Julie United States 65 Comments

On this Arizona road trip itinerary, you will visit three national parks, drive past the buttes and mesas of Monument Valley, walk through magical Antelope Canyon, and hike the desert hills of Sedona. Arizona is home to some of the most iconic landscapes in the United States and this road trip is the perfect way to see them.

Arizona is a large state with a lot to do, so expect to be busy. But what a trip it will be! Watch the sunrise at Horseshoe Bend, hike the short, fun trails in Sedona, see more cacti than you can count in Saguaro, explore the unusual landscapes at Petrified Forest, and watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon.

This Arizona road trip is written as a 10-day itinerary. Ideally, you need at least 10 days to visit everything on this list. If you have less time, I let you know how to shorten this itinerary at the end of this post. With more time, there are several more spots that we recommend. 

On this Arizona Road Trip Itinerary, You Will Visit:

This itinerary focuses on the three national parks in Arizona as well as several other amazing destinations. 

  • Saguaro National Park
  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Sedona
  • Monument Valley
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Horseshoe Bend
  • Valley of the Gods (optional)

 

Arizona Road Trip Map

 

Arizona Itinerary Day 1

Arrive in Phoenix, Visit Saguaro National Park

On the Road: 2 to 3 hours (110 to 160 miles)

To get the most out of your day, try to schedule your flight to arrive in Phoenix by midday. This gives you the afternoon to drive to Saguaro National Park in Tucson. Depending on your timing, you might even be able to explore part of the park.

It takes just over an hour and a half to drive from Phoenix to Tucson. If you visit one section of Saguaro National Park, you will do some extra driving (but that also means you will do less driving tomorrow).

Saguaro National Park is named for the Saguaro cactus, which only grows in the Sonoran Desert.

Saguaro

There are two separate sections to the park. The city of Tucson sits smack in the middle of these two sections.

The eastern section is called the Rincon Mountain District. It has a lower concentration of cacti but the Rincon mountains form a nice backdrop for photography.

The western section is called the Tuscon Mountain District. This has a denser population of cacti and it is the more popular section of the park.

If you arrive in the early to mid-afternoon, you have enough time to visit the Rincon Mountain District. There is a short scenic drive with the option to hike a few easy trails.

Learn more about Saguaro National Park in our post 8 Amazing Things to do in Saguaro National Park.

Where to Stay in Tucson

Upscale: JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa. If you want a resort with swimming pools, restaurants, and outdoor activities, and a close location to Saguaro West, this is the place to stay.

Mid-Range: Cactus Cove Bed and Breakfast Inn. This bed and breakfast is located in eastern Tuscon, near Saguaro East. This beautiful property has an outdoor pool and views of the nearby mountains. It is adult only.

Budget: Hotel McCoy. This hotel has a handy location just off of Route 10. From here it is a 30-minute drive to both Saguaro West and Saguaro East. The property has a pool and offers beer, wine, and coffee which are all produced in Arizona.


Arizona Itinerary Day 2

Saguaro National Park

On the road: 4.5 hours (240 miles)

Spend the day visiting Saguaro National Park. In the late afternoon or early evening, drive to Petrified Forest National Park.

If you were able to visit the east section yesterday afternoon, you have lots of time to explore the west section of Saguaro. Most likely, you will be finished by midday, which gives you plenty of time to drive to Petrified Forest National Park.

Julie in Saguaro

This is one of the biggest driving days of this Arizona road trip. To get from Tucson to Petrified Forest, you will drive through what looks and feels like remote desert landscapes.

Tonight, sleep in Holbrook, the closest town to Petrified Forest National Park.

Where to Stay in Holbrook

Brad’s Desert Inn. This quirky, full-of-character motel is located right on historic Route 66. This was our first pick, but with complaints about slow Wi-Fi, we chose the Days Inn (Tim had to work during our visit so he was dependent on good Wi-Fi).

