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View Full Version : Headed to AZ for first time... what to do?



jnabird333
07-16-2013, 02:10 PM
So I just learned about a conference my boss wants me to go to. It is a little north of Phoenix. It starts Tuesday Night (Sept. 24th). I think I am going to seize the opportunity to tick off a bucket-list item the wife and I have and fly out with her and most likely my son on the Friday before. You guessed itÖ The Grand Canyon. The thing is we donít usually like to do the overly touristy things. We usually take the roads less travels and try to experience new places from more of a local perspective. So with this said I have a few comments about what we are looking for along with some questions. I would love some local or previous visitor perspective to make the best of our somewhat short time.

Unfortunately we will not have our Jeep. (And it is unlikely I will get one as a rental although I will try. ;) ) I soooo wish we could do some wheeling there. Are there any Jeep Rental places that are worthwhile?

We also are outdoorsy types. We love hiking and such, but we have never been to this area of the country and are a little intimidated by the thought of hiking too far and not knowing where we are. Suggestions/thoughts?

What other activities would you suggest? Iím all ears!

We will be flying out Friday 9/20 We will the remainder of Friday, and All Sat-Sun-Mon-to play. My wife and son will fly out Tues and I need to work my way to Scottsdale by Tues evening. I will fly out of Phoenix Friday the 27th toward home.

Where should we fly into? Is Phoenix too far south? It would make rental return easier. Where should we stay when we arrive? (Middle-of-the-road kinda place. I donít need a 5-star but Iím not a tight-ass either and want something decent for the family)

I know this isn't a normal kinda thread, but I've found the off-road "wayalife" community to often share interests and thoughts. So, thanks in advance for sharing them with me!

NAUJK
07-16-2013, 05:36 PM
So I just learned about a conference my boss wants me to go to. It is a little north of Phoenix. It starts Tuesday Night (Sept. 24th). I think I am going to seize the opportunity to tick off a bucket-list item the wife and I have and fly out with her and most likely my son on the Friday before. You guessed itÖ The Grand Canyon. The thing is we donít usually like to do the overly touristy things. We usually take the roads less travels and try to experience new places from more of a local perspective. So with this said I have a few comments about what we are looking for along with some questions. I would love some local or previous visitor perspective to make the best of our somewhat short time.

Unfortunately we will not have our Jeep. (And it is unlikely I will get one as a rental although I will try. ;) ) I soooo wish we could do some wheeling there. Are there any Jeep Rental places that are worthwhile?

We also are outdoorsy types. We love hiking and such, but we have never been to this area of the country and are a little intimidated by the thought of hiking too far and not knowing where we are. Suggestions/thoughts?

What other activities would you suggest? Iím all ears!

We will be flying out Friday 9/20 We will the remainder of Friday, and All Sat-Sun-Mon-to play. My wife and son will fly out Tues and I need to work my way to Scottsdale by Tues evening. I will fly out of Phoenix Friday the 27th toward home.

Where should we fly into? Is Phoenix too far south? It would make rental return easier. Where should we stay when we arrive? (Middle-of-the-road kinda place. I donít need a 5-star but Iím not a tight-ass either and want something decent for the family)

I know this isn't a normal kinda thread, but I've found the off-road "wayalife" community to often share interests and thoughts. So, thanks in advance for sharing them with me!

Phoenix and Scottsdale are (to me i know phoenix people are uptight about this) the same thing its all just one big metro area, if you fly into Sky Harbor you will be close to Scottsdale and only about 2ish hours away from Flagstaff and its beautiful cool weather at 7000 feet. Which is then only 80 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

If you have time I would also suggest driving out toward Kingman Arizona then up toward Peach Springs to the Diamond Creek road, which is the only road to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It is a dirt road but any vehicle can do it its well maintained. Takes you right down to the bottom to the river. Eddie has some pictures of Moby in this area.

It is very Touristy but Sedona is a beautiful and amazing little town with all the red rock. There is a Jeep rental place in Sedona and tons of neat fun little trails around the area. Grand Canyon is also great so that should be on your list. You can also rent mountain bikes in Sedona and go for a trail ride. There are always people around the areas of Sedona so if you do hike or anything down there you arnt far from town or people but it is still very beautiful.

If you are looking for something a little more local and off the beaten path from tourist. Here in Flagstaff we have some Lava Tubes which are a free fun way to spend an afternoon. Literally just a hole in the ground where Lava flowed just over 1000 years ago, and its about a mile mile n a half hike underground (Bring a flashlight maybe a coat its a constant 50is degrees). It is just outside of town heading north toward Snowbowl Ski area. There are also just tons of hike around the Flagstaff area. You can hike Mt Elden or the Inner Basin of the San Fran peaks which is also a very beautiful trail to hike which usually has people on it.

Northern Arizona has a ton of Outdoorsy hikes and other activities. I can give more specific instructions to get to places as well. Ill post some pictures of these areas for you and keep thinking of anything else you can do.

Cheers Mike. :beer:

jnabird333
07-16-2013, 05:52 PM
Thanks Mike... Awesome info.

It's nice to have an insider scoop on things and places to make the most out of a short trip to a new place. I really appreciate it!

