View Full Version : Imaging 2009 Phoenix

06-28-2008, 12:41 AM
Let's start thinking options! I try to take a few days extra when attending Imaging. Does anyone have suggestions for this next January?

Such as one-way flights in/out Phoenix/Las Vegas, then drive rental car between with stops at Grand Canyon, Sedona, or elsewhere? I once checked about car rentals, and one-way were far more money than returning to same as pick up site. Pheonix seemed less than Vegas. Thoughts, anyone?
Before or after Imaging convention?

Does PPA of AZ have any thoughts? Or them in conjunction with PPA planners?

How far is GC & areas in northern part of state from PHX?
Are day trips an option?

At this point - just listening - But we are not too early to plan!

Thanks, George

06-28-2008, 01:53 AM

I've been to Phoenix several times. Day trips are easily done. Once I took the two lane roads from Phoenix, up through Congress, Jerome, Red Oak Canyon, etc and ended up in Flagstaff at dark. It took all day to make the trip, I stopped so often to photograph the sights. The trip back to Phoenix on the interstate was two hours. I've been up to Winslow, the big ditch, etc. and the scenery in that direction is something to behold. The trip from Phoenix to Alburqueque is 6 hours. It took me two whole days to get there ( I had a meeting in Phx, and shot a wedding in Abq).

I've found that flights from the east coast to Phx round trip are much cheaper than a one way from separate airports. One way car rentals are higher too. If you have a couple of days, take the two lane from Phx to Flagg, spend the night in Williams and go to the big ditch the next day. From Phx I took 60W & 89W to Congress, then 89 back E to Jerome, Sedona, Re Oak, and eventually up to Flag. You can spend the night in Flag or take I40 a bit west and spend the night in Williams. That's where the scenic railroad up to the big ditch originates. From Williams it's a short trip up 64 & 180 to the Canyon or you can ride the train.

It's a heck of a scenic trip, and the geography and vegetation (or lack thereof) is so totally different than the east coast it's amazing.


Don Flory
Manassas, Va.

06-28-2008, 04:47 AM
How far is GC & areas in northern part of state from PHX?
Are day trips an option?

At this point - just listening - But we are not too early to plan!

Thanks, George

Hi George,

I'm sure there will be many suggestions regarding trips to the Grand Canyon. From Phoenix to the south rim of the Grand Canyon is over 450 miles round trip. That will put you in a car for six or seven hours just to get there and back. Possible as a day trip but a tough day. The good news is that sunset will be early in January so you might be able to get some golden hour photos and still be back in Phoenix at a reasonable hour. You can visit online at http://www.nps.gov/grca/

To get to Page in far northern Arizona, where you can find Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons, you'll be in your car for over 550 miles roundtrip. In the summer months these canyons offer spectacular photos opportunities (I've never been there in the winter) but that kind of drive would be really rough as a day trip. Still this is one cool place.

Saguaro National Park near Tuscon is about 250 miles round trip. This is an awesome smaller national park and the drive wouldn't be nearly as tough. You can visit online at http://www.nps.gov/sagu/ (http://www.nps.gov/sagu/) The cactus forests there are very photogenic (some might say even cliché' but I don't care) and this trip wouldn't be bad at all. Plus you could visit Tuscon on this same trip.

Fifty extra miles round trip lets you visit Organ Pipe National Monument in far southern Arizona. I have never been there but because of its climate if you're ever going then winter would be a good time. Their website is http://www.nps.gov/orpi/ (http://www.nps.gov/orpi/).

06-28-2008, 05:30 AM
Another great trip (about 130 miles round trip) is the Apache trail (http://www.americansouthwest.net/arizona/apache_trail/) through the Superstition Mountains.

06-28-2008, 05:38 PM

Let's get more people posting suggestions, because:

I am reminded that airlines will be raising prices, so we need to book as soon as we can decide on days to extend the trip. I am leaning to book a lower priced hotel room in PHX, taking day trips.


