Author Topic: Arizona-Utah Nissan 2022  (Read 2245 times)

Offline hakohen

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Arizona-Utah Nissan 2022
« on: May 09, 2022, 07:51:25 AM »
1st time posting a trip report but I wish I'd've seen this before I traveled so I'm sharing it with you. People told me it would be very expensive, we'd need a lot of time, and in order to see things we'd need to go on long hikes, but it wasnt so.

We thought 1 week for Arizona would be enough and planned to visit friends in Pheonix and see some sites. We planned to be with our friends for shabbos and scheduled the trip from Tues-Tues. Then we realized that the places we wanted to go were far from Pheonix and we should've scheduled a full week without shabbos in the middle. We were scheduled to fly on Tues with a few hour stop in DEN (to see the rockies at sunset) but when that flight was canx and AA agreed to change the mileage ticket to a nonstop on Monday morning for the same 7500 miles we took that option so we'd start driving mon or tues instead of Wed.
In Oct we reserved a 1-week van pick in PHX ($800) on Tues but found it to much cheaper ($600) to pick up in the Travelers Inn -Budget (BGNX1). Turns out that is a 1-woman office that rents both Budget and Avis, she closes early and never answers the office phone so we were unable to change the reservation to Monday. When we picked up the van we were informed the lower price was excluding some taxes b/c we were traveling Israel and that can only be used if we show the itinerary and pick up at the airport, or provide both a foreign passport and driver's license. In the end, she was able to reactivate the airport pickup reservation we had to pick up by this location, so we paid a bit more but got a van the size of a 15 pass but only had seats for 12, so plenty of room for luggage etc.

The iceboxes were full of the kiwi kids food boxes (milk juice cheese yogurt deli nuts snacks and pizza pancakes waffles fish sticks fries frozen veggies etc that were trucked in from Chicago, we planned to cook with the airfryer we had ordered from the Walmart smoking hot deals

Tues noon we drove through Sedona enjoying the views/sites and taking pictures etc

and arrived at the Grand Canyon South Rim ($35 entrance per van) close to sunset.
We first parked by the Yavapai Point where there were some benches to sit on and look into the Grand Canyon as the sun set behind us

We werent sure if it looks dif at dif viewpoints so we went to a few more like Duck on a Rock viewpoint:

Grandview Point:

and then Moran viewpoint at which point as you can see from the pics, we had seen enough of the same beauty and wanted to get to the hotel.

Tues night we slept in Page, Knights Inn. 2 rooms with 2 double beds and a fridge in each (and the air mattress we got from the Walmart smoking hot), good wifi and breakfast included prepackaged cereal, granola bars snacks etc you take to your room.
There's a huge Walmart right there open late.

Wed morning we went to HorseShoe Bend ($35 parking and a 20 min walk to:)

but every angle we stood and looked it was just all amazing a views:

From there we tried to see some of the slot canyons or waterhole canyons or antelope but it seems it was all taken over by the native americans that require a guide and charge about $100 per person. We looked in from the road on top (but didnt see much...)

Next to the Grand Canyon Dam overlook (free parking, no entrance fee, almost empty) also amazing views, just gorgeous, like nothing we'd ever seen:

Many told us we must go boating in Lake Powell. We went to the Carl Hayden Visitor Center to find the right boating dock but they're closed on Tues and Wed... so we made a few calls. Most places didnt have boats or only rented for full or 1/2 day. We found a place that said they had only 1 boat left and it's first come first served. They wouldnt accept payment on the phone to hold it. BH when we got there there were boats avail. We park up in the lot and are driven on a gocart down to the dock of the Antelope Point Marina. It was about $85 and hour for a 12 seater pontoon boat (minimum 2 hours). The many were right, it was a stunning boat ride, driving through the canyon on water. The water was too cold to go in.

From there we drove to Panguitch where we had reserved a simlar hotel on orbitz but it was cancelled so orbitz told us to book anything similar and they'll reimburse the difference, which they did. We passed the "Welcome to Utah" sign and then made a U-turn to get some pics with the 'Welcome to Arizona' sign. We had some time before sunset so stopped by Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park but didnt think it was worth the price or hike to view some pink sand and continued on to Panguitch.

Thurs morning we drove to Bryce. The drive on Rt 12 itself was just breathtaking:

At the Bryce entrance, they told us the hike we had considered was closed due to melting snow and there's little parking by each viewpoint so we should park in the lot and take their trolley. We thought that would be very time-consuming and we'd be reliant on their schedule so we tried to park by the viewpoints. If the lot was full we just waited a few minutes for a spot to open up.
We started at Upper Inspiration Point:

The other tourists werent too good at takin pics so my son made us a selfie stick by tying the phone holder from the car to a branch with the elastic straps from the disposable masks.

