Okay, among Arizona trips, if there’s one trip to take, it’s Route 66. It’s historic in its own right and it connects up a bunch of fantastic places. What more could you want in a road? Okay, it’s got scenery too. And curiosities. And culture, too.
But there’s a lot more to see, and we’re going to talk about some of the other Arizona trips and tours we’ve taken or have planned (hey, we’re still new here!). You can also look at the state by road number or by region .
A reminder: Some of these roads go a long way between gas stations or towns. Take plenty of water, tank up often, and hit the bathroom when you can. Squatting behind a cactus isn’t the best of experiences….
This old road makes for a great tour, whether a day trip or a week-long adventure. From Gallup west, old Route 66 dances with I-40. The frontage road is often the old alignment for Route 66. Along the way across the state, the route passes the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert , Holbrook (check out the rock shops and dinosaurs), Winslow (if you’re an Eagles fan, you can “stand on the corner”), Flagstaff (lots of historic Route 66 stuff), Williams, and Ash Fork before the road diverges from I-40 to go to Seligman. The route is now state route 66 through Peach Springs (the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon Caverns and the Hualapai reservation), Truxton, Hackberry, Kingman, Oatman (begging burros) and Topock. The east end of the Arizona route passes through the Navajo reservation.
Covering the Flagstaff area and making a loop up to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and back.
Apache Trail :
From Apache Junction in the East Valley along the Apache Trail to Roosevelt, Globe and back. This Arizona trip can be done by car, but some of it is one-lane dirt and gravel. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
Phoenix – Hoover Dam :
Up US-60 and US-93, with the Old West lingering on at Wickenburg, Joshua trees, great scenery, an optional trip to a glass skywalk over the Grand Canyon, and Hoover Dam at the end.
From Phoenix and Tucson to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Yeah, it’s only partly in Arizona.
Looping from Flagstaff down I-17 to AZ-179 and back through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, with variations. This is one of the most famous Arizona trips around.
Beeline to Camp Verde:
Following the Beeline from Mesa through the wonderful mountains and valleys to Payson, then west to Camp Verde and back south on I-17.
From Flagstaff to Tuba City, Kayenta, Four Corners, Chinle, Ganado and back through Second Mesa. Optional side trip to Page to see the famous slot canyons. There are dinosaur tracks near Tuba City, Monument Valley (site of numerous movies of the Old West and a sacred site to the Navajo), the Four Corners monument, and Canyon de Chelly, with the White House ruins and Spider Woman Rock. Quite a line-up! Add to this two new and very nice hotels telling the experience of the Hopi and Navajo and it’s a serious immersion into the culture of the area.
The North Rim:
From Flagstaff north to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Along the way are the Cameron Trading Post, Echo Cliffs, Marble Canyon, the Navajo Bridges (there are two), and the Vermillion Cliffs. If the thousand-foot-high cliffs and the mile-deep canyon and the great forest can’t move you, it’s because you died.
The Coronado Trail :
From Phoenix east to Safford, north to Eagar and back. This section of US-191 is supposedly one of the most twisted roads in the United States, with hundreds of curves, many of them switch-backs, between Morenci and Alpine. Morenci is home to a huge open pit mine, looking as if men had decided to dig a second Grand Canyon. The road winds its way up into the pine forests of the White Mountains and out into wide meadows before coming to lava flows and the Salt River Canyon on the way back.