Days Inn. This is where we stayed. It’s nothing fancy but it checked all of our boxes: clean, quiet, with decent Wi-Fi. I have no complaints and would stay here again on a future visit.

La Quinta Inn & Suites. This is the newest hotel in town and gets very good reviews on Booking.com. If you are traveling as a family, this is a great place to consider because the suites accommodate over five people. 


Arizona Itinerary Day 3

Petrified Forest National Park

On the road: 5 hours (280 miles)

Spend the day exploring Petrified Forest National Park. Once you are finished, drive north to Monument Valley.

Like Saguaro, Petrified Forest is a small park so you only need one day (or less) to explore it.

There are two sections to Petrified Forest National Park. In the northern half are the colorful hills of the Painted Desert. This is a stunning area to photograph and to go on short, backcountry hikes.

In the southern section of the park you can see the petrified wood, logs that date back hundreds of millions of years ago.

Arizona Itinerary

Petrified Forest

For full details on what to do here and how to plan your time, read our article Petrified Forest National Park Travel Guide & Itinerary.

In the mid-afternoon, hit the road again and drive north to Monument Valley. It’s another big driving day, but after this, the drives become shorter for the remainder of this Arizona road trip. From Holbrook, it takes about three and a half hours to drive to Monument Valley.

Where to Stay in Monument Valley

You will stay in Monument Valley for two nights.

The View Hotel. Located in Monument Valley Tribal Park, take your pick from hotel rooms or cabins. We stayed in a cabin and loved it!! We had a deck with a view of the Mittens and we could lie in our bed and look out at West Mitten Butte.

Goulding’s Lodge and Campground. Located just outside of Monument Valley Tribal Park, this lodge offers rooms with a view and they also have a campground. The operate one of the only restaurants in the area.

Firetree B&B is a nearby bed and breakfast place that also makes a nice option.

US National Parks List


Arizona Itinerary Day 4

Monument Valley

On the road: Minimal; if you visit Valley of the Gods in Utah, you will drive 2 hours (72 miles)

Spend all day exploring Monument Valley. One full day in Monument Valley may sound like a lot of time, but there really is a lot to do here. Plus, if you get a hotel or cabin with a view, this is a nice place to slow down and relax before moving on again.

In Monument Valley, drive the 17-mile Valley Drive loop. This is a scenic drive past some of the most popular sites in Monument Valley.

Other top experiences include Forrest Gump Point, taking a guided tour of Monument Valley, and making the optional detour to the Valley of the Gods. At the end of the day, watch the sunset over the Mittens.

Monument Valley Itinerary

Overlooking the Mittens and Tribal Loop Drive

 Forrest Gump Point

Forrest Gump Point

 

Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods

Some sections of Monument Valley can only be visited on a tour, since this is located on Navajo land. But these tours are worth it. Take your pick from sunrise or sunset photography tours, see petroglyphs and Anasazi sites, or go off-the-beaten-path to Teardrop Arch.

For a full list of things to do in Monument Valley and how to plan your time, read our Guide to Monument Valley.

Tonight, sleep in Monument Valley.


Arizona Itinerary Day 5

Antelope Canyon

On the road: 2 hours (120 miles)

Hit the road early in order to give yourself enough time to tour Antelope Canyon today.

Antelope Canyon is made up of two slot canyons, Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Since they are located on Navajo lands they can only be visited on a tour.

If you arrive by 10 am, you have enough time to tour both canyons. With its light beams, falling sands, and high canyon walls, Upper Antelope Canyon is the more photogenic of the two.

With narrow passageways to squeeze through and ladders to climb, many people agree that Lower Antelope Canyon is more fun. Without a doubt, both will be crowded. This has become a very popular destination in recent years.

Arizona Road Trip

Upper Antelope Canyon

 

Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Make your reservations far in advance. At a bare minimum, this should be done at least 4 months in advance, but consider doing this 6 months in advance, especially during the summer season. You can also purchase tickets through GetYourGuide.

