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Old 01-22-2013, 10:23 AM  
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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Advice on Highway Travel in Arizona

In March I plan on taking my family to see landmarks and (hopefully) some spring training baseball in Arizona. While I'm familiar with how the state is laid out, our travel will take us into some wide-open, sparsely-populated areas I wouldn't want to be stranded in.

From our home in Texas, my first destination is Farmington, New Mexico to stay the first night. Our second day will be in a region I'm completely unfamiliar with and need the most help with. From Farmington, we will make a stop at the Four Corners Marker (not really a big deal, but if we're in the the neighborhood...) and on to Monument Valley (something I've always wanted to see). Ideally, I would like to end this day of travel at a motel within a reasonable distance of the Grand Canyon. As far as I can tell, this would mean I have to drive from Monument Valley to Williams, Flagstaff or near the south rim to find accommodations. Doesn't look like there's much east of the Grand Canyon (unless you want to snuggle up to a Navajo). Can anyone tell me if its a reasonable drive from Monument Valley to Flagstaff (under normal driving conditions) to where we won't be pulling into town at midnight? Are there any surprisingly affordable places to stay within and hour of the south rim?

Anywhoo, we'll probably devote an entire day to the Grand Canyon (first visit in 25 years), then eventually make our way down to the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix/Surprise) and catch at least one Royals game and visit a distant cousin. Any must-see (also quick)stops between Flagstaff and Phoenix?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #16
DrRyan DrRyan is offline
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When you are coming down from Flagstaff to Phoenix make a day of it and drive the much more scenic route of the 89A through Sedona, Jerome and Prescott. The 89A is a really awesome drive.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #17
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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Originally Posted by loochy View Post
Do yourself a favor when driving to Farmington. DON'T go from Wichita Falls to Amarillo and take I-40 across to Albuquerque. Instead, go to Amarillo and head north to Dumas, then Clayton, Springer, Taos, Tierra Amarilla, Chama, Dulce, and Farmington.
A friend of mine from Farmington says the drive from WF is 11 hours, safe to say the northern route is quite a bit more?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archie F. Swin View Post
A friend of mine from Farmington says the drive from WF is 11 hours, safe to say the northern route is quite a bit more?
from WF to Taos is 10 hours with only 1 stop in Amarillo for gas, food, and pee. Taos to Farmington is another 3. The northern drive is full of large mountains, tall trees, and canyons. The southern drive is more desert-like.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:32 AM   #19
Chief_For_Life58 Chief_For_Life58 is offline
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Originally Posted by DrRyan View Post
When you are coming down from Flagstaff to Phoenix make a day of it and drive the much more scenic route of the 89A through Sedona, Jerome and Prescott. The 89A is a really awesome drive.
your moms a really awesome drive
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:36 AM   #20
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your moms a really awesome drive
it reminds me of this for some reason:

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Old 01-22-2013, 11:43 AM   #21
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If it were just me, I probably would make time for the finer scenery in New Mexico, but, on our first day, with restless kids in the car, I'm just looking to make time and get as close to AZ as possible. I've heard that part of NM is stunning though, and we need to get up there some time.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:46 AM   #22
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:52 AM   #23
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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While In New Mexico, should I make time for the Chaco Culture Park?
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #24
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Mesa Verde National Park isn't far from Four Corners and it's got some really cool Anasazi (Pueblo) cliff dwellings you can tour.

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Old 01-22-2013, 12:12 PM   #25
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You won't regret a Monument Valley drive. I can't imagine a better drive in America.

I remember stopping at a McDonald's in Tuba City when I went through about ten years ago. I don't remember if they had hotels there, but it wasn't a real happenin' place.

If you can make it to the Grand Canyon, you should just do that. Stay in the hotel that's right on the rim and then you'll have a full day there once you get up in the morning. The hotel's not fancy and I think it's a bit expensive, but you're a two-minute walk to the most spectacular view you'll ever see.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:42 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by DrRyan View Post
When you are coming down from Flagstaff to Phoenix make a day of it and drive the much more scenic route of the 89A through Sedona, Jerome and Prescott. The 89A is a really awesome drive.
I second this. While it Sedona you can take a "Pink Jeep" Tour, But if you do make sure you do the one where you do a little rock crawling. I am not sure how its set up as I have never done one but I did go to all the places they did with my FJ. I think they also have a tame tour just cruising around town or something.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:53 PM   #27
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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I second this. While it Sedona you can take a "Pink Jeep" Tour, But if you do make sure you do the one where you do a little rock crawling. I am not sure how its set up as I have never done one but I did go to all the places they did with my FJ. I think they also have a tame tour just cruising around town or something.
Just priced the Pink Jeep Tours.....woof!
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #28
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Just priced the Pink Jeep Tours.....woof!
That much huh? I never looked them up, It just looked like it might be fun for a family. I bring my own truck and can go anywhere they go.

Sedona is a beautiful place to see. If you like to hike there is some good hiking. Or you can just kick back and enjoy the views. Its just a couple hour ride IIRC from Surprise. You could cruise down to Surprise through Sedona and Jerome for a bit of sight seeing.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:05 AM   #29
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Stay in Flagstaff. The canyon isn't that far and you can take in Route 66, trains and more. Flagstaff to Phoenix is a very quick drive. Stop in Sedona and get lunch at Oak Creek and their brewery. Good beers.

Forgot, you need to stop at Metor Crater and the petrified forest

Where are you staying in Phx?
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:21 AM   #30
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Your missing some cool places with that itinerary but you can't see it all. Why Monument Valley? I prefer Canyon DeChelly (pronounced Dee-Shay). Met a code-talker there once who explained how he was made to remain "silent" on what he'd done for 20 years, mostly treated like 2nd class citizen since...

Flag is a good base, mountain town, still cold then but several outstanding day trips possible in any direction, even G.C. park (a long day though). Closer yet is Williams where you can take the train to G.C. village, get off for a while, and back (for tourists --sorry but I think that's you). Closer yet is Tusayan, just outside the parks entrance. Average time/visitor at south rim is like 2 hours... most are heading to Vegas. A shame to travel all that way to look down and say Wow. It's probably too late to get a room within the park but it would be worth it, especially El Tovar; Maswick a close second. If you have just one point to visit... it would probably be Desert View and you could do that coming down of 89 as it is the east end.
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