NAUJK
07-16-2013, 06:01 PM
Inner Basin

This is where the trail starts in Lockett Meadow
40157

40155

and Ends at almost 10k feet.
40156

Here is a picture of my Jeep with RubiCat looking down on Sedona in the distance heading back up to Flagstaff.
40158

Picture of Moby at Diamond Creek bottom of the Grand Canyon
40159

Entrance to the Lave Tubes
40160

I would also suggest if you are interested in History Wutpatki / Sunset Crater National Monuments and Park Which is also just north of Flagstaff
40162

Ill keep thinkin for ya. You seem to have some time to decide and plan. If you are coming in Late September you are lucky. Phoenix will be "cooler" and Flagstaff will be starting to change colors with the trees. So the Inner Basin would be beautiful.

jnabird333
07-16-2013, 06:04 PM
Yea... It's a ways off, but I like to plan early :D

Your info and pictures are great! I can't wait to share them with my wife and son tonight :yup:

NAUJK
07-16-2013, 06:08 PM
Thanks Mike... Awesome info.

It's nice to have an insider scoop on things and places to make the most out of a short trip to a new place. I really appreciate it!

Yeah no problem at all! I am not a fan of southern Arizona .. too hot... But up here in the north we got lots of amazing stuff.

By the way those pictures of the Inner Basin hike were taken on October 13th. So late September there is a small possibility of snow maybe maybe not you never know, but the trees will be beautiful. :yup:

40164

jnabird333
07-16-2013, 06:17 PM
Man I'm looking at the pictures and starting to worry about not wanting to come home ;)

NAUJK
07-16-2013, 06:29 PM
Man I'm looking at the pictures and starting to worry about not wanting to come home ;)

Good my Master plan is working :synister: . I like converting Easterners to the ways of the West ;)

:cheesy:

Flagstaff itself is a nice little city in the middle of the worlds largest Ponderosa Pine Forest. Nestled up to the San Fransisco Volcanic Field of some 600 ish or so volcanos (last eruption 1000 years ago). We also have a bunch of great local restaurants.

You are being sent to a great place for a short little trip :thumb:

TheRoyalDoyle
07-16-2013, 07:21 PM
If you can make it to Sedona Az Barlow Jeep rental does trail ready rentals. Let me know the dates I would go out with ya.

Krieger
07-16-2013, 07:40 PM
Sedona is the town where I first rented a Jeep and fell in love. I try and make it
back every year, that's how nice it is.

jnabird333
07-16-2013, 07:40 PM
If you can make it to Sedona Az Barlow Jeep rental does trail ready rentals. Let me know the dates I would go out with ya.

I just checked out their website... I'm getting all kinds-of excited! :yup: I'm not sure if this would be better to do on one of the weekend days and do the normal stuff on the Monday or the other way around.

Maybe If we do it on the Sat/Sun we could hook-up with you and wayalife brother-en


On another note--- My son just called and told me our rear PSC aluminum tube fenders arrived today! So the three of us can discuss it while we start the install :wings:

TheRoyalDoyle
07-16-2013, 08:04 PM
I just checked out their website... I'm getting all kinds-of excited! :yup: I'm not sure if this would be better to do on one of the weekend days and do the normal stuff on the Monday or the other way around.

Maybe If we do it on the Sat/Sun we could hook-up with you and wayalife brother-en


On another note--- My son just called and told me our rear PSC aluminum tube fenders arrived today! So the three of us can discuss it while we start the install :wings:

Its the busy season, so no matter when you go on the trails in Sedona it will be some what crowded, having said that its worth it, fun trails and beautiful country. I highly reccommend Barlow, they are good people. Keep me posted I am open on Sat and Sundays, I would surely join you.

jnabird333
07-18-2013, 01:49 PM
Well crap! :( The wife found out she can't get out of work that week.:9lame: I'm super bummed :crybaby: It looks like I'm headed there solo for only the conference this year. :boohoo:

I thought about just telling her to quit! After-all her income is "extra". The problem is that is the money we use for vacations and Jeep stuff. I'm not sure I want to lose that for one week ya' know.

Our research and planning, along with this info has us planning next-years vacation to AZ though! This will give us more time to plan and make the most out of a trip as well as allow for a longer stay if we want. We might even drive our Jeep to play and skip the rental... :driving:

Anyway thanks again for the info... but we won't get to use it until next year.

TheRoyalDoyle
07-18-2013, 02:49 PM
Well crap! :( The wife found out she can't get out of work that week.:9lame: I'm super bummed :crybaby: It looks like I'm headed there solo for only the conference this year. :boohoo:

I thought about just telling her to quit! After-all her income is "extra". The problem is that is the money we use for vacations and Jeep stuff. I'm not sure I want to lose that for one week ya' know.

Our research and planning, along with this info has us planning next-years vacation to AZ though! This will give us more time to plan and make the most out of a trip as well as allow for a longer stay if we want. We might even drive our Jeep to play and skip the rental... :driving:

Anyway thanks again for the info... but we won't get to use it until next year.

Sorry to hear! MAJOR bummer. Let me know if you find yourself out here soooner!

jnabird333
07-18-2013, 03:04 PM
Sorry to hear! MAJOR bummer. Let me know if you find yourself out here soooner!

Thanks... I will. I will likely fly out Monday or Tuesday 9/23 or 9/24 but I will be without the family. The conference starts Tuesday Night with a "Networking session" and runs through Thursday afternoon 9/26. I'm not sure when I will fly out... I might stay the weekend and head out Sunday to run some recon missions for the family visit.