Get the full details on how to visit Antelope Canyon: Should You Visit Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon?

In the evening, visit Horseshoe Bend for a spectacular sunset view. This is another very popular spot so get here early if you want an unobstructed view from the rim.

Where to Stay in Page: We stayed at the unexciting but clean, convenient, and budget friendly Holiday Inn Express. The Wingate by Wyndham Page Lake Powell and Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell are two of the highest rated hotels in Page.

 

 


Arizona Itinerary Day 6

Grand Canyon

On the road: 2.5 hours (135 miles)

In the morning, you have the option to watch the sunrise over Horseshoe Bend. At sunrise, the crowds are light and this is a peaceful place to be. It’s a much different experience than sunset (which feels like a zoo on very busy evenings).

Horseshoe Bend Arizona road trip itinerary

Horseshoe Bend at sunrise

Drive to the Grand Canyon. You will enter the park at the east entrance.

Once on Desert View Drive, there are numerous viewpoints that you can visit as you make your way to the Grand Canyon Village. They are all spectacular, but our favorites are Desert View Point (along with the Desert View Watchtower), Moran Point, and Grand View Point.

Grand Canyon in December Arizona road trip itinerary

To see the view from each view point along Desert View Drive, as well as the other viewpoints in Grand Canyon National Park, check out our post 17 Best Views on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Check into your hotel and spend the afternoon visiting more of the South Rim viewpoints. You can walk the South Rim Trail, take the shuttle, or go by bike to see the views. Watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon and then have dinner.

Where to Stay in the Grand Canyon

There are five hotels located in the Grand Canyon Village (El Tovar, Thunderbird Lodge, Bright Angel Lodge, Kachina Lodge, and Maswick Lodge). Staying here gives you the advantage of easy access to the shuttles, short walks to several of the viewpoints, and no hassles driving into and out the park every day. However, the hotels get mediocre reviews and many people say they are expensive for what you get.

Click here to view the lodges and get updated pricing. These hotels fill up very far in advance. Make your reservations at least 6 months in advance.

You also have the option to stay in Tusayan. From Tusayan, it is a 15-minute drive into the park. There are several hotels to choose from as well as some restaurants.

We have stayed at The Grand Hotel in Tusayan two times. It is the highest rated hotel in the area. The hotel looks impressive from the outside and the lobby is very nice but the rooms are nothing special. On Booking.com it is listed as a 5-star hotel but it looks and feels a lot more like a 3 to 4 star hotel. For a nicer room, it’s worth upgrading to the Deluxe Queen Room.

The Squire Resort and the Holiday Inn Express are two more hotels to try in Tusayan.

You will stay here for two nights.

Arizona Travel Guide


Arizona Itinerary Day 7

Grand Canyon

On the road: Minimal

With a full day in the Grand Canyon, there are a lot of different ways to fill your time.

If you like the idea of hiking, I recommend the South Kaibab Trail. The views are unbelievable and the trail is less crowded than the more famous (and less scenic…in my opinion) Bright Angel Trail. You can hike out and back to either Cedar Ridge or Skeleton Point.

For an epic experience, you can hike South Rim to South Rim on the South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails. It is only recommended to do this during the cooler months (November through March) and if you are very fit with a lot of hiking experience.

Even if you are not big into hiking, hiking out to Ooh Aah Point, on the South Kaibab Trail, is an unforgettable experience, especially early in the morning.

Grand Canyon Hike

Bright Angel Trail Arizona road trip itinerary

Bright Angel Trail

 

Grand Canyon Arizona road trip itinerary

Other ideas for how to fill your day include a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, a visit to the Yavapai Museum of Geology, a bike ride along Hermit Road, or seeing the Grand Canyon IMAX movie.

For more information on how to plan your time, read our article How to Spend One Day in the Grand Canyon

Tonight, sleep at the Grand Canyon


Arizona Itinerary Day 8

Grand Canyon & Sedona

On the road: 2 hours (115 miles)

Today you have a decision to make: put more of your time into the Grand Canyon or Sedona.

