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Las Vegas to Sedona, AZ - Suggestion Please?

L. Lawrence , Jun 30, 2000; 01:53 a.m.

Hi, Fellow Photo.netters,

I've searched the archives and come up with some really good suggestion for sites to photograph in the Las Vegas and Grand Canyon areas, as well as Sedona, AZ. However, I'd like to ask my fellow photogs who have traveled this reportedly majestic part of the country to share their experiences/suggestion for prime - absolutely can't miss locations.

I'll be driving from Las Vegas to Sedona in mid-July and have plenty of leasure time to stop off at Hoover Dam, pop up to the Grand Canyon, take a trip over to Jerome, etc. And I've read about the beautiful views from the airport in Sedona.... But if *you* were taking this trip, or have taken it, and would be willing to share your impressions/suggestions, I'd be most appreciative!

Thanks in advance!


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Bob Ternes , Jun 30, 2000; 11:38 p.m.

I took this exact trip a few years ago with my wife...We were most impressed with Sedona and Flagstaff area. Sedona and Oak Creek is good for at least 5 rolls alone....Route 93 from Vegas to Kingman looked like a lot of nothing to me, but I`m sure someone will have some suggestions on that leg. I probably passed up some great photo locale and didn`t even know it, so I`m going to be checking this thread for more knowledgeable responses in case I ever get the chance to repeat.

One side note...We had an Arizona state map that indicated a ghost town off Route 93 about 10 miles or so. I drove back and forth on a dusty gravel road 3 times before I found it. It was a bunch of building foundations and boards laying on the ground with a bunch of tin cans laying about. Not exactly what I had in mind. I hope someone can steer you to a better one than that. My wife thought I was nuts!!!

Peter Rowan , Jul 01, 2000; 02:03 a.m.

Sedona is awesome, one of the most spectacular places in the West. There's a dirt road that goes up through the canyon--this is a must! I can't remember the name of it but the locals will direct you to it. It's rough, but most cars can make it in dry weather. My one reservation: the 'flightseeing'--noisy biplanes buzzing the canyon every few minutes. I visited three years ago and it was terrible; I vowed not to go back until it was stopped. Perhaps you can report back and let us know if it is still happening.

If you can take an extra day, drive up to Monument Valley. Route 163, I think. It's a few hours north of Flagstaff and well worth the trip.

IMO, the Grand Canyon, as spectacular as it is to look at, is not the most interesting photo op. Very difficult to get a sense of scale in the pictures. It ends up looking like a mural.

Flagstaff is a very cool little city. Check out the downtown area around San Francisco street.

Another interesting spot is Sunset Crater, an extinct volcano just north of Flagstaff. A lunar-like landscape makes for very unusual photos. And be sure to see it at sunset.

Have fun! This is a great part of the country.

Stanley McManus , Jul 01, 2000; 07:26 p.m.

Sedona is very New Age. It supposedly is an area of the earth where various natural and spiritual forces converge. You need to nothing more than carry your film to a place you wish to photograph and let it exist there for a while and take in the energies of the area. An appropriate photo will be formed on the emulsion. You will save a lot of money since you won't have to bring any camera equipment. Just don't let those techno wonder x-ray machines at the airport ruin your spiritual, psi expose film.

Jay Piper , Jul 02, 2000; 02:05 a.m.

A return to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon after 15+ years left me dissapointed with extensive development and commercialization. The church high up in the red rocks at sedona is still inspiring. Sunset Crater, mentioned before, is part of Sunset Crater/Wupatki National Monument with pueblo-style ruins, lava beds, and cinder cones - it's a nice loop just E of Flagstaff. Jerome is an old mining town clinging to the side of a mountain, it got new life in the '60s and might be worth a visit. Mountains SE of Kingman AZ are worth chacking too. Lowell obsevatory if that interests you - in ponderosa pines near Flagstaff. Definitely take lakeshore drive from Las Vegas to the Dam (route along lake go east past Henderson on Lake Mead Drive to get there - more to see than staying on Boulder Highway) Have fun, check http://www.gorp.com or find the rough guide web page for more travel reviews.

Jay Piper , Jul 04, 2000; 01:49 a.m.

In July you might consider a loop to see North Rim and around Flagstaff and Sunset Crater/Wupatki back to Sedona - and to South Rim on way back to Vegas. The North Rim is cooler, less crowded than South - and this way you could see part of SW Utah on the way. Given the choice in planning a trip I would retun to the North Rim. North rim is proabaly filed - check for in park and at Jacob's Lake (1 hr away) and closer to Kanab UT (about 3 hrs away) for lodging.

David Henderson , Jul 06, 2000; 09:38 a.m.

In Sedona area photography can be difficult but very rewarding. I don't think much of the airport view as a photographic subject, but I do like Red Rock Crossing at sunset, or Schnebly Hill Road early in the day for Red Rock views. If you're photographing Oak Creek be sure and get there early because Slide Rock Park in particular will get very busy- I mean it was very busy in April when I was there.

There's a path along the west fork of the Oak Creek where the stream undercuts the rocks and is lit by wonderful reflected light. Great opportunities there although you'd need to check that the west fork actually exists in July!

Round Las Vegas the Hoover Dam is not a pretty sight, though it is impressive. On the other hand if you're staying in Vegas, Red Rock Canyon, about 20 miles to the west is a decent and easily accessible photo location.

I guess if I were making this trip - and I've done something similar recently- I'd consider avoiding the rather boring southern route to GC south rim via Kingman and head north via St George to Zion and from there to the north rim before heading up to Page (Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell/Rainbow Bridge etc) before heading south past Horseshoe Overlook to Flagstaff/Sedona. It wouldn't cost you much to tack GC south rim on between Page and Sedona if you felt deprived by not seeing those views. You don't say how long you have, but I think the big danger is trying to cram too much in so I won't say any more about things you could reach from your basic route.

Craig Gillette , Jul 06, 2000; 01:50 p.m.

Lot's of good suggestions so far. Here's a "missable" site: Grand Canyon Caverns. It's a "dry" cave so it doesn't have the wide array of limestone/water formations like stalactites, stalagmites, etc. one might expect, so the time involved to visit is probably better spent elsewhere.

For a "reachable" "ghost town." Oatman off old Route 66 is reachable before you reach Kingman coming south from the Dam/Las Vegas. It's in some rather rocky and impressive nasty territory. It's a "ghost town" that hasn't quite died. There are some photo ops but it's not fully abandoned so there is some tourist based kitsch and the town itself is not fully "period" in appearance. There are some operating mines and ruins in the area. The road is a tough drive if you don't like curves and cliffs. You will find the town but it may not be worth the effort for you. Searching the web will bring up sites/photos of the area that may help you decide.

I've found the "new" stretch of I40 east of Kingman to be a little prettier than the old highway (66) but as it's an interstate, parking in some of the pretty areas is chancy. I'd concentrate around the dam and then again getting into the high country as you get towards Williams.

Chris Patti , Jul 07, 2000; 04:20 p.m.

It seems that you are planning to go the Southern route (Hoover Dam, Kingman). An alternative, if you have the time, would be to go around the Northern way. This would allow you to spend time in Zion and Brice National Parks, visit the famous slot canyons around Page, and go to the North Rim of the G.C., and lots more.

L. Lawrence , Jul 12, 2000; 12:32 a.m.

Thanks to everyone who contributed such helpful responses! they have been very useful to me in preparing for this trip! I encourage others who encounter this thread and have knowledge to share to continue adding information for the archives. Thanks again!

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