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January daytrips in Phoenix

January daytrips in Phoenix

Old Aug 9, 14, 12:32 pm
  #1  
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January daytrips in Phoenix

Hello
I will be in Phoenix for a month in January and I am looking for some daytrip tips. Mrs Shady will be at work so I need to pass the time with activities other than soaking in the pool or reading FT.

My interests are aviation, military, hiking, history. I do not golf.

I have a few trips in mind:
1. Squaw peak hike
2. Echo Canyon hike
3. PIMA museum revisit
4. Arizona military museum
5. Yuma territorial prison

I have been a few times to GC already and as my winter clothing stays back at home I want to avoid outdoor activities in the mountains.

I would like to drive to the Four corners monument but I am unsure about the road conditions in January. I am used to long driving and it is worthy for me just to get a few pictures and drive back.

Thanks for all the tips!
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Old Aug 9, 14, 1:34 pm
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Tombstone, Prescott, Sedona, Jerome, Bisbee (Copper Queen Mine tour), Desert Botanical Garden, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, South Mountain hiking.
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Old Aug 9, 14, 3:01 pm
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Keep in mind that at the end of January there will be the NFL pro bowl, super bowl festivities start and there is a PGA tournament.
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Old Aug 9, 14, 3:38 pm
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Maybe that's why the OP will be in PHX for a month?
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Old Aug 9, 14, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
Tombstone, Prescott, Sedona, Jerome, Bisbee (Copper Queen Mine tour), Desert Botanical Garden, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, South Mountain hiking.
These are all excellent ideas

IMO Bisbee would be a bit far for a daytrip. But if you go for an overnight, I'd highly recommend a stop to Kartchner Caverns enroute.

In the Tucson area (and daytrip-able, perhaps 1-2 per day): Arizona-Sonora desert museum, Sabino Canyon, Mount Lemon (although could be cold/snowy), Saguaro National Park, Titan Missile Museum, and Mission San Xavier del Bac.

I went to Boyce-Thompson Arboretium this past Jan for the first time and really enjoyed it. Much like the Desert Botanical Garden, but a bit further out. More rugged. Some awesome hiking trails. They do allow dogs, if that is a factor (my dog loved it).
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Old Aug 9, 14, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by aztimm View Post

IMO Bisbee would be a bit far for a daytrip.
.
Well the OP did say they were interested in Yuma which is a bit far for a day trip IMHO also.
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Old Aug 9, 14, 11:38 pm
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I also appreciate your suggestions, SWCPHX and aztimm. I visit Phoenix several times a year on business or en route to somewhere else and am always looking for new ideas to make it worth staying through a weekend while I'm there.
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Old Aug 10, 14, 12:48 am
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Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
Tombstone, Prescott, Sedona, Jerome, Bisbee (Copper Queen Mine tour), Desert Botanical Garden, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, South Mountain hiking.
I will add Tombstone, Bisbee, Arboretum and South Mountain to my list.

Originally Posted by mileshound View Post
Keep in mind that at the end of January there will be the NFL pro bowl, super bowl festivities start and there is a PGA tournament.
That explains the ridiculous car rental prices that week. I neeed to take this in consideration when arranging the travel.

Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
Maybe that's why the OP will be in PHX for a month?
Not at all.
Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
These are all excellent ideas

IMO Bisbee would be a bit far for a daytrip. But if you go for an overnight, I'd highly recommend a stop to Kartchner Caverns enroute.

In the Tucson area (and daytrip-able, perhaps 1-2 per day): Arizona-Sonora desert museum, Sabino Canyon, Mount Lemon (although could be cold/snowy), Saguaro National Park, Titan Missile Museum, and Mission San Xavier del Bac.
Definetely Titan Missile Museum! 3-4 hours of driving is no problem for me. Leaving early morning to avoid the PHX traffic will allow me to spend 5-6 hours at the destination.

Thank you all for ideas! I surely will have more questions as the trip date closes.

What about Four Corners? Is manageable/recommended in winter?
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Old Aug 10, 14, 10:25 am
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I recommend renting a car from a local, off-airport facility, as the airport rental car facility charges confiscatory taxes and fees.