If you want to hike another trail in the Grand Canyon, go on a helicopter ride, or get to something you did not have time for yesterday, spend the day in the Grand Canyon and drive to Sedona in the evening.

If you got your fill of the Grand Canyon views and hikes and epic experiences, drive to Sedona early in the day in order to give yourself more time here. There are so many short, fun hikes to do in Sedona that you could spend days and days here and never run out of things to do.

There are several relatively short, thrilling trails that we recommend. For each of these hikes, click the link for more details.

Cathedral Rock. This is an essential hike in Sedona. This hike is short and sweet, and with some rock scrambling and jaw-dropping views, it’s tons of fun from start to finish. It’s 1.2 miles round-trip with 700 feet of elevation gain. Parking at the main trailhead can be almost impossible midday during peak season, but there are alternative ways to get here. 

Bell Rock and the Courthouse Butte Loop. Hike around Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock, a 4 mile trail that is easy and suitable for all ages and ability levels. For even better views, hike up onto Bell Rock.

Bell Rock View

The view from Bell Rock

Where to Stay in Sedona: We stayed at a wonderful bed & breakfast called A Sunset Chateau. This is a beautiful property located just outside of the town of Sedona. This property has a pool, hot tub, and a lush garden filled with tropical plants and trees. I also recommend the Marriott Courtyard in Sedona. It is located in West Sedona and some rooms have views of Cathedral Rock. And we have many more recommendations in our article Sedona Hotel Guide.


Arizona Itinerary Day 9

Sedona

On the road: Minimal

With one full day, you can see and do a lot in Sedona. I have two recommendations on how to spend your time, whether you are a hiker or non-hiker. 

If you are an avid hiker, here is a sample itinerary for today:

MORNING: Go hiking. Hike one of the trails mentioned on day 8, or choose one of these:

Soldier Pass. This fun hike takes you past Devils Kitchen and the Seven Sacred Pools. As a bonus, hike to the Soldier Pass cave. This hike is 4.5 miles out-and-back.

Boynton Canyon. This hike takes you through a beautiful canyon in the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. Add on the short detour to the Subway Cave, one of the most beautiful hidden caves in Sedona. This hike is 6.3 miles long (7 miles total if you add on the Subway Cave).

Bear Mountain. This hike is only 5 miles round-trip but with a massive elevation gain, it is the hardest on this list. Your reward…panoramic views from one of the highest points in Sedona.

MIDDAY: Have lunch in Sedona. In the early afternoon, take a Pink Jeep Tour of Broken Arrow, Sedona’s most thrilling 4WD road.

Things to do in Sedona

Broken Arrow 4WD Trail

LATE AFTERNOON: Hike Devils Bridge. Devils Bridge is the most popular hike in Sedona. From 8 am to 4 pm the trail is extremely busy. In April 2021 we heard reports that people were waiting an hour in line to take their turn on the bridge. By 3:30 pm, most people are heading back to their cars, making this the perfect time to hike Devils Bridge. Not only will crowds be low, but the lighting is great for photography.

Devils Bridge Sedona

EVENING: Have dinner in Sedona. Our favorite dinner spots are Mariposa, Vino di Sedona, and Saltrock Southwest Kitchen. Elote Café gets rave reviews as well. Make your reservations in advance.

If you are not a big fan of hiking, here is a sample itinerary for today:

MORNING: Start your day with brunch. The Coffee Pot Restaurant, Wildflower, and Miley’s Café (in the Village of Oak Creek) all get rave reviews. Then go shopping at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Have lunch at Tlaquepaque or The Hudson.

Tlaquepaque

 

MIDDAY: Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a small Roman Catholic Church that is perched on the red rocks. Then, for a very nice off-the-beaten-path experience, visit the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the Crescent Moon Picnic Site for iconic views of Cathedral Rock.

Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock from the Crescent Moon Picnic Site.

