7 Best Road Trips In Arizona – Things To See In Arizona Road Trip

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Road trips in Arizona are worth doing for the unparalleled opportunity to explore a diverse and awe-inspiring landscape, including the Grand Canyon, majestic deserts, red rock formations, and historic Route 66, all within a single state. The freedom and adventure that comes with cruising along scenic highways, discovering hidden gems, and experiencing Arizona’s unique culture and natural beauty is an unforgettable and enriching experience.

Grand Canyon National Park Facts - Road Trips In Arizona

Things to see in Arizona road trip – Road Trips In Arizona

Here’s the list of the best road trips in Arizona or Best scenic drives in Arizona with approximate distances or miles covered:

Grand Canyon Loop:

A complete loop of the Grand Canyon should include stops at the South Rim (visiting the Grand Canyon Village, Mather Point, and Yavapai Observation Station), the North Rim (with views from Bright Angel Point and the Visitor Center), and the Desert View Watchtower, offering stunning panoramic vistas. It is one of the most famous road trips to take in Arizona.

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Distance: Approximately 220 miles

  • Starting Point: Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Ending Point: Flagstaff, Arizona

Things To Do:

  • Hiking along the Bright Angel Trail.
  • Catching a sunrise or sunset at Hopi Point.
  • Take the breathtaking views from the Grand Canyon Skywalk on the Hualapai Reservation.
  • Hike the rim trails, ride a mule, or go rafting on the Colorado River.
  • Activities: Stargazing, photography, and visiting the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Overnight Stay Options: – In Flagstaff: Hotels like Little America Hotel, and GreenTree Inn Flagstaff, or camping within Grand Canyon National Park.

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Sedona to Oak Creek Canyon:

Road Trips In Arizona - arizona road trip

The Sedona to Oak Creek Canyon loop offers a chance to explore the enchanting Red Rock Country, with must-visit spots including the picturesque Slide Rock State Park, Chapel of the Holy Cross for its stunning architecture and views, and hiking the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon. Take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the vibrant arts scene in Sedona, go wine tasting at local vineyards, and take a hot air balloon ride for breathtaking aerial views of the red rock formations.

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Distance: Approximately 20 miles

  • Starting Point: Sedona, Arizona
  • Ending Point: Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona

Things to Do

  • Chapel of the Holy Cross: 
  • Red Rock State Park: 
  • Slide Rock State Park: 
  • West Fork Trail: Hike along the picturesque Oak Creek through a lush canyon with towering red rock walls, making it one of the most beautiful trails in the area.
  • Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village: Stroll through this charming village filled with art galleries, shops, and restaurants, offering a taste of Sedona’s vibrant arts scene.
  • Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte: Two iconic rock formations easily accessible by short hikes.
  • Cathedral Rock: Another stunning red rock formation that’s a popular spot for hiking and meditation. 
  • Devil’s Bridge Trail: A moderate hike leading to a natural sandstone arch, the largest in the Sedona area, with breathtaking landscape views.
  • Wine Tasting: Explore the local vineyards and wineries in the area, such as Page Springs Cellars and Oak Creek Vineyards, for wine tasting and beautiful vineyard settings.
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride: Experience the red rocks from a different perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride, providing unparalleled views of the Sedona landscape.

Overnight Stay Options: In Sedona: Enchantment ResortL’Auberge de Sedona, or various cozy bed and breakfasts.

Route 66 Adventure:

A complete Route 66 adventure loop should include stops at iconic spots like the historic Seligman, with its Route 66 memorabilia, the quirky Wigwam Motel, and the Petrified Forest National Park, home to ancient petrified wood and vibrant badlands. This Route 66 adventure is famous historic and one of the best scenic drives in Arizona.

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Road Trips In Arizona - Things to see in Arizona road trip

Distance: Approximately 400 miles

  • Starting Point: Kingman, Arizona
  • Ending Point: Holbrook, Arizona

Things to Do

  • Stop at the Petrified Forest National Park, 
  • Visit Wigwam Motel, 
  • Explore the kitschy town of Seligman.
  • Take a guided Route 66 tour, 
  • visit Hackberry General Store, 
  • Explore the charming town of Williams
  • Visit the gateway to the Grand Canyon and home to the Grand Canyon Railway.
  • And stop at the Meteor Crater.

Overnight Stay Options

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park:

Road Trips In Arizona - Things to see in Arizona road trip

Exploring Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is an opportunity to witness the iconic red sandstone buttes and mesas. When visiting, take a guided tour with a Navajo guide, hike the Wildcat Trail for up-close views, and enjoy the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset photography opportunities while respecting Navajo culture and traditions.

Distance: Approximately 27 miles

  • Starting Point: Kayenta, Arizona
  • Ending Point: Monument Valley, Arizona

Things to Do

  • Take a guided tour by a Navajo guide, 
  • Hike the Wildcat Trail, 
  • and learn about Navajo culture.
  • Activities: Sunrise and sunset photography tours, horseback riding, and camping.

Overnight Stay Options:

Apache Trail Scenic Drive:

The Apache Trail Scenic Drive, known for its rugged beauty, takes you through the Superstition Mountains and along Canyon Lake. 

