Ultimate Arizona Road Trip Itinerary

Welcome to our Arizona Road Trip Planner.

The sunny state is known for its gorgeous desert landscape, stunning natural attractions, and temperate climate.

It is the perfect destination to get away from the winter blues.

There’s also plenty to see and do in Arizona for tourists,

….from visiting iconic landmarks like the Grand Canyon to exploring vibrant cities like Phoenix and Tucson!

This Arizona trip itinerary will help you make the most of your time in Arizona, whether you’re on a short visit or a longer road trip.

Also Read: California Pacific Coast Road Trip

Best Time to Visit Arizona

Arizona is known for its desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters.

The best time to visit Arizona is during the spring or fall when temperatures are cooler and there is less chance of rain.

However, visitors should be aware that some parts of the state, such as the Grand Canyon, can be crowded during these times of the year.

If you are looking to avoid the crowds, you may want to consider visiting Arizona during the winter months.

Although it can be cold in some areas, this is also the time of year when you are most likely to find discounts on hotels and other attractions.

Summer in Arizona is hot, but it’s also the time when many of the state’s outdoor attractions are in full swing.

No matter when you decide to visit, Arizona is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

How many days for the Arizona Road Trip

Depending on your starting point, and where in Arizona you plan to visit, a road trip could take as little as three days or as long as two weeks.

However, if you want to see all that the state has to offer, we recommend taking at least seven days.

That way, you’ll have enough time to explore the main attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Monument Valley, without feeling rushed.

Plus, you’ll also have time to enjoy some of the lesser-known gems, such as the Petrified Forest National Park and the Sonoran Desert.

If you have more time, we also suggest branching out to other parts of the Western US, such as California or Nevada.

How to Use This Arizona Road Trip Planner

This itinerary is designed to help you make the most of your time in Arizona, whether you’re on a short visit or a longer road trip.

Each section includes information on the best places to visit and things to do, as well as tips on how to make the most of your time.

We’ve also included a map of Arizona highlighting the destinations covered in this itinerary.

Ultimate Arizona Road Trip Itinerary

If you’re looking for an unforgettable road trip, look no further than Arizona.

This scenic state is full of beautiful desert landscapes, towering mountains, and hidden oases.

Whether you’re driving through the red rocks of Sedona or exploring the canyons of the Grand Canyon, there’s always something new to see.

And with so many different things to do, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to relax in beautiful surroundings, Arizona is the perfect place for a road trip.

Phoenix

Start your road trip in Phoenix, where you can explore this southwestern city.

From the world-renowned museums and art galleries to the bustling nightlife and vibrant food scene, there is always something to do in Phoenix.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, as well as several golf courses.

History buffs will enjoy visiting the historic buildings or one of the many preserved Native American sites.

Phoenix also has several spas and resorts for those who just want to relax.

And of course, no visit to Phoenix would be complete without sampling the local cuisine.

From fine dining to hole-in-the-wall eateries, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste buds.

Optional: Scottsdale

If you’re looking for a fun-filled weekend getaway, look no further than Scottsdale, Arizona.

This desert oasis is home to a bustling arts and culture scene, plenty of shopping and dining options, and a variety of outdoor activities.

Visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to see some of the best contemporary art in the country.

Or take a tour of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s former winter home and studio.

If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, Old Town Scottsdale is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

With its tree-lined streets and Western-style architecture, it feels like stepping back in time.

This vibrant area is full of shops, restaurants, and things to see.

You can stroll down Main Street, explore the art galleries, or people-watch from one of the many cafes.

Old Town Scottsdale is also a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs.

Sedona

Head north to Sedona, a beautiful town nestled in the red rocks of Arizona’s Oak Creek Canyon.

With its red rock formations and stunning desert landscapes, Sedona is a truly unique destination.

One of the most popular things to do in Sedona is hiking.

With over 150 miles of trails to explore, you’re sure to find the perfect hike for your fitness level and interests.

And if you want to up the ante, there are also plenty of opportunities for rock climbing and mountain biking.

There are also plenty of options for things to do in the evening, including enjoying the local cuisine and checking out the art galleries and shops.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a hot air balloon ride over the city.

Flagstaff

Drive to Flagstaff, the largest city in northern Arizona.

Spend the day exploring Flagstaff’s charming downtown district, full of lively shops and restaurants.

Flagstaff is also home to several museums and art galleries.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the city offers easy access to hiking and biking trails, as well as a variety of other activities like camping, fishing, and bird watching.

And of course, no trip to Flagstaff would be complete without taking a scenic drive on Route 66.

Grand Canyon National Park

From Flagstaff, drive to the Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon is one of the most popular national parks in America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Spend some time exploring the South Rim of the canyon, and be sure to catch one of the incredible sunsets over the canyon walls on your Grand Canyon day trip.

Here is a detailed guide to things to do at Grand Canyon’s South Rim.

Hiking in the Grand Canyon South Rim

One of the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon is to hike down into the canyon itself.

There are several different trails to choose from, ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous.

One of the most popular ones is the Bright Angel Trail.

This trailhead is located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and it takes hikers all the way down to the Colorado River.

The hike is about 9.5 miles (15 km) round trip, and it can be done in one day if you start early in the morning.

South Kaibab Trail is another popular option.

This trail is shorter than Bright Angel Trail, at only 6 miles (9.7 km) round trip.

But it is much more strenuous, with a steep and rocky descent.

Drive the rim of the Grand Canyon

For those who would prefer to stay on top of the canyon, there is also the option of taking a drive along the rim road.

