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Help needed planning road trip inc. Route66 and Grand Canyon

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London
posts: 2
reviews: 2
Help needed planning road trip inc. Route66 and Grand Canyon

My grandson and I are planning a trip together from Las Vegas to San Francisco, via Route 66, and would really appreciate some help in planning it, timings etc.

We will be flying out in in the middle if June, one from London, UK, the other from West Palm Beach.

Starting in Las Vegas, we would like to see the Grand Canyon, and all the wonderful places we can visit via the old Route 66. Then on to Los Angeles and San Francisco. As long as we finish in San Francisco, our route is flexible.

While we would like to drive down part of the old route 66 in a car, it would be wonderful to just spectate the rest of the way, so what transport should I use?

Any recommendations for where to hire a car and where the best bits of the route are?

My grandson is limited to just two weeks, so we really need to know how long to allow in each location? and where you can recommend to stay?

Lastly, I would really love to know of any other 'must see' places for us to visit on our journey?

Many Thanks, Carol C

5 replies to this topic
Houston, TX
posts: 72
reviews: 24
1. Re: Help needed planning road trip inc. Route66 and Grand Canyon

Carol,

My daughter, my grandchildren and I will also be in Arizona in June for the first time and I am so excited! I have done a ton of searching and researching!

Hoover Dam is between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon - but the cons to stopping are that it is crowded, you go through 2 TSA pat downs, and there is no air conditioning. But they do have tours and the dam is very impressive.

There is the Grand Canyon Caverns on Route 66 in Peach Springs. This portion of Route 66 is reminiscent of the movie Cars.

In Williams, AZ they have Bearizona which is a drive through safari with bears, wolves, and bison - North America's finest! Williams, AZ has an old hotel and train also. You stay the night at the hotel and ride the old steam engine train out to the GCNP for the day and come back.

Please note that none of this is on a path to San Francisco but rather is a side trip.

Henderson, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
posts: 1,904
reviews: 57
2. Re: Help needed planning road trip inc. Route66 and Grand Canyon

As far as spectating Route 66 from public transportation, there really isn't a good way to do this, especially between Las Vegas and Flagstaff. Our train system is not good and you can't board the Amtrak in Las Vegas. You'd have to drive to Kingman, Arizona to board, and if you have to get yourself to Kingman from Las Vegas, you might as well hire a car and drive to Flagstaff.

Ms_Julie_T has given you some interesting spots to visit. You may also enjoy the visitor center in Kingman (Route 66-related memorabilia) and a side trip through Seligman (part of the movie Cars were based on this little town, from what I understand, and it's like it's stuck in time). You didn't specify what types of sights you'd like to see, but some options include:

Lowell Observatory (site of Pluto discovery), Walnut Canyon National Monument (Native American Ruins very close to Flagstaff), Riordan Mansion (historic home of founding fathers of Flagstaff) and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Further afield, you may enjoy visiting Winslow, Arizona if you have a recollection of the Eagles hit - there is a bronze statue of "standin' on the corner in Winslow Arizona" that you can pose with. Petrified Forest is near there - a historic building relevant to Route 66 stands in the park - an old Harvey House. While you're out that way, if you choose to go, you may also enjoy visiting La Posada, a restored hotel/train stop with a lovely restaurant, in Winslow.

Grand Canyon deserves an overnight stay if you can swing it. Check accommodations at www.grandcanyonlodges.com

If you would like to share your interests, we might be able to provide advice more specific for you.

tucson az
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
posts: 11,861
reviews: 58
3. Re: Help needed planning road trip inc. Route66 and Grand Canyon

Are you prepared to drive the entire trip? Or are you wanting to use some other form of transportation?

If you fly into Las Vegas, you will have to drive from there to GCNP, during which you can see one of the best remaining portions of R66.

Amtrak is a possibility of alternate transportation. It can get you from Flagstaff to Los Angeles and from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Even though you would parallel R66, you would see nothing of it as the travel would be at night. The trip from LA-SF along the coast however is one of the most scenic rail journeys in the US.

I would suggest a different itinerary but maintaining the best of your desires.

Fly into Phoenix or Flagstaff instead of Las Vegas, unless you had planned to spend time in Las Vegas. Rent a car in Flagstaff, see GCNP, R66, and a few other attractions in the area. If possible spend a few days in Sedona.

Take Amtrak to Los Angeles from Flagstaff. If you plan to spend time in LA, you will need a car again, or you can limit yourself to what you can reach with public transportation, particularly subways and light rail, and you can do that and see a lot.

Then take Amtrak from LA to SF. You will not want a car there as parking is awful and costs a lot.

You are a bit short on time to plan a vacation of this nature in June. GCNP will present the biggest challenge for lodging.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 49,612
reviews: 42
4. Re: Help needed planning road trip inc. Route66 and Grand Canyon

Best is to rent the car already from UK with a broker like www.rentalcars.com and have all insurances included but it must be in your name, not your grandson name because he's from the USA. Also no drop off charges between NV and Ca on this trip. For hw1. The train doesnot hug the coast between Cambria and Monterey and that's the most scenic part of the whole trip.

London
posts: 2
reviews: 2
5. Re: Help needed planning road trip inc. Route66 and Grand Canyon

Thanks for the information. It definately sounds like a side trip worth doing.

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