Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Grand Canyon (South Rim) to Sedona in 2020
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 > Grand Canyon (South Rim) to Sedona in 2020

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ReallyBigMax

Lodi, CA

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Posted: 10/20/19 07:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're planning to take our signature rig and head South out of western Washington state in late January, as soon as we can clear the mountains heading, initially, for Central and then Southern California, and then on to the Grand Canyon South Rim. Yes, we'll watch the weather, which will determine how quickly we exit California where we'll be visiting friends and family all the way down to Santa Barbara. We'll head pretty directly from there to the Grand Canyon when it looks safe to do so. From the the Grand Canyon we want to head down to Sedona for a week or so. Assuming the weather cooperates, what is the best route to take for this Grand Canyon to Sedona part of the trip?

It looks like all routes lead East to Flagstaff and then South on the I-17. Just South of Flagstaff it looks like we could head directly South into Sedona on AZ-89A, but there is a pretty "interesting" section on the map that looks like it could be pretty steep grades, along with some "interesting" turns as well.

Then there is the end-around route, staying on I-17 almost all the way to Rimrock, then turning North on AZ-179 up through the Village of Oak Creek and on up to Sedona.

Is the AZ-89A as bad as it looks? Or worse? What is the best choice? What else would you suggest?

Thanks in advance!


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accsys

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Posted: 10/20/19 07:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't take AZ-89A unless you like thrill rides and have great insurance. I-17 down to AZ-179 is the best way and probably the fastest since 89A has a lot of slow moving traffic..


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ReallyBigMax

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Posted: 10/20/19 08:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kinda figured that; the “thrill ride” part. Thanks for the confirmation.
ReallyBigMax

mileshuff

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Posted: 10/20/19 10:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AZ-89 from Flagstaff to Sedona is not recommended for RV's. Sharp turns and a bit steep make it no fun at all.

However, once in Sedona if you have a car to use then take the drive from Sedona north on AZ-89. It is well worth it! Road is not bad at all in a car, just not a long RV. At the top of the switchbacks there is a scenic vista. Most afternoons there will be local indians selling their crafts. A short trail takes you along the edge of Oak Creek Canyon with beautiful views.

Below is a view of the switchbacks.
[image]

* This post was edited 10/21/19 12:26pm by an administrator/moderator *


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Horsedoc

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Posted: 10/21/19 08:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We made the mistake of taking 89 from Sedona to Flagstaff. We have a friend with property in Sedona and were visiting there as we came across country from Houston. Being basically lazy I decided it would be a time saver to just head up 89 rather than cut back to 17. 36 ft DP This was a trip we decided to rent a toad rather than tow. Than goodness we were not towing in some of the hairpin turns. We made it but it was not a fun trip

Ozlander

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Posted: 10/21/19 09:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't see any thing in that picture that would be a concern. 2 semis, pu and camper and a motorhome.


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ppine

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Posted: 10/21/19 10:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Dad had a cattle ranch near Sedona for 30 years. Oak Creek Canyon is not that bad unless there is snow on it. Many roads in Colorado are much worse.

I have made my last trip to Sedona because it is loved to death. I will remember it the way it used to be, a quiet little western town with some good artists. Now there is no where to park a pickup much less an RV. Everything is crowded. It costs a lot. It is not worth the trouble. You can see the Red Rocks without spending a week there.

* This post was edited 10/21/19 08:36pm by ppine *

bgum

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Posted: 10/21/19 10:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We drove it in a 35 ft Gulfstream towing a Jeep Wrangler. We used our gears to brake for the most part and our brakes where necessary. Slow but steady. I only recall one switchback that was a little tight. The worst part is no pullouts. Once you start you are committed.

pigman1

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Posted: 10/21/19 01:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rt 89A has restrictions prohibiting travel for trucks over 50'. These are posted on signs in Prescott Valley, Clarkdale, Sedona and near Fort Tuthill. These restrictions DO NOT apply to RV's, but unless you are VERY EXPERIENCED in mountain driving, would bear serious consideration. The restrictions are because on some portions of the road the combination of the crown and roadside rock cliffs are a real danger to tall RV's. In addition, the road is very narrow and oncoming traffic prevents you from using the other lane. This same problem is also very evident on some right hand hairpins where the rig rear will tend to move in toward the cliff. Left hairpins also present a problem due to the rear of long vehicles impinging on the opposite direction traffic lane. Then there's the grades. Although unmarked, I'd believe a number are well in excess of 10%. Finally, although not mentioned by the OP, 89A through Jerome is quite tricky as it is a very busy tourist town with pedestrians and a lot of traffic, very narrow town streets and buildings right at the edge of travel lanes. 89A can be negotiated with an RV, but for the vast majority of RVers, other routes are recommended,


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Janss

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Posted: 10/21/19 02:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pigman1 gave you a good description of why you should take I-17 and Hwy 179. I just drove my car up and down Oak Creek Canyon (Hwy 89A) last week. Saw a couple and a Class C stopped at a very inappropriate place on the road, standing behind the RV holding their whole awning! Yes, their whole awning with hardware must have been knocked off the RV, likely from the roadside rock cliffs mentioned by pigman1.

A couple weeks ago, I drove home in my motorhome with tow car down I-17. Unfortunately, it is jarring between Flagstaff and Hwy 179 exit. I hope ADOT repaves it soon. Use your gears on the long downhill.

Sedona can get a little snow too, but not nearly as much as Flagstaff. Very occasionally, Hwy 89A and/or I-17 are closed for a few hours, like in an active snow storm or right after until they get the roads cleared.


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