Some of us hiked from there to the Bryce Point while the rest of us drove and met the hikers there:

Sunset Point had nice bathrooms and a lot of parking:

This is taking longer than I thought so I'll post it now to save and continue later.
Here's the full drive:

« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 08:19:11 AM by hakohen »

Offline cgr

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Re: Arizona-Utah Nissan 2022
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2022, 09:31:33 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to post a TR!
but it seems it was all taken over by the native americans
They were here for a few thousand years before the Europeans took over.

Offline JMHO

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Re: Arizona-Utah Nissan 2022
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2022, 09:37:48 AM »
Nice, looking forward to part two!

Offline hakohen

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Re: Arizona-Utah Nissan 2022
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2022, 04:00:17 PM »
(I dont see a way to edit the original post so'll continue here)
In short, we were in Bryce Canyon National Park from 11am-3pm, parked by 5 viewpoints, 3-6 minute walk from the car to the view, and some hiked 20-30 minutes from one viewpoint to the next. About a 5-10 minute drive from one viewpoint to the other. We didnt go down in to the canyon at all). $35 to enter/park. No need to get up early or spend the whole day there. Each viewpoint had its own overwhelming beauty.

Then we considered stopping in Zion National Park. The naysayers said what else can we see that we havent already and maybe it's too late and we'd need more time. But we are glad we did. Again no hiking trails etc, we just drove through from the East Entrance to the parking area where there were washrooms.

We got out of the car a few times but the windy roads, tunnels and views from the car were spectacular.

mountain goats:

Then we drove back the same way we drove down and it was beautiful all over again.
We headed back to pass that Walmart Superstore in Page to get some fresh fruit/veggies and other stuff.
Some parts of Hwy 89 are so straight you dont need to touch the steering wheel for 20 minutes straight:

and the views were still well worth looking at:

Then we drove to Flagstaff b/c we wanted to be closer to Pheonix so we could do something on Friday and still get back to Pheonix before Shabbos. We stayed in the Motel 6 Flagstaff, AZ - East. Same idea as the other hotels, $55 per standard room and $62 for the deluxe w/a fridge/micro (w/2 double beds in each). 1 reservation on (the hotel allowed cancellation until 6pm on the day of arrival. There's another Motel 6 nearby that seemed nicer, this one seemed fewer stars but it was late and we didnt care.)

Friday we planned to go to Slide Rock State Park. It was beautiful and there's a slide type thing in the rock formation that the stream flows through and you can slide on:

I think schools were off that day and it was very crowded with swimmers which wasnt ideal for our group, so we were able to get back to Phoenix with enough time to get ready for shabbos.
(We probably would've stopped at if I'd've known about it.)

In short, 1/2 day +2 full days +1/2 day (3 nights, we drove mostly after dark to be close to the place we wanted to be the next day):
Sedona and Grand Canyon
HorseShoe Bend, Dam Overlook, Lake Powell
Bryce and Zion
Slide Rock Park


The Phoenix community we met was wonderful, friendly and warm. The Community Kollel and Ohr HaTorah Shul share a building that had many minyanim shiurim, kiddush and Seuda Shlishit etc.
During the Rabbi's sermon, Menachum gave us a quick tour of a few of the nearby shuls, Rabbi's Green's, a Sephardi shul in what seemed like a country club building, and a chassidish shteeble type in a house. All a few minutes walk from each other.

Sat night we went to Last Chance Clearance Store which I think is a clearance of Nordstrom Rack. Each week a different color tag is 50% off the already low prices and Sat it's 80% off. There's a lot of junk and a long checkout line but you can find some nice men's pants/jacket or cole haan original grand knit shoes and natives for $10-15, or sunglasses and baseball caps for $5.

To be continued?

Maybe we could've bought the America the Beautiful National Park Pass for $80 and saved some money on $35 parking.
Parking/Entrance fees were minimal. Boat was $85 per hour x 2 plus gas. KiwiKids covered most food. Car rental was expensive (but wiped it off w/the 100k Venture X welcome bonus). Hotels were about $100 per night for 2 rooms w/2 double beds in each (kids stay free and was also credited back w/cap1 reward travel).
Outbound 7500 AA (First Checked Bag Free: CitiAAdvantage up to 4 individuals traveling with... cardmember...)
Return 6000 United (MileagePlus Club Cardmember and 1 companion receive checked bags free.)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 06:46:15 PM by hakohen »

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Re: Arizona-Utah Nissan 2022
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2022, 04:06:20 PM »
How many people were you? Ages?