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 PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug 2020 1:05 pm   

Joined: Thu 23 May 2019 9:05 am
Posts: 162
Location: Texas
I just got Hyatt Pinon Pointe on flexchange and discounted exchange for Late September (9/25). This appears to be a platinum week on their system.

Anyone here has any info in the area for this time of the year? I did a stop in Sedona for a couple of hours on my way from Phoenix to Las Vegas, but never stayed in the area. I already had marked some trails, and watering holes, but I was wondering if anyone has their top must do in the area. I might be coming from the Phoenix area.

I am planning a day to grand canyon, and possibly spending a night in the village, outside my exchanged week.

In any case, I will report back my experience.

Tony


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 PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug 2020 3:07 pm   

Joined: Fri 27 May 2005 6:15 am
Posts: 3869
I love Sedona. The Hyatt is the top timeshare. It's in the middle of the main shopping/restaurant area so you can walk to much of that. Traffic at that intersection (where the 2 main highways converge) can be awful so being able to walk vs drive is a big plus. There are lots of hikes in the area of all lengths. The trick now will be to find something not so crowded. This is a very popular spot so instead of going for the favorite spots, look for things that are more obscure. The red rocks are pervasive throughout so any trail anywhere in the area will be a good one.
It will probably still be very hot. Heading up to Flagstaff will offer a cooler option. There are several National Monuments in the area with my favorite being Walnut Canyon. The Grand Canyon is doable as a day trip from Sedona, but I think your idea to spend a night or two there before or after is a good one. Staying onsite to get up early/stay late is a great option.

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Resorts Visited: All WA, OR, ID, MT, CO, UT resorts + Las Vegas Blvd, Reno, South Shore, Rancho Vistoso, Bison Ranch, Fairfield Sedona, Big Bear, Bass Lake, Angels Camp, Marina Dunes, San Francisco, Windsor, Clear Lake, Kona, Kauai, Oceanside, Pismo Beach, Solvang.

Non-WM:II (All blue deposits; studio-2BR) Grand Monarch Cancun, Newport Coast Villas, Pollard Brook, Harbor Ridge, FSA, Sedona Summit, Starr Pass Golf Suites, Lawrence Welk Resort villas, Stoneridge at Blanchard, Hyatt High Sierra, Ridge Tahoe, Marriott Desert Springs, Wyndham Oceanside on trade with owner. Manteo Club, Sunchaser Riverside, Suites at Fisherman's Wharf,Mountainside Fairmont Hot Springs, Welk Northstar. Getaways/AC: Ridge Tahoe, The Pines at Sunriver, Eagle Crest, Sedona Summit, Crestwood, Surfside, Marriotts Summit Watch.
RCI:Lagoon Shores at Roche Harbor, Stoneridge (Sunriver), San Luis Bay Inn, GEVC at Lighthouse Point.


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 PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug 2020 11:04 am   

Joined: Thu 23 May 2019 9:05 am
Posts: 162
Location: Texas
sue1947 wrote:
I love Sedona. The Hyatt is the top timeshare. It's in the middle of the main shopping/restaurant area so you can walk to much of that. Traffic at that intersection (where the 2 main highways converge) can be awful so being able to walk vs drive is a big plus. There are lots of hikes in the area of all lengths. The trick now will be to find something not so crowded. This is a very popular spot so instead of going for the favorite spots, look for things that are more obscure. The red rocks are pervasive throughout so any trail anywhere in the area will be a good one.
It will probably still be very hot. Heading up to Flagstaff will offer a cooler option. There are several National Monuments in the area with my favorite being Walnut Canyon. The Grand Canyon is doable as a day trip from Sedona, but I think your idea to spend a night or two there before or after is a good one. Staying onsite to get up early/stay late is a great option.


Great, thank you! I just saw a couple videos on Walnut Canyon, and definitely going there.

Thanks again!


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 PostPosted: Mon 05 Oct 2020 7:25 pm   

Joined: Thu 23 May 2019 9:05 am
Posts: 162
Location: Texas
Just came back from Hyatt Piñon Pointe! I added a week in Scottsdale the week prior to checking and it was a great overall trip.

