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help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

atlanta
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help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

We will be taking our first vacation out west with our two girls (ages 10, 13). We will have 10 days including travel days. Here is my tentative plan. Please let me know if this is too ambitious or if you have any suggestions or improvements.

Day 1 - Fly into Phoenix and drive to Flagstaff. Explore the town. Check out Lowell Planetarium evening

Day 2 - Day trip to Grand Canyon (we couldn't get a reservation at El Tovar and we are able to use hotel points for the Mariott in Flagstaff).

Day 3 - Go to Out of Africa Park (the girls want to do this)

Day 4 - Day trip to Petrified Forest

Day 5 - Explore the Wupatki National Monument & Sunset Crater Volcano and Walnut Canyon National Monument

Day 6 - Drive to Page and do an afternoon River trip. Spend the night at Page

Day 7 - Do a morning Antelope Slot Canyon tour and then drive to Sedona. Check into a hotel in Sedona

Day 8 - Do a off road Jeep tour and see some sights such at the chapel

Day 9 - Cathedral Rock and Sliding Rock as well as Oak Creek Canyon

Day 10 - head to airport and fly home.

Edited: 11:28 am, January 18, 2011
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West Yellowstone...
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1. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

You will no doubt receive varying opinions and advice here, but I'll take a stab at it.

I've done many day trips from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon and have never spent a night at the south rim. I have seen sunrise and sunset from the north rim, and it's beautiful, but sometimes other factors come into play, as you have pointed out, and I think you will be fine.

As far as going to Out of Africa Park on Day 3- I haven't been but have heard from friends that it's worthy. I just wouldn't suggest going south that far from Flagstaff. I would perhaps move that later in the trip, possibly add a night at Sedona and go from there. Or spend your first night in Phoenix, go to OOA on day 2, early, and spend that night 2 in Flag.

Trip to Petrified Forest- think about adding Meteor Crater to this day trip. It's not only interesting from a geological point of view, but it also has a historical aspect in that early astronauts used the crater for training before the trip to the moon.

Wupatki, Sunset Crater and Walnut Canyon all in one day sounds like a lot to me. Although they're grouped relatively close together, there would be a lot of activity involved. I would say choose which is most important to you (Wupatki/Sunset Crater or Walnut Canyon) and then do the other if time and energy allow.

My advice ends here and I will allow the others who are the experts on Page and Sedona to jump in.

However, I'll end with asking when you plan this trip so we can give more tailored advice and stating the obvious: This is a packed 10 days! Is your family accustomed to this much action and moving around? Most families would be exhausted after just a few days of this much running around and you may end up sacrificing something or several things due to lack of motivation to continue. Possibly better to decide what are the top must-dos and leave the others to chance. If you feel up to it, do it, if not, just chill out for a day.

Hope this helps!

atlanta
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2. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

Thank you for your quick response. We are going end of May/early June. We are definitely an active family, but do want a little down time especially by the end of the week while in Sedona as we are staying at the Hilton Resort (cashing in points). I am looking at the map and agree it seems silly to go to Cottonwood from Flagstaff (the website says it is 30 mintues from Sedona and 40 minutes from Flagstaff, but perhaps that is not accurate information). I appreciate the heads up on the side trip to the Petrified Forest. I would say my priorities would be that the Petrified Forest is last on my list (mostly because of the 2 hour drive and not sure that the girls be that interested). Perhaps, we'll think about spreading out our activites for day 5 over 2 days which then also gives us more time just to wander around the town of Flagstaff.

I welcome any other feedback.

Thanks!!!

West Yellowstone...
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3. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

Perfect time to visit Northern Arizona! The weather will be warm and pleasant and you'll catch us before monsoon season (daily rain).

I think your scaling back sounds like a good plan. I, too, would skip Petrified Forest in favor of a bit more down time and spreading out the Native American ruins and Sunset Crater over two days. Another thought is that you can actually hit Sunset Crater and Wupatki on the way to Page if you feel like sorting it that way and don't mind hitting Page a little later in the day. These two parks are just about 15-20 minutes from the east end of Flag, so either way would work.

If your family enjoys hiking, there are plenty of day hikes easily accessible from and within Flagstaff. We like a book you can find in most local groceries and bookstores (or online: amazon.com/Favorite-Hikes-Flagstaff-Cosmic-R… - I think this price is very inflated but then I've had my copy for years) that covers both Flagstaff and Sedona.