06-28-2008, 07:59 PM
Here are maps for two trips that have been suggested.

Trip one will take you from the desert up to the beautiful red rock country of Sedona. From there you will drive through Oak Creek Canyon and into the pine tree country, ending up in Flagstaff. If it's time to eat, go to Salsa Brava East. Coming back, you will stop at the Montezuma Castle Indian ruins. Fortunately, it's just a short walk since you'll probably be tired by then. The total mileage for this trip is 300. Start early!!!


Trip two will take you to Lost Dutchman State Park, up some winding mountain roads, to some Indian ruins at Tonto National Park. Returning the same way is a total of 168 miles. You can extend the trip by coming back a different route.


06-28-2008, 08:07 PM
If you can only do one trip, I definitely recommend trip 1. If you can make it an overnighter, you could stay in Flagstaff and make the Grand Canyon on day 2. There are a lot of potential side trips and other places to see along the way, some have already been mentioned in this thread. I would call this trip a 'must see' for Arizona. You will see all of the different faces of the state, from desert to mountains.

06-28-2008, 09:54 PM
There's just too much to see in AZ in a two days, that's why I live here:) . Stay a week instead. I guess, where to go depends on how much driving you want to do and if you want to stay overnight somewhere. Also, if you want to stay in areas where it is warm or if you want to go where it is cold.

Like others have suggested, if you're talking day trips and want to see classic red rock canyons head north to Sedona, but be prepared to see it with tons of others(Now you have to pay like $10 for a pass, just to park on the side of the road). If you like to fly fish as well as photograph, oak creek canyon is great for both.

Flagstaff is also great and of course there is the Grand Canyon, Wupatki national monument, Sunset Crater, and some other cool stuff. There is always a chance that the weather in Flag and at the South Rim will be quite cold and snowy and not the best for traveling in rental cars.

If you want cactus head south east to Tucson, where I live. There are two national parks(or one separated by a large city, depending on how you look at it), a very cool mission with unique Franciscan art, the desert museum(where you can pretend to take real wildlife photos). An 8000+ ft. Mt., called a Sky Island. A beautiful canyon, with a tram (for those who don't want to carry their camera equipment by foot), with a nice creek in it.

Still, this does not account for my favorites places in AZ. Havasupai is my absolute favorite (so far), but that's at least three days, plus twenty miles of hiking (totally worth it). Another favorite is Canyon De Chelle, classic Ansel Adams.

06-28-2008, 10:57 PM
Something I forgot to mention if you do come to Tucson, the Center for Creative Photography. They have an archive of over 80,000 prints, hand printed by some of the best photographers. They have close to 3000 Ansel prints, and 3000 Edward Weston prints. The cool thing is, if you call in advance you can schedule a personal viewing. The staff will bring out boxes of matted prints of your choice into a room. You can take your time and look at them as closely as you want. They are not framed, so there is no glass to separate you from a print printed by Ansel himself. It's pretty cool and it's absolutely free.

If you're into native american pottery you can stop by the AZ state museum too. They have the largest collection of native pottery in the country (that's free too). There is also decent art museum, that's free as well. All you have to do is find parking, the university is very fond of giving out parking tickets.

06-29-2008, 12:48 AM
Another favorite is Canyon De Chelle, classic Ansel Adams.
Jacob, have you taken the Navajo tours into Canyon De Chelle? Also, have you ever been to any of the Hopi Mesas?

06-29-2008, 01:05 AM
Again Thanks to the posts, recently.
Makes me want to fly on on Sunday or Monday and have the days available to do the "tours" written, till Saturday to be in Phoenix for Imaging, and fly out Wednesday or Thursday.

I've bounced around on National Park websites and feel it'd be a great opportunity if I could stay at least one night within GC Park: a chance to be there at sunset & sunrise. A room can be booked for under $100, if one is careful.


