Author Topic: 12 Day Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming  (Read 5505 times)

Offline ShlockDoc

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12 Day Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:28:02 AM »
I'm actually still mid-trip but figured I'd get started with the TR since there is so much going on.  My wife and I have been talking about doing this trip since we were dating. Now, 16 years later it's a reality. We like getting in a lot of activities not necessarily spending a ton of time at a particular place. It's about covering ground on our road trips.

Day One:

We flew into Phoenix on Southwest. My wife and I both have companion pass which cover our two kids.  We rented an intermediate SUV from Thrifty. The only interesting thing from my flight was that as a CCW holder, I decided to bring my firearm with me on a flight for the first time.  The requirements were a little tricky and the desk agent didn't know the rules as well as I did after the time I spent researching it.  It took some time but it worked out well.

Lunch:
We picked up food at Imperial Market and Deli. The restaurant there is pretty run down and not appetizing so we took our food and ate it at our first activity.

Activity:
Hole in The Rock - There are shaded picnic tables and a very short hike, more like a walk up to a small mountain with a hole in it. We figured this was a good way to get the hiking juices flowing for the kids. There was a great view from the top and it only took a few minutes to get up.





Then we started making our way up to Sedona.

Activity:
Montezuma's Castle - This was unplanned, we just saw it on the side of the road.  It's a national park so we bought our America The Beautiful pass here and went in. It's a great way to spend 30 minutes or so seeing these amazing apartment buildings built into the rock that the Indians created hundreds of years ago.  Was interesting to see. 



Then we arrived at Sedona.

Activity:
Bell Rock - A nice sight to see and parking is free with the ATB pass. We walked up the path a little bit the clouds were getting threatening so didn't get too far. 



Activity:
Cathedral Rock - Another nice quick hike up a really cool rock mountain (.9 miles round trip)



Activity:
Sunset over Sedona - We had planned to watch the sunset from Airport Mesa Overlook in Sedona but it got very stormy so we just went to the hotel.

Hotel:
We stayed at a basic family owned motel, Sugar Loaf Lodge.  Nothing fancy but nice and the room had a microwave. We were able to back the SUV right up to the room and unload all of our bags, cooler, etc. It was a great, peaceful night sleep for $70.

I'll continue to add days to the TR tomorrow.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 11:43:34 AM by jj1000 »

Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 07:12:50 AM »
Nice hope you're enjoying!! How old are your kids?

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 09:07:58 AM »
Nice hope you're enjoying!! How old are your kids?

12 year old twin boys.

Online grodnoking

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 09:30:01 AM »
I plan on doing one of these someday. Hope it doesn't take me 16 years to get around to.
I'm not who you think I am.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 09:31:00 AM »
Deja Vu

Apparently there's a DDFer there right now.
:P

I suggest posting the pics a little larger if you can figure it out. Makes it even that much more "wow". Great start - keep going!

Offline ShlockDoc

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Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 09:37:39 AM »
Day Two

Because Arizona is three hours behind, we woke up plenty early and got started with our day. 

Activity:
Devil's Bridge - This was really fun. It's a 1 mile hike up a dirt road and then a .8 mile hike up the face of the mountain. Not too strenuous but definitely got us working.  If you have a 4x4 vehicle you can drive the first part.  When you arrive at the bridge you can go out onto it, hundreds of feet up.  It was thrilling!









Activity:
Slide Rock Park - This is a natural stream over rocks. You can slide down the rock face in the rushing water and then swim at the bottom. There's also a spot where you can jump off the rock about 15 feet into the water.  Obviously stay away if you don't go mixed swimming. But if you do, this was so much fun! The kids went sliding over and over. The wife and I went a couple of times and then swam.  It was kind of crowded which took away from the experience a little but still well worth it!  It's $20 per vehicle to enter.



That was it for Sedona, we started making our way up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  The scenery during the drive just kept blowing us away. There was barely any time that the kids played with their Kindles.

Activity:
Bedrock City - This is a cute roadside stop with a Flintstones theme. It's a good place to stop and rest and they have a tour of a mockup of the town of Bedrock. The tour was $5 pp and my kids had no idea what the Flintstones are so we decided not to spend the $20.  But we got some cute pictures and had a nice break.



Hotel:
We arrived at Grand Canyon National Park and stayed at Yavapai Lodge. We really wanted to stay in the park and this was the cheapest of the options, but not cheap.  It was a basic hotel room but had no microwave. Right across the street is a General Market which was a full grocery store and had a public microwave to use. So we kashered it and warmed up our food there throughout our stay. There was no wifi or cell service in the rooms but the main building and market had wifi so we checked in when we went to warm up food.

Activity:
Sunset at the Canyon - The most popular spot to watch sunset is at Hopi Point. Because it's popular it gets crowded and unpleasant. So we went a few stops further on the shuttle to Pima Point.  What a beautiful site!

We took the shuttle back to the hotel, had dinner and and went to bed.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 10:37:51 AM by ShlockDoc »

Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 10:43:42 AM »
love this family trip!
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Online sam28

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 07:07:35 PM »
Keep it coming sounds amaziing .was there before

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 08:34:18 PM »
Any idea why I can't edit my previous posts in this thread?

Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2016, 09:28:12 PM »
Any idea why I can't edit my previous posts in this thread?

IINM you only have a limited amount of time to edit.

