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Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

We are excited to finally be visiting Sedona and the Grand Canyon. We have Bright Angel booked for the Grand Canyon--need suggestions for Sedona and will need two bedroom.Thinking of doing the Pink Jeep tour and if we save our $ maybe a balloon trip. Any suggestion on Pink Jeep tour and perhaps going at sunset? We will be going the end of May.

10 replies to this topic
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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67,174 posts
250 reviews
1. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

First, book your lodging. Use the lodging links at the top of this page for ratings and reviews. You can filter by bedrooms and budget. How much time are you planning for Sedona?

Jeep tours are most popular. Pink Jeep dominates the market. For good reasons. Balloon flights are a unique huge thrill. All flights launch pre dawn. Two local companies both provide great flights and aircraft.

Personally, I like to be stationary for sunsets.

chicago
Level Contributor
1 post
12 reviews
2. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

Thanks- I so enjoy your reviews redfox/ we celebrate sunsets and don’t want to miss one in Sedona or at the Grand Caynon- Any trails in Sedona we should not miss?

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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67,174 posts
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3. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

Have you booked your accommodations? How many days/nights are you dedicating to Sedona?

Kalispell, Montana
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Santa Fe, Sedona
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11,179 posts
798 reviews
4. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

Are you going to GC or Sedona first? Are you flying into Phoenix or Las Vegas? Realize that your arrival and departure times can use up those 2 days...at least partially...sometimes totally, if arrival is late and departure is early. How many Full days do you actually have for Sedona?

Let us know when you have your rooms booked and where they are located. Then we can list an order of the attractions/trails and the best way to plan your days without a lot of backtracking through the busy Uptown traffic circles.

I would consider Sedona Sunset at Red Rock Crossing/Crescent Moon Ranch just west of West Sedona. Airport Mesa is also popular but it gets too busy with limited parking...its a must-do, but better to visit in the daylight. Views there are of the red rocks with the village and homes in the views. RRC is rural and unaffected by buildings ruining the views.

Edited: 17 October 2018, 18:17
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

We hope to do 2 days in Sedona then travel to the Grand Canyon. Looking at renting at Vista Ridge Sedona or Courtyard Marriott (son in-law has points). We hope to do the Pink Jeep in Sedona and I would love to do the hot air balloon ride-- if we could swing the cost. The pictures posted on TripAdvisor of this area are amazing and I can't wait to go on a couple trails. If we can get a couple more extra days off-- is Zion an option after the Grand Canyon?

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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67,174 posts
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6. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

If you can find more time, add it to Sedona. You’ll regret not having more time there. Save Zions for another vacation.

Two days is three nights. You’ll need that much if you intend to include a balloon flight.

Edited: 17 October 2018, 21:31
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

Thanks everyone for your advice--- so much to look forward to!

Kalispell, Montana
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Santa Fe, Sedona
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11,179 posts
798 reviews
8. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

I agree...if you can add time, I would and add it to Sedona! Zion is a full day's drive just to arrive there. It takes about 2 days to see well and then there is the time it takes to drive to one of the 2 airports you might choose. Phoenix or Las Vegas as a drop-off, one-way car rental.

If you stay at Marriott it is in West Sedona. Vista Ridge is just a little south of the Uptown traffic circles off of the 179. You can now look at this itinerary...it will show you where things are located within the Sedona Area and plan from it what you want to do without backtracking too much and wasting time. I will assume you are arriving and departing from Phoenix and not Las Vegas?

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There are 5 basic areas in/near Sedona to visit and you can group things together accordingly to avoid a lot of backtracking or multiple trips/delays at the Uptown traffic circles.

On the way up from Phoenix.

If you have an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass great, If not buy one. The Pass works for over 2,000 federal parks and National Forest areas in any state for a full year. For this trip now, it works for Grand Canyon and all of the National Monuments you may be visiting near Sedona and Grand Canyon. It also works as a Sedona Parking pass. But it does not get you into State Parks or independently run areas like Red Rock Crossing and the parking at West Fork.

