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Yes, yes, I know... why would anyone in their right mind go there in early July. Not yet "proper" monsoon time, you are more likely to get god-awful heat and clear skies more than anything else. Well, they gave us the entire week of July 4th off from work, so I am planning on making the most of what I have.
The approximate route is as follows: San Diego, Sedona (1-2 days), Zuni Point (1-2 days), Escallante (1-2 day), Monument Valley (1-2 days), Bisti Badlands (3 days). I will leave on 6/28 and return on 7/6. The holiday will be at Bisti so at least the crowds will not be too bad.
I have a few specific questions:
a) Suggestion on car camping at the various locations? Sedona is easy, the Cococino NF has plenty of dirt roads where I can crash for the night. Zuni is probably the trickiest since I will have to get out of the NP. Is the East or west side batter? I would think that Monument and Bisti would be easy for overnighting on some dirt road.
b) Have not looked into Escallante too much. I only have a regular 4x4 SUV, not a high clearance one. I will have hiking gear with me so I can go off-trail for a day or two, though I have to be careful with the heat. Any suggestions for areas to consider? I have little interest in the iconic locations (nor do I have a permit for the Wave), and am much more interested in solitude.
Anything else along the route I should consider? Particularly any relevant state parks that may be slightly off the beaten path?
Thanks for your comments and suggestions.