As we are anticipating our upcoming trip to Arizona I thought I would do some research and post it on my blog so that I would have some good links and info at my finger tips (all in one place) while I am away.
We are flying to Phoenix and then driving to Yuma with access to a rented car during our two week stay. So, in regard to what to see or do ..... what are the possibilities?
Driving Distance Facts:
- Yuma to The Grand Canyon - 5.50 hours
- Yuma to Las Vegas - 4.49 hours
- Yuma to Tucson - 3.30 hours
- Yuma to Tombstone - 4.21 hours
- Yuma to San Diego - 2.42 hours
Below is the link to the Arizona Visitor's Guide. It has good information and quick links to specific areas.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is obviously a major attraction. To drive from Yuma, it would be six hours there and six hours back. That would mean at least one (perhaps two) nights in a hotel. The cost of the entrance to the park is $25.00 per vehicle (all passenger included) and there is a free shuttle to tour the area (the South Rim that is). We could likely get a hotel in Williams, or Fagstaff (about and hour or so away from the park). Below are some great links to info about the GC!
Grand Canyon Website
Another thought might be to take a day tour of the Grand Canyon from Phoenix. I found a few companies that offer day tours for about $130.00 to $170.00 per person. The tours seem to start at about 6:30 AM and return to Phoenix in the evening. They take you through the Sedona Desert, stop at various sights along the way and include 3 hours in the Grand Canyon. That might be a thought if we plan it at the end of our trip when we fly out of Phoenix?? Below is a link to one of those tours.
Grand Canyon Tour from Phoenix
For more detailed info about the "South Rim" I have copied an excerpt from the Grand Canyon Guide below.
The South Rim is the most popular part of Grand Canyon National Park, so look for South Rim hotels and motels in nearby Tusayan or Williams, just 50 miles from the park. If Grand Canyon National Park is just one adventure on your Arizona vacation itinerary, consider a more central jumping off point and book one of the hotels, resorts, budget-friendly motels and quaint bed and breakfasts in Flagstaff(90 minutes from GCNP) or Sedona (a destination it its own right, just 2 hours from the National Park.) You could even stay in Scottsdale/Phoenix, but only if you're up for an 18-hour day of self-driving, or better yet, a more relaxed full-day guided van tour to the Grand Canyon.
The South Rim is most accessible and therefore the most popular destination at Grand Canyon, attracting 5 million visitors each year. With two entrances - one at the south side, called Grand Canyon Village, just north of the small town of Tusayan - and one at the east, called Desert View, near the Cameron Trading Post, the South Rim is where you'll find visitor's centers, several in-park lodging facilities, historical buildings, and over two dozen viewpoints and trailheads. Because of its popularity, visitors should expect crowds and vehicle congestion, particularly in the busiest seasons - spring, summer and fall. The South Rim is open year round, and while wintertime is a beautiful and less crowded time here, the South Rim's 6,000 foot elevation and high plateau climate make for snowy conditions November through April; weather should be a consideration when planning your visit.
When visiting the South Rim, look for lodging and additional things to do in areas like Tusayan, Williams, Flagstaff and Sedona - all of which are within 1 to 2 hours drive from the South Rim or Desert View. There are a few restaurants and hotels in Tusayan, just 8 miles outside the park's south entrance, but visitors may find greater accessibility to hotels, restaurants, bars, entertainment, and other attractions in Williams (60 miles south) and Flagstaff (78 miles southeast.)
map of nearby cities
Get your Kicks on Route 66! ...... Sounds like a plan? It is about 3.30 hours from Yuma to Kingman so I guess it could be done in a day, but it would be a lot of driving. Anyway it certainly would be something to say you got some kicks (even if it's just a bag of chips and a root beer) on route 66!
Here is a good link with a bit of history of the famous highway.
San Diego might be a possible place to visit since the drive is just under three hours. The hop on hop off trolley is $39.00 /per person, but it takes you to all the main attractions in the city and of course you can "hop" on and off as you like. I checked hotel prices through Hotwire and found a few deals in the downtown area for $120.00 - $130.00 per night (not bad for a Crowne Plaza or Sheraton!)
Given the above information, it seems like we will have to be selective about the sights we want to see out side of Yuma and the surrounding area, due to the diving distances. So .... the question is, what is worth seeing in the immediate area? I found a good website (below) that provides a lot of information. One popular thing to do is to visit the Mexican town just across the border, there are some good tips there in regard to traffic and times. (I believe that there is a large parking lot for people to park on the US side of the border and walk over.) Another cool thing to do might be to take a day tour up the Colorado River. There is a tour company in Yuma that offers a day trip for about $48.00 that begins at 11:00 and ends about 2:00 (just in time for cocktails!) - see link below. And if we are really bored there's always shopping ..... noticed that there is a Marshal's in the local mall!
|Yuma Palms Shopping Center|
The Kofa Wildlife Refuge is only 40mi. from Yuma and I read a good review of it on Tripadvisor by someone from Ottawa. The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Center, on the other hand seems quite scary, according to the National Geographic article below!
Kofa Wildlife Refuge
National Geographic article
Kofa Wildlife Refuge
National Geographic article