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  1. Default Phoenix to LA via grand canyon - a good road trip option?

    Hi there!

    sorry this is going to be a long'un. Am trying to work out a route for part of the South West/California road trip some friends and I are taking next month. We are getting thoroughly over excited about it and need some sensible informed advice about how much we can realistically do and which areas we should prioritise seeing.

    We fly into San Francisco in early April and fly out from there 19 days later. We're splitting the trip roughly into 3 parts - and we've got parts 2 and 3 sorted - this will be travelling up the California cost from LA and spending a good amount of time in San Franisco at the end.

    HOWEVER, the first bit of the trip is proving tricky. We want to get out into the great outdoors, do some hiking drive through great landscapes, Camp if possible. My friend hasn't seen the grand canyon so that HAS to remedied!

    We will have about 6 days to do this part of the trip. My thought was to fly straight out of San Fran to phoenix then drive to LA from there spending a couple of days at the grand canyon on the way. I would love to see bits of New Mexico but don't think we'll have time on this trip.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a 6/7 day trip from phoenix to LA via grand canyon. (Bit of an odd indirect route looking at the map)Our main priorities are great scenery, nature, interesting cultural/historic sights, atmospheric small towns etc.. We are 3 fun loving, romantic natured gals who are happy to rough it a bit an do things on the cheap.We love going to gigs and music festivals etc.. but we'll be doing all that in California so not such a priority here (though any great country music spots wouldn't go amiss)

    My friends suggestion was to drive the whole way instead of flying to phoenix doing a loop round from san fran - to grand canyon back to San fran via california coast - However I'm not sure we'll have enough time and seems a bit silly to drive to grand canyon through Nevada when we've got no interest in going to Las Vegas which would be the natural stop off.

    Other suggestion was fly in to Denver and travel down to LA from there via grand canyon

    Yikes its all so confusing! - any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry to ramble on. Please ask me to clarify any points if I've not been clear.

    Thanks for your consideration.

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

    Default leaving out

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its always hard to really come up with a good plan for someone when you are only looking at 1/3 of the story.

    Are you visiting places like Yosemite, Death Valley at any point of the trip?I would agree that driving to Grand Canyon straight from San Francisco would be the way that I would ideally approach this. With 6 days you could do it, but it might for you to push things a little faster than you'd like.

    Personally, I wouldn't recommend flying to Denver, unless you really want to see some things in Colorado and Utah. By the time you factor in the time to fly, you'll spend even more time trying to do this than if you just drive from SFO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Choices

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A forums.

    I actually agree with your friend on this one and personally would opt for a loop. With 19 days in total and 7 days or so to visit GC and get to LA starting from SF is certainly doable, but it's something you must decide between you.
    By taking the road trip you could visit Yosemite valleyfor a night and witness the spectacular waterfalls flowing and even Sequoia NP and the giant trees, which are the largest living things on earth. With 2 or 3 nights travelling to GC you could spend a couple of nights at the South rim and still have a couple of nights to get to LA. [As below]
    No checking in and out of airports, hanging around in terminals or expense of a one way car rental.

    But back to your original question, if you did fly into Phoenix you could head to Sedona and nearby Red rock country before heading towards Flagstaff. Here you could go up the 89 and take a detour to Monument valley or head into the South rim of the Grand canyon along Desert view drive [64]. You can stop at the old watchtower for your first views of the Colorado entering the canyon and stop at many other viewpoints along the way. You could then head South on 64 to exit the park towards I-40 and Williams. You could choose to take a detour onto part of the original route '66 through Seligman all the way to Oatman if you wanted to. It has some great little memorabilia stores and diners along the way.
    Lake Havasucould be a possible stop on the way to LA and you might want to make another at Joshua tree NP.

    Have a chat with your friends and when you have more questions just ask.


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