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!!