Arizona, aka Grand Canyon State, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the USA. The main reason is, of course, amazing Grand Canyon National Park. But except this, the state has a lot much to offer. In this post, we would like to give you ready to go, the ultimate Arizona road trip itinerary. You will find here everything you should know to have a fantastic vacation.
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Best time to go to Arizona
Arizona is an excellent place to visit the whole year. And the state is so big that it differs if you go north or south and what is the altitude in the selected place. So in the case of Grand Canyon South Rim, it’s best to go in the spring or fall. Winter is not bad, but cold. In the summer it’s scorching and crowded, so it’s better to choose North Rim at this season. And North Rim is closed in winters and most of the spring.
So, this itinerary is best for trips between May 15 – October 15 because some places we recommended are closed during winter. But you can adapt it to the winter months by excluding the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
If we focus on the weather in the south, summers are definitely too hot, so the best time is from fall to spring. Winters are usually mild, but some snow can happen even in the Saguaro National Park, so check the weather forecast before going there.
In the picture, we are showing you the lowest and highest average temperatures for the whole of Arizona – it will vary depending on altitude, and if you are most to the north or south.
We collected some data about rainfall. On the chart, you can see average inch precipitation for the whole of Arizona. Generally, rain is not a big problem in this state. You can expect more rainy days in the norther part than in the southern.
Estimation of 14 days Arizona Trip cost
Arizona is not very different than the rest of the United States. For sure it’s cheaper than California. Please find some recent data for fall 2019:
- Gallon of unleaded fuel 2.50-3.00 USD
- Average RV campsite with hookups – 35-50 USD/night
- Horseshoe Bend parking lot – 10 USD/day
- Grand Canyon 7-days fee – 35 USD/vehicle
- Average price of lunch 15 USD+/person
- Price of dinner 30 USD+/person (alcohol not included)
Average price of lodging in motels and hotels:
- Page – 40-200 USD/room (check prices on booking.com or on hotels.com)
- Grand Canyon South Rim -100-300 USD/room (Tusayan) (check prices on booking.com or on hotels.com)
- Flagstaff – 40-150 USD/room (check prices on booking.com or on hotels.com)
- Sedona – 75-200 USD/room (check prices on booking.com or on hotels.com)
- Saguaro/Tucson – 40-250 USD/room (check prices on booking.com or on hotels.com)
Use this link and book your hotel today to get an extra discount! Book now with more than 15% off travel.
Arizona Packing List
It’s best to check our Havasupai Packing List – it is dedicated more to camping with a tent, but you can browse it to prepare for Arizona weather as well. Please check also our 13 essentials for your day pack below.
Ready to go 14 days Arizona Itinerary
Below we show you our proposition on how you can fill 14 days in Arizona. Later we describe each day in detail to help you plan as you like. We assume that you are renting a car or motorhome. In case of a vehicle you can sleep in a hotel/Airbnb or a tent – you will find all the options below.
|Day||Activity||Est. Driving Time||Photographic Opportunities||Recommended Lodging location|
|1||Arrive in Las Vegas||0||Sunset in Las Vegas||Las Vegas|
|2||Go to Toroweap Overlook||6h||Sunset at Toroweap Overlook||Tuweep Campground (Permit Required!)|
|3||Go to Grand Canyon North Rim||5h||Sunrise at Toroweap, North Rim Viewpoints||Campgrounds on North Rim or Lodge|
|4||Drive to Page (Horseshoe Bend, Canyon X or Upper Antelope Canyon)||2.5h||Canyon X or Upper Antelope, sunset at Horseshoe Bend||Page|
|5||Drive to Monument Valley , drive to Grand Canyon South Rim||2h+3h||Monument Valley, Grand Canyon South Rim||Grand Canyon Village|
|6||West side of Grand Canyon South Rim (shuttle bus), drive to Flagstaff||1.5h||Sunrise at the Rim, Flagstaff and Route 66 in Flagstaff||Flagstaff|
|7||Drive to Sedona, hikes in Sedona||1h||Views from hikes in Sedona, city of Sedona, Sunset||Sedona|
|8||Drive to Saguaro NP East and West||4h+1.5h||Cacti in Saguaro NP||Tucson
|9||Drive to Williams, then Peach Springs||4.5h+1.5h||Williams and Route 66 in Williams||Peach Springs|
|10||Go to Havasupai||1.5h||Hike to Havasupai, waterfalls||Havasupai Campground (Permit Required!)
