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  1. Default Solo Southwest roadtripper needs YOUR advice!

    Hello, all. I'm headed to Vegas next week to meet some friends and plan to take off on my own a few days beforehand to explore the area around the Grand Canyon. Think "Thelma and Louise" without Louise. I'd love some advice.

    Here's the plan:
    -- 4/6: Arrive in Vegas at 3:30. Pick up rental car and take 93 into Kingman, stopping briefly at Hoover Dam. Take Route 66 into Seligman (or continue into Flagstaff) and spend the night.
    -- 4/7: Leave early morning for the Grand Canyon. Spend the day exploring and watch the sun set on the South Rim. Drive east and stay overnight in Tuba City (?)
    -- 4/8: Leave early morning on 89 for Zion National Park. Stay overnight in Hurricane.
    -- 4/9: Spend the morning in Zion. Leave by 1 p.m. for Vegas with enough time to run some errands and check in hotel by 4.

    As rock-bottom cheap as possible for motels, ideally kitchy independents. I'm definitely not heart-set on Tuba City or Hurricane, just looking for somewhere cheap close to the parks. Any stops I should make along this route? Is 89 or Alt 89 to Zion more scenic? Where should I hike at Grand Canyon that's not overrun by tourists but not completely secluded? Any amazing food along the way?

    I'm a writer, and this is my first trip out West. Thanks so much for your input!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A quick circuit.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    By the time you have got through the airport and picked up your rental you won't have a lot of time to do anything but to head towards Flagstaff, it's around a 5 hour drive. Route 66 is fun, but not in the dark so you might want to stick to the Interstate.

    The Grand canyon should be fairly peaceful this time of the year and I doubt you will have trouble finding a little bit of solitude. The rim walk around the village area is a nice stroll and there are many viewpoints close to the road but the main hikes into the canyon area are quite lengthy so you don't really have the time.

    You could check out Cameron trading post just outside the East entrance for lodgings for any special offers, but standard rates are not cheap, we had some great food here though. With the Sun setting around 7pm you could possibly make it to Page where you may find other alternatives.

    For Zion I would search "Springdale/Lodgings" and see what is on offer, it's a nice town and close to the entrance of Zion with a good choice of places to eat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default reversal

    I agree your first day would be a real challenge. By the time you get your car and get out of the airport, it will likely be 4:30, meaning you'll be getting on the road in the middle of rush hour, plus you'll have additional traffic at the hoover dam, so it will almost certainly be dark well before you even get to route 66.

    I'll also mention that if you do go this way, it would make a little more sense to stay in Williams, rather than driving all the way out to Flagstaff, saving you some driving.

    One thing you might consider is reversing your direction, so you'd have a shorter drive to Springdale that first night. Then work backwards, staying in Cameron and then perhaps Williams. That would give you more time to enjoy Route 66 and the Hoover Dam as you make your way back to Vegas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There is no lodging under $100 within an hour of the Grand Canyon. You will have to look at Williams, Flagstaff, or Page.

  5. Default Thanks for the reality check!

    What would I do without you guys?! I horribly underestimate time. I'll either cut out the Route 66 detour, or consider reversing my route -- especially if Williams to Vegas is the best leg. If I do straight Interstate I figure it's, what, four hours? Should I count on six if I take Route 66?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Reversal makes sense.

    I really like Michael's idea of reversing the route as it makes your first day a lot easier and you could spend a nice amount of time in Zion next day before heading to somewhere like Page for the evening. Head to the GC and stop over in Williams [or Flagstaff] after watching a sunset over the canyon and take an early morning trip back to Vegas via Hoover dam. Allow 5-6 hours straight through over Hoover dam and add a little over an hour for a detour onto 66.

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