I am convinced that aircraft fuel prices will rise, forcing airlines to raise ticket prices, so flight reservations should be made soon.

06-29-2008, 01:15 AM
George - There's a lodge (Phantom Ranch) at the bottom of the Grand Canyon too if you're up for a long walk. ;) It will be a LOT warmer down there and the views from the bottom are magnificent. It's probably too late to reserve though.

06-29-2008, 02:11 AM
David, The long walk down is very interesting, BUT I wish I were younger AND had more time for travels. Thanks for the maps and those thoughts. Now I want to save the thread and any added posts.

06-29-2008, 05:21 AM

I've done three different tours in Canyon De Chelle.

The first time I went there, I did a week long back pack. There were about ten of us and a Navajo guide. We started at the very beginning of the Canyon, before it's really a canyon and followed the creek all the way down by foot, camping along the way. Then we stayed a couple of nights at our guides hogan at the bottom of the canyon and hiked back up Canyon Del Muerto (spelling) for two more days. It was one of the best backpacking experiences in my life, although I didn't do much photography.

I've also done a "shake and bake" tour, which is a great way to see a lot of the canyon in a day. This is where they load you in the back of a large jeep type vehicle and drive you up the canyon. I have also ridden horse back up the canyon, which was pretty cool until my horse threw me.

If you want to go into the canyon you should hook up with one of the guided tours. Otherwise you can only go to White House Ruins, which is a nice hike, but only a glimpse of the canyon.

As for the Hopi Mesas they are awesome, but I've spent very little time there. I've only stopped there once my way home from Canyon De Chelle.

06-30-2008, 11:57 PM
Just to be safe, I booked hotel room last night; made it for extra days at either end, and I'll change it as my plans firm up. Half mile walk from Convention Center - Super Eight, under $100!

Registration forms are now posted!

07-02-2008, 12:15 PM
183 views! Let's see more comments & thoughts about travel. PLEASE.
Am I the only one who'd like input, to make general plans, so that I can book flight before tickets rise in price, based on aircraft fuel!

07-03-2008, 10:56 PM
Risen in less than a week since I browsed Jet Blue, Air Tran and Continental. Instead of many choices to redeem points, there is one flight available!


PS Website with ton of info and links especially scenic drives!


07-05-2008, 11:39 PM
Hello, I have some great input, but thought more might post.

I spent some time last night on many sites and azcentral, which is great, with state map on counter. I think I have a very preliminary idea to drive north but on some back roads, Cottonwood, Sedona areas, next day to Grand Canyon National Park staying overnight to view both sunset & sunrise. Exit park to east, and return another way. I read about Salt River Canyon, which might be the return route.

Thanks to previous posts which are so very interesting. I want to avoid weekends on the road, so I think before Imaging is best. There may not be adequate time to start off on day of flight arrival. If I had my druthers, I'd fly Monday, but tickets are less on Tuesday.

Anyone for multiple vehicles? I've come across hotel rooms for under $95.
If one is taking days off for convention, why not add a few for travel such as this?


08-09-2008, 11:11 PM
It's been a month!!!

Will anyone post more ideas?
Are there others who live in the area, with suggestions?
Maybe any AZ PPA member?

Thanks, George

08-13-2008, 05:28 PM
I too wouldn't mind flying in a day or two early. I hate driving! What's worth shooting thats a 2 hour drive (or less) from Downtown Phoenix?

09-11-2008, 07:55 AM
Hey I'm local to phoenix. Lots of cool places. Was there are question directed to the AzPPA group? If so let me know.

Also, there are a few flickr groups the might be a better resource for asking or lurnking to find cool stuff:

is the biggest main group.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/azstrobists/ is a good one too.