|11||Havasupai||0h||Havasupai Waterfalls||Havasupai Campground
|12||Havasupai||0h||Havasupai Waterfalls||Havasupai Campground (Permit Required!)
|13||Return from Havasupai, Hackberry, Kingman||3h||Route 66||Hackberry & Kingman|
|14||Arizona Hot Springs, Hoover Dam||1h||Hot Springs, Hoover Dam||Las Vegas|
Day 1 – Arrive in Las Vegas
The best starting point for Arizona Road Trip is Las Vegas, Nevada, due to its location and International Airport. There is also a great selection of lodging options at reasonable prices and the right choice of car rental companies. Check Flights to Las Vegas on skyscanner.com.
In this itinerary, we assumed it’s more convenient to come to Las Vegas. Still, another potential starting point might be Phoenix or Tucson, so if it fits you better, adjust the itinerary to your needs (you have only change days numbering and decide on loop direction).
After arriving in Las Vegas, you will need to rent a car. For regular cars, we definitely recommend Alamo Car Rental, but if you like other companies, it’s up to you. You can compare rentals on DiscoverCars. One important thing is that if you would like to use our itinerary exactly how it was prepared, you will need a high clearance 4WD vehicle (it will be required to access Tuweep Campground and take the loop drive in Monument Valley). Everywhere else, a regular car will be enough.
PRO TIP: If planning a party with your friends in Las Vegas, we highly recommend Limo Find. It’s also the best option if you need a bus or charter for transporting a group of people.
Lodging and dining in Las Vegas
If you need a dinner recommendation, you can also find it in this article.
It might happen you will have plenty of time after arrival. It will be not only enough time to arrange your car, lodging, and dinner, but also to take some beautiful pictures of sunset in Las Vegas. If it is your case, please read our Las Vegas Photo Shoot Locations recommendations.
Organized Tours from Las Vegas
If you have more time in Las Vegas and prefer organized tours, we can recommend you some of them (not included in this itinerary). You can use these recommendations in case you plan to skip Toroweap or Havasupai. It can perfectly fit your itinerary in this case. More day trips from Las Vegas we described in this article.
Valley of Fire – You will drive about one hour to reach the Valley of Fire located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It is the state park covering 46000 acres of rock formations made from Aztec sandstone. On a sunny day, those rocks look like being on fire and, thus, the park name. You can spend in the park just an hour or two driving and stopping on the selected overlooks. If you have more time or like to hike, there is more to do – even for a couple of days. Hikes are short and long, even with overnight option (permit required). If you don’t have a car, don’t worry. You can always book this wonderful excursion on GetYourGuide service!
Lake Mead – This 30 minutes drive destination offers a lot, but is barely known to people visiting Las Vegas. Except for quite a popular Hoover Dam with the Powerplant Tour, you have a couple of hot springs, plenty of water activities (houseboat, scuba dive, kayaks or fishing) and hikes. Everyone can find something for himself in this paradise. If you want to go with organized tour, please check Hoover Dam and Lake Mead Lunch Cruise. We definitely recommend it!
Zion National Park – This park is ranked #4 among most popular US parks! So if you are in Las Vegas and have an extra day, why don’t you visit this treasure of nature? Of course, we believe that you need much more than a day, but still, one day is better than nothing. The excellent option is to Zion National Park Full-Day Adventure that you can book on GetYourGuide.
Day 2 – Toroweap Overlook
On that day you will drive from Las Vegas to Toroweap Overlook, arrange a campsite on Tuweep Campground and go to breathtaking view point on the overlook. We planned everything for you to have enough time and prepare well for sunset photos.
How to get there?
