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Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

UK
Level Contributor
5 posts
3 reviews
Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

My husband and elderly parents are planning a trip to Sedona, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National park and ending in Las vegas.

I was hoping that I could get some advice on how to make the most of our trip. We have 2 really keen photographers in our group but they're not very agile, so long hikes are out.

We only have 5 days and were planning to drive from Phoenix to Sedona, spending the first night in Sedona.

Day 2 would be to drive to the Grand Canyon and spend the night there and then drive onto Bryce Canyon the next day to spend 2 nights there. We were hoping to see both Bryce and Zion National Park.

Is this possible without being too rushed?

Can I have some suggestions please as to where in Sedona, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park we should drive to to get the most out of our trip?

I'd like to make it special for my parents as they are really looking forward to this trip.

Also, are there any places you could recommend that showcase handicrafts / art etc?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
19,257 posts
15 reviews
1. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

You are doing a lot of driving in 5 days, and trying to see too many places.

Grand Canyon South Rim to Bryce is about a 6 hour drive, and you will pass right thru Page. Since you are photographers, you really should take a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon, and consider staying in Page.

If you didn't stop at Page and drove straight thru, spend one night Bryce to see the sunset and sunrise then head to Zion for a night.

With five days a better relaxed option would be Phoenix, Sedona, GC, Page, which is still rushed.

Or fly into Vegas. Do Zion, North Rim GC and Bryce.Every one of those places are 2-3 hours from each other.North rim is open May 15 to Oct 15.

Edited: 03 March 2012, 22:14
Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
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2. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

You already will see Navajo stalls between Desert View (most easternly place in GCNP) and Cameron. In Cameron is a big Trading Post from very cheap tourist stuff to excellent Navajo rugs and art. In Desert View also is a ffairly good store.

I agree with Dez, you are packing a lot.

Tet

Wickenburg, Arizona
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for Wickenburg
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3. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

Another option would be first nite Grand Canyon - enter by south gate, drive the rim and stop at the overlooks the following day, then out thruogh east gate on your way to Page. 2nd nite at Page - do Antelope Canyon (Upper!). 3rd nite Bryce, 4th nite Zion, then on to Vegas. Still a lot of driving but to best effect.

UK
Level Contributor
5 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

Thanks very much for all these helpful suggestions. My father tells me he really wants to see monument valley as well. Is there something I could potentially leave out to fit it this in? We are traveling at the end of April. Thanks again.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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for Wickenburg
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2,759 posts
855 reviews
5. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

Monument Valley is a long way the other way, so to speak. with the time and the destinations you've so far listed MV is impossible. You could do MV, but then you'd have to leave out Bryce and Zion. People who've never been here simply have no clue how vast it is and how many hundreds of miles - adding up to thousands - they have to drive to see all those spectacular parks. What would really be the best for you to do if this is indeed an option at all is to add another 5 days - once you make the long, long trip to come out here from Europa . since it seems this is no go and he's dead set on MV, drop Bryce/Zion. Is Vegas a must? You could drive back to Phoenix and fly out of there.

UK
Level Contributor
5 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

Unfortunately we can't stay on for another 5 days. We can extend by one day and potentially leave out Vegas. (although my husband - who is doing most of the driving - is really looking forward to chilling out in a nice hotel there)

I've heard that Bryce canyon is the most impressive of all the parks mentioned. I suppose it's very difficult to comment on this, but what would be your thoughts on this? Should we cut out Zion and just do Sedona, Grand canyon, Monument valley and Bryce (we would say fly in to Phoenix on the 21st and leave on the 28th?) Or do you feel we should really just cut out Bryce all together? Thanks.

Wickenburg, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Wickenburg
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2,759 posts
855 reviews
7. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

well, see, there's no 'most impressive' really - since they're all totally different from each other - each of them has its unique features that makes each of them absolutely sensational and spectacular in its own right. If your hubby just wants a sensational hotel and not the casinos and gambling and shows, not the whole Strip experience (sorry, I'm just talking about the main drag called the Strip- I'm not trying to insinuate anything here) - then you can find top notch 5* resorts around Phoenix, Scottsdale or Sedona and save yourself the trouble of driving to Vegas specifically. If you're prepared to cut Zion, vut Bryce as well, since this is the furthest away - and swap it for Monument Valley if this is such a priority.

well, Bryce or Monument valley, it'll have to be one or the other, reasonably - maybe roll a dice - just kidding - look at pictures and decide which one appeals more after all.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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60,942 posts
42 reviews
8. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

You can go from GC to Monument Valley and spend the night there (maybe try The View hotel or Gouldig's Lodge). And maybe skip Sedona.

What to leave out is up to you. If this is for the National Park I'd do:

1. Phoenix-Grand Canyon

2. Grand Canyon-Monument Valley

3. Monument Valley via Page to Bryce

4. Bryce to Zion

5. Zion-Las Vegas.

Monument Valley to Bryce app is a 5+ hours drive so maybe visit Antelope Canyon (Upper) on your way. You'll gain one hour between Zion and Las Vegas and lose one hour between GC and Monument Valley.

London, United...
Level Contributor
106 posts
101 reviews
9. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

I did this trip a couple of years ago and am doing it again later this month, as fell in love with all the places I visited, so was desperate to take my parents to see the places you have listed.

From your list; Monument Valley is the most astounding place. I can't explain it, but there is something astounding about being there. The View hotel is worth every penny. To walk out on the room balconies and view the stars at night, then wake up to the sun rising is something super special, but if you are in Monument Valley, it is worth the 35 mile drive up to Goosenecks State Park. The photo's from there will be beautiful and the drive back from Goosenecks to Monument Valley is stunning. If you have keen photographers, then you will get the best shots of your trip on this road, plus you will see wild horses, Mexican Hat and the like.

I know this may be taboo to say, but of the places you listed, Grand Canyon was beautiful, but my least favourite (if you aren't planning to hike), but that's obviously my personal opinion.

Sedona blew me away and i've thought about Sedona and Monument Valley almost every day since visiting them both. The drive down to Sedona is breathtaking and stopping at Oak Canyon Vista is again a great photo op and very special.

Zion was ace and driving through the mountains was very novel. Bryce is a real sight to behold, however, if you aren't able to do much walking, it's really only good for an hour to take some beautiful photos. The walk around even the ledge is quite up & down, so not great if you have members of the group who aren't overly agile.

My friend and I did the whole loop from Vegas in 5 days and did 1500 miles, but the sights we saw were worth every moment spent in the car and we stopped plenty along the way too.

This trip will give you a lifetime of memories, so even if you only have a short period of time and have to do a lot of driving, you, nor any member of your group will regret it and you will talk about the sights you see for the rest of your lives.

If it helps, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28164808@N02/5980451943/ and flick through, those are my photo's from the places you listed, just to give you an idea of some of the shots you could get.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
3,706 posts
27 reviews
10. Re: Advice needed for road trip from Phoenix to Las vegas

Since you are driving right by it, I wouldn't leave out Sedona. It's a pretty quick jog (depending on the local traffic) to zip over there from the I-17, drive by and look at the pretty rocks and chapel. then get out and stretch in old town Sedona, maybe grab a bite to eat, before you head on up through the absolutely beautiful Oak Creek Canyon on your way to the "Rim." As to the huge detour to Vegas. There are many world class resorts in Phoenix and Scottsdale in which to chill. Just rent your husband a video of "Viva Blackpool" or Viva Laughlin"..