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Lieblweb

Arizonians.....Sedona area vacation...tips?

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Greetings Gang,

 

We're looking to plan a trip out west. A family member recommended Sedona, AZ and a specific hotel in mind....because its so close to some very nice red rock/trails/hiking. So - I think that's the plan for now although we haven't made any reservations anywhere.

 

Of course, we'll be looking to do some geocaching .... Las Vegas is NOT on the list (been there done that)

 

Grand Canyon Tour - YES!! We thought about taking a helicopter ride over the canyon to see all or most of it. Can't do a 'donkey tour' (I'm allergic to hairy animals). Not ready to tackle a white water tour either....

But if anyone has other suggestions on how to see the Grand Canyon 'as a whole' = PLEASE let me know. Are there any geocaching tours? I'd love to go deep in the canyon and get a geocache while we're there! I'm pretty sure you can't drive 'around' the canyon in a day..... (and geocache too). But, I'm up for any suggestions!! I'd love to go IN the canyon via some transportation methods. I'm just not familiar what else is available. Although...I don't wanna be stuck in a bus or a boat with 100 other people.

 

Saw this site....

http://emcofnorthridge.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/arizona-geocaching-flagstaff-and-the-grand-canyon/

And this thread.....

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=271327

 

To get some of the Rte 66's caches would require a 5+ hour drive to the beginning and work our way back. Unless we pick a point somewhere in the middle and only do half or 1/4 of them.... that'd make for a very long day (from Sedona).

 

There's possibilities we could get some UT and CA caches in - since they're only about 3-4 hours drive from Sedona. I don't mind driving in such a beautiful area, but don't want to spend our entire vacation in the rental car.

 

Oh yeah.... This will probably be early JUNE.

 

What types of things must we prepare for (hiking in woods/desert) aside from dehydration?? We tend to stay within designated trails systems. Here on the East Coast, we prepare for TICKS and POISON IVY. Is there any similar things to worry about in Arizona for that time of year?

 

Thanks for your suggestions!! Excited for the warm weather to get here and a nice trip out west!!

Thanks!!

Lieblweb (Jandy & Steve)

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Just remember it gets hot out here in the summer. You mentioned rte 66 maybe spend a day or 2 in the laughlin/Bullhead area caching, then hit the upper half of the rte 66 series take I 40 west to Kelbaker rd go south and start at about 500

 

Rattlesnakes scorpions just the usual desert critters

Edited by vagabond
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Just remember it gets hot out here in the summer. You mentioned rte 66 maybe spend a day or 2 in the laughlin/Bullhead area caching, then hit the upper half of the rte 66 series take I 40 west to Kelbaker rd go south and start at about 500

 

Rattlesnakes scorpions just the usual desert critters

 

Not sure we'll hit Rte 66 - as the 'start' is 5 hours away from Sedona, unless we start somewhere in the middle and work our way back. But it's definitely an option.

 

We're looking at the beginning of June - which, that looks like the beginning of summer for you in Arizona. Average 91? I can deal with that.... It shouldn't be the hot & sticky Pennsylvania humidity!!

 

So, typical hiking boots? ... Is there a customary method of retrieving caches in & around unknown places? Like, what are the chances of reaching your hand into a snake hole, scorpian nest, or terantula's hideout?

Laugh.... I've been watching too much TV.

 

THANK YOU m4nav for your e-mail! Great place and I will check it out!!

Edited by Lieblweb
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Hiking boots with tough soles as I've had to tweezer out some very long cactus thorns. You cannot bush whack your way about, you have to walk around desert plants.

 

I tend to kick the rock piles first.

 

I don't reach into places I cannot see.

 

Unfortunately I have seen all three critters mentioned above.

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Greetings Gang,

 

We're looking to plan a trip out west. A family member recommended Sedona, AZ and a specific hotel in mind....

Grand Canyon Tour - for the warm weather to get here and a nice trip out west!!

Thanks!!