Thanks for the great write up, enjoy the rest of your trip!!

Online TimT

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2016, 09:53:25 PM »
Any idea why I can't edit my previous posts in this thread?
You have 3 hours to edit posts. After that, ask a mod. Great TR. Do you have photos at Pima Point ?

Offline ShlockDoc

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Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2016, 02:07:09 AM »
Day Three

Food:
We went back to the general store to kasher and use their microwave again.  I forgot to mention that they actually have quite a bit of kosher food there. They even had sliced bread!  I wouldn't count on the market for meals but you can definitely supplement from there. There's also a Chase bank branch and a Post Office next door.

Activities:
Grand Canyon Visitor Center - Spent some time looking at the exhibits and taking in the film.

Then we took the shuttle over to the Kaibob Hiking Trail and hiked down to the first stop in the canyon, "Ooh Ah Point".  It is a pretty easy hike on the way down and tough on the way up. Not strenuous at all except that you are going uphill for a mile or so.  If it weren't for the kids I probably would have gone on to the next landing but it was still worth it. The views are insane and change from every viewpoint. Being in the canyon was a different view and experience.



Then we hit Yaki Point and Mather Point and then stopped at the Geology Museum which was very cool.  Walking westbound from the museum for 10 minutes was a whole new view and well worth it.

That was it for the day. Back to the General Store for food and the hotel for sleep.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 02:11:04 AM by ShlockDoc »

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2016, 02:13:20 AM »
You have 3 hours to edit posts. After that, ask a mod. Great TR. Do you have photos at Pima Point ?

Strange rule but whatever.  My wife had the fancy camera and we're still on the trip so haven't downloaded them yet. Here are some Pima Point sunset pictures from my iPhone.  Obviously the pictures can't do justice.




Offline ShlockDoc

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Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2016, 02:52:32 AM »
Day Four

We drove out of the canyon village and stopped at a couple of more points on our way out.

Navajo Point - Not to be missed. You can clearly see the Colorado River and its impact on the canyon.

On our way out of the park we got blocked by a big elk meandering along the street. Was exciting for the kids and we got great pictures. 



We started making our way up toward Page, AZ. The drive, like all of them were beyond description, we stopped a few times to marvel at the views.  We would constantly be saying "Whoah!" As we turned a bend and saw a new sight. 

Activity:
Lower Antelope Canyon - This was a real treat. We booked a few months in advance with the tour company Dixie Ellis. It was $20 pp plus $8 pp to the Navajo for the privilege of entering their land (it's the least we can do). We arrived about 45 minutes early and they ended up adding us to a previous group so we didn't wait long.  But it was really busy so we did have to wait a few minutes at the entrance to the canyon.

This experience is indescribable but I'll try. You got down about two stories of stairs and then walk through a slot canyon. It's not wide and you always can see the sky above but it's a combination of a canyon and a tunnel almost. So you feel pretty enclosed.  The structures and the colors were breathtaking. We kept saying "Wow" at every turn.  It was not at all physically challenging and it was well worth the money.





Activity:
Horseshoe Bend - Just a couple miles away from Antelope Canyon is this horseshoe shaped curve in the Colorado river. You view it from above and the colors and textures are simply breathtaking. I couldn't believe it was real. This was my favorite thing to see so far.  I don't remember seeing something so absolutely beautiful in North America to this point.  It's a short, simple walk to and front the parking lot, about a half mile each way.  As always though, being water and sunscreen, etc. it was hot!



Activity:
Swimming in Lake Powell - This was just a few miles north of Horseshoe Bend and a delicious respite from the heat and hiking. Again, if you don't go mixed swimming, skip this spot, but if you do, definitely take a dip.  Most places with access to the water charge for parking but we found a spot that didn't.   

Take a gravel road on right side just before the dam as you leave Page to access a big parking at the end of it (it is the second parking on the way about 5 min drive from main road). You can then hike down through the rocks to a small beach and take a swim in the lake.

The rocks that you climb down are really cool formations. My kids decided to not swim and just climb around which was great for them. I went swimming and the water was great. My wife stayed on the rocks and just took pictures of everyone.


(those are my kids on top, to give you an idea of the scale)

Activity:
Old Paria - We ended up skipping this by accident but it was in our itinerary and is supposed to be amazing. It's a quick dirt road drive with amazing views right off the main road when driving up 89A.

We made our way up to St. George to Utah to spend the night there.  On our way we passed through a town, Kenab, that had serious flooding from an earlier storm.  Everyone was out putting sandbags out to save whatever they could. We saw police officers carrying people out of their homes. We contemplated stopping to help but figured we'd end up just being in the way and continued on.

Activity:
St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm - This was an indoor activity that we had planned on case it rained. We didn't end up needing to do it but I kind of regret skipping it. It's a location where they actually discovered dinosaur bones and you can get up close and handle them and learn how they discovered them. 

Hotel:
Red Lion Hotel in St. George.  A beautiful drive-up room and an indoor pool in the adjacent building. The kids and wife went swimming in the pool and I fell asleep poolside.  That was a long day but amazing memories.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 03:01:12 AM by ShlockDoc »

Offline mgarfin

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Re: Midwest Roadtrip - Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2016, 10:44:18 AM »
Gr8 TR

Bringing back memories from my short trip to Sedona and GC.

Where all hotels booked in advance or you did drive up?