The Toroweap Overlook is located in the western part of the Grand Canyon on the North Rim. Driving to Toroweap Overlook is an adventure itself. Not every driver can do it, and no every car does. As a result, bring tire plugs and a portable air compressor to repair potential flat tires. The road is primitive with sharp rocks, deep holes, and dust. It’s a rough road. Due to this, it is recommended to have 4WD to get to Toroweap Overlook and Tuweep Campground.
WARNING: If you don’t have a 4WD high clearance vehicle, you can skip this attraction. Don’t worry, you will have more time to spend in other places like Page, Sedona or Grand Canyon later.
You can choose one of three main routes to Tuweep from AZ 389 between Fredonia, Arizona, and St.George, Utah. And it takes you two to three hours’ driving time.
- Sunshine Route: from Fredonia, Arizona, by Country Road #109. This is 61 miles (98 km) primitive road featuring sharp rocks, wash-boarding, and dust.
- Clayhole Route: County Road #5 leaves AZ 389 at Colorado City, Arizona. It is 56 miles (90 km) long and impassable when wet.
- Main Street Route: BLM Road #1069 and County Road #5 from St. George is 90 miles (145 km) long. This scenic route is impassable in winter due to snow and mud.
Tuweep Campground is one of our favorites in Grand Canyon National Park. Why we like it so much? Because you can hear the silence. You can admire the Grand Canyon rim. Above all, you can listen to the sound of the Colorado River. Finally, sunsets and sunrises and stargazing from this edge moved us to tears. There is no civilization, coverage, electricity, or water available. There is only you and the infinite space of Toroweap formation.
WARNING: If you don’t like the idea to stay overnight at the ridge and sleep in a tent or you are not able to get the permit, you can make a day only trip to Toroweap and stay in one of the motels in nearby Kanab, UT. It’s on your way to North Rim, so it should be a very convenient option. You can check Kanab lodging prices and options here.
First of all, you need a permit to stay overnight. Advance permits are required for camping at Tuweep Campground and backcountry use areas. You can obtain a permit at go.nps.gov/tuweep. Permits cannot be issued at Tuweep, but after 15 of November, you can ask a ranger about the provisional permit. If there are no other reservations, you can get it at Tuweep. One night costs 13 $ (as of November 2019). However, if you plan to be during the season, you have to apply for the permit in advance (a minimum of one month before arrival) because the place is gaining popularity and might be full.
There are no facilities, except for composting toilets and picnic tables. There are nine small-group campsites for one to six people with the maximum two vehicles, and one large-group campsite for 7-11 people with a maximum of four cars.
You should arrive early on that day, so just after setting up your campsite, go to the rim and look for the spot for sunset. There are some excellent spots, but it’s best if you find your own and will have unique pictures. At dusk, you will be photographing in the eastern or western direction, depending on what you like. So it’s good to choose a point that will allow you to rearrange during the session in both directions.
You can find more photography hints here. The article describes also recommended gear to take with you to Toroweap.
Day 3 – Grand Canyon North Rim
This part of Grand Canyon is visited less often than the accessible South Rim. There are two reasons for this – first is that North Rim is open only May 15 – October 15 (if weather allows even till December 1 for day use only). The second is accessibility. It’s much easier to get to the South Rim and thus it is more popular.
But we love North Rim. The main reason is that it’s less crowded and you can easily access it with your own car then hike the rim at your own pace. It’s also much higher altitude, and you have a fantastic view of the canyon and South Rim from the viewpoints. If you are visiting the North Rim on day-use only basis, you also need much less time because all the main viewpoints are walking distance next to each other.
How to get there?
You can quickly drive to North Rim in the season from Kanab or Page. From Kanab just head south to Fredonia and then join route 89A in the eastern direction. In Jacob Lake, you must take route 67 to the south. Route 67 is a dead-end so that you will return the same way. It’s 81 miles from Kanab to the North Rim.
From Page, you take 89 direction south then join 89A in Bitter Springs. Drive to Jacob Lake and take route 67 to the south. It’s 123 miles from Page to the North Rim.
The optimal road is like in this itinerary to travel from west to east and visit North Rim on your way to Page.