Lieblweb (Jandy & Steve)

 

Although we are not from Arizona, we have vacationed and cached in Sedona numerous times recently. Recommend renting a jeep for minimum 4 hours (they give you maps) and there is a place near where most of the hotels are located. When not with Jeep, recommend Red Rock crossing, several caches and bring camera, hiking at courthouse/bell rock trail, several caches and vortex sites (if you believe in that sort of thing), a side trip to Jerome if done midweek can be fun and caches again, You can catch a helo and tour the Grand Canyon from the Sedona airport (and they show you some remote red rock formations, a trip up oak creek canyon offers some caches and great hikes and if you go all the way up to the rest stop there are indian artisans selling stuff. recommend getting a hiking book once you get there to find the real good hikes, and several places offer the CD-self guided tour (takes about 2 hours and you see most major sites). Lots more, hopefully some locals can help out. We stayed at the Hmapton Inn and it was good,

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Awesome!!! I wish it were June already!

 

We are familiar with jeeps and offroading, so we may just try to rent a Rubicon (if they have one) for the entire vacation! I'd be tempted to test its *trail rated* badge. :)

 

I guess common sense rings true in AZ - but those cactus thorns sound pretty nasty!

 

I've got lots of research to do! Thanks again everyone!! This is what is so great about this hobby - going places, doing things, and getting caches along the way!

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My son attends Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. He graduates in May.

 

Water, Water, Water. Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen. Hat, Hat, Hat. Did I forget - Water, Water, Water.

 

Bring a hiking/walking stick for balance and probing. You will need boots for the terrain. Don’t put your hands anywhere you can’t see.

 

As you go North you will leave the desert and enter Ponderosa Pine Country which is a lot more pleasant.

 

Give yourself a day or to acclimate. There is plenty to do, see and cache in Sedona.

 

Grand Canyon. There are a few virtuals in Grand Canyon. You can hike down Bright Star Trail to get a different perspective, but if you want to hike the bottom you will need to backpack. I will warn you that in June it can easily break 100 in the Canyon. Don’t let that nonsense about a dry heat fool you. Hotter than Hell is still hotter than Hell. You need to be in very good shape. Start with 3 plus litters of water. Hike down until you finish one liter then turn around and use the other two for the trip back up.

 

You can drive to Grand Canyon and expect to wait 1-3 hours for a parking space. Or!!! Go to Williams AZ and take the Grand Canyon Railroad. Williams is an old RR town with plenty of caches. The RR trip is scenic. You won’t need a parking space. Expect a train robbery.

 

Here are some side trips.

 

HWY 89 to Flagstaff. Lots of caches, plenty of views, expect crowds. Skip the water activities. Oak Creek is often closed for contamination. Rte 66 runs through Flagstaff and there are several caches. (Actually 1-10). Plenty of other caches in Flag too! Lunch at the Lumberyard Brewery. I-17 back from Flag. A long day.

 

Sunset Crater, Wupaki, Oak Canyon. I-17 or HWY 89 to Flag. Travel East. Indian ruins, volcano, Ponderosa Pine Country. Not a cache intensive trip, unless you cache along the route, but you will get a sense for the North Country and pre-Columbian Indian culture. Very scenic. Pack your own lunch.

 

Cottonwood & Jerome. South about 25 minutes. Plenty of caches along the way and in the towns. Jerome is a ghost town. Now for the best news. Cottonwood & Jerome are in AZ wine country. Plenty of vineyards. My two favorites – Pillsbury and Page Springs. Tuzigote Indian Ruins nearby. Skip Montezuma’s Castle. Too crowded with tour busses. If you don’t do the Grand Canyon RR, there is Camp Verde RR in Cottonwood. A long day.

 

There are lots of other things to do in the area. Just Pick a destination and cache along the route.

 

There is a caching group in Flag that informally meets Tuesdays.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Oh, did I forget. Water Water Water.