EVENING: Have dinner in Sedona. Sleep in Sedona or drive to Phoenix if you have an early flight tomorrow.


Arizona Itinerary Day 10

Fly Home

On the road: 2 hours (120 miles)

Today, fly home or continue your travels.


Best Time for This Arizona Road Trip

This road trip can be done year-round.

The best months are March through May and late September through mid-November, when the weather is pleasant and the parks are not too crowded.

During the summer months (June through August) expect sweltering temperatures and very high crowds.

During the winter months, snow can impact travel, particularly around the Grand Canyon. But if you don’t mind chilly weather and a chance of snow, this is a very quiet time to visit this area. 

We have visited this area in May, June, and December. May was our favorite time to be here with December a close second.

How to Modify this Itinerary

With More Time

Visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

You can do this either as a day trip from Page or you can spend the night here. If you spend the night, it will be a very long drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on the following day.

On the North Rim, the views of the Grand Canyon are spectacular. There are a few short hiking trails and drives to viewpoints, but there is a lot less to do here than the South Rim, so half of a day is really all that you need.

The North Rim is only open from mid-May through mid-October.

Grand Canyon North Rim Arizona road trip itinerary

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

West of Page sits Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. You can add a day to your itinerary to go hiking here.

The Wave

The Wave is a popular photography destination in Arizona. You can only visit The Wave if you have a permit. These can be very hard to get, since only 20 permits are issued per day. Get the details here. 

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

This national monument is located in northeast Arizona on Navajo tribal lands, not far from Monument Valley. 

With Less Time

To make this a 9-day itinerary, remove one day from the Grand Canyon.

To make this an 8-day itinerary, consider eliminating Saguaro National Park. Saguaro adds a lot of driving to this itinerary and, in my opinion, the other destinations on this list are more interesting and more worth your time.

To make this a 7-day itinerary, shorten your time in Monument Valley.

7-day Arizona road trip itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Phoenix, drive to Petrified Forest National Park
Day 2: Petrified Forest National Park, drive to Monument Valley
Day 3: Monument Valley, drive to Page
Day 4: Antelope Canyon, Drive to the Grand Canyon
Day 5: Grand Canyon National Park
Day 6: Drive to Sedona, Visit Sedona
Day 7: Fly home

Monument Valley Arizona road trip itinerary

Monument Valley

Practical Information

National Park Fees

Saguaro NP: $25
Petrified Forest NP: $25
Grand Canyon NP: $35

Grand Total: $85

America the Beautiful Pass

If you have plans to visit Saguaro, Petrified Forest, and Grand Canyon National Parks, it is worth it to purchase the America the Beautiful Pass. This annual park pass costs $80 and is valid for one year. Not only will you save money on park fees for this trip but you will also get free admission to any other national park or federal recreation sites that you visit within 365 days of purchasing this pass.

Purchase your pass at the first national park that you visit (in this case, at Saguaro) or you can get it online.

Click here to learn more. 

Important Links

Tours in Arizona

Here are several highly rated tours in Arizona that can be added on to this itinerary. If you are struggling to get a reservation for Antelope Canyon, you could have better luck with one of these tours.

 

 


If you have any questions about this Arizona road trip itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Arizona

ARIZONA: To read all of our articles about Arizona, check out our Arizona Travel Guide.

USA ROAD TRIPS: Planning your next big adventure in the USA? Check our our USA Road Trip Guide for travel ideas and sample itineraries.

BEST NATIONAL PARKS IN THE USA: Looking for your next big adventure? Read our article about the 15 Best National Parks, where we narrow down the long list into 15 must-see parks.

NATIONAL PARKS: In our Guide to the US National Parks, get the full list of national parks with important travel planning information, such as things to do in the parks and sample itineraries.

PLACES TO GO IN ARIZONA: Go hiking in Sedona, visit Saguaro National Park and Petrified Forest National Park, explore Monument Valley, photograph Antelope Canyon, and visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

UTAH’S MIGHTY 5: Utah’s Mighty 5 is a collection of five national parks in Utah. Learn more about the parks and how to plan your visit in our Guide to Utah’s Mighty 5.