Road Trips In Arizona - road trips to take in Arizona

Distance: Approximately 45 miles

  • Starting Point: Apache Junction, Arizona
  • Ending Point: Roosevelt Dam, Arizona

Things to Do

  • Explore Lost Dutchman, State Park, 
  • Take a boat tour on Canyon Lake, 
  • Visit the historic Goldfield Ghost Town to glimpse the Old West’s charm.
  • Dine at Tortilla Flat, go hiking, and try your hand at gold panning.

Overnight Stay Options:

Havasu Falls Road Trip:

A Havasu Falls road trip is an adventure that leads you to the stunning turquoise waters of Havasu Creek and vibrant red rocks. Must-visit spots include hiking to Havasu Falls, swimming in its pools, and exploring the other waterfalls in the area, with camping being an unforgettable experience.

Road Trips In Arizona - Best scenic drives in Arizona - road trips to take in arizona

Distance: Approximately 67 miles

  • Starting Point: Hualapai Hilltop, Arizona
  • Ending Point: Havasu Falls, Arizona

Things to Do

  • Hike to Havasu Falls, swim in its pools, and explore the other waterfalls.
  • Activities: Camping, photography, and helicopter tours for an aerial view.

Overnight Stay Options:

  • Camping near Havasu Falls – permits required and available through Havasupai Tribe’s website.

Bisbee to Chiricahua National Monument:

Road Trips In Arizona - Best scenic drives in Arizona

The Bisbee to Chiricahua National Monument loop takes you through charming Bisbee to the unique rock formations of Chiricahua. Must-visit attractions include exploring Bisbee’s vibrant art scene, taking a mine tour, and hiking among the hoodoos in Chiricahua, with limited lodging options near the monument, so consider staying in Bisbee.

Distance: Approximately 78 miles

  • Starting Point: Bisbee, Arizona
  • Ending Point: Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona

Things to Do

  • Explore Bisbee’s art scene, 
  • Take a mine tour, 
  • Hike among the hoodoos in Chiricahua.
  • Explore the historic Faraway Ranch site.

Overnight Stay Options:

FAQs – Road Trips In Arizona (Best scenic drives in Arizona)

  • When is the best time for a road trip in Arizona?

Fall (September to November) and spring (March to May) offer pleasant weather, but summer can be extremely hot. Plan accordingly.

  • What is the ideal duration for an Arizona road trip?

It depends on the route and attractions, but a 7-10-day trip can cover major highlights comfortably.

Road Trips In Arizona - Best scenic drives in Arizona

  •  Are there any permit requirements for Havasu Falls or camping in Arizona’s parks?

Yes, permits are required for Havasu Falls, and they sell out quickly. Many Arizona state and national parks also require entrance fees or camping permits, so check beforehand.

  • Are there any challenging or off-road routes to be aware of?

Some roads, like Apache Trail, can be challenging, especially for RVs or large vehicles. Check road conditions and consider your vehicle’s capabilities.

  • What should I pack for an Arizona road trip?

Essentials include water, sunscreen, hats, sturdy hiking shoes, layers for varying temperatures, a first aid kit, and a detailed map or GPS.

  • Are there wildlife safety precautions to take?

Yes, be cautious of wildlife, including snakes. Keep a safe distance, never feed wild animals, and be aware of the local flora and fauna.

  • How can I prepare for extreme heat during an Arizona road trip?

Carry extra water, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a sun hat. Plan outdoor activities for the cooler morning and evening hours.

  • What’s the best way to find accommodations along the way?

Book accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons. Use online booking platforms or contact hotels and campgrounds directly.

  • What emergency precautions should I take for a road trip in remote areas of Arizona?

Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, have a spare tire and tools for basic repairs, carry a first aid kit, and inform someone of your itinerary.

  • Can I find gas stations easily in remote areas of Arizona?

Gas stations can be scarce in remote areas, so fill up your tank when necessary and carry extra fuel.

  • Are there any unique dining experiences along the way?

Enjoy local cuisine, especially in Sedona, Flagstaff, and Bisbee. Try Mexican, Native American, and Southwestern dishes.

  • Can I bring pets on an Arizona road trip?

Yes, but check park regulations and accommodations for pet-friendly options. Ensure your pet is safe and comfortable during the journey.

  • What’s the best way to stay connected during a road trip in Arizona?

While major cities have good cell coverage, some remote areas may need more reception. Consider a satellite phone or offline maps for navigation.

  • How can I respect the environment and local culture during my road trip?

Follow Leave No Trace principles, respect Native American traditions and local regulations, and avoid littering or disturbing wildlife and landscapes.

An Arizona road trip is worth every mile for the opportunity to immerse yourself in its diverse natural wonders, unique cultural experiences, and the chance to create lasting memories amidst some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the United States. The adventure and beauty you’ll encounter make it an unforgettable journey for all travelers.

Road Trips In Arizona - Best scenic drive in Arizona

Now you know some of the best Road trips in Arizona or best road trips to take in Arizona with the best spots to stopover, hiking, and camping options.

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