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Need a Jumpstart - Trip Planning - AZ

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Need a Jumpstart - Trip Planning - AZ

Postby jdzaharia » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:24 pm

In late April, my wife and I will be in Arizona for 4 to 5 days. We plan to hike and sightsee. The first couple days we need to be near to the Phoenix area. We will likely have the option to stay at a house in Mesa for the entire time, but are willing to stay elsewhere if it fits our plans better. Niether one of us has spent much time in AZ. I'm just looking for some suggestions of areas to hike, mountains to climb, canyons, or things to see.

Superstition Wilderness? Tonto NF? Sedona? Grand Canyon?
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Postby jdzaharia » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:00 pm

Thanks for the azcentral.com tip. Looks like there's good info there.

Also, Tonto and Prescott National Forests seem to have pretty informative websites (as far as USFS websites go. Everything's relative).

In April, am I likely to encounter snow in any areas?

I'll be getting a rental car. Can I get away with a car, or should I get something with high clearance, like a Jeep or SUV?

Obviously, in 4 days, I'm not going to see everything that I would like to. I just want to get the most "bang for my buck" while I'm there.

Grand Canyon is a considerable drive from Phoenix/Mesa. I know it is kind of a "must-see" in AZ, but will I be disappointed if I only have time to spend one day there? Plus the drive time...
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Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:58 pm

If you plan on hiking, Hiking Arizona is far and away your best site. It has pretty good beta on other states too, particularly New Mexico.

As far as where to go out of Phoenix, it really depends on how far you want to drive. Sedona could occupy your whole trip. So could the Grand Canyon. Pete mentioned the Chiricahuas. I would agree but refine that to the National Monument specifically. If you hike Echo Canyon/Sarah Deming/Heart of Rocks loop, you will have hiked one of the finest trails in the entire Southwest. It is unique, fantastically routed, and a real jaw dropper. The trail basically winds its way through the maze of these hoodoos.

By the way, if are staying in the Phoenix area and you like smoked meat, be sure to stop by Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert. Not quite as good as its Texan progenitors, but it is pretty darn good.
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:03 pm

Sedona is great in April, but it is peak Tourist season and it will be very crowded. It seems to me that April is the most crowded time of year for Sedona. If you are climbing it won't mean that what you are doing will be crowded, but parking may be an issue and lodging will be expensive and might be hard to get. The good news is that April is a low time for Flagstaff, so you can go there to sleep if you want to. Sedona is much nicer, though.
Last edited by Clark_Griswold on Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cp0915 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:14 pm

I think it would be tragic to visit AZ as a newbie and not spend time in Sedona and Grand Canyon.
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:23 pm

cp0915 wrote:I think it would be tragic to visit AZ as a newbie and not spend time in Sedona and Grand Canyon.
Unless you haven't the time, its like visiting Miami, FL (not Arizona) and not going to the beach.
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Postby jdzaharia » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:18 pm

Excellent suggestions and info so far. I have more to wade though now. Keep it coming.

Really too bad that Grand Canyon and Chiricahua NM are both 4 hours from Phoenix--in opposite directions. Looks like I'll have to choose between going north toward Prescott, Sedona, Grand Canyon, or the other direction towards Tuscon and Chir. Of course, I'm sure one could spend the whole time in Tonto and the Superstitions, too. Hmm.


Bubba Suess wrote:If you hike Echo Canyon/Sarah Deming/Heart of Rocks loop, you will have hiked one of the finest trails in the entire Southwest. It is unique, fantastically routed, and a real jaw dropper. The trail basically winds its way through the maze of these hoodoos.

By the way, if are staying in the Phoenix area and you like smoked meat, be sure to stop by Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert. Not quite as good as its Texan progenitors, but it is pretty darn good.

Thanks for the Hike AZ link. Also, the loop you suggested in Chiricahua NM looks like what we're after. As does the BBQ. Texans know how to do brisket, but I'm partial to Memphis-style pork. :D


cp0915 wrote:I think it would be tragic to visit AZ as a newbie and not spend time in Sedona and Grand Canyon.

That's what I was thinking, too. I've been to the north Rim, but never done much hiking there.


1000Pks wrote:If you just wish to be a tourist, you can visit all of these places quickly

Maybe we'll just have to be SLR-toting tourists for one day at Grand Canyon. If we go.


1000Pks wrote:a regular car should be great

Of course a rental sedan can go anywhere a personally-owned SUV can go, and a rental SUV is as good as a Hummer. :D
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Postby Day Hiker » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:44 pm

jdzaharia wrote:a rental SUV is as good as a Hummer. :D


+1

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Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:46 pm

jdzaharia wrote:Of course a rental sedan can go anywhere a personally-owned SUV can go, and a rental SUV is as good as a Hummer. :D


Sage words...

jdzaharia wrote:I'm partial to Memphis-style pork. :D


Infidel!
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Postby Alex Wood » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:49 am

Fossil Creek (east of Camp Verde). This is a really cool place

<img src=http://c0278592.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/medium/552844.jpg>
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Postby jdzaharia » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:06 pm

Wow. I am overwhelmed with the info on hikearizona.com . Tough to sort through it. I'm guessing the difficulty ratings on that site are not relative to anything outside that website. If a hike has a difficulty rating of 4.6, what does that mean? Would that be like a Class 3?
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Postby jdzaharia » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:25 pm

Can anybody tell me where this is?

Image

Image

Supposedly, a park between Phoenix and Sedona. :?:
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