If this is part of a bigger road trip through the USA, visit our United States Travel Guide and our Arizona Travel Guide for more inspiration and travel planning tips.

 

Arizona Road Trip Itinerary

 

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Comments 65

  1. Avatar for Emily
    Emily

    Hi Julie,

    I love all of your blog posts, they are so helpful! I will be traveling this winter to Arizona as a solo female traveler for 4-5 nights. I am wondering if you think it is worth splitting my time between Tucson (Saguaro) and Sedona? Aka. 2 nights in each area? Or if you think it is better spent focusing my time on Sedona for 4 full nights? I’m hoping to do some moderate hiking (up to 6-miles a day) as well as spending some time relaxing. I will be flying in and out of Phoenix.

    Thank you!
    -Emily

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Emily. That’s a great question. If it were me, I’d put all of my time into Sedona. I love hiking and the trails in Sedona are amazing and there’s plenty to do to keep you busy for 5 days. Seeing the Saguaro cacti is nice but I don’t think it quite compares with Sedona. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Keltoum
    Keltoum

    Thank you for all the helpful content you provided. I am going to visit Arizona for 5 days. What would you recommend me to visit for this short period of time ? I will be renting a car.
    Thank you again for your precious help.
    Kel

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Assuming you are starting in Phoenix, pick up the car, drive to Sedona, do a short hike and then continue to the Grand Canyon. Spend day 2 at the Grand Canyon. On day 3 drive to Page, see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, sleep in Page. On day 4, drive to and visit Monument Valley, sleeping at Monument Valley so you can see the sunset and sunrise there. On day 5, either go right back to Phoenix or spend another few hours in Sedona if you have a full day on day 5. On day 5, there’s a chance you could visit Petrified Forest but look into how much driving that would be first. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Henry
    Henry

    Hi Julie,
    Would this itinerary be enjoyable in early December in terms of temperature and weather? Reading through the site, you mentioned that you’ve been in Monument Valley and GCNP in December. How was it? I am planning a 2 weeks trip and it seems to be the best itinerary so far for AZ but I don’t want to be impacted by snow or other disruptions weather related. I am also reading your other suggestions in the month by month section… like USVI 🙂

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      I think December is a great time for this road trip. Early December is generally a great time to travel, since very few people tend to travel then, since they are preparing for the holidays. From our experience, places like Page and Monument Valley were chilly but not too bad (definitely warmer than where we live in Maryland) but places at the higher elevations, such as the south rim of the Grand Canyon, can still get quite cold (we had snow flurries on the day after Christmas in the Grand Canyon). If you don’t mind chilly temps (daytime highs ranging from freezing to the high-50’s) it’s a great trip for December. The US Virgin Islands is also very nice and of course a much different kind of trip. Have fun deciding! Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Henry
        Henry

        Thank you for the feedback. Two years ago we went to Utah following your mighty 5 10 days road trip itinerary and it was a great discovery for us as a first trip to the midwest. Arizona seems very similar to Utah in terms of geology and geography. How does this itinerary compare to Utah in terms of landscape and sceneries? Does it offer a different experience?

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
          Author
          Julie

          Like Utah, Arizona has some gorgeous desert areas/canyons. The Grand Canyon is the most famous, but other notable spots are Sedona and Monument Valley (which sits on the border with Utah). I think Utah has more of a wow factor than Arizona but this Arizona road trip itinerary takes you to several great spots. Plus, you can see some different things than you would in Utah, such as the Saguaro cactus and the petrified wood at Petrified Forest. Sedona is very nice, with lots of short hikes to do in the day and a long list of restaurants to try at night. So, a road trip in Arizona will have some similarities to Utah and if you liked Utah, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Ang
    Ang

