We did a Pink Jeep tour of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. It took about 10 hours. We drove out, went to the bottom in a helicopter and floated up the Colorado River and then back to the top in the helicopter. Up the top we went to a few lookouts and saw the skywalk. After all the other things we had done we didn't bother wasting the money. We don't regret not going out on it.
However if you didn't do the helicopter flight it might be worth doing.
We can really recommend the Pink Jeep tours.
Okay, I'm not sure if this should be in Tourist Trap or not; but there are numerous tourist shops along the main road in Sedona. There does not seem to be much difference in a lot of them except the people inside. I have no doubt the prices are higher in Sedona than you would pay for the same thing elsewhere. I don't know if the guy inside was named Joe but he did not seem that grumpy.
Unique Suggestions: Buy your Sedona specific souvenirs here and your general Arizona and Native American souvenirs elsewhere.
Fun Alternatives: It's fun to at least walk through the shops and look. The shop in the picture caught my eye.
Although I am listing The Thing? as a Tourist Trap, I really consider it a "Must See." You may not want to drive hundreds of miles out of your way to see The Thing?, but if you ever find yourself traveling along I-10 in southeastern Arizona, you would be remiss not to stop and take a look. This is roadside America at it's kinky best. I can't tell you what "The Thing?" is or that would spoil some of the fun.
Don't worry about finding "The Thing?" There are scores of billboards pointing the way. You really CAN'T miss it. For those who still need directions, take Exit 318, the Johnson Road enterchange, at the Dairy Queen, between Benson and Wilcox. There is a very small admission charge and plenty of free parking.
Address: 2631 N. Johnson Road, Dragoon, AZ 85609
The Grand Canyon is surrounded by cheap, generic Native American Arts and crafts, high priced foods, and expensive group trips down the canyon.
Unique Suggestions: Grand Canyon is a spectacular scene. Just remember to pack your own lunch and don't pay attention to "Chief Yellowhorse". If you want to buy certified Native American crafts I suggest stopping at the Cameron Indian Arts and Crafts shop at the Grand Canyon Junction towards Page, AZ. Shops that are certified by the Navajo tribe are your best bet for good prices.
Fun Alternatives: The South rim of the Grand Canyon is the most visited area. If you like desert scenery I high suggest the South rim. But I also suggest visiting the Northern Rim, it's a bit of a drive, but it's cooler and more scenic with it's whispering pine trees.
You can also go see Havasupai Falls, located to the west of Flagstaff. It's an extension of the Grand Canyon. Please see my Havasupai Falls page.
If you want to go kayaking in the Lake Powell area, stay far away from Kyle Walker and Glen Canyon Kayak guides (http://www.kayakpowell.com/). He is unprofessional and does not communicate in an adequate manner at all. Once he gets your reservation deposit, he may or may not just lose your number/ email address.
The only part of Route 66 left at this point along I40 is called the JackRabbit, and is at the Jack Rabbit Road exit.
Though roadside signs lead one to believe that the gas station is still functioning - it isn't. I was happy to use the bathroom that had a hole in the wall instead of a sink, window shop, and buy nice COLD water. Oh, and snap a few photos of this little place.
So, if you are in a hurry - don't bother.
if you a a wanderer - go for it :)
Unique Suggestions: Take a pitcture of yourself sitting in the saddle of the famous Jack Rabbit. I was alone, so just got a pic of himself :)
Pronounced TEL-a-kwa-pak-ee, this place is a shopping centre in Sedona designed after a famous arts and crafts neighborhood in Guadalajara, Mexico, and has about 40 stores and restaurants.
To us it had the feeling of a Mexico Disneyland, and once you get over the stress of trying to park, the crowds of tourists can be overwhelming. We stopped for look, but left quickly, after being almost trampled by eager shoppers wearing bermuda shorts, fanny packs, white socks, and sneakers.
It is worth a look if your bored or curious as we were, I suppose.
Fun Alternatives: I found shopping to be a huge hassle in Sedona. You are probably better off shopping in Jerome, where the crowd control is a little better, and more parking is available. Parking is a total nightmare in Upper Sedona.
And a giant waste of time. I'm not exactly sure why we went out of our way for this one, a friend who had lived in Scottsdale told me about it. Apparently it is supposed to be a pretty cool thing to see. Unfortunately for us, it was a no show. We waited for almost 2 hours, but the weather conditions were such that the fountain would not "erupt"
Located not far outside Scottsdale in the middle of a lake., which is in the middle of town.
some of the condos and villas that are for rent in places like Scottsdale, for snowbirds are privately owned and some office rents them out. Be careful that its not some unkept condo at a high price.
Unique Suggestions: ask the mgt company if its privately owned....ask when it was last remodeled or how old the unit is and if you can change if it is unsatisfactory...this happened to me in Scottsdale...the unit was a bad 70's decor and not real clean...we went back to the office and requested a change...the unit right next door was spectacular...dont get taken
Fun Alternatives: Just make sure you dont pay high bucks for a crappy place...at least get a great place..I say try to rent better than where you live!!!
Jerome is for sure the ultimate tourist trap! Advertised as a past gold-rush mining town, it's nothing more than a few crumbling down buildings and quaint/tacky shops that will try sell you all sort of junk and rip you off. There's meant to be a ghost-town nearby, but I did not chance seeing more uglyness.
Unique Suggestions: Shop for stamps at the post office, seriously. The other alternative is buying rattlesnakes' heads in plastic containers. Tacky!
Fun Alternatives: Do not go there - it's really not worth the detour. If you really must go there - jut bring your sense of humour with you
I am also putting Antelope canyon into my recommendation list. The Canyon itself is fantastic, really beautiful. It costs $6 per person for a permit to enter the canyon. The problem is you are only allowed to enter the canyon on a tour. The tours you can get at the gate of the park cost $15 for a 1 hr tour and $20 for 2 hrs photography tour. Sounds good, well it would be if it was more than just a lift to the canyon. Basically when you arrive he will tell you how his Dad found the place and thats it you are left by your self. The canyon isnt very big. Take lots of photographs, the best time to visit is at midday
Unique Suggestions: Its near lake Powell
Fun Alternatives: Well unfortunately if you want to see the canyon there is no alternative than taking a tour and it is worth seeing
This is not only a tourist trap for Arizona it is also a trap for Utah, Colarodo and New Mexico.
It is a monument that marks the corners of all 4 states, basically you have to drive miles out of your way (100 miles from monument valley) to see a monument that is over crowded with people getting photos. Costs $3 a person to get into.
Many people who come to Arizona, especially the Sedona area, hear that they 'must go to Red Rock Crossing and Slide Rock.' Don't. Sedona is very beautiful, but these two sites are definitely tourist traps because there are tons of kitschy stores and no parking at Red Rock Crossing. Slide Rock is supposed to be a fun water park, but there's really nowhere to 'slide,' the water is freezing year-round, and it's always packed with tourists.
We always refueled and had the car checked every morning before we would start our trip.At one of the service stations I could see under the bottom of the hood of my car the attendant pouring water down the side of my battery then telling me my battery had a leak in it.He offered to replace my battery with one that he had for a nominal fee plus battery.I declined his 'gracious offer' and muddled on to California.The battery lasted for about 2 more years!!
If you go from the Grand Canyon to Monument Valley, you will see signs along the highway to see Dinosaur Tracks..this is real! But the Indians who want to show you around may be asking for quite a large tip!
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