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Sooo much to explore!! I think we're going to pass on a helicopter ride over the canyon. We can always come back someday and explore the entire canyon by itself! I think driving around and hiking the local area would be more enjoyable for us!! I saw some of the virtual caches up on West Rim Drive (by Grand Canyon Village) particularly the 'high favorited' ones (Abyss Disk, etc). Also, the Earth Cache by Sedona airport.

 

I noticed a somewhat secluded (so it appears on these aweful geocaching maps) a roadway called Schnebly Hill Road just south East of Sedona. I need to do more satellite views... I don't know if this is a dirt road, hiking trail...or?? It has some low rated caches along there. I think my husband and I will stay 3 terrain or under for this trip. The last thing we need, is broken bones or worse yet....and accident. Was looking at Red rock State park but somewhat confused of the boundries(I realize you need a $10 pass - and that's OK with us). This is fun just researching. Reading about the rock formations, history....very neat!!

 

We're not into wine drinking (Thanks for the VIDEO!!), but we'll taste some local beers (on the light side). Burgers, pizza, steak, ribs...I'll be happy!!

 

Hmmm I should look at youtube videos on this Sedona!

Thanks again everyone!!

 

I can make this time fly by if I just keep researching....

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here is a link to some unique N AZ cache sites.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=3be4c8a5-f7dc-4252-8b0c-60335854117b

 

Try B24 Crash site virtual!

 

Mike

 

THanks Mike!

We'll probably stick with 3 terrain and under....as we won't be packed enough nor are we familiar with the territory to know what to prepare for (other than 'water').

 

I will check out your list!

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As mentioned above: WATER!

 

Your body can absorb up to 1 quart of water an hour. No need to go over that amount, but in the Arizona heat (even in the high country!) you better try to hit that mark.

 

Remember that you can actually get "water poisoning" which is too much water with to little sodium. Remember to snack to replace some of the sodium you lose while sweating.

 

When it comes to likely injuries: rattlesnakes and scorpions are much less likely to be an issue - the real enemy is the sun.

 

Did anyone mention to drink water? Do it!

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Water, Water, Water. Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen. Hat, Hat, Hat. Did I forget - Water, Water, Water.

 

Cottonwood & Jerome. South about 25 minutes. Plenty of caches along the way and in the towns. Jerome is a ghost town. Now for the best news. Cottonwood & Jerome are in AZ wine country. Plenty of vineyards. My two favorites – Pillsbury and Page Springs. Tuzigote Indian Ruins nearby. Skip Montezuma’s Castle. Too crowded with tour busses. If you don’t do the Grand Canyon RR, there is Camp Verde RR in Cottonwood. A long day.

 

Oh, did I forget. Water Water Water.

 

 

You might find this interesting!

 

 

WeeWillie- your posts make my heart ache with homesickness!! :( PSC, ASV, pillsbury and caduceus are some fantastic wineries!

FAN-TAS-TIC! I actually get page springs and Arizona stronghold shipped up to us here in WA quarterly....

 

I actually really liked montezumas castle and well, and both have a virt cache involved.

 

I think a jeep is essential for many caches up there, but be careful...there's a lot of power trails up there too. We found many of the Sedona caches were disappointing in that respect. It's almost as it people ran out, called a road as their own, and spammed it with power trails.

 

Fine if that's ok with you, but we found this distressing while in some of the most beautiful parts of az...

 

Did someone mention water?? Lol. As an Az native, I would never, ever, ever recommend someone see Az in June! Get a camelback if you dont have ome already. Flag will be tolerable, but even Sedona will be hot. Be sure to check out Oak Creek Canyon. All kids who grew up in Az have fond memories of here...

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Apple Fan Girl

 

My son graduates from NAU in May so we won't have a convenient excuse to visit the Verde Valley wineries. Fortunately, I live in Sierra Vista so Sonoita and Wilcox wineries are nearby. So many have popped up that we now have to plan our wine expeditions.

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Even better, I was just missing sonoita too! I'm from Tucson, and an NAU alum myself. Sonoita is soooooo beautiful! Gees, I'm sure missing Az...

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We're back!!! And since I had some folks asking to post about the trip....this might be a long post (please pardon).

