Roads

Arizona roads are something special. They take you through some of the prettiest scenery anywhere, and they take you from desert to forest or mountains, from winter snows to the warmth of the south or from baking heat to cool alpine meadows, from nearly sea level to 8,000′, all in a very short time.

There are road descriptions below the state map.

A reminder: For some of these roads, it’s a long way between towns or gas stations. Fill up your car frequently, carry water with you, and make sure to take potty breaks where you can.

(Note: This is not a comprehensive list of Arizona roads, especially of the state roads!)


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Interstate highways:

I-8: From Yuma, I-8 runs 177 miles east past Gila Bend to join I-10 south of Phoenix. This road runs through Basin and Range topography, with a stop for date shakes at the Dateland exit – really! I think the shake has overtones of cinnamon and chocolate as well as the fruit.


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I-10: It runs west to east 395 miles across the state, from Blythe, CA, through Phoenix and Tucson and on into New Mexico in the southeast section of the state. There’s always heavy traffic, especially in Phoenix and Tucson. Avoid rush hours in both places if you can.


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I-15: This one only clips the far northwest section of the state, running 29 miles from Mesquite up to the Utah border near St. George.

I-17: Lying entirely in the center of the state, I-17 runs from Phoenix to Flagstaff, connecting I-10 with I-40.


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I-19: Unique in the United States, I-19 has its “mile markers” in kilometers (at least for now). Speed limits are posted in miles per hour, however. The road runs from Nogales to Tucson.

I-40: This is another trans-Arizona road, 359 miles, with Needles, CA, on the west and Gallup, NM, on the east. It passes by Kingman, Williams, Flagstaff, Winslow, and Holbrook on its way.


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Federal highways:

US-60: Crossing the state west to east from I-10 near Blythe, CA, to Wickenburg, Phoenix, Globe, Show Low and Eagar and on into New Mexico. For much of its crossing of the Phoenix area it is either the Superstition Freeway or I-10.

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US-66: The old Route 66, this Arizona highway no longer exists as a federal highway, but to its fans it will live on. Now it’s largely I-40 through the state. It runs about 387 miles from California to the New Mexico border.


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US-70: US-70 is almost entirely in the southeast section of the state, running from Globe southeast through Safford and Duncan into New Mexico.

US-89: From Flagstaff, this highway runs north to a split, with the main highway going to Page and then across the Glen Canyon dam into Utah. The alternate route crosses the Navajo Bridge over Marble Canyon and then climbs the Kaibab plateau toward Fredonia.

US-93: Wickenburg is the southern end of this Arizona road, where it connects with US-60. From there it goes northwest to meet I-40, and then from Kingman it continues on to cross into Nevada at Hoover Dam .

US-95: From San Luis on the Mexican border, US-95 runs through Yuma and on up to Quartzsite on I-10, where it jaunts over to Blythe, CA, before resuming its route to the north.

US-160: The western terminus for US-160 is the Junction with US-89. From there it goes east and slightly north through Tuba City and Kayenta to the Four Corners.

US-180: This Arizona road runs northwest from New Mexico through Alpine, Eagar and St. Johns to Holbrook, where it meets I-40. It separates at Flagstaff to go the 51 miles to a junction with AZ-64, which runs on up to the Grand Canyon and south to Williams.

US-191: Among all the Arizona roads, this one is unique. From Clifton to Alpine it was originally the Coronado Trail and it’s reported that there are over 400 significant curves between the two towns, which are only about 90 miles apart. I didn’t count them, but there are a whole lot! The road runs from Mexico to Canada. Within the state, it runs from Mexico to Utah along the eastern side of the state. Along the way it runs from Douglas through Willcox, Safford, Clifton, Alpine, Eagar, St. Johns, Ganado, Chinle, and Many Farms. From Douglas to I-40, it used to be US-666 (also known to some as the Devil’s Highway), but that was changed in 1992.

State highways:

AZ-64: From Williams, it goes north to the Grand Canyon and then east to Cameron, where it connects with US-89.

AZ-85: From Lukeville on the Mexican border, north through Why and Ajo, crossing I-8 at Gila Bend and on up to I-10 at Buckeye on the west side of the Phoenix metro area.

AZ-87: This is another gem among Arizona roads. From its beginning south of Chandler where it connects with I-10, the route goes north through Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa . “The Beeline” heads northeast from Mesa to Payson, takes a northwest jog over to Pine and then goes up the Mogollon Rim to go northeast again to Winslow and then north to Second Mesa.


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