Thanks Al –
That would be my trip as well. I agree about the restrictions regarding the North Rim, but it is well worth the trip if one can fit it into their schedule.
I have not been to Oatman in a few years but hopefully it has not become over run by tourist busses. It was a great place in the early ’80’s before it was "discovered".
So many places so little time…
I agree the North Rim is a great place to go and much less visited than the South Rim. We included it in our Utah Circle this past May. A couple of limitations kept it off my list for Vince.
It is Open only May 15-Nov 1 (or til the Snow Flies). The North Rim is about 1500 ft higher than the south and gets A LOT more snow. Be prepared for colder weather at each end of the season.
It is a LONG ride, beautiful, but long, to get out to the North Rim.
To add it to one of Vince’s choices I would
Make DAY 5 read- Lake Powell to Kanab, UTah via the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
DAY 6 Kanab to Cedar City UT via Bryce N P and Cedar Breaks N P
Day 7 Cedar City UT to Las Vegas via Zion N P and Virgin River Gorge.
Day 8 (Optional) Day Trip circle out of Las Vegas to the Rt 66 Kingman-Oatman ride.
Since we have done the Rt 66 so many times I have no trouble dropping it to add the North Rim, But it is a fun time and needs to be covered also
I agree with the Mayor’s advice as well. I have taken a similar trip and or done other sections of the trip on other trips.
However, why does no one mention the North Rim of the Grand Canyon? Is it that unknown? Give me the opportunity and I will spend my time there rather than on the south rim.
Just my thoughts.
I think the mayors advice on your trip is the best. He knows it very well and has traveled the area extensively.
Paul E. Smith
I am definitely appreciating the advice here – it’s clear I should reduce my travel radius and make time for the unexpected surprises therein. A good hiking to driving time ratio is certainly a must.
And I would go back to Albuquerque in a heartbeat! That’ll be part of another trip.
I got kin folk out that way, I always said I should head that way someday, been every which way but sw.
I am sure that Your neck of the woods has a great many places to "go and see"… But Vince asked about some specific destinations.
One thing that shows in the basic travel plan is the need to get a good "AirFare and Connection". Using Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and even Phoenix offers fairly good connections for the Atlanta Based traveler (Vince). Changing planes twice hoping that the luggage for 2 weeks makes the change too would be a major hassle for a fly-drive vacation. That’s one thing to keep in mind when planning this kind of a ‘go-go-go’ week.
When we did our Alaska Fly-Drive last year. We drove to Cincinnati in order to get a thru flight …Cincinnati-SLC-Anchorage no change of planes, to avoid any possible luggage problem (and to save $340 in airfare if we had flown out of Louisville).
When we drive thru Albuquerque, we always check to see if the big Flea Market at the Fairground is open….That’s one of our favorite stops on the X-country ride !
why doesn’t anyone ever want to come to albuquerque???[:(]
I have taken several similar vacation trips. I have flown into Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Las Vegas and got a rental car. I then spent the week touring the Southwest and typically put about 1,300 miles on the rental car.
I think your plans are too ambitious for one week. For example, if you go to Arches National Park you need to allow time to take walks on short trails. Delicate Arch is the most famous arch and you need to walk a trail to see it. The web site for the park says to allow for two hours to see Delicate Arch and it is a must see. And Dead Horse State Park and Canyonlands are nearby and worth a visit as well.
I have learned that if you don t take at least some of the short trails in the National Parks that you miss out on a lot of good stuff, so you have to allow time for these. You could fly into Salt Lake City and from there go to Arches, Capital Reef, Monument Valley, Zion and Bryce Canyon and then loop back to Salt Lake City. If you did this and never left Utah, you would still be pressed for time in one week.
The Mayor’s two scenarios look much more feasible for one week.
Any roadtrip is -at best- a series of compromises, be it for the time, distance, budget, family priorities, food, weather…etc etc.
We have driven many times thru the area you mentioned, and still have lots of things to see and places to visit on future trips thru the same area.
The places you mentioned are not necessarily in the best ‘connect the dots’ itinerary for a one week sojourn. In my humble opinion you are biting off more than you can chew in a week, At least to give some time to looking and seeing instead of getting your ticket punched and roaring off to the next place. Our Spring trip into CO-AZ-UT used 21 days. 6 of those were direct to and from SoColorado, so 15 days were spent in the circle tour of Monument Valley,Lake Powell- G.C.-Zion-Bryce-Capitol Reef-Canyonlands-Arches-Mesa Verde. We did NOT do the South Rim of the G.C., the Rt 66 corridor, the SoCal Desert, or Las Vegas and the area around it.
If your TIME is really the deciding factor, this couldbe A ONE WEEK RIDE- with Las Vegas(at both ends):
Day 1-RT 66 Oatman, east to Kingman, Backroads into Jerome and Sedona.
Day 2 Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff and Williams.
Day 3 South Rim of the G C.
Day 4 Monument Valley to Lake Powell (Page AZ)
Day 5 Lake Powell to Bryce NP.
Day 6 Bryce NP to Cedar Breaks NP then Zion NP
Day 7 Zion NP back to Vegas.
That week has NO SoCal time or no Arches/ Capitol Reef and other redrock stuff.
Another Possible itinerary with Salt Lake as the start and Vegas as the end COULD be:
Day 1- SLC to Moab,UT.
Day 2- Arches N P
Day 3- Canyonlands N P
Day 4- Moab to Lake Powell via Monument Valley.
Day 5- Lake Powell(Page,AZ) to Cedar City UT via Bryce and Cedar Breaks N Parks
Day 6- Cedar City to Vegas via Zion N P and Virgin River Gorge.
Day 7- Day trip out from Vegas to Rt 66, Kingman and Oatman and return to Vegas.
These are both workable for a weeks busy ride. I have no idea what the drop-charge for a one way rental from SLC to Las Vegas would be….may be zero!!
Here is a link to our Spring Trip Report. It may help you make some decisions. Most days have the total miles driven that day included in the notes. http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12910%5B/url%5D
You can do an Arizona- Grand Canyon, Havesu, Hoover Dam,Rt 66 and Palm Springs tour, but Palm Springs is a long haul from all the rest of the places you want to see, as are the Redrocks of Utah.
Email if you have any questions about any of these possibilities.
I realize this is way open to interpretation with way too many variables, but…
…Some day I would like to take some time driving through Arizona/Utah/S. Cal. desert in the space of, say, a week. My best option from here in Atlanta seems to be to fly into Phoenix (or possibly Vegas), and rent a car. While there are a few hundred places I’m sure I’d like to get to, I know I’d like to see the Arches in Utah, Rte. 66 in the Seligman/Kingman area, the Oak Creek Canyon, and Palm Springs – and I would like to stay in each area a solid day, and not just rush in and out. And I’m prone to stopping at places that catch my interest along the way.
So am I looking at too much in too little time here? I seem to spend way too much time on road trips simply getting from one place to another – distances on an atlas don’t ever *look* too bad, but often stretch interminably once I’m on them.
Maybe one of you has done a similar trip and can impart their experiences? That would probably give me the best impression of what I’d be looking at.
(And of course this is food related, as I’d be seeking out good food!)
SW road trip plans
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