    So glad to have found your page! We are flying in from the east coast, flights aren’t booked yet, trying to squeeze it all in thinking in 6 days including travel (Wed-Mon). 2 elementary age kids, us, and my mom and uncle in their early 70s. They are healthy people but not hikers. We aren’t into shopping or art. Early October. The last full day (Sun) before we leave on Monday, we have booked the river float on Horseshoe Bend. My mom wants to hit the train from Williams to GC and add the bus tour, was thinking this could be the day before the float? Is this sufficient to see GC? How do we fit Sedona in? Is Tombstone too far to be worth taking time away from Sedona? Thanks in advance!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Ang. I’d be happy to help, I just have a few questions. When you say you are trying to squeeze it all in in 6 days, are you referring to every place listed in this itinerary? If so, that is very ambitious and I don’t think you will have time for everything. Tombstone is far out of the way and with 6 days, probably not worth the time it would take to get here. I don’t know what bus tour you are referring to, but I recommend having at least a half day on the south rim of the Grand Canyon to visit some of the viewpoints. If you have a wish list of places you’d like to visit in AZ, let me know and I can help you arrange them in an itinerary. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Emily Taylor
    Emily Taylor

    Hi Julie!! We are planning a 10 day road trip following this itinerary in mid-October. Super excited! We would love to apply for The Wave lottery tickets. At what point in the trip would you add this stop? Or how do you recommend navigating the chances of this addition? Any recommendations on how to better the chances, or how to plan for the visit? Thank you!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      The best place to add The Wave would be between Page and the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, I don’t have much insight on the best way to score lottery tickets for The Wave. It’s a place that we would love to visit at some point. If you have to plan your itinerary before knowing whether or not you will get to visit The Wave, and then later learn that you didn’t get tickets, there are some places to go in that area on that day, so you don’t waste a day of your time. You can go hiking in White Pocket, visit Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, or drive Cottonwood Canyon Road and hike Willis Creek. In that small area of Arizona and Utah, there are some fantastic places to visit. Good luck on the lottery and I hope you have an awesome road trip through Arizona! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Joann Parr
    Joann Parr

    Hi, planning our trip for next May. We want to visit Page an and see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. My husband has balance issues and so the lower canyon is out. How is the upper canyon? Is there a lot of inclines/declines, stairs? Is the ground very uneven?

    We also want to do a float trip or kayak. If we’re unable to do Antelope Canyon and if the only activity is the float trip I’m assuming 1 might would be enough unless there’s other things to do and see in this area. What do you think? Is it even worth the trip to Page for a night? Help? 😊

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Joann. The floor of Upper Antelope Canyon is flat and sand covered. You can see photos of it here. There are no ladders or tight spaces in this canyon so that should be better for your husband. May is a great time to visit because the lighting is very nice that time of year. Make your reservation at least 6 months in advance, if the official website will allow you to make your reservation that far in advance. Midday is the best time to be in the canyon. One day is perfect for a kayaking trip, to tour Antelope Canyon and to see Horseshoe Bend. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth staying in Page for a night to do these things. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for juliana
    juliana

    Hi Julie,
    I am writing from France. We have planned a trip to AZ in August with two families: 4 adults+ children (14,11,7 years old). I am a little bit lost with the planning. I went through several itineraries and articles on this website hoping to get more clarity. i would appreciate your feedback on our itinerary (below) please. In your opinion, what would be the best place to visit after Page, considering that it’s August (very got and touristy). Thank you so much in advance. and thank you for the information you are providing on your site.

    01st of August: arrival in Phoenix AZ
    02nd of August: pick up RV heading to Grand Canyon South Rim (1 night stay)
    03rd: heading to Page (2 nights stay)
    04th: Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend
    05th, 6th & 7th of August : Sedona? Zion? Monument Valley?
    07th of August: returning the RV in Phoenix

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Juliana. That is a good question about where to go. All 3 places will be hot. Sedona could be very slightly cooler since it is a little higher of an elevation. My vote is for Sedona. There are some great hikes here and most of them are short, so you don’t have to be a big hiker to have fun on the trails here. You could get a hike in before 10 am, then spend some time at the pool midday, and do some sightseeing or another hike in the late afternoon.
       
