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  1. Default Las Vegas to Houston Road Trip Suggestions


    I am planning my first ever road trip (that too solo). I am a little nervous and looking for suggestions. I am planning to do this early September. This is what I have so far:

    1. Fly to Vegas, spend 1.5 days (2 nights).

    2. Early morning drive to Hoover Dam and Flagstaff (I am thinking to stay in Flagstaff). Explore Flagstaff for the rest of the day. Should I drive to Sedona? So, far I only have Lowell Observatory on my list but I think I should have some time on hand to do more. (1night)

    3. Drive to GC spend the day and return by evening. Overnight in Flagstaff. (1night)

    Alternative: Drive to Hoover Dam and stay outside GC (at Tusayana). Explore GC half day and next morning. Then drive to Flagstaff in the afternoon and stay overnight. I am very keen to vistit Lowell. Can I do anything else?

    Which option will give me most time at GC. I dont want to regret not spending enough time there.

    4. Drive to Painted Desert, Petrified Forest and Albuquerque. Overnight in Albuquerque (1night). How long would it take to enjoy Painted desert and Petrified forest. I am thinking of just driving through. Is stopping recommended or drive through is enough?

    5. Albuquerque to White Sands to Carlsbad. I am planning to just drive through White Sands. Is it worth it just for a drive through? The reason I ask it that it adds 2 hours to the driving time. Alternative is to drop White Sands altogether and goto Carlsbad via Roswell. Where can I stay in Carlsbad? Or should I drive a little more towards Texas and stay somewhere else?

    6. Carlsbad to Houston - I did not find anything interesting in between. Anything worthwhile? This will be the day where i will be driving for 9 hours or so. So, I dont want to take any detours.

    Am I trying to do to much? I would also appreciate hotel and restaurant recommendations for the trip. Moreover, I am renting a car for one way and those are so expensive. Any tips / suggestions?

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default This and That, Here and There

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    For the most part, your trip seems well thought out and should be very enjoyable, so I just have a few comments.

    First, there is lots to do in the Flagstaff area. Besides the Grand Canyon and Lowell Observatory, there's the Museum of Northern Arizona which you might find interesting, and three nearby national monuments: Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano, and Wupatki. The first you could include on your drive to Albuquerque, the last two you could see on your way to or back from the Canyon. I probably wouldn't use the limited time you have in the Flag area to drive down to Sedona, even though the drive and town are beautiful; you'll be doing enough driving as it is and pretty much everywhere is going to be scenic.

    Yes, you can just drive through Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, but you really should get out and hike a bit to make the most of it. Speaking of making the most of a resource, the Visitors Center/Ranger Station should be your first stop at any national park. They have a wealth of information including the latest conditions and trails best suited to your interests and time/physical limitations.

    You won't miss much by not going to White Sands if all you plan to do is "just drive through". Most of the starkly beautiful portions are well off the main highway on a single in-and-out road, so there's no driving 'through', and the national monument is co-located with Holloman Air Force Base and the White Sands Missile Range. This is an active Air Force test facility and the main road, US-70, can and will be closed during missile firings.

    Whites City (where Carlsbad Caverns are) to Houston is just too far to drive in a single day. You should definitely plan on at least one overnight stop between the two. There are a few sites that you might want to explore on that final leg including Fort Lancaster State Historic Park, the Caverns of Sonora, the LBJ Ranch, and the Alamo.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    When is this trip? The reason I ask -- the road between Flagstaff and Sedona, US-89A, is all torn up for road construction at this time, and will be for most of the rest of the summer. It is 1-lane for 8 miles, led by a pilot car. Just last weekend (Saturday), a traveler we spoke to in Sedona, said it had taken her and her family 2 hours to make it through Oak Creek Canyon, and they weren't able to enjoy any of it. They were supposed to return to Flagstaff, so were planning to take AZ-179 out to I-17 and use that to go north into Flagstaff.

    If your trip is any time in the next 2-3 months, I would check AZ DOT for updates on this construction zone.


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