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  1. Default Sedona/Grand Canyon/horseback riding - Birthday trip!

    I am so happy to find this forum! I'm planning a trip for the second week in May to celebrate my husband's birthday - I won't say which one :-) - and I am starting to feel overwhelmed trying to plan my route and which things we want to see and do. We are flying into PHX on Sat. (I think, haven't actually booked yet) May 7th and plan to stay 7 nights. Hubby's birthday is on Monday and ideally we'd like to do a horseback riding tour on that day and then have a nice dinner somewhere that night. We are open to the idea of staying a couple of days at a guest/dude ranch, but that is not necessary. I was initially thinking we would head straight to Sedona from the airport, stay there 2 nights, then visit Grand Canyon with an overnight stay, and then take a scenic route back to PHX. Cameron is one place that looks interesting to us...the Trading Post in particular. We are interested in the native american history of the area and see the impressive landscape and unique landforms to AZ. My dilemma is that I don't really see a horseback riding outfit that interests me in the Sedona area, so I might have to rearrange my route to include Sedona at the end of the trip instead of the beginning. There's an outfit called OK Corral near Apache Junction that seems like it might be nice. Another thing I need help with is where to stay as a base to see several things. I know we will need to move a couple of times, but I don't want to be packing up and moving every other day. Sorry, it seems I am rambling, but I just don't know what to begin! I have a thousand questions. Any help/suggestions would be appreciated!

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

    Default Bryce canyon ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    If you look around the forums you will find a lot of info on this very popular area to help with your planning. Cameron is quite touristy but has wonderful stores and a restaurant plus lodging that could be a good base after visiting Grand canyon and in particular if Monument valley was added to your itinerary, which is recommended. If you headed further North through Page you have two wonderful National parks of Zion and Bryce canyon, the latter is worth checking out for horseback rides. We didn't have time to take one, but they looked very interesting. If these places were to be considered, you could consider starting from Vegas and doing a loop by heading North to Zion >Bryce>Monument valley, [Cameron] Grand canyon, back to Vegas via Hoover dam. You coud still end in Phoenix via Sedona but you will most likely face one way drop off charges with the car rental and higher air fares.

    Once you have looked around and decided on a couple of bit's, let us know and we can help to fill in the blanks.

  3. Default

    Thanks for those excellent suggestions. Yes, we would LOVE to visit Zion and Bryce canyon and the Hoover Dam sounds great, too, but Sedona is something we definately want to see. we don t have to spend a lot of time there, but the red rocks are a sight we have wanted to see for years. Since we have a week, do you think it is possible to see them all? I will read more on the forum and try to narrow my choice destinations. Thanks again for your input.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-02-2011 at 01:11 PM. Reason: In line quote not needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    It is possible to do in a week, but of course it depends on the pace you want to move around at. Take the Hoover dam out of it and you could look into starting in Vegas and ending in Phoenix, or vice versa. A trip that starts and ends in Phoenix would work as well where you could head head up through Page to Zion and Bryce [or just one of them] as described above or go Sedona > Grand canyon > Monument valley > Canyon De Chelly> Petrified forest and back to Phoenix. Some other areas of interest would be Sunset crater and Walnut canyon close to Flagstaff.

    Do your 'narrowing down' and then we can help fill in the blanks.

  5. Default

    I checked the airfare, and I think we will definitely fly in and out of Phoenix. We are on a budget and rt airfare to PHX is really cheap right now from where I am (RIC). I also think we will save Hoover dam for another time. Let me research some of your ideas and see what looks interesting to us.

  6. Default OK to go ahead and book flight?

    Is it a mistake to go ahead and book my flights? Price is starting to creep up and I want to go ahead and get the good fare. Will I be able to find places to stay and plan the trip with fixed dates? I don't usually book air before making my plans, but I don't want to keep good seats are going fast! Do others do it this way?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default If your sure.

    If you have a good deal in your sights and you know the trip is definitely going to happen, I would go right ahead and book them. You know when you want to travel and you will alway's find lodging's somewhere or another. As a major expense, I usually either book my airfares or RV [in my case] first, depending on what good deals come up first, and then plan the rest of my trip around them. The flights can be a major money saver so it's a good place to start.

  8. Default We're booked!

    Okay, flights are booked...sat 5/7 - Sat 5/14. I'm making progress on narrowing down our route, but I have a couple of quick questions...I only see one option for lodging in Cameron - the trading post hotel and they only have single and double beds. My husband is 6'3", so we cannot fit in anything less than a queen bed. Are there any other hotels in Cameron or should we consider Flagstaff or the Quality Inn in Tuba City for that leg of our trip? This stay will mainly be for visiting the Grand Canyon. We'd like to visit the trading post, but otherwise I'm not seeing that Cameron has much to offer. Am I missing something?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Trading post is it.

    Other than a few buildings scattered around, the 'Trading post' is Cameron as far as I remember. Flagstaff/Williams would be a good base to visit the Grand canyon from Sedona, but it's when you leave the GC it will be a case of "where to next"?

  10. Default

    My thinking is at this point, that the GC wil be the last leg of our trip and when we leave we will be heading back to PHX. Our flight leaves at 11:25 am so i'm not sure if that will work. We may have to travel half way back on Friday and overnight somewhere closer to PHX.

    So far here's what I'm thinking.. please tell me if I'm planning something that won't work. From PHX on Saturday travel to Best Western apache Junction Inn for 2 nights. We wil drive the Apache TrailScenic Drive on Sunday. One monday, my husband's b-day, we'll check out and hard towards Sedona, taking a nice trail ride somewhere on the way. He is all about horses and western history, (we have several - horses that is) and this will be the highlight of the trip for him. Then we'll overnight in Sedona... Monday and Tuesday nights I'm thinking. From there drive to wherever we decide to stay to visit Grand Canyon, Cameron and whatever else is within driving distance for day trips and then head back to PHX for our return flight Sat late morning.
    We will save Utah for another trip and just concentrate on Northwestern AZ. Seems like ther is plenty to see in a week.

    We dont really want to change hotels more than twice (3 hotels total) so I'm open to ideas. Maybe we should stay longer somewhere else and only 2 nights near grand canyon...I just don't know really. One place I found that we might like to visit it the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg. Is it worth seeing? If so, that might extend our stay in Apache Junction. Im still researching, but I'd love the hear ideas from those of you that know the area.

    Oh yeah...I was wondering about the weather at that time of year. Several of the ranches I was looking at are closed after May 1. Why is that? Is it really hot during the second week in May? I was not expecting it to be, so please tell me what I should expect.

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