The following is an itinerary that a friend and visitor from Pennsylvania shared with us:

Day 1:

  1. Drive from Phoenix Airport to Flagstaff, via Sedona on scenic interstate179 and 89A - Hair raising experience, fantastic views for the passengers (Ely), if they choose to look! 

Day 2:
Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments

  1. Wupatki National Monument - Local to Flagstaff, definitely worth the visit, great hikes
  2. Sunset Crater - Part of Wupatki, worth the visit and the hike 

Day 3:
Monument Valley

  1. Navajo National Monument - Great prehistoric site
  2. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park - Incredible natural formations and historic sites. We did the Jeep tour, which I very much recommend. 

Day 4:

  1. Sedona - Good for the views, waste of time for the town
  2. Slide Rock State Park - Great natural rock slide. A bit harder on the older person's anatomy, bumping along the rocks in the white water, but good enough to do it many times until closing. The water was cold, but worth it. Children didn't seem to notice because of how fun it was. 

Day 5:
Grand Canyon

  1. Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim - A full day's worth, including Native American Ruins and Hopi House, with tribal dances  

Day 6:

Day off in Flagstaff - Swim and relax, but also Lowell Observatory (a great visit!)  

Day 7:

Shabbos - Flagstaff Chabad (number one stop to recommend!

Day 8:

  1. Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum - Not just for the music lover, but full of instruments, cultural interest, and for children, a place to try out many instruments.

Day 9: 
Canyon de Chelly, Petrified Forest & Painted Desert

  1. Canyon de Chelly National Monument - Great natural and prehistoric sites, along with wonderful hikes
  2. Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site - Not worth the journey
  3. Petrified Forest National Park (in a rainstorm) - Worth it even in the rain
  4. Painted Desert National Forest (in a rainstorm) - Worth it even in the rain. The "gift" shop is worth the visit. Best value for petrified wood, minerals, crystals and more.  

    *Canyon de Chelly and Petrified Forest/Painted Desert was a long day, it may have been better to break these into two days.

Other interesting tidbits from the Pennsylvania point of view: 

  • Drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff changes elevation close to 1 mile and temperatures up to 40 degrees Farenheit. 
  • Best places to get Navajo and Pueblo art/pottery was at Chelly National Monument (they sell direct from their cars, rather than through multiple middle men).
  • Flagstaff weather in the summer is absolutely the best! No idea what it would be like in the winter.


What we didn't get to and was on my "wish list":

  1. Kartchner Caverns State Park – Too far
  2. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument – No time
  3. Chiricahua National Monument – Too far
  4. Montezuma Castle National Monument – No time
  5. Tombstone – Too far
  6. Walnut Canyon National Monument – No time
  7. Meteor Crater – No time
  8. Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico) – Too far
  9. Hoover Dam – No time
  10. Taliesin West (a Frank Lloyd Wright design) – No time
  11. Glen Canyon/Lake Powell – No time
  12. Grand Canyon rafting – No time (a full vacation in itself)
  13. Scottsdale Chabad, Phoenix Chabads, and others. Of course, these will be after Flagstaff again…