Smaller Arizona cities brace for Memorial Day crowds, and Phoenicians wasted no time packing up and driving north of the Valley.
Sunset Point Rest Stop buzzing with outgoing traffic Friday, adjacent to a near standstill traffic on the I-17 northbound. Trucks with coolers and cars with full bike racks.
"One picks the movie, the other picks a book, then the other picks a movie," said 9-year-old Brinely about managing a family car trip with her sister. Brinley and her family of six are heading north to Utah for Memorial Day Weekend. "I'm just really excited that we can get out this weekend and finally have time to explore on the weekends."
Both Sedona and Lake Havasu City are expecting crowds this weekend. Sedona's hiking trails are open, and its Mayor said the city is a great place to social distance.
"This is a good place to physically distance, and we just ask that you spread out, be respectful, try and maintain that physical distancing and wear a mask," said Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty.
Lake Havasu City has already seen more people than usual in May, according to Mayor Cal Sheehy. He is expecting a typical Memorial Day crowd and warns visitors to be aware of new traffic restrictions.
"We do ask for folks to be patient and understand that we are working on getting as many people around our community as possible. But again, please be safe," said Mayor Sheehy.
All Arizona State Recreation Parks are open, including Slide Rock near Sedona.
The Grand Canyon's South Rim is open, but entrance to the park is only allowed from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. The North rim is closed.