In Scottsdale we stayed at Sheraton Desert Oasis for a full week. I had a couple of opportunities to book Westin Kierland, which was my first choice, but I was not sure if we could take the 2 full weeks off. Eventually got SDO at an unbelievable price, and booked that.

We stayed in a 1 bedroom full kitchen unit at SDO. Unit was on the large side, the bedroom was really big and had a jacuzzi tub (no like), double sinks & big shower in the bathroom, good size kitchen. The unit was great, I was really impressed with the overall unit quality, furnishings, and cleanliness. Staff and customer service was great too. The 3 times we called, we got resolved within minutes and received calls back to confirm that we were taken care of.

We did a couple of hikes in Scottsdale. First one was horseshoe and desert park loop. It is close to the resort, about 9 minute drive. It is a very easy hike, 1.7 miles in total, very flat, lots of tall saguaro cactus, and great scenery with city view. Highly recommend if you have kids, and do it in the late afternoon to see city lights.
Second trail was Marcus Landslide Trail. This one is about a 22 minute drive from the resort. It is a 4.1 mile hike, and depending on the heat, it could be a hard trail. Scenery is beautiful. There are high areas with great views of the valley and far mountains. You will also find about 3 or 4 mushroom rock formations, if you can do half the trail, you might see 3 of the formations and get great views.

We also tried to drive the Apache trail (hwy 88) and it is currently closed at tortilla flat due to fire, however, if you like a road with a nice scenery and lots of curves, this is a must do in the area. There are shops and a restaurant at tortilla flat. There are also boat ramps, along the route, that have picnic areas with tables and nice views of the lake. On our way back we stopped at the lost Dutch state park entrance for some nice pics, and also stopped at goldfield ghost town very close by.

Following our SDO stay, we drove to Walnut Canyon National Monument in flagstaff, as recommended by sue1947, prior to our Sedona check in. This is a beautiful Canyon with great views, and the ruins of the Sinagua cliff dwellings. I noticed the park rangers discouraging people to go down the stairs, as “it is mandatory to come up” statements. There are many steps, but it is only about a 250 ft elevation gain with many stops and seating areas available along the climb back, so do not get discouraged, but do bring plenty of water! Tip: if you also plan to get to the Grand Canyon, use Sedona trails parking, and visit Montezuma castle and well, purchase the American the Beautiful annual pass for some savings.

Hyatt Piñon Pointe: check in was great and fast. We originally had building 11 upstairs unit, but were given unit 1311 (2B lock off), which is a downstairs unit. I was originally a little disappointed, but the unit had decent views and we had a clear view of Snoopy Rock, which my son loved. Overall, the unit was not impressive, and was way below par our SDO stay. There were many small issues to name, nothing major, but noticeable. The resort is well located, well maintained, and the pool is great with awesome service and views of the rocks.

While in Sedona we did 3 moderate hikes. Thunder mountain trail and birthing cave trail offered great views, scenery, and are under 3 miles. We also did Red Mountain Trail (Hwy 180 north of flagstaff), this one we tried to do prior to going to the Grand Canyon, but we took too long and we would have arrived (Grand Canyon) after sunset, but could complement a day trip to the Grand Canyon very well if planned accordingly.

We eventually did a day trip to the Grand Canyon, and it is very doable from Sedona. It is about a 2 hour drive, and the worst part is the last 30 or so miles driving at night on Hwy 89A, but in my case, the road was all mine at around 9 pm.

Our last activity was doing a Jeep Tour. We booked Red Rock Western Jeep tours to do soldier’s pass trail. We had a great driver, Rooster, and it was excellent. If you are unable to hike this trail (4.1 miles, 630 ft elevation) definitely do the Jeep tour. However, if you can hike it, do not do the Jeep tour. This is a beautiful hike that takes you to the devil’s kitchen, 7 sacred pools, a secret cave, and you want to take you time to explore and connect to these areas. The tour take you to the two first places, and the guide explains a lot, but you are in and out in 5 to 10 minutes, so there is no connection. Tip: Groupon Red Rock Western Jeep. Groupon Select subscription gives a substantial saving on top of the discounted price.

So overall it was a great trip, and Sedona is amazing if you are into nature, photography, hiking, mountain biking, and off roading! I did not do any water activity (there are a lot), and this is so that I have an excuse to go back soon!

Tony

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