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1...To the south: The RED ROCK SCENIC BYWAY is the #179 from the Village of Oak Creek to Sedona Uptown. You will come first to the Ranger Station Visitor's Center just before you reach the Village of Oak Creek where your hotel is located. If you skipped Montezuma's Castle...Stop to pick up all kinds of area information and free trail maps.

As you leave VoC heading north along the 179, you first come to the exceptionally beautiful BELL ROCK area, with its easy pathway and many connecting trails.

Next along the road, a right hand turn is the architecural wonder of CHAPEL OF THE HOLY CROSS.

Just a bit further, the TLAQUEPAQUE adobe-style gallery and dining village under the big trees. That will be a left turn heading north.

https://www.tlaq.com

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2...The area west of WEST SEDONA:

A....That includes Airport Mesa Drive with its Big Red Knoll, loop trail and overlooks. Best done in the morning and NOT at sunset. Too crowded and limited parking...views also have buildings and homes in the way of the red rocks.

B...The Dry Creek/Boynton Canyon Scenic byway, a right hand turn off of the 89A out along the red rock cliffs to the famous Enchantment Resort. It is an in-and-out drive and not a circle drive. You know how scenic it must be for that resort to be out there. Out there too are the Devil's Bridge, Fay, Boynton and Long Canyon hikes plus others. Boynton Canyon and Fay Canyon are our favorites out there. Drinks or a meal at Enchantment would be a treat for views alone...no need to be guests.

C...The Red Rock Loop scenic drive is further out the 89A past the Dry Creek area. Its a left hand turn...enter the loop drive at Lower RR Loop drive...its further west....make the circle for views and photos. https://sedonadrivetours.com/map.htm

D...It is also out west of West Sedona where you will find the renowned Red Rock Crossing/Crescent Moon Park along the Upper RR Loop drive. That is great for the creek-walk, Buddha Beach (rock cairns), and the **classic sunset or daylight views of Cathedral Rockwith the creek in the foreground. It is the classic scene you so often see in many of the in Sedona brochures and magazine articles. It also has a nice picnic area and nice restrooms. Expect that to cost $10 as it is not included in the parking pass program. Its a great place to wade in the creek. The classic view is across the meadow, down by the creek behind the first restroom just after you pass through the entrance gate. azswimmingholes.com/red_rock_crossing.html

A spectacular option for after sunset or for a very special occasion...Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill. Or if you want to watch sunset from there on another day, make reservations for the outdoor patio...at least an hour or so before the actual sunset time. https://www.facebook.com/mariposagrill/

Coffee Pot is nice for breakfast. West Sedona is a service town with many restaurants, nice hotels, little strip malls, grocery stores like Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and Basha's. Also clinics, banks, gas stations and drug stores.

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3...UPTOWN...for some more touristy, yet fun shops. The Cowboy Club and other nice restaurants like Cress at L'Auberge, and the great Sedona Memories Bakery Cafe are located there.

The exciting Pink Jeep Broken Arrow or other off-road tours, an Ancient Ruins tour or its newly listed On-Pavement tour begin there. So do the Red Rock Western tours, or the Magic Red on-pavement Trolley tours. I would advise you to think twice about any off-road Jeep tour IF you have orthopedic, heart or dizziness issues, but would take one of the other on-pavement tours early in your visit. You will have to decide if those are for you. Off-road is 2 or 3 hours of swaying, rocking, up and down, side to side movement. No problems...they are great fun.

Pink Jeep Sedona https:/… http://www.redrockjeep.com http://www.redrockmagictrolley.com

4...OAK CREEK CANYON/89A: The canyon drive from Uptown, past Midgley Bridge, its box canyon trail, all the way to West Fork for its famous canyon/creek Hiking...expect to get wet feet. Also along there is Slide Rock State Park for kids and Garland's for really nice Native art and jewelry. That is also the route you take when you are going to and coming back from Grand Canyon.

Indian Gardens out there is popular for breakfast.