 

Where to begin?? If you enjoy scenic beauty, this is the place to visit. Pictures DON'T do it any justice. To see this in person is a MUST!! This place is absolutely beautiful!!!!

 

I had spent soooo much time researching the area - where to stay, what to do, geocaches/PQ's, rental car, flights, yadda yadda yadda. We had this all booked back in February (2012). We picked our hotel based on all the good reviews online and we were not disappointed. We couldn't be happier with our accommodations(The Orchards Inn). We stayed in the 'best' room of the hotel for the 'best' views (and it was indeed, awesome views from the patio of our room). Our hotel was in the middle of town - you could walk to all the shops & restaurants (we wanted it that way). This hotel had the best breakfast @ Canyon Breeze!! (if you booked directly with the hotel). After all the research I had done about 'what to do' - it all went out the window once we got there. Our primary mission was sight seeing and not necessarily geocaching. The places we did go, we tried to get geocaches along the way.

 

The trip: June 5th-June 9th

Morning (7am) temperatures were around 65-70degrees. Breezy and lovely. Afternoon temperatures reached in the 90's. In Pennsylvania, we're used to lots of humidity. The Arizona was a DRY heat that didn't feel as bad as being in PA. However..... the 'dry' heat can be dangerous especially while hiking. Your sweat evaporates almost immediately and you never feel like you'd be getting dehydrated. We were fully prepared with camelbak in our backpak and gatorade. Although June is hot.....the tourists level was lower and this made for an even better experience. Shops weren't crowded, never waited for a table at a restaurant, & we were able to book a helicopter flight without reservations for the next day. Trails weren't crowded..... It was peaceful.

 

We touched down in Phoenix at 1pm on Tuesday (June 5th). Drove 2 hours from Phoenix to Sedona. The drive was beautiful!!! It's amazing how the terrain changes along the way. The saguaro cactus's (and palm trees) near Phoenix were very cool (wished we could've taken a picture with one). Arrived in Sedona, check into our hotel and get settled in. At this time, it was around 4pm. We're from Pennsylvania - so it was about 7pm at home. We walked up & down the town strip and ate at a local bar/pub and had some of the local Oak Creek Brewing Company beer. By 8:30pm....we were absolutely exhausted and went to bed.

 

Up early on Wednesday - 7am breakfast and went to Cathedral Rock ($5 daily parking pass) and hiked up it about halfway (to the first landing area). That was probably more extreme hike than we were looking for - but - we did it!! My legs were a bit sore the next day. Ran into a very nice Forest Service volunteer along our hike who made some suggestions of things to do. We stopped into the Sedona Visitors center on our way back (state owned) to get maps, ideas, etc. The people here are soooo very nice and passionate about the area and wanting you to enjoy your stay. FYI: If you visit a 'tourist' information center - make sure its a state owned visitors center. All the others will try to sell you a time share (we were warned of this). We had some lunch and decided to drive north of Flagstaff to see Sunset Crater ($10 parking pass). Sunset Crater is a young volcano (900 years old). Seeing the lava flows and the area was impressive. We walked the 'extended' trail in & around this area. Got back in the car and took a right back onto LOOP Rd. and drove north until it intersected with 89 and we headed home. This drive was amazing. Desolate....no cars, no stores/gas stations, grassy meadows, elevation changes...and then suddenly... saw the Painted Desert in the distance. Beautiful!! Headed back to the hotel. Walked over to the Oak Creek Brewing Company Grille Pub and had dinner and brews. In bed by 8:30pm (we were exhausted!).

 

Up early Thursday - 7am breakfast and went to Oak Creek West Fork trail($10 parking pass). A beautiful hike along Oak Creek. Mostly in the shade and crosses the creek many times. The trail is one trail - in & out. We hiked 3.5 miles in and then turned around and came back out. Apparently, there's a certain point on this trail where you can wade waste deep in the creek to get to a whole other area of trails (11 more miles of trails). This was probably the best hike of the week!!! Went back to the hotel, freshened up & called to see if we could get a helicopter ride for the next day.... yup, @2pm. We took a drive up to the airport for some scenic views, grab some geocaches, and back in bed by 8:30pm (we're old....and get exhausted easily LOL).