See if you can spend some time in downtown Flagstaff. During that time of year, if you'll be in town on the weekends, there is much going on. Heritage Square hosts a family-friendly outdoor movie every Friday evening (weather permitting) which I bet the girls would enjoy. Just bring a blanket, pick up a pizza and join in the fun. There is music on the square on Thursday evenings and often something going on during the day, as well.

When you hit town, pick up a copy of Flagstaff Live!, Flagstaff's weekly free Arts & Entertainment newspaper. You'll find a calendar of events so you will be able to organize any free time you have in town.

Flagstaff, Arizona
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4. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

Looks good to me!

Edited: 3:28 pm, January 19, 2011
ohio
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5. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

I was in Page last year. Two thoughts I remember I booked the morning raft trip because others reported the afternoon trip was very hot. The morning trip was hot. I was glad we did the morning and not the afternoon for that reason. We were there later in June. Just something to consider if you are sensitive to heat. The water is cool and they keep beverages in the river so there are cool beverages. Loved this raft trip.

Antelope Canyon. I would recommend driving to the entrance and taking the shuttle from there. We took the trip from Page and I was so scared travelling in a back of a pickup truck on the roads. I just don't think it is a safe way to travel.

pittsburgh
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6. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

Flagstaff Traveler,

I am jumping in on this since we will be leaving for Flagstaff and Sedona on March 26 and staying for one week. We will be staying at the Wyndham Flagstaff and plan on going down to Sedona at least twice. We have reservations at the Thunderbird Lodge on south rim of GC and plan on eating dinner at El Tovar. I would like to take the Verde train ride and possible a jeep tour. Do you think it will be too cold to do a river raft trip that time of year? We would also like to do some light hiking a couple of times. What do suggest for that? I would appreciate any input. I think I have all my restaurants after reseaching trip advisor and other sites so we are good on that. What do think of the restaurant The Tinker or Tinder Box?

Edited: 11:14 am, February 06, 2011
Sedona, AZ
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7. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

www.raftthecanyon.com/plan-your-trip.html

You could drive to Page for the raft trip there, but weather is iffy at best. It could be sunny and beautiful, or it could be snowing.

Raft season in the Grand Canyon doesn't even begin until late April.

West Yellowstone...
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8. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

You will probably be better off to plan your hikes at the Grand Canyon and Sedona that week as snow is still possible in and around Flagstaff.

If the weather is clear there are some nice hikes east of town in the Wupatki/Sunset Crater areas and I would also suggest Walnut Canyon National Monument.

Other hiking trails in the Flagstaff area may still be muddy, if not snowy, just because they are so shaded and/or on the mountains. One option, if you don't mind getting your boots a little dirty, that is very popular with locals is "Fat Man's Loop" which is accessible not far from where you're staying at the National Forest Parking area just east of the mall on the north side of Hwy 89N.

We've been to the Tinder Box a couple of times. It's a nice atmosphere and I thought the food was good. Plan a bit of extra time to walk around downtown and southside (where the Tinder Box is located) if the weather is pleasant.

pittsburgh
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9. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

I should have clarified, I want to hike around the red rock in the Sedona area . Are there any trails in the Oak Creek Canyon area? I am starting to get really excited about our trip. There will be 4 of us, all middle aged adults, who have never been to this area of the country before. What do you think of the Verde train ride? We planned on booking first class tickets soon. Will we see alot of breathtaking scenery? Back to the restaurants. We planned to eat at the Oak Creek Brewery and the El Rinco ( spelling?) in the T. village. Has you eaten at either one of those places? We wanted to check out the shoppes there and thought both of those places sounded good for lunch or dinner.

Edited: 4:53 pm, February 06, 2011
West Yellowstone...
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10. Re: help with Itinerary for Flagstaff, Senoda, Grand Canyon Vaca

West Fork is a nice park with a great hike in the Oak Creek Canyon area. There is a fee to park/enter, so you may want to inquire as to the condition of the trail before paying since it is shady and can be very muddy/slippery. The hiking trail is along and crosses Oak Creek a few times.

I'll leave the rest of the questions for others.