Arizona Trip (Phoenix, Grand Canyon, and Sedona)

To skip to Sedona: https://campingwiththekennedys.com/2021/03/04/sedona/

To skip to Grand Canyon: https://campingwiththekennedys.com/2021/03/04/grand-canyon/

Although we didn’t camp in Arizona (we stayed in airbnb’s) we did enjoy a lot of hiking and area attractions. While in Sedona we did spot a RV park, Rancho Sedona RV Park that had a great location within walking distance to lots of great shops and restaurants.

Phoenix

Morning in Phoenix

We started our trip with a weekend in Phoenix. We stayed in Scottsdale, near Fashion Square Mall which was a great area in one of the more upscale locations in Phoenix. We went in February and experienced perfect temps with highs in the 70s!

Camelback Mountain

The first morning of our trip we decided to hike Camelback Mountain. There are two access points for the hike, the Cholla trailhead and the Echo Canyon Trailhead. Cholla is said to be a more gradual climb with less people, but was closed so we set out for the Echo Canyon Trailhead. Even though we arrived early (730am) , there was no parking so the officer directed us to Omni Scottsdale Resort where there is public parking for $5. This adds about a 1/2 mile walk to the trailhead. Once you arrive at the trailhead it is 2.5 miles roundtrip to the top and back.

At the trailhead- there is bathrooms here

This is a HARD hike! Lots of steep sections where you pull yourself up on rails and lots of slow rock climbing. We are fairly used to hiking and I was very sore for 2 days afterwards. A lot of people in the know were wearing gloves which I highly suggest as pulling yourself up on the rocks does a number on your hands.

It starts out as a gradual climb
Steep section with railing to help you up
Taking a break- you can see some of the rocks to climb over on the left
360 views of Phoenix at the top!
You can see the surrounding mountains as well

I would suggest starting early, on the way down there were a lot more people coming up which make the ascent much slower. Also to avoid the heat on such a tough vertical climb. The way down is hard as well, lots of slippery places and parts where you need to sit down to scoot down. Allow plenty of time!?

Every walk around Phoenix features lots of cactus and prickly pear

For lunch we headed to Zinque at Fashion Square Mall. Although the food was good it was super pricey (think $18 omelette and had no kids menu. The best part was watching all the super fancy cars (Porches, Maseratis ect) being parked in valet parking right out front!

Zinque

Botanical Gardens

I have been to Phoenix multiple times and have always loved the Botanical Gardens! See lots of species of cactus, beautiful flowers, butterfly garden, and hummingbird garden. It’s a great place to spend a few hours strolling around. Due to COVID advance reccomendations are currently required and masks must be worn at all times.

This one looks like a Pineapple cactus
Lots of benches, not a lot of shade
My kids favorite- the Zen garden!

South Mountain

South Mountain is the best place to get views in Phoenix without a lot of effort. It’s a beautiful 4 mile drive from the base to the top with a few lookout points on the way. Dobbins Lookout is the end destination with sweeping views of Phoenix. The parking lot can be busy but changeover is fast, so keep circling. If it’s a warm day the cooler air from the higher elevation feels great!

The first lookout stop
First lookout
Dobbins Lookout
Dobbins Lookout

Oldtown Scottsdale

Oldtown Scottsdale is a great place to walk around and shop! Most of the shops close early around 5-6pm so arrive early for the stores. We went to Cien Agaves Tacos and Tequila and it was amazing! Great food, vibes and margaritas (try the Prickly Pear or Coconut). We also went to Sugar Bowl for an old fashioned icecream experience in a pink diner.

Our next stop was the Grand Canyon! It’s about a 3.5 hour drive but it was very scenic. Click on the link below to read about our trip to the Grand Canyon. https://campingwiththekennedys.com/2021/03/04/grand-canyon/

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