Where to stay?
You will find more about lodging in Grand Canyon North Rim in our separate article. Please check it.
Use this link and book your hotel today to get an extra discount! Book now with more than 15% off travel. Now through to January 4th 2021!
North Rim is an excellent photographic opportunity in many aspects. First of all, you will see fantastic rock formations. But in photography, light is essential, so the best time is, of course, sunrise and sunset. But also in the middle of the day, Grand Canyon looks good and has some shadows and lights on the rocks.
Let’s be honest. It’s not easy to photograph North Rim. You will always have something in the shadow and something in the light. Maybe the best weather is cloudy day or after the rain. But with all those modern cameras and techniques, we are sure the best is to use HDRs and try to get out something out of the shadows and darken some strong lights. To take proper HDR, you will need a good tripod.
If you plan your trip on the day when the moon is close to the new moon phase, you can try to photograph milky way from the North Rim. There is very low light pollution in the area that makes it a perfect spot for such astrophotography. You can try to take a shot of a milky way with a regular wide-angle lens (F4 or F2.8 stop would be ideal) and a tripod. Please also take a remote shutter with you or a camera that works well with phone triggering. We also recommend Stellarium application that make it very easy to locate a milky way.
Day 4 – Page, slot canyons
Page area is must-see in any Arizona Itinerary. There are at least three slot canyons you can choose from and famous Horseshoe Bend. Beyond this, you will find here still not that popular Lake Powell with many kayaking and boating options.
People are coming to Page mainly to visit Upper Antelope Canyon – it got very crowded over the last ten years, and recently Navajo decided to stop the most popular photo tours. So if you are not a big photo passionate, you can just come and see Upper Antelope Canyon (just book your spot ahead of time), but if you dream about great pictures, think over and choose a different slot canyon.
And in the Page area, you have at least two more to choose from. One is Lower Antelope Canyon, and the other is Antelope Canyon X. You can also visit the part of Antelope Canyon freely accessible from Lake Powell by water. Over the last 15 years, we had visited all those canyons on regular tours and photo tours when they were still available. And to be honest, each one of them is different, and you can just visit one and think that others are the same. If you have time and money, we recommend seeing all of them. If you have to choose because of limited time or budget, read on to make your decision easier.
In our opinion, Upper Antelope Canyon is definitely #1 and thus is most popular. The Lower Antelope Canyon is entirely different. In Upper, you have wide bottom and narrow top, and in Lower, it’s opposite – tight bottom and broader top, so more light is coming into the canyon. For photographers, it’s not right, so don’t think you will take similar pictures in Lower and Upper. They will be completely different, and those breathtaking are made mainly in the Upper.
The ultimate solution might be to visit Canyon X, which is a kind of a mix of Lower and Upper. It has two parts, and each of them varies. Still, the problem is that you must pay an excessive amount of money to take the tripod to the Canyon X, but we think this is the best option for photographers after the photo tours to Upper were terminated. You can read more about Canyon X in this article.
Except for slot canyons, you must plan the visit to Horseshoe Bend. The best time is midday to have balanced light on the whole rock. But some people love to come for romantic sunset here. To get to the bend, you must pay 10 USD fee for a parking lot and hike to the edge. In our Horseshoe Bend Hike Guide article, you will find all the required information on this photography spot.
Where to stay?
Page is perfect place for lodging to visit Horseshoe Bend and slot canyons in the area. There is an excellent selection of hotels in the town.
If you are traveling with RV, it might be a more convenient option to choose a campground or RV park. Unfortunately, options are limited here, and a lot of motorhomes leave at the Walmart parking lot for the night (it was still allowed as of November 2019). If you need a campground, we can recommend Page Lake Powell Campground.
Organized tours from Page
If you have more time in Page and prefer organized tours, we can recommend you some of them (not included in this itinerary). You can use these recommendations in case you plan to skip Toroweap or Havasupai. It can perfectly fit your itinerary in this case.
