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So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

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So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

Hi All,

I've spent the morning reading dozens of trip reports and am starting to think about developing an itinerary but it is hard... looking for some advice please.

We're a family of 5 that will be flying in from Boston to Phoenix next April 2019. Kids will be 11, 8, 5. We want to see a number of sites but also don't want to have a bad time from too much driving. We would typically just spend 7 nights, but I'm not sure we could do more than Sedona and Grand Canyon in 7 nights.

Here's what I'm roughly thinking-- it already feels like a little much:

Day 1: Arrive Phoenix and head to Sedona (alternative is to stay a night closer after long flight)

Days 2-4: Explore Sedona area including Cathedral Rock, Slide Rock, Chapel of Holy Cross, Jerome and/or Montezuma Castle (maybe save some for return trip from north?)

Day 5: Grand Canyon. Given kids' ages don't think we'll do a lot of hiking here so may keep it short. Stay overnight here? Or head to Page same day?

Day 6/7: Page for Antelope Canyon and Glen Canyon river float

Day 8/9: Break up trip back to Phoenix somehow. Winslow? Petrified Forest?

Is there a smarter way to do this? Would love any and all suggestions!!

Thanks,

Laura

8 replies to this topic
1. Re: So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

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2. Re: So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

You need one night "in" GCNP and 1 nights in Page if doing the float trip. When you can secure GCNP will determine where your nights will be.

If you aren't doing any hiking, a couple of days in Sedona are fine. You probably won't want to be doing Slide Rock in the beginning of April but it should be OK mid-April on.

With kids that age I would skip Montezuma's Castle and do Island Trail (not long but does have stairs) at Walnut Canyon. Much more hands on since you can walk through the dwellings and aren't just viewing them from a distance. It is about the same distance off the highway as MC is off of 17. If your schedule doesn't change, it would be after Page.

Personally, we do a similar trip when from our Scottsdale house when we have friends visiting. We usually to Page first, GCNP second and then Sedona. We prefer getting the long drive out of the way first. After that it is about 2 hours driving each day. If you can I would spend a day or 2 in Scottsdale for some respite from the winter weather. If you are coming in the beginning of April, you will have the same type weather you have in Boston at GCNP. Could be nice but I've been several times and had snow.

Have fun.

North Carolina
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3. Re: So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

Laura,

Day 1: Get a nonstop early flight to PHX and drive to Page for the night (use the time zone change to your advantage) - Page 2 nights

Day 2: Half day float trip - check in 10 am until 3:30 pm

Day 3 and Day 4: Morning Upper Antelope Canyon; then Horseshoe Bend (although you may want to skip as your kids are young) as you drive towards Desert View Drive of the Grand Canyon. Stay 2 nights at a lodge on the Rim of the Grand Canyon. As you enter the Grand Canyon stop at the Mather Point Visitor Center to see Jr Ranger Program for the remainder of your stay at the GC - Sunsets and Sunrises at the Grand Canyon. GC 2 nights

Day 5: Drive towards Sedona stopping in Williams for Bearizona - Sedona 2 nights

Day 6: Sedona - Jeep tours, dining out, hiking Bell Rock and RR Crescent Moon Day Use Site, Sunset @ RR Crossing or Bell Rock and Sunrise @ Bell Rock or Sedona Airport Overlook or Airport Vortex Overlook

Day 7: Drive short drive to PHX Airport (~ 2hrs) for flight to Boston.

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4. Re: So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

Thanks for the replies so far. I've seen a lot of itineraries with people making a long drive directly upon arrival in Phoenix. Even with a direct flight, this is an almost 6 hour flight from Boston so I'm very wary my kids could handle that much sitting in one day. Not totally ruling it out but seems really hard.

This summer we did RMNP and flew into Denver (4 hour flight) and then drove to Estes Park (under 2 hour drive) and it felt like a long day. For reference, we also spent the entire week in Estes Park roaming around RMNP.

North Carolina
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5. Re: So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

Laura,

How ever you structure this trip have Sedona at the end if you are using PHX for your return flight as it is a easy drive to the airport. If you stay at the Wildflower Inn across the street from the Bell Rock an even easier drive to PHX.

North Carolina
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6. Re: So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

Well, less driving would be PHX to Flagstaff to Grand Canyon to Sedona to PHX; with stops along the way at the various National Monuments: Montezuma well and castle, Sunset Crater and Wupatki, and Walnut Canyon plus Bearizona in Williams plus Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff plus Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

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7. Re: So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

The “head to Page” itinerary could work with a first night in the Phoenix area before taking on the long drive.

Edited: 07 August 2018, 03:56
North Carolina
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8. Re: So hard to choose! Help with itinerary development please

If you choose to stay in the area of Phoenix your first night choose something like the Hampton Inn Phoenix / Anthem as it will put you north of much of the Phoenix morning traffic. Do motivate your crew on the first morning to use the time zone change wisely to your advantage and arise and move (drive) ASAP in the early morning to make the ~ 4 hr drive to Page. Then your vacation can begin from there. When we went to Page and Monument Valley this spring we flew into Durango and home via St George to keep the driving to a minimum but we were not going to Sedona or the Grand Canyon.

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