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Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

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Massachusetts
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Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

Wednesday, June 21 we ( 3 of us including an eleven year old )are landing in Phoenix around noon time, renting a car and traveling to Flagstaff. Thursday we thought about going to Sunset Crater and Wupatki Monument then either back to Flagstaff for the night or keep going north to Cameron Trading Post and spend the night there because we have reservations at the Kachina Lodge in the GC Friday and Saturday night. Then Sunday it's off to the the IMAX theater and south on senic route 180 to Sedona for 6 nights where we swaped for a time share. While in Sedona we figure we will take a trolley tour, jeep tour, Out of Africa, Montezuma Castle, Oak Creek Canyon and Slide Rock Park. Spend a whole day going to Jerome, take the Verde Railroad ride and then Blazin M Ranch in Cottonwood. On Saturday, travel to and stay in Phoenix for an early flight home Sunday.

Any changes or suggestions to this itinerary would be appreciated. Also would the Comfort Inn on S. Bevlah Blvd. in Flagstaff be a good choise to be away from the train noise and is the Cameron Trading Post a good idea to stay for a night?

Watford
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1. Re: Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

Sounds like you have a great trip lined up. Going to Cameron allows you to enter the Grand Canyon via the most spectacular route but the trading post at Cameron is rather isolated so unless you just want somewhere to sleep and nothing else, Flagstaff may be a better bet. Dragonflylady can advise about hotels in that town.

As you head into Flagstaff on 180 don't miss The Museum of Northern Arizona on the right about 3 miles north of the town centre. It offers a small but very interesting introduction to the area and its people.

Sun City West
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2. Re: Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

If I were you, I'd enter the park where the IMAX is and see it before going into the park; it does give a different perspective on what you are about to see. You can also buy park tickets from the machine right outside the door to the IMAX. The advantage to doing that is that going into the park, you can get into the short line (often very short) reserved for those who already have their tickets. It's not a long drive from Flagstaff, and, for me, it's a better way to enter the park.

Sun City West
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3. Re: Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

Forgot to say that when you return to Phoenix on Saturday, you might want to see the Frank Lloyd Wright workshop; we find it fascinating, and drive back to Phoenix is a very short one from Sedona; you'll have lots of time.

Massachusetts
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4. Re: Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

Thanks Guys, The reason I thought about staying in Camron is I thought when we left Flagstaff it we be to much to do Sunset Crater, Wutpatki Monument, Cameron Trading Post, Little Colorado River Gorge, Desert View Watchtower and drive the rest of Route 64 to the Kachina Lodge in the GC. Also some have said it it less crowed entering the Canyon from the east side.

Do you think 2 nights is enough at the GC for site seeing?

Where does the National Park Pass for $50 able you to go?

Is Walnut Canyon a must see?

Is the Lowell Observatory a must see?

Thanks.

Watford
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5. Re: Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

I nearly mentioned that The IMAX film gives you an excellent introduction to the Canyon and could be worth seeing first. I would still go in the Cameron route - Not seeing the IMAX film before isn't worth changing plans IMHO but you could still drive out to the theatre and back in again should you wished to. 2 nights is enough unless you planned on doing a lot of hiking.

The National Park Pass is the greatest bargain in US tourism. For £50 you and your car (and all those in it) get free entry to every National Park and National Monument in the country for a year from date of issue. www.nps.gov

We liked Walnut Canyon and went there as we didn't have the time to get to Wupatki but you could probably get away with seeing one or the other.

Mesa, Arizona
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6. Re: Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

Hi and welcome

Sounds like a fantastic and well planned trip. Phx to Flagstaff will take 2 1/2 hrs to drive but a nice drive. Now if you have time you might want to hit Montezuma's castle on the way up to Sedona/Flagstaff if you have time since its right off the freeway there at Camp Verde. This might save some drive time.

www.americansouthwest.net/arizona/map.html

www.flagstaffchambers.com

WWW.VISITSEDONA.COM

www.pinkjeep.com

The Comfort inn will be fine. Its close to both freeways and right by the walmart. There is also an Ihop near by and a few other resteraunts. Its a nice location. I'd personally just make the cameron trading post a day trip. Unless you are going to other things in the area I wouldn't stay over night.IMO.

Hope this helps.

Massachusetts
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7. Re: Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

Went to Wupatki Ruins / Sunset Crater years ago on vacation. I was back in the area last fall and revisited them and went to Walnut Canyon for the first time.

The areas are completely different. After only seeing a few pictures of Walnut Canyon, I was taken by surprise at the depth of the canyon. What I didn't figure out in advance was that the ruins are on an "island" sticking up in the canyon and you walk way down and around the island (my bad -- the NPS website has enough info to figure this out). There is also a level trail along the rim from the Visitor Center. I thought the whole place was spectacular (not in Grand Canyon sense, but in its own way). I had a great visit.

On the other hand, Wupatki Ruins and Sunset Crater border on the Painted Desert -- you're up high as you drive through and can see forever. The ruins are much more built up and look very different from the Walnut Canyon ruins, since they're sticking up out of the desert instead of built into ledges in a cliff. If you like the wide open spaces, you've got them here.

It pretty much occupies a day to see them all, but you really can't go wrong with any of them.

If you go to Walnut Canyon (just a couple of miles east of Flagstaff), when you come back out and are looking for the westbound entrance to get back to Flagstaff and go north, if you should miss the interstate ramp (it is possible to mistake it for a construction site...) you will actually travel on a stretch of famous Route 66 on your way back to town.

Wv
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8. Re: Flagstaff/ Grand Canyon advice

I think I would return to Flagstaff for the night...more hotel & eating choices. It will give you a little longer drive in the morning, but just start a little sooner and you won't lose anything. If you are interested in native ruins, I think Walnut Canyon is a must. Do the island hike if you are able. Walnut Canyon is very different from Wupatki. Do both for a good perspective and the lives of ancient inhabitants. I love sunset crater too. At the canyon, if you are able to hike at all you should at least go the mile and a half rest house on Bright Angel trail, and get a little feel of being a part of the canyon. You might even get to see big horn sheep (We have each time we have gone.) Take the time to enjoy a sunset from one of the west rim view points too.