White Pocket – this is terrific rock formation not far away from Page, AZ. To get there, you need a right 4×4 car with high clearance because the road is usually very sandy and after the rain very muddy. We would instead recommend an organized trip to this beautiful attraction. If you have 6 hours, you can try this White Pocket: Hiking Tour with Lunch from GetYourGuide.
Lake Powell – even if you are in Page, it’s not easy to admire beautiful Lake Powell. Of course you can hire some kayaks or powerboats, but still you will be on the water level. And the lake looks best from the air. This is why we strongly advise considering organized 30 minutes air flight that will take you over the lake and Horseshoe Bend as well. Just check this offer on GetYourGuide service.
Wire Pass To Buckskin Gulch – one of the less crowded but amazing hike to slot canyon you can imagine. Of course you can drive from Page to Wire Pass by your own car, but please be advised that there is gravel road that might be muddy after the rain. And the hike to Wire Pass is not very well marked. So if you have more time to kill in Page, AZ, we recommend to purchase Wire Pass To Buckskin Gulch Hiking Adventure from GetYourGuide service.
Day 5 – Monument Valley
We put celebrated Monument Valley in this itinerary in this exact place because if you are leaving Page, it is relatively not far away. And Monument Valley is a spot that can be easily made in one day altogether with the driving time required to get there and back. But to make it possible to start the day early. It’s about 2 hours drive from Page, AZ.
In the Monument Valley, you will drive a 17-miles Valley loop that is gravel road starting and ending in the Visitor Center. If you have a rental car, please make sure that your agreement allows you to drive on this kind of road. Some people are asking if it is possible with the regular economy car, and the answer is yes. You can make the loop with regular vehicles and some caution at your own risk. Of course, it is more convenient to have high-clearance 4WD, but it’s not a must. The loop should take you about 2 hours together with stops for pictures.
If you are following this itinerary, you will need 3 hours to drive back to your next stop. The plan is to reach Grand Canyon Village at sunset, so check your time precisely. After entering through the kiosks close to Desert View, you will be moving across the rim for next over 20 miles to reach Grand Canyon Village finally.
Entering this area, you will spot plenty of photographic opportunities. The first one will appear just next to the Visitor Center, where you will have a chance to take a classic photo with mittens. Another one might be on the road if you skip the Visitor’s Center turn and go a couple of miles forward. There will a view known from Forest Gump movie. We recommend watching some classic western films to find out more locations just before you go.
To take pictures in Monument Valley, you will need two basic lenses – ultra-wide-angle and regular zoom or classic 35mm fixed lens.
Day 6 – Grand Canyon South Rim
Start this day early. You must leave your private car in one of the parking in Grand Canyon Village and switch to a shuttle bus to discover the western part of the South Rim. It will take you probably about half of the day – depends how many times you plan to hop-off and hop-on on the viewpoints. Please check our separate article to see what viewpoints are interesting to you.
When you are happy with amazing Grand Canyon views, it’s time to move forward and head to Flagstaff. It will take you about 1.5h to get to this historic town. Spend the rest of your day walking in the downtown or drive slowly across old Route 66 and try to find all the remainings and take some pictures.
Where to stay?
Flagstaff is nice place to stay. It has a wide selection of inns and hotels starting from the very cheap and ending on the luxury and expensive ones. We were staying in Flagstaff very often, so we can give you some nice recommendations:
Budget Host Inn NAU ($) – Even if you can notice a lower rating of this Inn, it can surprise you. It’s old route 66 inn renovated to current standards, very well maintained with beautiful clean rooms and close to downtown and other attractions. We spent there a couple of nights, and it was the best price/quality ratio in the town. Check price on booking.com.
Little America ($$$) – This is an excellent place to stay if you are traveling with kids. They have a beautiful pool and are family-friendly. The restaurant is also lovely, and you can have dinner if you prefer to stay in the hotel than go downtown, especially that it’s not that close. Check price on booking.com.
Organized tours near Grand Canyon South Rim
If you have more time in Grand Canyon South Rim and prefer organized tours, we can recommend you some of them (not included in this itinerary). You can use these recommendations in case you plan to skip Toroweap or Havasupai. It can perfectly fit your itinerary in this case.