This allows you to see the Grand Canyon from many different angles, and to stop at various points along the way for photo ops.

Grand Canyon Village is the starting point for most rim drives.

From there, you can head east toward Desert View Drive, or west toward Hermit Road.

Both roads eventually loop back around to Grand Canyon Village.

Be sure to check out the Visitor Center exhibits and historic buildings in Grand Canyon Village.

Grand Canyon North Rim

Looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience? Explore a different part of the Grand Canyon.

Drive to the North Rim, which is much less crowded than the South Rim and offers some amazing views.

The Grand Canyon North Rim is a truly stunning place.

The North Rim is higher in elevation than the South Rim and provides different perspectives of the Colorado River winding through the Canyon.

Some of the most popular North Rim viewpoints include Bright Angel Point, Cape Royal, Point Imperial, and Roosevelt Point.

Bright Angel Point is the highest elevation on the North Rim and provides sweeping views of Grand Canyon Village and Bright Angel Trail far below.

Cape Royal is a great place to watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon with spectacular views of Wotan’s Throne and Angels Gate nearby.

Point Imperial offers impressive views north along the length of the canyon, while Roosevelt Point has a great view of the inner gorge.

The North Rim is also home to many different animals, including bighorn sheep and elk. 

Grand Canyon North Rim is an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful and breathtaking experience.

Horseshoe Bend

Next up: Drive to Page and take a short hike to see Horseshoe Bend, a spectacular bend in the Colorado River!

This side trip is well worth the effort.

Horseshoe Bend is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Arizona.

The bend is located on the Colorado River, just downstream from Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell.

Horseshoe Bend is accessible via a short hike from the parking lot.

The trailhead is located just off of Highway 89, about 10 miles south of Page, Arizona.

Horseshoe Bend Overlook is open year-round and typically attracts large crowds during the summer months.

Horseshoe Bend is also a popular spot for photography, picnicking, and hiking.

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the American Southwest.

The canyon is located in northern Arizona, and it is part of the Navajo Nation.

Antelope Canyon is best known for its unique rock formations, formed over millions of years by the erosion of red sandstone.

The canyon is divided into two sections: Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon.

Upper Antelope Canyon is accessible via a short guided hike, while Lower Antelope Canyon can only be reached by descending a flight of stairs on a guided tour.

Both sections of the canyon offer stunning views of the rock formations, and they are very popular for photographs.

While Antelope Canyon is best known for its dramatic rock formations, this part of Navajo land is also home to a variety of plants and animals, including desert bighorn sheep and rattlesnakes.

Whether you are interested in history, geology, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Antelope Canyon is a must on the Arizona road trip itinerary.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.

Situated on the border of Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir that was created by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam.

Visitors to Lake Powell can enjoy a variety of activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking.

The Lake Powell National Recreation Area is also home to a number of unique geological features, including Rainbow Bridge, one of the world’s largest natural bridges.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument is also worth a visit.

With its clear blue waters, stunning red rock scenery, and a plethora of recreational opportunities, Lake Powell is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

Four Corners Monument

Four Corners is the only place in the country where four states come together: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.

It’s also a great place to get a taste of the diverse landscapes and cultures that make up this part of the country. 

There’s something special about the Four Corners.

Maybe it’s the sense of adventure that comes from being in four states at once.

Or the feeling of awe that comes from standing on the spot where the country’s four corners meet.

Whatever the reason, a road trip to the Four Corners is an experience you’ll never forget.

Monument Valley Tribal Park

Make sure to continue your road trip in Monument Valley, home to some of the most iconic American scenery.

No arid landscape is more inspirational than Monument Valley.

This arid stretch of land, located in the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona, has been the setting for countless Western movies and is widely considered one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

The area is home to several iconic sandstone formations, including towering buttes, sandy deserts, and delicate arches.

Visitors can take in the sweeping views from several different overlooks, or even take a guided tour on horseback or hiking trails.

Spend a day exploring the valley’s dramatic landscape, and be sure to catch the sunset over the buttes while visiting Monument Valley.

Petrified Forest National Park

Make your way to Petrified Forest National Park, where you can see the amazing petrified wood fossils that give the park its name.

Take a hike through the colorful badlands at Painted Desert, view petroglyphs left by the ancient Pueblo people, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, and even camp under the stars.

Petrified Forest National Park is a truly unique place, and its unsurpassed beauty is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Saguaro National Park

Continue your amazing Arizona road trip with a visit to Saguaro National Park.

Here you can see the towering saguaro cacti that are so iconic of the American Southwest!

Located in the Sonoran Desert, the park is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including the saguaro.

Visitors can explore the park by foot, horseback, or car.

There are also several ranger-led programs available to help people learn more about the desert ecosystem. 

Tucson

Finish your road trip in Tucson, a vibrant city with a rich history, a unique culture, and incredible natural beauty that you observe doing popular Tucson hikes.

Located in the southern part of the state, Tucson is known for its sunny weather and stunning vistas.

The city is also home to several interesting attractions, including the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Pima Air & Space Museum.

Tucson is also a great place to shop for souvenirs and southwestern-style clothing and jewelry. 

Return to Phoenix and spend your last day in the city taking in more of its sights and sounds.

Do some shopping, or just relax in a park and enjoy the warm Arizona sun.

Also Read: Grand Canyon Zion Bryce Itinerary

No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to love in Arizona.

So get out there and explore this beautiful state!

Have you visited any of the places on our Arizona road trip planner?

What was your favorite spot in the Grand Canyon State?