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Driving through Sedona with kids

WDWmichelle
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Driving through Sedona with kids

We will be driving from Phoenix to Williams in December (brrrgh). We were told we HAD to at least see Sedona. I've been looking at the posts here and I agree. Sedona looks amazing. We will take hwy 179 per recommendations on this site. We will have a 3 yr old, 9 yr old and 11 yr old with us. Is there a simple, short hike with amazing views? Or should we just drive to places? It will be late December, would snow close any roads? I had looked at Pink Jeep tours, but being in an open air jeep during winter does not appeal to me (amazingly, they would take my 3 yr old). Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

Stop at the Courthouse Butte turnout just north of Bell Rock. Let the kids wander and scramble there. Stay on the marked trail areas. Then make a stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The views are everywhere. You don't have to hike anywhere to see them.

I fear that your reason for going to Williams is to ride the train to the Grand Canyon National Park. Too bad if that's the case. There are so many better ways to see the canyon for a lot less money.

WDWmichelle
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2. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

I agree with you. My husband really wants to ride the train. I would rather drive our rental car and see the Canyon on our own time frame. The train did, for the most part, get pretty good reviews. BUT since you know the area better, maybe you can convince him of the error of his ways :)

Either way, it looks like the next trip out west we will allot more time for Sedona, it looks lovely.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

In December, the Hermit shuttle will *not* be running and there is no shuttle service to the eastern viewpoints. Without your own vehicle, your options for accessing the viewpoints will be VERY limited. I would strongly recommend driving to the Park -- you REALLY want to have your car with you. Taxis and other commercial options with a large family will be expensive and logistically inefficient. Note that there are ZERO views of the Canyon from the train and the road you drive will go through the same terrain.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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4. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

In December, time becomes a huge factor. Days are short. If you wake up in Williams you can get in your car and drive to the Grand Canyon National Park in just over an hour. If you're using the train you'll go through check in boarding etc and the ride for the same distance will take closer to 3 hours.

Once you arrive at the park by rail you'll have 3 hours to wander around the hotel zone and rim path there. You'll literally be stuck because, as noted, the shuttles won't be running. The smart visitors who arrived by car will be spread out at 20 different view points covering about 30 miles of the south rim, enjoying a wide variety of views and canyon environment. Plus, they'll have several hundred dollars of money they saved in their pockets for other vacation activities.

To be fair, the rail road is historic, however they use newer equipment. Only one old steam engine remains in the fleet and it is deemed unfriendly to the environment. As noted by Bob, there are no views of the canyon from the train at any time. It's all about the train and nothing about the Grand Canyon.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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5. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

There is the Verde Valley line which is on your way and is scenic.

WDWmichelle
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6. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

Thank you so much. I did not realize the shuttles would not be running! The train is out. As for Sedona, do I have to worry about snowy roads, or do they keep them clear during a snow fall?

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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7. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

Snow on roads in Sedona is very rare. If it snows, it generally only stands a chance of accumulating over night when temperatures drop. If the sun fails to melt it in the morning then clearance vehicles are employed. This happens maybe once or twice each year in Sedona. If you're lucky enough to be there when it happens you will probably need more memory cards for your camera.

Bottom line, don't worry about it.

Sedona, Arizona
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8. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

Sedona is even more beautiful with a dusting of snow. It is truly a winter wonderland, but most of the snow will have melted by mid afternoon.

WDWmichelle
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9. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

I want to thank everybody for their input. Our drive through Sedona went very well, it was the perfect stop to break up the drive from Phoenix to Williams. The two stops mentioned worked out great! The kids were able to stretch their legs, and I got some awesome photos. And thank you for the tip on the shuttles not running in the Grand Canyon. We enjoyed driving to spots other tourists could not reach. We had a great stay in Arizona, and will have to come back again another time! Thanks again.

Chicago
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for Pompano Beach
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10. Re: Driving through Sedona with kids

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you had a good visit. All the best for you in the new year.