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arizona trip

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Burlington, Vermont
posts: 1
reviews: 12
arizona trip

Hi AZ experts, how does this trip sound? Thanks for any feedback you have to offer!

Thursday December 1- Fly to PHX, arrive at 145pm, pick up rental minivan, drive straight to Sedona. Catch sunset somewhere beautiful (done setting by 515pm)- Mesa Airport or Crescent Moon Picnic Area, or somewhere with a view of the sun setting on Cathedral Rock over Oak Creek? Dinner at Elote. Possible stargazing at Lowell Observatory or through Evening Sky tours if weather is good. If not, what to do? Sleeping at Amara Resort.

Friday December 2- Breakfast in Sedona- find a good local spot. Walk around town... any special places to stop to look at local art/artisan products? Wanted to do a Pink Jeep tour, but health concerns (cold air / dust --> lung issues, bumpy ride --> back issues) might make this a bad idea, so do a self guided tour (sedona.net/webpage.php/swmc/webpagesandartic…)? Get lunch somewhere... good lunch spot? Leave Sedona by 2pm at the latest, and head to the Grand Canyon (which I think is about a 2h drive). Stop at the park entrance and buy a Golden Age pass for dad. Drive around a bit and catch sunset (on the East Rim drive?)... maybe find out where the sunset bus tour goes (Throat of the Canyon)- heard it goes towards the west rim in the direction of Hermit's Rest. Sun is done setting by about 515. See IMAX movie (34 min, starts at 530 or 630pm). Dinner at El Tovar - 730pm reservation. Check out the Grand Canyon's night sky before going to the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn to sleep.

Saturday December 3- Leave by 620am to catch sunrise at the Grand Canyon (done rising by 715am). Spend the day driving/walking around the Grand Canyon according to RedRox's plan (tripadvisor.ca/…28822061). Find a good spot to watch the sun set (done by 515pm), and start driving towards Scottsdale. Stop for dinner in Flagstaff or Sedona- maybe the Silver Saddle Club in Sedona. Sleep in Scottsdale.

Sunday December 4- Early breakfast in town.. where? Walk around Scottsdale, find some cowboy cacti. Flight is at noon from PHX.

3 replies to this topic
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
posts: 39,998
reviews: 134
1. Re: arizona trip

Tomorrow, Thursday is going to be a long day. You'll be starting well before sunrise in VT if you arrive PHX at 1:45. It will be close to 5PM and sunset by the time you reach Sedona. If you can get to Crescent Moon aka Red Rock Crossing in time to settle down for sunset, it's a good place, but it will have you far away from Elote Cafe. You'll be looking at second seating and a wait by the time you get there. Remember, you'll be adding two hours to your day due to time zones. The weather forecast for tomorrow calls for possible rain in the late afternoon. I would downplay the sunset plans and head straight to Elote when you arrive in Sedona. Whatever sunset is like, you can enjoy it all around you without rushing to Red Rock Crossing.

Have breakfast at the CoffeePot. If you don't want to do a jeep tour on Friday, then self tour or consider the trolleys for a more structured, guided and tame

tour of Sedona highlights.

Drive to GCNP and enter the park at the east gate above Cameron. Again, focus less on a specific place for sunset. Tour the east rim view points and enjoy sunset where ever you happen to be, as long as it's at a view point on the rim.

The IMAX film is outside the park in Tusayan, where your hotel is. It makes no sense to go all the way out of the park at that hour and then all the way back in to go to dinner at El Tovar. Stay inside the park. Let your hotel know that you'll be arriving late, after dinner.

Spend the next morning touring the west road to Hermits Rest and back. Waiting to leave until after sunset will have you driving after dark. I don't advise this. I was at the GCNP last Friday and left before sunset. Even so it was dark before I got to Flagstaff. I had a dangerous encounter with a bull elk on the roadside. I had to swerve suddenly to avoid what could have been a disastrous impact. If you intend to sleep in Scottsdale that night, I would leave by early afternoon. Stop for dinner in Flagstaff or Sedona, but make sure that whatever

driving you do after dark is mostly on the interstate I-17. It will still be very dark, but hopefully there will be other travelers out there with you and the dangers of wildlife on the roadside will be reduced.

Scottsdale is not really a walking town. You can wander around Old Town as it will be on the way to the airport, but you aren't going to see many cacti around the city.

Edited: 11:33 pm, November 30, 2011
Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
posts: 4,869
reviews: 13
2. Re: arizona trip

Welcome to the forums, Natasha!

I pretty much agree with what RR said - especially about not leaving the GCNP for the IMAX movie before dinner. What you might do is see the movie the 2nd day, or scratch it off the list altogether. Also agree that it might be good to head back to Scottsdale a bit earlier - it's a 4+ hour drive without stopping, especially if you're including the drive out the East gate.

Your itinerary is definitely packed and a bit tight, but I suppose it's doable. Make sure you take the time to relax a bit, and enjoy the scenery. It may be a moot point to offer too many suggestions for changes now, though, as you're already on your way here. (Ex, It's always better to stay at a hotel inside the park, rather than in Tusayan. Also, be sure to bring warm clothes, gloves, scarves, etc. as it will be very cold at the GCNP and probably in Sedona too this weekend. But, I'm assuming you've already packed...)

Have a safe trip!

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
posts: 4,869
reviews: 13
3. Re: arizona trip

Forgot to add - there is a forum for the Grand Canyon, as well as Sedona and Scottsdale. This is just FYI for the next time you post, so people know you want advice on the GC or Sedona, etc. (Tombstone is in Southern Arizona.)

Edited: 11:24 am, December 01, 2011
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