      I don’t think Monument Valley is worth it. 3 days is a lot of time to spend here and without an SUV or 4WD vehicle, you won’t be able to visit some of the nearby places like Moki Dugway and Valley of the Gods. Zion is a great national park, but you will have a long drive back to Phoenix, so that’s why I think Sedona is a better pick for your itinerary. If you have any other questions, please let me know. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for juliana
  8. Avatar for Susan Davis
    Susan Davis

    Hi Julie, thanks for this detailed info, very helpful! Our first trip to Az, we have 7 days in June, arriving 1 pm Saturday, couple+ teenage son. We have 2 nights (Mon/Tues) booked at Bright Angel. Now we are planning Sat aft – Mon aft,
    and Wed -Sat (leaving late Saturday on the red eye back east to BWI). We are easy-moderate trail hikers and do like to have a little chill time when traveling. Since it’s June, tours/hikes will have to be done early, and I’ve heard not ideal to be driving in the more remote areas after dark. Definitely want to spend some time in Sedona. What do you suggest one other must-do visit from your itinerary, and suggested travel path. Page/Antelope Canyon sounds amazing, but it takes a chunk of time, and I think too far to get to on our arrival day – 6 hours drive? Thanks for your insight!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      That’s very exciting that you are planning your first trip to AZ. And BWI is our go-to airport too! I recommend staying on east coast time, to get an early start and hit the trails at sunrise before it heats up.
       
      Picking up a rental car in Phoenix is a bit a hassle since it’s a long shuttle ride to the rental car facility, so plan on that whole experience taking about an hour. It is a 4.5 hour drive from Phoenix Airport to Page. Even though it makes your first day a long one, I recommend driving right to Page. Spend all of Sunday in Page at Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Book your Antelope Canyon tickets within the next month…they sell out fast. Alternatively, you could visit Monument Valley instead of Page. MV is a longer drive (5 hours) but we have done it the afternoon after arriving in Phoenix. But it will also be a longer drive to the Grand Canyon from MV. So, I think Antelope Canyon is the winner.
       
      Monday, it’s a short drive to the Grand Canyon and spend 2 nights here. Then, spend the rest of your time in Sedona…hiking in the morning and relaxing in the afternoon (a place with a pool would be nice in June). That gives you lots of time in Sedona and you won’t run out of things to do. Take a look at our Sedona Travel Guide for all of our articles on Sedona and our Sedona Hiking Guide for recommended hiking trails. There’s a lot to choose from! And if you have any other questions, please let me know. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Vijaya Venkatesh
    Vijaya Venkatesh

    Hey, we are a family of 10 people, ages 25 to 70 , planning to visit Arizona for Christmas this year; we have 6 days available, and want to include Flagstaff and Tucson too.
    Can you give us an itinerary please, okay to miss Monument valley and Page.
    Also, is Glamping at Grand Canyon fun?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      With 6 days, start in Tucson and spend a day in Saguaro National Park. Then spend 3 days in Sedona and end with 2 days in the Grand Canyon. When you travel from Sedona to the Grand Canyon, visit Flagstaff. Or, do it in reverse order. Your itinerary would look something like this: (1) arrive in Tucson in the morning and spend the day in Saguaro (2) drive to Sedona and go hiking (3) Sedona (4) Optional short morning hike in Sedona, drive to Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon (5) Grand Canyon (6) Grand Canyon. We have only stayed in hotels in the Grand Canyon so don’t have personal experience glamping here, but I think it would be great if you can find a place with availability. Have a great trip! Cheers, Julie

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    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Arizona is hot in June, but some places that are at a higher elevation, like Sedona and the Grand Canyon, will be a little cooler. Arizona is great in the spring and the fall. Cheers, Julie

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