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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 01-23-2013, 04:39 AM   #31
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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Originally Posted by Marty Mac Ver 2.0 View Post

Where are you staying in Phx?
Not sure. Something that will be convenient to Surprise and my cousin's place east of Deer Valley. Our budget is tight.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:57 AM   #32
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Last time I was there, ENDelt was a regular poster here. But I would caution you to keep a full tank of gas when you can. If you're driving across the dessert, there are strategically placed stations that charge more than $2 more per gallon than other stations 40 miles in either direction. No idea if that practice continues but it did in the mid 200x's.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:10 AM   #33
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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Originally Posted by Straight, No Chaser View Post
Why Monument Valley?
Its an iconic landscape and something I've always wanted to see in person.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight, No Chaser View Post
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.
My plan, right now, is to find accommodations in Tusayan and devote most of the next day to Grand Canyon, then finding accommodations in Flagstaff that evening. From Flagstaff we'll take the scenic route to the Valley of the Sun, seeing some sights along the way.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:07 AM   #34
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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I appreciate the help so far....
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:54 AM   #35
Marty Mac Ver 2.0 Marty Mac Ver 2.0 is offline
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There are some decent options along I-17 but there are some "no tell motels" along that stretch as well. There is a nice, newer Drury Inn off I-17 and Pinnacle Peak Road you should consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archie F. Swin View Post
Not sure. Something that will be convenient to Surprise and my cousin's place east of Deer Valley. Our budget is tight.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:58 AM   #36
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Bob Dole stayed at the Holiday Inn Williams at 950 N Grand Canyon Blvd years ago. Reasonably priced and nice, and a straight shot up to the south rim the next morning.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #37
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You can stop in Sedona when you're headed to Phoenix and get your chakras aligned via the harmonic convergence.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:00 PM   #38
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I don't know about anyone else, but traveling through Navajo country was kind of a depressing experience. Last year, I was in Moab, UT and drove south on Highway 191 all the way down to I-40. The landscape was barren, and it seemed like each town was poorer than the one before. In one town, they had a herd of sheep walking and grazing along the side of the highway. I damn near ran over a couple of them. Nobody bothered keep them fenced in. I'm surprised there weren't sheep carcasses all over the place.

It might be worth it to stop by the Meteor Crater just west of Winslow. The admission fee was kind of steep, but its a cool place to visit once in your life. Its amazing to see how huge the crater is in person.

When you go to the Grand Canyon, try to get there a little early. When I was there, the line to get in was long, and parking was a real bitch. I think it took me at least 20 minutes to find a spot. You might want to bring your own lunch and snacks with you. You're gonna be starving after walking around all day.

I love the drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix on I-17. One of these days I'll take the scenic view through Sedona like everybody recommends.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:33 PM   #39
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Be very careful driving late at night on the highways. Arizona is notorious for drunk drivers going through intersections.

Sedona is beautiful, Lake Havasu, Grand Canyon, Scottsdale/Phoenix has lots to do, and Tuscon is also nice but very much a retirement haven these days.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:38 PM   #40
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:13 PM   #41
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Lived in Phoenix for 3 years and never hit up the GC. I always meant to, but on the way, we'd detour to Vegas instead. If you need help with PHX area itself, PM me...other than that, can't help.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:42 PM   #42
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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I just realized I'm probably not gonna get any deals on accommodations in March in the PHX metro.... spring traning baseball.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:06 PM   #43
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While In New Mexico, should I make time for the Chaco Culture Park?
I enjoyed it immensely. It's very laid-back, not as developed or touristy as Mesa Verde. But if you're into seeing some really cool old ruins you like it. There's a short hike you can do just above the biggest ruin, Pueblo Bonito, that gets you up onto a little bluff overlooking the ruins. I definitely recommend it if you go.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:06 AM   #44
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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How's about stuff for kids to do in greater Phoenix?
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:32 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Munson View Post
I don't know about anyone else, but traveling through Navajo country was kind of a depressing experience. Last year, I was in Moab, UT and drove south on Highway 191 all the way down to I-40. The landscape was barren, and it seemed like each town was poorer than the one before. In one town, they had a herd of sheep walking and grazing along the side of the highway. I damn near ran over a couple of them. Nobody bothered keep them fenced in. I'm surprised there weren't sheep carcasses all over the place.

It might be worth it to stop by the Meteor Crater just west of Winslow. The admission fee was kind of steep, but its a cool place to visit once in your life. Its amazing to see how huge the crater is in person.

When you go to the Grand Canyon, try to get there a little early. When I was there, the line to get in was long, and parking was a real bitch. I think it took me at least 20 minutes to find a spot. You might want to bring your own lunch and snacks with you. You're gonna be starving after walking around all day.

I love the drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix on I-17. One of these days I'll take the scenic view through Sedona like everybody recommends.
Weird how stereotypes work. Even at 6yo I'd heard the story of the alcoholic Indian. Then when my grandparents took me to Disneyland by car, we'd take a walk each night. Somewhere in Navajo territory, there were literally drunks passed out in the streets, just lying there with a bottle a couple feet away.
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