If you are going to Tucson for the Titan Missile Museum and Pima Air Force Museum, you might also consider a couple of other Tucson spots that AZTimm recommends.

The Sabino Canyon is a fantastic, steep river valley that drains Mount Lemmon. It has a trolley that drives up to the top and down again over the 14 bridges and fords, and you can ride it up to the top and then hike down, or ride it down, or hike and jump back on if you get sick of walking downhill.

The Sonoran Desert Museum is a combination botanical gardens / desert creature zoo / aviary out near the Old Tucson movie set west of the city.

A good hour's drive east of the city is Kartchner Caverns near Benson. The caverns are a once-in-lifetime sort of experience, fully preserved by the state in hermetically sealed air locks, and it is truly amazing what you can see in all the different living caves.

On the way down to Tucson is Marana Air Park, which is about 10 miles north of Tuscon, right off the I-10, a huge commercial aviation boneyard. It is private, but one time the gate guard let me drive along the perimeter road.

And here in the valley, I don't think that anyone has mentioned the Confederate Air Force in Mesa. At that time of the year several of the aircraft are actually flying tours, as we see them come up over our place, but it still is a nice museum with static displays. http://www.azcaf.org/
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Old Aug 10, 14, 11:26 am
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Hi,

Also the Desert botanical garden in phoenix is worth a visit.

Heard Museum also is good.

A Pink jeep tour in sedona is worth while ( may need to wrap up a bit as Sedona is at 4000 ft and cooler than PHX)

Regards

TBS
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Old Aug 10, 14, 12:00 pm
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Old Aug 10, 14, 12:14 pm
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Four corners drive should be alright during the winter unless a storm has just come through. We typically get most of our winter storms in February/early March, though with this el nino we might get a little more weather than normal this winter. The drive to four corners is about 4-4.5 hours one way from Phoenix in good weather and dry roads.

You might want to bring some warmer clothes if you go up there. 0-20F are typical overnight lows up north; 20-40F daytime highs. Remember you're waaaay out there if your rental breaks down, and there's limited cell phone coverage once you get past Flagstaff.

Since you're like me and you'll head out a ways to get a few pictures, if you go all the way to the four corners you might as well head through Monument Valley while you're up there. Drive US 163 north from Kayenta. Monument Valley straddles the Arizona/Utah line. Oddly enough, stop by the Burger King in Kayenta and check out their Navajo Code Talkers exhibits. Really interesting story.
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Old Aug 10, 14, 12:17 pm
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There is no way to predict the road conditions for January in the high desert. There is a good chance that they will be dry, but not certain.
Four corners is a bit far for a day trip. For a longer trip there is Monument Valley, Arches, the list goes on. For something off-beat you might consider hiring a Navajo guide to take you through Canyon de Chelly.
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Old Aug 10, 14, 5:21 pm
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I agree on the Titan Missile Museum. Also, there are two gorgeous parks down south: Saguaro National Park and Organ Pipe National Monument. Plus, if you want to make the drive, the underlooked Canyon de Chelly in Northeastern AZ.
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Old Aug 10, 14, 8:41 pm
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If you didn't do it last time... when you go down to the Pima Air Museum you might schedule a tour of the D-M boneyard. Sounds like it'd be right up your alley.

If you want to hit a sporting event, the Suns (NBA basketball- Downtown Phoenix) and the Coyotes (NHL ice hockey- in Glendale) will be in season. Both area a lot of fun. That's also NFL Playoff time, but it's anybody's guess if the Cardinals will make it (my guess is no )

Piestewa Peak (formerly known as Squaw Peak) and Camelback Mountain are good hikes, so if you like hiking by all means do it. The Camelback parking lot fills up so you might have to wait for a spot (avoid sunrise to 10am-ish, especially on weekends. That's when it seems to be the busiest. In January the temps are cool enough to permit hiking any time of day)

Another good hiking area that I like during the winter is the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. The city has been building these trails over the past five years or so and they've done a wonderful job. You could also look towards the Superstition Mountains for more hiking (I've never been over there).

Last edited by Lost; Aug 10, 14 at 8:49 pm
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