on my itinerary so far:

    Phoenix (Can you believe it? I have yet to actually drive through this city. We'll go through here on our way from Tombstone to Sedona. Anything cool to do here around lunchtime? Any tall skyscrapers I can scale? Oh, mustn't forget the state capitol!)
    Clarkdale (Supposed to be some kind of train ride through the mountains here. Doable, yes?)
    Sunset Crater Volcano NM
    Wupatki NM
    Walnut Canyon NM
    Snowbowl (Is there anything up there besides ski resorts? Doesn't look like the Skyride will be open for the season quite yet.)

    Is there anything else in the Sedona area that can be daytripped? We're willing to travel 100 miles out. As I said we've seen all National Parks, a good portion of the National Monuments (i.e. Montezuma), save for the ones I listed above, and Flagstaff.

    This will be my first road trip with my new Canon 50D digital SLR. After a few more lens purchases (I need telephoto and wide-angle), I will be very excited to take this trip, from a photographer perspective.

    All suggestions welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Southern Arizona

    The places you have listed for southeast Arizona are certainly some of the best, but there is one that I highly recommend that you've left off, Kartchner Caverns. Another location that would be high on my list would be Fort Bowie, but be forewarned that it is only reachable by a 1½ to 2 mile hike after a moderate drive down a dirt road.

    Now, if you end up heading for Phoenix from anywhere east of say Wilcox, I'd almost recommend using US-191, US-70, and US-60 rather than I-10. Maybe it's just that familiarity breeds contempt, but I-10 through Tucson and between Tucson and Phoenix is one of my least favorite stretches of road. It is under construction in Tucson at the moment (and for the next year or two) and then the rest of it up to Phoenix is very heavily traveled with lots of truck traffic. The alternative I've suggested is, of course, slower, but will at least hold your interest and is a fair bit more scenic. If you do decide to come through Tucson and are looking for a highlight there, I would suggest the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (more of an arboretum/zoo) as my prime choice.

    Some other places to consider in Sedona's general area are the towns of Jerome and Prescott, some of the lesser known Sinagua Culture ruins such as Tuzigoot and Walnut Canyon, and a personal favorite of mine, the drive through Oak Creek Canyon.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tustin, California, United States

    Default Thanks for the 411

    Great info, AZBuck.

    We were through and around Tucson (and Saguaro NP) on the last road trip in October, so we may have seen enough to not worry about it this time around. Are all the cacti in full bloom in mid-to-late April? If so then we might pass through one of the Saguaro NP districts again and take some pics.

    I suggested the Caverns and the Fort to the folks, but we only have enough time for one full day in the southeast, and I think their biggest priority is the two mining towns (Bisbee, Douglas) and the National Monument. They want to do that mine tour in Bisbee so I have to make sure we allow enough time for that. I believe Carlsbad Caverns spoiled them and they weren't thinking about any more caverns for a while (besides which the "Big Room" tour closes a week after we get there). Also by the time we get up to Fort Bowie it will be late afternoon and I don't know if they'll have enough energy for that kind of a hike. (But who knows, they might surprise me!)

    However I will probably take your "scenic" route to Phoenix instead of I-10, as I agree with you on the monotony of that stretch of road. (The last drive from Tucson to Las Cruces was quite sleep-inducing.) We'll probably lodge in the Safford area that night so we don't have to push it. The next day we'll take the rest of Hwy 191, 70, and 60 to reach Phoenix, do some touring, and then make the way up to Sedona.

    Thanks for the extra spots around Sedona. We'll probably have time to hit them all, and still have a day or two leftover for relaxing and staying about town.

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