Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default Mobile to Fresno with kids

    This is my first long road trip with the kids. They are pretty good travelers, all in all. We are planning a last minute road trip to Fresno from Mobile. We've flown in the past, but thought driving this time would give us and the kids a good chance to take in the West. The only stop that is planned right now is at my aunt's in Kerrville, TX. We figured we'd take in Carslbad, and try to do the Canyon, but really, we're wide open. We're planning on leaving the morning of the 3rd, but that puts us traveling on July 4th weekend, something I wasn't thinking about. I'd like to make it there in 3 days, but I'm beginning to think that's not realistic. My husband and I will be sharing the driving.
    So, my questions are:
    What is a must see?
    Just how crowded will the Grand Canyon be? Too crowded to be enjoyable?
    What's the best route in terms of scenic AND quick? I don't mind adding extra hours if they're enjoyable.
    Thanks for your input.

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

    Default more than hours

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Yeah, you need to be thinking about much more than 3 days for this trip. 3 days isn't going to work as a speed run when you've got kids involved. Realistically, you're going to need at least 4 days to just cover the miles, then add in more time for stops at the Grand Canyon, Family Visits, and Other attractions.

    Since you are talking about a holiday weekend, I'd expect you'll see pretty significant crowds at the Canyon, but at the same time, it is a very big place so at least people will be spread out. The biggest problem will likely be trying to find lodging at this late date.

    A couple other things along the general route that you've laid out would be the Petrified Forest, and White Sands, but I have a feeling you probably can't really add in too much more than you've already planned out.

  3. Default

    So, we've pushed the trip to 4 days, which is fine by me. Looking at the maps and books, there seems to be a scenic drive through the Hopi reservation to get to the South Rim. It will probably add a couple of hours on, so I'm wondering just how scenic it is. i.e., worth it? We're also planning on doing a little geocaching on the way, when the mood strikes and we need a driving break. I'm hoping there are some good ones along the way. Hows the cell service, btw?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default underestimating

    I really think you are still underestimating the amount of time you need for this trip.

    The route you've laid out is 2400 miles. With real world travel times, that's 10-12 hours a day on the road every day, before any significant stops, and if you keep to the freeway. You're route would have several stretchs of 2 lane roads, that's going to extend those times. At that pace, you really don't have any time to even explore the Grand Canyon or Carlsbad, and you certainly don't have time to add in scenic detours that add a few hours to your trip. Not to mention, it really is a pace that even on a speed run requires more miles than we'd generally recommend while traveling with kids.

    Cell service will generally be ok along the interstates, but again, that's really the least of your problems right now.

  5. Default

    so anyway, rain-parade Mike, what do you know about the road through the Hopi?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default the rain of reality

    I'm not sure exactly which road you are speaking of, but I know most of the roads on reservation lands are in very poor shape. You need to remember that these are soverign lands, so they don't get state funds to pay for roads, and these reservations are among the poorest areas in the country. Again, I'm not sure of the specifics because I don't know which roads you might be talking about, but I would be quite surprised if you could average more than 20-30 mph on most of those roads.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It Never Rains But It Pours

    With children and sightseeing involved, and a minimum of 2,500 miles to cover to just see the few places you've listed, and visiting family en route, you are looking at needing at least 5 days for a one way journey from Mobile to Fresno. That's just the way it is. Maybe if it were just you and your husband, and maybe if you didn't care to see anything, you could make it in 4, but it wouldn't be fun. If you really plan to see the Grand Canyon and to take one of the tours of Carlsbad Cavern and are still looking for more things to do, then you're looking at 6 or more days. Resign yourself, these things take time to do well, but it is time well spent to make life long memories for your children.

    My maps show AZ-264 from US-191 through the Hopi and Navajo Indian Reservations to Tuba City as scenic. I've driven it, and while it's very nice, it's hardly worth the additional hours it will put on your already overburdened trip. You'd do far better to just stay on I-40 to Flagstaff and making a short stop in the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park before visiting the Canyon . A couple of other worthwhile stops that won't take you that far out of your way are Petroglyph National Monument outside Albuquerque, a walk around Roswell NM, the Alamo in San Antonio, and maybe one of the wildlife reserves in the bayou country of south Louisiana.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-01-2009 at 10:00 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Arizona (and Calif.) with kids?
    By jorgen in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 06-15-2009, 04:11 PM
  2. family roadtrip sf to la
    By SMM in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 03-30-2009, 08:02 AM
  3. Chicago to Denver with 2 toddlers
    By cubbie_doug in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-24-2006, 11:36 PM
  4. RV trip from Deep South to Yellowstone
    By Tecque in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-15-2006, 11:30 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts