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Old 03-31-2014, 11:04 PM   #1
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I17 in AZ going N towards Sedona

We are close to going N from Wickenburg on I17 in AZ. Traveling to Cottonwood off Thousand Trails Road.

Any advice on the interstate that drops into the valley? Sounds scary!
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:17 PM   #2
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I 17 goes north from Phoenix but not Wickenburg. Are you figuring it out. I 17 climbs several plateaus but nothing scary. If you come south into Phoenix its windy and downhill but the speed limit comes down a bit and there ate enough lanes for the fast folks to pass.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:36 PM   #3
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Just came down from Grand Canyon (Flagstaff) to Phoenix yesterday. As said, windy and a large drop with lots of fast traffic, but very good road conditions, two lanes each way, and the grades are not bad. Keep to the right at your reasonable speed and let them fly by, you'll have company doing the same thing.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:48 PM   #4
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If it was me, I would not use the I-17 at all! I would take AZ 89 to Prescott (great downtown square) then to Cottonwood. Highway 89 might be the most scenic highway in America. It continues to Sedona (a must stop) then up cottonwood canyon to Flagstaff and north to the Grand Canyon... And if you still head north on 89 you will finally end up in Glacier National Park!!! No other highway goes through as many National Parks as 89.

I would also add Cottonwood the town is not much compared to all the surrounding towns in the area... Sedona, is much nicer with lots to see and do.

Another side trip to consider in the area is the old mining town of Jerome, the road over the mountain from Prescott to Cottonwood is very cool, Not for the faint of heart and might not want to tow your trailer over...

Best camping in the Area is north of Sedona in USFS camp grounds there are several to choose from. There is also a great camp ground right in the heart of Sedona that you can walk right into town and is a few steps from the best mountain bike trail/hiking trail in all of the area.

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Old 04-01-2014, 12:15 AM   #5
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Arizona 89A is indeed beautiful, Sedona an upscale tourist trap situated in a beautiful countryside. I would be concerned about 89A heading north of Sedona pulling a larger Airstream due to a particular section of steep ascents with many severe, narrow blind hairpin curves. Anyone who has towed through this have an opinion on it?
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:08 AM   #6
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Arizona 89A is indeed beautiful, Sedona an upscale tourist trap situated in a beautiful countryside. I would be concerned about 89A heading north of Sedona pulling a larger Airstream due to a particular section of steep ascents with many severe, narrow blind hairpin curves. Anyone who has towed through this have an opinion on it?
That's a piece of cake. Try 191 going north from Morenci, Arizona if you want some white knuckle towing! It is a beautiful scenic drive though.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:49 AM   #7
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Maybe a piece of cake. Looks like you are pulling the trailer close to rock wall on the inside turns meeting another vehicle, or putting a squeeze on him on the outside turns, and there are quite a few vehicles on this road. A piece of cake without the Airstream yes, but I'm not sure I'd try it with our unblemished FC 25.

I think the restriction is 50' total length.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:01 AM   #8
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That's a piece of cake. Try 191 going north from Morenci, Arizona if you want some white knuckle towing! It is a beautiful scenic drive though.
Not for the driver! Nothing is very scenic if you don't dare look away from the road; it all looks like pavement.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:08 PM   #9
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We will head out of Wickenburg and catch I17 going N toward Grand Canyon and want to stop an boondock off 260 on FS 147A ..not doing 89A towing.

Guess as long as we drive slow we will get thru the Camp Verde area on I17.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:05 PM   #10
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Badkat not sure how far along you are in your travels but the I-17 north from phoenix will serve you well as far as good roads. There are climbs but gradual. When you head east from Wickenburg towards the north west valley take the bypass, 74 to I-17 or at least the 303 so you don't have to come as far as sun city to the 101. As you approach Flagstaff watch your exits/merge signs for I - 40 to Los Angeles. Safe travels
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:08 AM   #11
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Thanks.. just a few more days here then off we go to Cottonwood.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:26 PM   #12
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Thanks.. just a few more days here then off we go to Cottonwood.
I'm not sure which roads you are considering for this trip, but if your plan is to go through Jerome, I would reconsider. Jerome is a wonderful place to visit, but it is not a place that I would drive through with a trailer in tow.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:09 PM   #13
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Take it from someone who lived in the area for several years, avoid 89 north of Sedona. Narrow lanes, almost textbook hairpin curves, grades, no fun. I 17 is a great road, can be windy at times. On 89 you will find yourself swinging way over into oncoming lane to make some of the curves, and maybe going 20 mph in the best sections. Visit Sedona, but leave south on 89 back to I 17. We even got stuck behind a small mud / rock slide once for six hours while workers cleared the road on the 89 just north of Sedona. The road winds around mountains and was cut into the sides with no regard to rv'ers
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:04 PM   #14
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The issue with I-17 is the semi's climbing the grades at 30mph passing another one going 20mph. There is also some construction at about mile 280 in a pass just south of Camp Verde where they regularly close one side of traffic to blast. That ususally happens at night. Getting through Camp Verde area is not a problem. Once you get to Flagstaff I-17 ends had you have two choices to get to the Grand Canyon (if that is where you are ultimately headed), 180 or 89. Either are fine for towing, most people take one road up and the other back. I would stay off of 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff, the textbook hairpin curves jackcat refers to are known to the locals as the "switchbacks". If they haven't started already AZDOT is planning to start a project soon on 89A at the switchbacks and will have one lane closed. For a place to camp you might consider Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood or Clear Creek Campground in Coconino NF. Clear Creek is off 260 a few miles east of I-17. I have not stayed there but Arizona Highways has Clear Creek in its top 40 campgrounds.
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