Also feel free to add me on flickr. If you're not on you should be:


09-27-2008, 08:04 PM
Just dropping by as a Phx area resident to say we have a wonderful botanical garden here and a nice zoo. These are located about 3 miles east of downtown Phx. Check out the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo. By the way, these are located in our Papago Park which contains very dramatic red sandstone mountain/rock formations. Together these will take at least a half a day or more to fully enjoy.

Also there are hiking trails in the city of Phx in the various moutain preserves. We have about 6 or 7 different mountain preserves that together form the largest urban parklands system in the country. These preserves (Camelback Mountain, Squaw Peak/Piestewa Peak, North Mountain, South Mountain, etc.) are natural desert landscapes with easy to difficult trails through and up the mountains and passes. There are places where you cannot see the city as you are surrounded by nature.

The city of Phx also has the world class Phoenix Art Museum just a mile north of downtown. The Heard Museum, which is focused solely on Native American Arts, is in that area too as well as having a satellite museum up in the NE Valley in the Carefree AZ area. In the NW Valley there is a Rock Art Museum with thousands of petroglyphs covering an entire hillside.

Cave Creek and Carefree are other picturesque places to visit and from there it's a short drive to either the east and Tonto National Forest (Bartlett Lake) or about an hour west to Wickenburg (with Lake Pleasant on the way). Both drives take you through very lush desert vegetation -- this area just north of Phx has been called the most beautiful desert in the world as it's more thickly vegetated than all the others.

Frank Lloyd Wright's studio and school is also over in Scottsdale nestled in the natural desert landscape on the side of a mountain and there are a few of his buildings around town too, most notably the Gammage Center in Tempe near ASU.

Lots of the other suggestions here were great for out of town, just thought I'd give you some more in-town options. Enjoy!

09-28-2008, 02:46 AM
Thanks for the information - we'll study the options.
I read something interesting about making a day trip to Salt River Canyon.

Do the locals agree? Maybe an excursion on Wednesday after convention, instead of making the mad rush to fly out!

Open for suggestions......

10-19-2008, 01:11 PM
Wanted to bring this thread back ..... listening for suggestions!

10-19-2008, 03:03 PM
go to sedona, just a magical place. have lunch at the enchantment resort. expensive, but lunch is more affordable. really upscale menu with a great view of the red rocks. you'll need to make reservations in advance, it's very popular.
if you have a full day there, i'ld highly recommend going over to the sedona airport. (you'll need a reservation)
you could rent a plane to take you to the grand canon for the day. the planes carry just 3 passengers. it leaves about 8:45 in the morning and returns about 3:30? the pilot gives you a tour of the area on the way, lands at the grand canon and you board a van(pilot is your driver) you tour around the different views of the canon and stop for lunch(included) more stops along the canon ridge and you fly back to sedona airport.
whole trip cost is under $400 per person. worth it! i've done it twice.
now, you don't get down into the canon, just along thge ridge looking down and across.
geo, i wish i could tell you the name of the airline company, but you should be able to find info online.
have fun,

10-19-2008, 04:42 PM
Fantastic idea! My "plan" was that if I could go to Phoenix several days early, rent economy car, and stay one night at Canyon Rim, to capture both sunset & sunrise. Others have said stop in Sedona, also, as I know PHX to Canyon may take 4-5 hours. Lots to stop on the way.

Several years ago friends stayed at a room a brief walk from rim, and suggested.


10-19-2008, 07:43 PM
I've been seeing photos taken in the slot canyons for many years, and now that I'm getting a chance to go to Phoenix, I was wondering - which one is the best one to go see??? I've heard Antelope Canyon mentioned, but don't know if this one is the best. Any suggestions from the Arizona locals would be helpful. Thanks.

10-20-2008, 12:04 AM
Very interesting Rick. I googled and did some viewing; more are north in Utah, but some in AZ appear quite interesting geology. Thinking there is one on the list near Sedona.

11-08-2008, 10:50 PM
Anyone else willing to post some thoughts?
Ideas on economical, but not trashy, accommodations while out touring?

Thank you, George