We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
11 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

We are considering a Northern AZ Road trip for early August 2018 for our family of 4 (two girls 14 and 11). Current plans are out lined below. We are Looking for a sanity check on distances, difficulty of drives and reasonableness of itinerary as well as thoughts on time at each location and any "must do" activities. Right now we only have lodging set at GC and Monument Valley and we are early enough to move those if needed.

Day 1 - Arrive in Phoenix around 1PM and drive to Sedona

Night 1 and 2 - Sedona - leave early for GC

Day 3 - Drive to GC

Night 3 and 4 - GC South Rim - Thunderbird Lodge

Day 4 - Leave Early for Page hit Horshoe Bend on drive in from GC, visit Antelope Canyon

Night 5 - Page

Day 6 - drive to MV - Navajo Tour

Night 6 - Monument Valley - View Hotel

Day 7 - Drive to four corners...if kids get their way (I know it's out of the way and not much there), drive to Sedona

Night 7 and 8 - Sedona

Day 9 - fly home from Phoenix

Should we consider taking a night from Sedona or GC to add a day in Page for rafting, etc? If so were would you recommend cutting?

Thank you!

Mentioned in this post
Phoenix
Phoenix
Central Arizona, AZ
Sedona
Sedona
Arizona
Bend
Bend
Central Oregon, OR
12 replies to this topic
Kalispell, Montana
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Santa Fe, Sedona
Level Contributor
10,462 posts
764 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

Arrival and Sedona time sounds fine since you are also staying there on the way back.

There are 4 basic areas in/near Sedona to visit and you can group things together accordingly to avoid a lot of backtracking.

1...To the south: The Red Rock Byway the #179 from the Village of Oak Creek to Sedona Uptown. Along there are the Bell Rock area, with its easy pathway and many connecting trails, the architecural wonder of Chapel of the Holy Cross and the Tlaquepaque gallery and dining village.

...............

2...Oak Creek Canyon: The canyon drive from Uptown, past Midgley Bridge all the way to West Fork for its famous Hiking. Also along there is Slide Rock State Park and Garland's for really nice Native art and jewelry. That is also the route you take if you are going to or coming from Grand Canyon.

...............

3. The area west of West Sedona:

A....That includes Airport Mesa Drive with its Big Red Knoll and overlooks. Best done in the morning and NOT at sunset.

B...The Dry Creek Scenic byway, a right hand turn off of the 89A out along the red rock cliffs to the famous Enchantment Resort. You know how scenic it must be for that resort to be out there. Out there too are the Devil's Bridge, Fay and Boynton Canyon hikes.

C...The Red Rock Loop 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.

D...It is also out there 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 and the classic sunset or daylight views of Cathedral Rock with the creek in the foreground. 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.

4...Uptown for tourist shops and the Pink Jeep tour hub. PJ Broken Arrow tour is really fun for the kids...and for you too.

......................................

Day 3 route to GC to consider:

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

2...Take the 89 north from there 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 tow 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.

3...After the loop, take the 89 again and stop at the Historic Cameron Trading Post for lunch and a look about. Many people swear by the Navajo Tacos...we can easily split one. The stone gallery north of the parking lot is all certified Native-made art of all kinds.

4...Enter the park using the east gate via the #64...the Desert Rim Drive. 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 and the area around the Village and the El Tovar Hotel are musts. There is the visitors center, museum and trading post there that are fun to visit. The Trading Post and some of the other stone buildings are historic and have been there much as they were since I was a little kid.

5...You have an entire free day to take the shuttles west to Hermit's Rest and back...plus time to revisit places near the village or along the rim drive where you would like to return to for sunset. You can rent bikes and cycle the route west.

.......................

Page and Monument Valley days...perfect.

.....

Day 7...Four Corners is truly a waste of time, fuel and $..a lot of nothing scenery along the way with some trinkets being sold after admission at the 4 corners. Photos there are hard to get...it looks like people standing in the middle of desert. You can photograph the plaque. That day would be a huge, long, tiring day to drive out to 4 Corners and then back to Sedona. Try to convince the kids that Canyon de Chelly or Petrified Forest/Painted Desert would be way cooler. Or just drive back directly to Sedona via the same route you took out and spend more time in Sedona that evening.

.........................

IMO you really have only 2 full days and 2 partial days in Sedona...I would not cut from there. In fact the only way I see for you to make your trip plan better is to add a day/night in Page for water activities and keep the rest the same...extending your trip from 9 days to 10. You have a lot of driving to do that will take time...with two lanes and speed limits and lots to see and do.

Edited: 31 August 2017, 02:19
Mentioned in this post
Sedona
Sedona
Arizona
Red Rock Cafe
Red Rock Cafe
1,867 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Bell Rock
Bell Rock
4,071 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Chapel of the Holy Cross
8,532 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon
2,983 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park
2,059 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Airport Mesa
Airport Mesa
2,397 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Enchantment Resort
Enchantment Resort
2,921 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock
5,083 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Pink Jeep Tours Sedona
Pink Jeep Tours Sedona
8,353 Reviews
Sedona, AZ
Flagstaff
Flagstaff
Arizona
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
64,827 posts
249 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

It's a decent plan. I'm one of those who would over rule the kids and skip 4 corners.