Grand Canyon from above – If you are in Grand Canyon and would like to do something different like looking at it from above, the best idea is to go for one of a helicopter or plane tours. You can find a couple of options. One of the most affordable, but also short, is to start from Tusayan for 45-minutes tour: Grand Canyon Spirit Helicopter Tour from South Rim. If you don’t like helicopters, but prefer more regular planes, you can also try even cheaper Grand Canyon: Discovery Air Tour.
Grand Canyon Jeep Tour – if you prefer to see the best viewpoints of the South Rim on the jeep tour, we can recommend you this short 2 hours excursion from GetYourGuide. Just click and purchase The Grand Entrance: Jeep Tour of Grand Canyon National Park. You will admire the incredible scenery at several stops, including the Grandview Point, and your entry fee to Grand Canyon is included in price.
Day 7 – Sedona
Early in the morning, leave charming Flagstaff and drive scenic byway (U.S. 89A) to Sedona. However, if you are traveling with the motorhome, it would be better to take intestate 17 because scenic byway is very winding and it will not be easy to drive with a big vehicle.
Driving from Flagstaff to Sedona will take less than an hour, so think over what hike you would like to make. We have some propositions in our article Three Best Sedona Hikes. If you are in good shape, the whole day is enough time to make two or even three of those hikes primarily in the summer when days are long. After hiking, you will be tired, but Sedona is a charming town offering excellent restaurants and relaxing hotels. So please read where to have a good dinner and where to sleep well in Sedona.
Plan your day to be in some beautiful place at sunset. One that might be nice to celebrate this part of the day is Cathedral Rock. The only problem might be to hike down in darkness. So if you plan it, please take a good headlamp with you because the hike is not long but very technical.
Where to Stay?
Where to stay in Sedona? Well, it depends on your budget and traveling style. Sedona is a stylish town, offers unique lodging with stunning views. The accommodation choice is large and varied. During the high season, we suggest booking accommodation for several months in advance.
Our first choice in Sedona is Best Western, it has a reasonable price and great quality, and most of all the location is excellent too.
If you are looking for a campground, we can recommend Rancho Sedona RV Park in Sedona, with 84 spaces available, free Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, and laundry. It is next to Sedona Stream, so fishing is possible, too.
Distant Drums RV Resort is located in Camp Verde close to Sedona. It offers amazing views of the mountains, and excellent reviews.
Organized tours from Sedona
If you have more time in Sedona and prefer organized tours, we can recommend you some of them (not included in this itinerary). You can use these recommendations in case you plan to skip Toroweap or Havasupai. It can perfectly fit your itinerary in this case.
ATV Canyon Tour – If you like to ride ATV, it might be an excellent tour for you. And if you are a movie fan on this tour, you can experience locations that over 40 movies were shot. So don’t hesitate and book this 3-hours tour on GetYourGuide: West Sedona Canyon: 3-Hour ATV Tour.
Jeep & Horseback Ride – If you are a horse lover, it might be the tour for you. It will take half a day and go to the desert. The tour includes a 2-hour jeep ride with guides who will tell you everything about the hot Sedona desert. Then you will enjoy a 1.5 hour horseback ride under sycamore trees and have a nice picnic lunch. You can book this fantastic tour on the GetYourGuide page here.
Nighttime UFO & Stargazing Tour – It is hard to find a better place than Sedona desert to enjoy stargazing at night. You can do it alone, but we suggest that it might be a better option to purchase this tour because of the possibility of using high-quality night vision goggles! With them, you can marvel at UFOs and other unexplained phenomena. Added value is tales presented by the guides. So if you like the idea, book your tour here.
Day 8 – Saguaro National Park
Start this day early in the morning. You will drive to the Tucson area. The main reason we put this souther part of Arizona in this itinerary are the cacti. Those plants are very typical for this state, and it wouldn’t be too smart to skip them. Saguaro National Park near Tucson has two parts: eastern and western. And it’s not enough to see one of those because both are different. Make some hikes among those giant cacti trees to understand their scale. But be careful – they are sharp, and it’s easy to get hurt. Stay on designated trails.
