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Traveling to Sedona, AZ
Old 10-18-2010, 02:13 PM   #1
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Traveling to Sedona, AZ

Am contemplating driving from Palm Desert, CA to Sedona, AZ in March 2011. Am I nuts? I live in upstatate NY, so the terrain is very different. But, I'm a dreamer, and would like any advice on the wisdom of doing this...places to see, stay on route. Thanks.

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Old 10-18-2010, 02:19 PM   #2
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I've read that they got the Indian problem under control in that area and the Pony Express is getting through.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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That's a relief....
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:36 PM   #4
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You realize OnStar doesn't work in that area, right?
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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It's an easy drive, but will take you the better part of a day (about 7.5 hours from LA, so maybe 6.5 to 7 palm desert). Only time you would ever have an issue is in the summer and if your car was prone to overheating. If you aren't familar with southwest terrain, the drive should provide some interesting sights for you. Try to time the drive so you don't hit the outside of Phoenix at rush hour, although you can bypass Phoenix proper.

Joshua Tree national park is interesting. I've only gone straight through after that so I can't be of much help. Be sure to meditate at the sedona energy vortex and tell us if you get any early retirement insights that haven't been covered here already.

Dex - Phoenix has taken a big hit in the IT sector because of outsourcing to India, so maybe the Indian problem isn't under control...
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:12 PM   #6
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I'd make time to do the Oak Creek Canyon Loop, I think it about 90 miles or so, and take you to Flagstaff and back down. Some of the most gorgeous scenery in the US.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:57 PM   #7
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60 to 71 to 89 going through Congress and Prescott is pretty darn pretty. Or if you take the highway to PHX and go up 87 through the Tonto National Forest (just did that leg last month) to Payson to 260 , 17 and 179 to Sedona.

Even the highway will be ok, but there are lots of prettier ways to go - they even have pavement these days!
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:04 PM   #8
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Why are you nuts for driving from Palm Desert to Sedona? It is not like driving through Death Valley, you know? And you are talking about March, not in the heat of summer.

Anyway, rush-hour traffic is bad on Phoenix freeways, though not as bad as in LA. You can bypass Phoenix as some suggested. We used to take out-of-town visitors to Sedona on day trips, and they all liked it. The Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff drive is worthwhile, like FinanceDude suggested. I don't know how much time you plan to stay in Sedona, but you can also find small lodges in Oak Creek, which is only 10 or 15 miles from Sedona town center.

It is possible to do a day trip to Flagstaff via Oak Creek Canyon Road. In March, there is usually still snow on the ground in Flagstaff. You can drive up to SnowBowl (4 wheel drive may be required), then take the ski lift to get to a peak for a view of the area. Or spend the time to visit Walnut Canyon and its historic Indian ruins.

And by the way, while in Palm Desert, take the Palm Spring Aerial Tram for sight seeing.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:27 PM   #9
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Take one of the jeep tours when you get to Sedona. You will have a blast. If your into vortexes they have them there, supposedly.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:44 PM   #10
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Go through Prescott and Jerome on your way to Sedona, take a ride on the Verde Canyon Railway and a hot air balloon ride in Sedona.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by piano88 View Post
Am contemplating driving from Palm Desert, CA to Sedona, AZ in March 2011. Am I nuts? I live in upstatate NY, so the terrain is very different. But, I'm a dreamer, and would like any advice on the wisdom of doing this...places to see, stay on route. Thanks.

Piano
I'm from the NE also. If you find yourself on a desert nature trail and you start to feel a little peckish....stay away from the prickly pear fruit..
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:53 AM   #12
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Do it, in Sedona we stay at The Lodge at Sedona. For a great hike Boynton Canyon is nice, Indian ruins and the best scenery.

+ 1 Jerome
+ 1 Oak Creek to Flagstaff
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:03 AM   #13
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Greetings. To the OP, is the point of the your trip simply to get to Sedona from PD efficiently or to actually make the journey the enjoyable part of the trip in itself?

I have done the drive you wish to make on the 10 and 17 (thru Phoenix) which was an extremely easy and fast drive - IMO it should take less than 6 hrs and close to 5 with a lead foot. The scenery on that route was unspectacular but the destination - Sedona - was quite stunning.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #14
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:58 PM   #15
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Sedona is very nice. There is a good trail that loops around Courthouse and Bell Rocks. And I would recommend heading up 89 to Flagstaff.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:28 PM   #16
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I've read that they got the Indian problem under control in that area and the Pony Express is getting through.


Never driven that route, but have driven all over southern Cal and Arizona. Not a big deal. Could be in the 80's or 90's in March, but not blistering for sure. Just make some reasonable preparations and you'll be fine. Bring some water, make sure the car is in good repair, etc.

It may seems like the middle of nowhere for an Easterner, but their are more people out their that you would imagine.
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:12 PM   #17
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BTW - I really liked the 4 unit old motel in Congress. Have a review on trip advisor, not for lawdeda people, but for plain folks it's great.
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