Glasgow, United...
Level Contributor
1 post
42 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

Hi,

Did something similar in 2016 only in reverse + Bryce Canyon and ended in Vegas. As other posters have stated miss out 4 Corners, nothing much to see there and way out of the way. Mexican Hat is a short trip from The View and worth a look as well as Gooseneck State Park and The Moki Dugway if your kids fancy hanging off the end of a cliff while you drive up/down this spectacular road.

We found Sedona to be a great place, scenery and friendly locals. Enjoy your trip.

Mentioned in this post
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
11 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

Wow, Thank you all for the suggestions. You've given us a lot to think about! I'll start working on the kids now to skip Four Corners! Looking at flights now and think we will add an extra night to trip in Page to do some Lake Powell Lake activities and make sure we have some cushion / down time.

Would you recommend staying at two different locations in Sedona at the start and end of our trip? I am Marriott Platnium so possibly the new Courtyard on 89A South of town on the way in and something uptown at the end of trip? I know my wife would like the shopping, etc. after all the time up north!

Thanks again!

Mentioned in this post
Sedona
Sedona
Arizona
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
64,827 posts
249 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

Since you're moving anyway, it won't make much difference if you stay at two different places at Sedona. You'll use your car everyday no matter what. The important thing is that you'll have sufficient time to tour plenty of places away from your hotels.

If you stay at two places, try to focus on which one you like better, rather than which one you liked least.

Mentioned in this post
Sedona
Sedona
Arizona
Kalispell, Montana
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Santa Fe, Sedona
Level Contributor
10,462 posts
764 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

I would never by choice choose Uptown because of the traffic. I would stay back at the Marriott or somewhere down near the Village of Oak Creek. That puts your drive to the airport a little easier and a tad shorter. Best shopping is in Tlaquepaque and not actually in Uptown which is more touristy. But you will have time for both.

You could make plan A and B reservations for your last nights. Then when you arrive at the start of your trip, you can choose between the areas and cancel the place you like least.

Bluefield, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

Thanks for your post! My husband and I are leaving Wednesday to do this almost exact same route. We are extending our stay a few more days and heading to Mesa Verde after Monument Valley, then to Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef and fly home from Salt Lake City. Squeezing it all in in 10 days!

We did the North Rim of Grand Canyon a few years ago and traveled to Page, AZ. Loved Horseshoe Bend, but no safety rails so be careful. Sandy hike to the cliff, but would consider it a relatively easy/moderate hike. We went late in the afternoon after our Antelope Canyon tour. No shade. Spectacular place to see!

Antelope Canyon is a must see too! We did the lower Antelope Canyon and are returning this trip to do the Upper Antelope Canyon. Wish we had done them both at the same visit. Be sure you get advanced reservations for either tour. You won't get to see it if you don't have reservations. Bus loads of people!

We also had a great local cultural experience with dinner at "Into the Grands". Not your typical restaurant and not particularly great food, but the whole evening was outstanding. A laid-back atmosphere. They serve Navajo Tacos that were tasty and a talented barefoot guy plays guitar while you eat. Then more fun when the native Navajo Indians perform hoop and other tribal dances. One of the highlights of our trip! www.intothegrand.com

Have fun!

Mentioned in this post
Mesa
Mesa
Central Arizona, AZ
Grand Canyon North Rim
Grand Canyon North Rim
1,988 Reviews
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Page
Page
Arizona
Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend
11,358 Reviews
Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon
6,657 Reviews
Page, AZ
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
11 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

Thank you! As a follow up. Do you gave recommendations on how many months early to book tours or if they can be booked week of? We are looking at Broken Arrow and potentially Hot Air Balloon in Sedona, Antelope Canyon and Rafting in Page and A tour in Monument Valley. Not sure if any of these are more likely to sell out in August than others?

Mentioned in this post
Sedona
Sedona
Arizona
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
64,827 posts
249 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

Plan to book those tours about a month in advance. It's ok to do research further in advance. And once you know the exact dates and tours you want to do, book them.

Level Contributor
15 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary

I'd like to follow this thread as we are planning a similar trip in June 2018. We are a family of 5 with kids ages 10, 7, 6. We are looking to stay in cabins, yurts, or RVs along the way. Occasional hotel or house would be ok. Here's what I have so far.

Day 1: Drive from Kansas City to somewhere in KS (Dodge City) - 5 hours

Day 2: Drive to Taos - 6.5 hours - visit: Pueblo, church

Day 3: Taos

Day 4: Drive to Santa Fe via high road - 2 hours plus time to tour towns

Day 5: Santa Fe

Day 8: Drive to Grand Canyon - 7 hours

Day 9: Grand Canyon

Day 10:Drive to Page - 2.5 hours, visit: Antelope canyon, Horseshoe bend

Day 11: Drive to Monument Valley, private tour, sleep near Mesa Verde NP

Day 12: Mesa Verde - sleep in CO some where

Day 13: Drive to KC ~14.5 hours

Thanks in advance for any itinerary help, things to do, places to stay!

Mentioned in this post
Taos
Taos
Taos County, NM
Pueblo
Pueblo
Colorado
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
New Mexico
Mesa
Mesa
Central Arizona, AZ
Reply to: Early August 2018 Family Road Trip Itinerary
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted