From: Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Jan 7, 2013
Hi Tim. While I've only done the drive in my truck, I think it is fairly passenger car friendly (I've not even come close to using 4WD). It is just a long, but very pretty, drive. There is a trail gently uphill then down into LDE that drops you a little north of the Coop. It hasn't seen much traffic yet, so it is not well worn.
Also, I haven't been on the road or the trail since the recent rain and snow.
Timing-wise it may be a wash. The road is much better, though longer, and the hike is shorter with less elevation loss/gain, but the trail is still new.
I like going in from the East, but I also really love the hike down into the canyon back and forth with a heavy pack on...especially when the water is flowing.
We've talked of doing a timed comparison with Arjun of the two approaches...maybe we'll get that done soon...