To get to Saguaro National Park West, where we suggest to begin your journey, you will be driving for about 4 hours. In the park, you can spend 2-3 hours, but plan your time to have another 1.5h to move to the eastern part. This part is bigger, and you can make a nice loop with the car with some stops for short hikes. You will be driving over hills and have a perspective view of the whole cacti forest.
All the required details about planning your day in both parts of Saguaro, you will find in our separate article: The Best Things to do in Saguaro National Park.
Where to Stay?
There are many possibilities for lodging in Tuscon. Below are some suggestions with high guest ratings. Above all, check the reviews before you book.
Closer to East (Rincon Mountain) District
Hampton Inn & Suites Tucson East – around 8.6 miles to the Park East Entrance
DoubleTree Suites Williams Centre – around 10.2 miles to the Park East Entrance
Comfort Suites Sabino Canyon – around 11.1 miles to the Park East Entrance.
Closer to West (Tucson Mountain) District
Holiday Inn Express Tucson – around 14.6 miles to the Park West Entrance
Holiday Inn Express Marana – around 14.8 miles to the Park West Entrance
Comfort Inn – around 14.5 miles to the Park West Entrance.
Day 9 – Williams
On that day we suggest you to get back to route 66 and explore it a little bit more. After 4.5h of driving from Tucson you will reach wonderful Williams just for lunch in one of the classic diners. Please find our recommendations below:
Goldies Route 66 Diner ($$) – Very classic place, we would even say it has not changed since the 1960s. Portions are significant, and we recommend breakfasts and lunches here. Whatever you choose, it will be tasty, and service makes the atmosphere to feel like 50 years ago.
Red Raven ($$$$) – This is a more elegant and more expensive place on the old good route 66. Food is not as classic as in the previous restaurant, but still, this diner is very crowded. You can try shrimp pasta or sirloin here. If you are fun of duck, do not hesitate – it is probably our favorite meal here.
Cruiser’s Cafe 66 Bar & Grill ($$) – Another very classic and stylish diner very well preserved from the 1960s. You can’t go wrong with the burgers and ribs here. And don’t forget to visit restrooms – it’s a lot of fun 😉
After visiting at least one of the above places, you will feel the climate of route 66. When you are not hungry anymore, please walk across the city and take a couple of pictures. Who knows how long this town will survive in its current shape?
More of our photos and tips from Arizona’s part famous Route 66, check out in this article!
From Williams, you should be heading via old route 66 to Peach Springs. Unfortunately first part will be going over intestate 40, but still, you can drive some old 66 from Ash Fork or Seligman. Of course, we suggest to take some stops for pictures and visiting famous places on the road.
Peach Springs will be your place to sleep before you go to Havasupai. Please book your hotel well in advance because the rooms are limited.
Use this link and book your hotel today to get an extra discount! Book now with more than 15% off travel. Now through to January 4th 2021!
Day 10 – Havasupai Day 1
COVID-19 UPDATE – Due to pandemics, the Indian Havasupai Reservation and the famous Havasu Falls remain closed until further notice. So, days 10-13 cannot be realized yet. We’ll keep you posted when Havasu Falls opens.
We propose to extend your stay at the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Saguaro National Park. Or you can visit some fabulous places in Utah, which we described in Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary.
READ THIS PARAGRAPH/DISCLAIMER PLEASE: First of all, you must have a permit to Havasu Falls. Read how to buy a permit in this article. Furhermore, if you are not ready to sleep in a tent, you can skip days 10-12 and just extend your stay in Sedona, Grand Canyon, or Page. In those places, you will have a lot of things to do (please check our organized tours recommendations in each of the section above). We are only suggesting the most beautiful places in Arizona and couldn’t skip Havasupai, but we are also aware it’s not for everyone. Please feel free to adjust this itinerary to your expectations and abilities to make 10-miles one mile hike and stay within your comfort zone.
