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  1. Default Orlando, FL to the Grand Canyon

    My wife and I have a 25 ft. travel trailer and would like to make a two month trip to the Grand Canyon and surronding states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. April and May are the best months for us to go but we understand that the north rim of the Grand Canyon is closed at that time. How important is it to see the North Rim? Is the South Rim open and is it the same as the North Rim? Any suggetions for a proposed itinery and advice regarding the Grand Canyon?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default You're gonna have fun, fun, fun!

    Greetings, captwalter, and welcome to the forum!

    Two months should be ample time for this trip. I hesitate to give you route suggestions because I've only driven these roads in a small, zippy car that makes good use of it's turbo on twisty, high-altitude roads. With your trailer, your driving experience will be very different. So I'll leave some of those specifics for some of our regular contributors who are more familiar with that part of the country.

    The north rim of the GC is quite different than the south rim. They are both breath-takingly gorgeous in different ways. While it would be wonderful to see both sides, it's really not necessary for you to have a great trip. However, I hope that the roads are clear from the GC to Zion and Bryce because it would be a shame to miss those fantastic places due to closed roads. I'm sure someone will pop in and give you advice about those routes.

    Maybe I need more java this AM because I'm not coming up with good advice for your trip. I would recommend doing a search for each of the states you want to visit and for the Grand Canyon. (The search button is on the menu above.) Others will pipe in with more ideas as well. And I'll try to come back after I've had more coffee.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Different worlds

    Quote Originally Posted by captwalter
    How important is it to see the North Rim? Is the South Rim open and is it the same as the North Rim?
    They are really different, but 90% of the people who visit the Grand Canyon only venture to the south rim. Here is a short article I wrote about Bryce, the north rim and points around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Tons of suggestions!


    would like to make a two month trip to the Grand Canyon and surronding states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. April and May are the best months for us to go
    In 2 months, you'll have plenty of time to visit both the South and the North rim. I understand that the road to the North Rim is closed until mid-May so maybe you should save it for the end of your trip! From Florida, you can use I-10 all the way to the south west. There are plenty of stuff to see on the way. On your way back you might consider another main route like I-40 for instance and make frequent side trips. Here after, I made a list of some attractions you might enjoy along the way until you reach your final destination :

    When you'll get to Pensacola, Fl, for a short scenic drive, use US 90. In Mobile, the Bubble Lounge on Old Shell Rd is a great place to have a martini. The Wintzell's Oyster House has oyster-eating contests (see also Big Texas Steak Ranch's 72 oz steak eating contest in Amarillo, TX) --Personally, I'd rather give a try at an oyster-eating contest than give a shot at that monstruous steak but that's my humble opinion!:-) You might also want to visit the USS Alabama in Mobile Battleship Park and the Bellingrath Rose Gardens in Theodore. You will find plenty of parks in that area to stop overnight : Meaher S.P., Shepard S.P., Gulf Islands N.S., etc

    In Biloxi, you can take an unexpensive shrimping tour on the Sailfish (reminds me of the movie Forest Gump:-). If gambling is your thing, there are several casinos along I-10 like the Treasure Bay and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, the Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis just to name a few.

    New Orleans literally bursts with attractions of all kinds. Of course, the city is not like it used to be but the French Quarter (Vieux Carré) is still pretty intact. Various guided tours can be arranged, but if you are into history I strongly suggest the Gay Heritage Tour (20$), wether you are straight or gay. The guide is incredibly funny and the stories he tells his audience are truly fascinating.

    In Texas, you have to spend at least a few hours in San Antonio, especially if you enjoy Spanish architecture and history. The Alamo is majestic and simply unavoidable. According to one of my good American friend, it's the only place where you can see the big macho men cry.:o)) Don't miss its little sisters Missions San José, Conception and San Juan Capistrano. A lunch and a drink on the Paseo Del Rio (a.k.a. Riverwalk) is another must. For a more quiet setting, look for the magnificient Brackenridge Park and its gorgeous Japanese Gardens (if you are lucky enough to find the actual spot!).

    A couple of hundred miles south of I-10 lies Big Bend National Park. Our Editor often recommended the Starlight Theatre Bar & Grill in Terlingua, a place I sadly missed on my latest trip to Big Bend. Here is a field report about a trip in that area. On your way back to I-10, near Valentine don't miss the Prada Window Display in the middle of the desert. I, myself thought I hallucinated when I first saw it, I backed up and realized it wasn't a mirage at all. The trick is, you can't go inside, it is not a boutique so you don't have to worry about an endless shopping session (wink:-) Be extremely cautious while driving in that area, I've never seen so many roadkills on a single road. Avoid night driving if possible.

    In New Mexico, visit the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. For quirky stuff make a quick trekk north: Shrine of the Miracle Tortilla in Lake Arthur (here's a fun article about similar food-related discoveries throughout the U.S.), UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell and have an unidentified meal at the Crash Down Diner and, finally, pay a tribute to Smokey the Bear at Smokey the Bear Historical State Park in Capitan. On US 70, stop by White Sands National Park where for 3$ you can drive and hike through huge dunes of white gypsum sands.

    A great scenic alternative to I-10 is using US 60 from Socorro, NM to Phoenix, AZ. US 60 traverses several semi ghost towns and the Very Large Array featured in the movie Contact. If you use I-10 to get to Arizona, stop by the ghost towns of Lordsburg and Shakespeare, NM. Take the Bowie exit in AZ and follow the directions to Ft. Bowie N.H.S. Here's an interesting article written by one of our regular contributors about that park. It is an easy 1.5 mile hike to the ruins and Visitors Center and I had the chance to have a fabulous guide to walk me through this incredibly beautiful site coloured with history.

    Further west, make the trekk south to Bisbee and Tombstone, the first being an old mining town with a lavish architectural heritage and the latter a fun tourist trap. If you feel more adventurous and like to get off the beaten path, I suggest the southern route and the border cities (Douglas, Nogales, Portal, Patagonia, etc.). Just south of Tucson on I-19 lies the glorious Mission San Xavier Del Bac a.k.a. White Dove of the Desert. In the Tucson area, a friend recommended the Kartchner Caverns State Park. Nearby attractions : Biosphere 2, Saguaro National Park.

    For a few ideas of other destinations further north in Arizona and Utah, take a look at that post. Have you thought about going around the Grand Canyon after going to the South Rim? You could head west, go to Las Vegas and then north east towards the North Rim? Like Judy mentionned there are so many beautiful parks along the way : Valley of Fire State Park, Zion National Park, you could also make a detour north to Bryce Canyon or even to Arches and Canyonlands.

    I don't know Colorado very well, but I always wanted to visit Mesa Verde and drive the Million Dollar Highway. I-70 between Phoenix and Salina, UT is indisputably one of the most beautiful interstate I had the chance to drive on. Dramatic mountain and canyons sceneries are everywhere.

    Happy planning!

    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 02-15-2006 at 02:18 PM. Reason: typo

  5. Default Thanks

    Thanks fellow travelers for all the good information. We are leaving on March 1st from Florida and hope to see all the good sights you-all recommended. Best, Perry

  6. #6


    Hi Quebec Gen -

    I saw this post regarding a question another couple had driving from Orlando to the Grand Canyon. I am only able to take 2 weeks for my trip.
    About how long would your route take?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Julia

    This thread is from eight years ago and neither captwalter nor Quebec Gen have been active for a while so it's unlikely that you'll get a response from them to your queries. You would be best to ask these and all other questions in your own current thread regarding your trip.


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