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5...OPTIONAL for those with more time:

For a day trip west of West Sedona, you can include some or all of the following. The Verde Canyon railroad tour, seasonally, the Verde Valley wine trail (nice in the Fall), Toozigoot National Monument, Blazin'M Western Cookout and village, Out of Africa Wildlife Park, Cottonwood for antiquing, wine tasting and the quaint town of Jerome, now an arts and restored mining town up on a hillside. *Its easy to combine Toozigoot, Cottonwood and Jerome with sunset later at Red Rock Crossing.

https://verdecanyonrr.com

http://vvwinetrail.com

https://www.nps.gov/tuzi/index.htm

https://www.blazinm.com

https://outofafricapark.com

http://azjerome.com/jerome/

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There are nice on-line maps on this site. With quadrants where you may be hiking...for example the Bell Rock Area, The Oak Creek Canyon Area, the Dry Creek/Boynton Canyon area, the Airport Mesa and Red Rock Crossing areas. Within each quadrant map there are clickable maps for the many named trails in the area. Its a great resource.

sedonaredrocktrails.org/SedonaTrailMaps.html

www.greatsedonahikes.com/easyhikes.html

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We make the GRAND CANYON loop drive nearly every time we come to the area. It will take all day or better yet, an overnight. Using your car gives you great freedom to stop when and where you want.

1...Leave Sedona fairly early after breakfast via the 89A to Flagstaff.

2...Take the 89 north from Flagstaff, but also take the Sunset Crater and Wupatki Ruins National Monument loop drive along the way. It is a very interesting drive and both have easy access to walks to the lava field and to two or three stunning ruins at Wupatki. Both are nothing at all similar to what you will see at GC. Great photo ops from easy walks to the ruins.http://www.arizona-leisure.com/wupatki-ruins.html

3...After the loop, take the 89 again and stop at the Historic Cameron Trading Post for lunch and a look about. The stone gallery north of the parking lot is all certified Native-made art of all kinds. https://www.camerontradingpost.com

4...Enter the park using the east gate via the #64...the Desert Rim Drive. https:/…desert-view-drive.htm

Begin with the Watchtower/Desert View. You will be making all right hand turns to the overlooks, so no waiting for traffic. If you are enjoying an overlook, stay and enjoy it. Don't feel obligated to rush to the next one or to every single one...they are all actually quite similar. Grandview, Lipan Point and the area around the Village and the El Tovar Hotel are musts. There is the visitor's center, museum and trading post there that are fun to visit. The Trading Post and some of the other stone buildings are historic.

5a...If you ARE overnighting...then watch sunset, have a picnic during the sunset, or dinner after that at El Tovar. Then watch sunrise in the morning and take the shuttles west, hiking where you choose. You can also rent bikes to ride the west rim drive area. https:/…hermit-red-route.htm http://bikegrandcanyon.com

5b...If yours is only a day trip, You do not have to take the shuttles west to Hermit's Rest...it can take forever sitting in the shuttles and then standing in line again to catch the shuttles back. The overlooks are much the same and somewhat geared for the really serious hikers who want to hike down into the depths of the canyon.

If you are making a day trip, skip that and begin the drive back to Sedona so that you arrive before dark. Use the 64 south from the Village to Williams. Williams is a very well preserved Rte 66 town and if that is of interest to you...worth a walk about. https://experiencewilliams.com/route-66/

6...Drive to your next destination or either the Phoenix or Las Vegas airports.

Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
9. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

WOW! thanks so much for the great information--- I can't wait to investigate all your suggestions. Thank you for sharing this with me--- so appreciate it!

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
17,833 posts
90 reviews
10. Re: Planning a trip with adult children to Sedona and Grand

GCNP lodging:

grandcanyonlodges.com/ 5 in park lodges, Xanterra - 888-297-2757

visitgrandcanyon.com/ 1 in park lodge - Yavapai Lodge - 877-404-4611

Tusayan: hotels in the village just outside the park (use travel site or TA)

nps.gov/grca/ park website for park information

Park lodges book up to a year in advance. Sometimes cancellations happen in park lodging and don't appear quickly on the website. If no availability on the website, call often and ask about availability. The park no longer produces a newsletter. Information about programs, shuttles, overlooks, etc. can be found on the park website. GCNP South Rim is very self-touring.

Read Top Questions at right in GCNP forum (on a PC not a phone).

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