 

Up early Friday - 7am breakfast and went to the trails near Bell Rock & Courthouse Butte ($5 parking pass). A hot/sunny hike for about 4 miles, but otherwise a totally different type of hike/scenery than the day before. Beautiful!!! Headed back to the hotel early to get ready for our helicopter ride at 2pm. Helicopter ride was awesome and well worth the $$. We booked with the 'open door' helicopter stationed at the airport. The open doors might be frightful to some....We loved it!! After that, it was time to have dinner again (at the Oak Creek Brewing grille/pub) and start packing.

 

A really long story short..... This was probably one of the best vacations we've had. We enjoyed every aspect of it. You really don't fully understand the beauty if you haven't seen it in person! Sedona was a very nice, clean, maintained, friendly area that is a MUST on anyone's to-go list!!!

 

Photo gallery here: Picts aren't necessarily in any order.

http://www.lieblweb.com/cpg/thumbnails.php?album=158&page=3

 

Here are some quick photos to look at:

View from our hotel room patio

normal_Sedona2012_124.JPG

Hike up Cathedral Rock Trail

normal_Sedona2012_21.JPG

View at the landing on Cathedral Rock

normal_Sedona2012_22.JPG

View @ Sunset Crater

normal_Sedona2012_31.JPG

Sunset Crater lava

normal_Sedona2012_30.JPG

View of the Painted Desert - off in the distance:

normal_Sedona2012_37.JPG

View from the Sedona Airport overlook:

normal_Sedona2012_25.JPG

View of downtown Sedona

normal_Sedona2012_291.JPG

Hiking on Oak Creek West Fork trail

normal_Sedona2012_61.JPG

normal_Sedona2012_57.JPG

http://www.lieblweb.com/cpg/albums/Travels/SedonaAZ/normal_Sedona2012_72.JPG

Hike along the Bell Rock / Courthouse Butte trails

http://www.lieblweb.com/cpg/albums/Travels/SedonaAZ/normal_Sedona2012_114.JPG

http://www.lieblweb.com/cpg/albums/Travels/SedonaAZ/normal_Sedona2012_119.JPG

http://www.lieblweb.com/cpg/albums/Travels/SedonaAZ/normal_Sedona2012_120.JPG

View from Helicopter

http://www.lieblweb.com/cpg/albums/Travels/SedonaAZ/normal_Sedona2012_157.JPG

Sunset at the airport overlook:

http://www.lieblweb.com/cpg/albums/Travels/SedonaAZ/normal_Sedona2012_88.JPG

 

THANK YOU to everyone for your input, thoughts, suggestions! Unfortunately, we couldn't do everything in 4 days. So much to do here with so little time. I'm sure we'll be back.....

Edited by Lieblweb
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Nice Trip summary!

Your pics make me homesick! :(

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Thank you for the feedback. I am often disappointed by those who ask for advice/help and don't express their gratitude with a thank you with some feedback.

 

Next time you visit AZ, come South.

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Can't Thank everyone enough!!

 

We normally only travel (far) every 2-3-4 years and this trip had made us realize what we're missing. We're already wondering where to go next... So many places, so little time (and money). Lol

Edited by Lieblweb
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Just an FYI if you visit Sedona..... and buy a RED DIRT SHIRT

 

You know...the shirts Mike Rowe featured on DIRTY JOBS

 

The shirts are cool...but the color/pigment runs. My sister-in-law warned me about it.

 

I never did put it in the washer. I filled the sink up with water 3X and put the shirt in it and washed it by hand and every sink full of water was red. I hope eventually this will wear off (probably won't be red anymore)....but atleast I'll feel safe washing it with everything else.

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Former Tacoma owners and TTORA members now Geocachers. Nice! B)

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