Southwest trip

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1. Posted by wrbedrava (Budding Member 6 posts) 15w Star this if you like it!

Planning an 8 day trip to Sedona, Grand Canyon, Page and probably Bryce in mid March to celebrate 25th anniversary. Planning to fly into Phoenix but nothing booked yet. Was thinking staying in Sedona for 4 nights and moving up to Page for next 4 nights. Any suggestions for itinerary, and things that can’t be missed are welcome. Recommendations for food also needed. Thanks in advance.

2. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 174 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

We did Bryce and Zion NP. Fab!!!

3. Posted by wrbedrava (Budding Member 6 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Everything I have read says 3-4 days for hiking in Sedona. Then I figured travel up to GC, and spend the whole day in the park before heading up to Page (arrive in evening). So then planning on the antelope slot, horsheshoe bend and maybe a boat tour in Page (this is day 6). Only leaves me two days left until we need to travel back to Michigan on March 23. Wasn't sure I could hit both parks in 2 days if I stay at a place in Page. Was trying to avoid changing accommodations more than once - staying 4 nights in Sedona and 4 in Page. Tell me more about what you did in Bryce...haven't started researching that part yet. Been reading travel forums for last 4 hours!

4. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 884 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Is there a reason you don't want to change accommodations more? I can't see a day trip to Bryce from Page being worthwhile - you would spend most of the day travelling there and back. And Zion is even further! I think you should consider either lengthening your trip or narrowing your geographic area to be honest. But if you prefer not to do that, why not three nights in Sedona, two in Page, two more near Bryce and one in hand to break the journey back to Phoenix?

5. Posted by wrbedrava (Budding Member 6 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

It just doesn't seem like enough time for Zion so I was saving that for another trip. I felt like it was a lot of work to pack up and change locations for basically one day in Bryce. I don't travel all that much, so not that great living out of a suitcase. With all these weather changes, I feel like we will be bringing a ton of wardrobe selections. I could skip Bryce completely and maybe come home one day sooner. That would basically be giving us 2 full days in Page area before heading home. Can't really extend time because we both only have the one week off work. I appreciate your thoughts.

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Don't bring a ton of wardrobe selections. Bring things you can layer. Start wearing a lot and peel it off as it gets warmer. Just be sure you have one waterproof layer and two pairs of shoes. I don't like living out of a suitcase either, but if you put like things together in separate places, it's almost like a dresser drawer. I can reach into my suitcase without looking and pull out a pair of socks, for instance.

Enjoy your trip.

7. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 884 posts) 14w 1 Star this if you like it!

Yes, there’s a system to living out of a suitcase - we do it a lot and you soon adjust. Pack in sections - all your t-shirts here, warmer tops there and so on. I try to pack only items which don’t crease so I can roll them to squeeze into the corners, but if I have a couple of things I want to keep flat I put them on top and take them out each evening. Make sure things you’ll need every night, like your toilet bag, are easily accessible - I usually have a corner for that and my second pair of shoes (I like to change to a different pair in the evening). If we’re travelling for over a week I usually unpack fully halfway through and put anything dirty at the bottom before repacking but on your schedule you shouldn’t need to do that. And for only eight days you shouldn’t need a huge amount.

8. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 170 posts) 14w 3 Star this if you like it!

Good advice about layers: you won't need THAT many clothes if you just shed the warmest outer layer as needed.

As I see it, this trip would be better if you flew into Phoenix and out of Las Vegas, if possible. It would also be better if you were willing to to break up your stays. IMHO, Page doesn't deserve 4 nights: it's OK but there is far, far more dramatic scenery elsewhere. We spent two nights there only because we did some hiking further afield that I wouldn't necessarily recommend in March so easily could have done it in one day (didn't boat the lake).

Speaking of March, it's a changeable weather month that could have you seeing anything from snow to ice to reasonably comfortable daytime temps in the upper elevations. Daylight is also somewhat short, and I'm not wild about a drive, say, from the Grand Canyon to Page in the dark when the critters tend to be out and about out.

Then I figured travel up to GC, and spend the whole day in the park before heading up to Page.

You are seriously shorting your time at the canyon! Of ALL the locations under discussion, THIS is your #1 spot for visual drama. I always, ALWAYS recommend at least one night, and two is even better so that you get a good shot at a clear sunrise and sunset. While our grandest canyon is always impressive (minus heavy fog/rain) the BEST times for taking it in are earlier and later in the day, when the light isn't directly overhead.

A good plan might be to head up 89 from Flagstaff to Cameron and then west on 64, through the east entrance at Desert View. You'll be able to hit all the overlooks along the way to G.C. Village using your own car. By mid-March, access to overlooks to the west of the Village out to Hermit's Rest will be restricted to free shuttle bus or your own feet. There's 13 miles of rim trail - 5 of them east of the Village and 8 of them west of it - and most of it is paved/flat. I've done the length of it but you could, say, head west on foot and pick up a shuttle at one of the overlooks if not up to trekking all the way to H.R. You could also hike a bit under the rim (Bright Angel or South Kaibab) weather permitting. You might need traction devices - like Yaktrax - if there's ice/snow though.

Additionally at the South Rim are some interesting museums, and there are bound to be some free ranger walks/talks so there's plenty to do. Bonus: on 89 en route to Cameron are Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments, if interested.

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/wupa/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/sucr/index.htm

Bryce is great but not a day trip from Page in short daylight, IMHO. Like the canyon, it's also at its dramatic best earlier/later on a clear day so well worth a stay at/near the park when possible. It also has a fair amount of paved rim trail, and the Queen's Garden/Navajo Loop under-rim hike is a classic. Trail conditions in March could be a crapshoot, though: dry to icy to very muddy.

Zion is possible IF you fly out of L.V. A sample trip might be:
Phoenix to Sedona - 2 nights
Sedona to the South Rim - 1 or 2 nights/stay AT the canyon
South Rim to Page - 1 or 2 nights
Page to Bryce - 1 night
Bryce to Zion (stay in Springdale): 1 or 2 nights

One thing to be aware of: Arizona does not observe daylight savings time, which goes into effect on March 10th. Utah will be one hour AHEAD of Arizona on and after that date. Nevada is in a different time zone (Pacific) and will be one hour BEHIND Utah. In other words if it's 9:00 AM in Utah, it's 8:00 AM in Nevada. If it's 8:00 AM in Arizona, it's 9:00 AM in Utah.

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jan-2019, at 03:19 by goodfish ]

9. Posted by Dymphna (Full Member 134 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

goodfish know's that area... Hi Kate

10. Posted by wrbedrava (Budding Member 6 posts) 14w Star this if you like it!

Thanks goodfish and other responders! Was hoping to get some wonderful insight like this. I was only planning a day at GC because I read that it is just so expansive that you just need to see a bit to appreciate the vastness and beauty. The writer said you will only be experiencing such a tiny part even if you were there for weeks. Does anyone have a suggestion of where to stay at GC if we spend a night before heading to Page. I didn’t even think about the challenge if night driving! I am mostly going to Page for the famous Antelope and slot canyon photos and tours. One day probably good there especially if we skip boat. Also, do you all have suggested websites for me to learn about this trip from the experienced visitors? Books?