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Thread: A week in Az

  1. #1
    jonhay Guest

    Default A week in Az

    Due to fly into Phoenix in late Oct for a week and looking for ideas on must do sights and activities. At the moment the only things that are on the list are the Grand Caynon/Las Vegas/Phoenix. I was in Sedona late last year but didnt get a chance to see much, so may also take a better look at that area also.

    I'm coming from Ireland so the more unique the area the better.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Besides Phoenix and Sedona....

    By all means take a day (or a few) and spend some time in southern Arizona and experience the Sonora Desert, about as far from the Irish countryside as you're likely to get. The best places to experience the desert are the two units of the Saguaro National Park as well as the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (actually more of a zoo).

    A little bit farther afield are Kartchner Caverns and Kitt Peak National Observatory. Again, you're not going to find anything like these in Ireland, and visits to these sites will help make the most of your trip.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ontario Canada

    Default other options

    If heading up to the Grand Canyon, you could do a wide loop back to Phoenix including:

    Canyon de Chelly National Monument

    Monument Valley

    Painted Desert / Petrified Forest

  4. Default A week in Az

    A few years back we visited in AZ. We headed north from Phoenix on Rt 17 somehow got on Rt 89A through Jerome. That was a beautiful ride. At the time Jerome was under reconstruction so hopefully it is even more beautiful now. It is an old copper town. The ride coming down the hill into Jerome was beautiful with some wildlife & the town itself was on a hill. Very interesting way to get to Sedona.

    Also visited Arizona Sonora Desert Museum while there but seem to remember that being in Tucson area. That was wonderful & will give great understanding the the desert area.

    Sedona was a beautiful area. I fell in love with its peacefulness. I remember we took some kind of trolly tour.

  5. #5
    jonhay Guest


    Thanks folks. All very helpful.

    Just to follow on though, as I was wondering if you could give me ballpark estimates on the following drive times (& best routes)??

    PHX-Flagstaff (via Sadona/Jerome)
    Flagstaff - Canyon de Chelly - Monument valley
    from NW Az to LV via Grand Canyon
    LV - PHX
    PHX - Tuscon (via Sorona/Sagora)

    Am I being ridiculous to try to squeeze this in?


  6. Default Driving times

    Phoenix to Flagstaff -- direct is about 2.5 hours. Going via Prescott, Jerome and Sedona will add time -- perhaps another hour. I suggest I-17 to Cordes Jct (and SR69), SR69 to Prescott, SR89 and 89A to Jerome and Sedona, then SR89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. A shorter route would be I-17 to SR260, that to Cottonwood/Clarkdale and SR89A up the hill to Jerome. Then back through Cottonwood to Sedona and SR89A to Flagstaff. I'd allow at least a day for the journey with stops.

    The shorter route misses Prescott and the great drive over Mingus Mountain to Jerome (twisty mountain road). Both are worth your time. At Prescott, you might visit the Phippen Museum of Western Art as well as Whiskey Row and Courthouse Square.

    At Jerome, have a visit to the Spirit Room and eat lunch at the Haunted Hamburger. Jerome is not really under "reconstruction." It is an old town, almost a ruin, and as a result there is ALWAYS some kind of repair project or restoration going on. But the job will likely never be finished, so in that sense, saying it is under "reconstruction" is a bit misleading (because it will never be finished), even if that's the way it looks to a visitor who doesn't know the town! :)

    Flagstaff to Canyon de Chelly will take you the best part of a half day. You should spend quite a number of hours at this place. Stay at the Thunderbird Lodge (it's the original). I'd leave Flagstaff of a morning, then spend the remaining part of the day exploring the rim drives and the hike to the White House Ruin (short but steep). Then the following morning, take the all day canyon tour (arrange for this with the Lodge). Take I-40 east to US191, then north to Chinle.

    From there, (third day), take the short drive to Monument Valley (a little over 3 hours). Be sure to take the guided tour through the tribal park as this is where the most spectacular views are available. Passing through on the highway alone doesn't give you much. Stay at Gouldings.

    From Monument Valley to Grand Canyon via Tuba City will take maybe 4 hours, maybe a bit more. I recommend lodging at the Grand Canyon Park Lodges (reservations through Xanterra). They are all on or close to the Rim. The El Tovar and Bright Angel or Kachina Lodges have the best views. The El Tovar is the swankiest of the bunch. You need at least a full day and two nights to adequately see the Canyon. This is about the end of your week, so you have some choices to make. I'll continue on as if you have the extra time, and you can make the choices for yourself!

    From GC to Las Vegas, you can either go south to I-40 and around via Kingman, AZ and US93, or you can head north through Marble Canyon or Page and Kanab via SR64 and US89, and get to Las Vegas through Zion National Park and I-15. Either way, it's going to cost you a day's drive (about 6 hours or more with no stops). Spend X number of hours in Las Vegas -- you could stay there a week and not see everything.

    From Las Vegas to Phoenix is about 5 hours. This is not a route to hurry on -- it is a dangerous highway (US93 between I-40 and Wickenburg). Over 500 people have been killed in traffic crashes on this road in the past 10 years! Alcohol, fatigue, impatience and poor highway design all are factors. It is the main route to Nevada casinos for stressed-out Phoenicians. So you need to take it easy and watch out for crazy drivers on this road, more than on any other you'll encounter.

    Back in Phoenix, if you also want to do the southern Arizona destinations already suggested for you, then that's a couple more days at least. Phoenix to Tucson is about 2 hours, then another 3 to 5 hours driving around southern Arizona, and two hours back. Again, there's more to do there than you can even scrape the surface of in 2 or 3 days. Add to the previously mentioned attractions Cochise's Stronghold, Fort Bowie and the Chiricahua National Monument. There's also Tombstone, if you just HAVE to. It's historic, but a blatant, unabashed tourist trap.

    I'd probably choose the Phoenix -- Jerome -- Canyon De Chelly -- Monument Valley -- Grand Canyon parts if it were me, and draw the line there. But it's not my trip! Bob
    Last edited by Robert Schaller; 10-04-2005 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Corrected mispellings.

  7. #7
    jonhay Guest


    Thanks Bob. Info is spot on for what I was looking for. I agree on leaving out LV, but its a must do as I've visiting with old friends. Thanks for the additional advise on the highway from LV.


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