On this day depart very early from Peach Springs – depending on the season, it might be even useful to leave at 3 am. From your hotel, you will be heading to Hilltop Parking at the Havasupai Trailhead. In summer, you should be there as early as possible and start your 10-miles hike at 5:30 am or even earlier to avoid scorching day on your first exposed part of the hike. It would be best if you reached the trees and shadows at about 9:30 am. And get to Supai Village 1 hour later. In the village, you must register for the campground and move there to put up your tent (it might be helpful to read Havasu Falls Camping Guide and Rules). You can check our very detailed description of the hike in the post. All you need to know about hike to Havasu Falls.
WARNING: Trip to Havasu can be made only as 4 days/3 nights, and your most likely option is to sleep in a tent (lodge rooms are limited and very hard to get). The cost is also very high – camping in a tent costs 375 USD/person, and you must add the price of sending luggage on a mule or flying helicopter if you decide on this option.
PROTIP: to get to Havasu Falls, you must have a permit. We give you all the hints and tricks on how to get your permit with 100% chances in the post How to Get a Havasu Falls Permit? Please read it and make sure to get your permit before going for your dream Arizona trip!
On the first day after the whole hike to Havasu Falls and putting up your tent you will probably be tired, so we recommend to relax at the creek – the best idea is to have a hammock and listen to the fast-flowing water.
Day 11 – Havasupai Day 2
If you feel good after sleeping in the tent and the weather is good, we recommend going to Beaver Falls. This hike is not that easy but worth doing. It will take you most of the day, and you should start early to catch the best sun in the waterfall (you can check all the details in our article focused on photography: Havasu Creek Waterfalls Photography Guide. On the way to Beaver, you will have a chance to admire incredible Mooney Falls also. If you feel good after getting back from Beaver hike, it might be a good idea to visit Havasu Falls at sunset. Otherwise just spend another evening in the hammock at the river. It’s very unique experience!
Day 12 – Havasupai Day 3
On the third day of your life experience in Havasupai, we suggest doing some swimming in Havasu Falls. Water gets warmer after 9:30 am, depending on the season, and early in the morning, it shouldn’t be that crowded. After having some relax in breathtaking Havasu Falls, you can go further in the direction of Supai village to admire Fifty Foot Falls and Little Navajo Falls. Those waterfalls are also great for swimming and bathing in the water. Even in October, we were able to spend there a couple of hours.
Day 13 – Route 66 – Hackberry, Kingman
On that day, you have to get back from Havasupai to Hilltop Parking. Most of people will hike up. Some of them will try to catch a helicopter or at least put the luggage on the mules. Whatever are your plans for this day, you should start packing your camping early in the morning, the latest just after the sunrise. Please remember that you will be going up in the sun. In this itinerary, we assumed that you start early and have time to see some other parts of route 66. Still, optionally if the day is really hot and temperature high, we suggest to skip this part and wait with hike till early afternoon to avoid overheating your body on the hike up.
But we are sure that you will make it in the first part of the day and will have time to drive route 66 to Kingman for the night. On your way, don’t miss a fantastic stop in Hackberry. You will find there a lot of route 66 history artifacts like old cars and memorabilia. It’s an incredible opportunity to take amazing pictures.
From Hackberry, you will drive to Kingman. You will stay for the night there. Town is maybe not that charming as Williams, but still tells a lot of histories. And it is excellent from the lodging perspective due to a lot of old cheap hotels and restaurants. You will find here also a place to camp your motorhome.
Day 14 – Arizona Hot Springs & Hoover Dam
If you are making your road trip in the fall or spring, you have a great chance to soak in beautiful Arizona Hot Springs. This place is still not very popular, so there is a chance to avoid crowds. The good idea is to be there around noon, mainly because it requires 1-2 hours of hiking one way from the parking lot. The hike itself is also fascinating, and you can do it in two different ways – we described everything in detail in the Arizona Natural Hot Springs article on our blog.
Getting back from Arizona Hot Springs to Las Vegas, you can’t omit the legendary Hoover Dam. You will be passing it on your right heading to Vegas. Two options are possible. You can just stop by or take a tour – it depends on how much time do you have for this place.
We wish you an amazing Arizona road trip adventure! If you like it our Arizona Road Trip Itinerary and it’s helpful for you, please share it!