Ready to be awestruck by the Grand Canyon, dazzled by the red rocks of Sedona, mystified by the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon? This one-week road trip covers the must-see places in Arizona, before heading to Southern Utah, and ending in the city of sin, Las Vegas. We’ll tell you how to spend your time in each place and give you all the details you need to know to get the most out of your adventures in Arizona and Utah!

Hi there! We’re Sarah and Matt, two nomads road tripping across the United States with our cat, Fitzgerald, making a new place our home month to month while working full time and adventuring as much as possible. We spend any free time we can get hiking, camping, backpacking, and exploring new places! We hope that our experiences will help you plan for your next adventure and inspire you to be an outlier!

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    Overview | Arizona to Utah Road Trip

    Below you will find an overview detailing how to road trip through Arizona and Southern Utah in one week, including highlights from each day:

    Arizona to Utah Road Trip Map

    For this road trip through Arizona, fly into Phoenix and out of Las Vegas. You may also choose to reverse the order. The map shows each destination and activity included on this road trip:

    Arizona to Utah Road Trip Driving Times

    This road trip features multiple stops throughout Arizona and Utah. We’ve compiled the driving times between each destination below:

    1. Phoenix to Sedona | 2 hours
    2. Sedona to Grand Canyon | 2 hours and 20 minutes
    3. Grand Canyon to Page | 3 hours
    4. Page to Zion National Park | 2 hours
    5. Zion to Bryce Canyon | 2 hours
    6. Bryce Canyon to Las Vegas | 4 hours

    Arizona to Utah Road Trip Details

    In the section below, we’ll give you all the details about each day on this epic Arizona to Utah road trip!

    Day One | Sedona

    On day one, fly into Phoenix and drive 2 hours to Sedona to kick off this epic Arizona road trip. Depending on what time your flight lands, you may have some time to squeeze in a hike. Otherwise, try to arrive in Sedona in time to watch the sunset. “Golden hour” in Sedona is truly incredible!

    Stargazing in Sedona

    Grab dinner in downtown Sedona and then drive out of town to go stargazing. On a clear night, you can see the Milky Way from Sedona. Here are a few good places to see the stars:

    • Two Trees Observing Area
    • Crescent Moon Parking Lot
    • Baldwin Trailhead
    • Jordan Trailhead

    Day Two | Sedona

    Spend your second day in Arizona hiking among Sedona’s red rocks, ending with an afternoon of wine tasting on the Verde Valley wine trail.

    Sunrise at Airport Mesa

    Time frame | 90 minutes
    Hiking distance | 0.5 mile
    Difficulty | easy

    Wake up early on day two to catch a Sedona sunrise – we promise it’s worth it! We recommend heading to Airport Mesa for a quick walk up to a 360-degree viewpoint that makes for an incredible spot to have a cup of coffee while waiting for the sun to rise.

    Cathedral Rock Hike

    Time frame | 2 hours
    Hiking distance | 1.3 miles
    Difficulty | moderate

    Now that you’re up, get an early start on one of Sedona’s most popular hikes: Cathedral Rock. This 1.3 mile roundtrip hike is short but steep, and although it would be beautiful at any time of the day, it’s best done in the morning when the sun casts stunning shadows of the rock formations onto the valley below.

    Soldier’s Pass Cave Hike

    Time frame | 3 hours
    Hiking distance | 3.1 miles
    Difficulty | moderate

    The Cathedral Rock hike won’t take much longer than 2 hours. Next, drive about 15 minutes to the trailhead of Soldier’s Pass Cave, a 3.1-mile hike to a small cave carved into a red rock cliff. Hiking to Soldier’s Pass Cave is a ton of fun, allowing you to explore more of Sedona’s red rocks and climb into a cave with incredible views from its “window”!

    P.S. We’ve put together a complete guide to hiking to Soldier’s Pass Cave, with all the details you need to know to plan your hike.

    Verde Valley Wine Trail

    Timeframe| 2 – 3 hours

    After a busy morning of hiking, head back to your hotel to clean up. Then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing with a few glasses of wine on the Verde Valley Wine Trail. We recommend the following:

    • Javelina Leap Winery: closes at 6:00PM (also has good food options)
    • Page Spring Cellars: closes 9:00 PM
    • Oak Creek Vineyard: closes 8:00 PM

    Day Three | Sedona to Grand Canyon

    One day three, squeeze in one last hike in Sedona and end the day catching your first glimpse of the magnificent Grand Canyon!

    Devil’s Bridge Trail

    Time frame | 2 – 3 hours
    Hiking distance | 4 miles
    Difficulty | moderate

    Start day three with one last hike in Sedona. Devil’s Bridge Trail is a 4 mile roundtrip hike to a natural bridge carved out of the red rock that you can walk out on. A must do in Sedona!

    Tip: Devil’s Bridge is very popular (for good reason) and therefore becomes crowded later in the day. You may even have to wait in line to go out onto the bridge. Start early to beat the crowds!

    The Grand Canyon

    Once you finish hiking Devil’s Bridge, drive straight to the Grand Canyon. Without traffic, the drive should take 2 hours and 20 minutes, but expect long waits at the Grand Canyon National Park entrance which could easily add an hour to your drive.

    Grand Canyon South Rim Trail

    Time frame | 2 – 4 hours

    Once you arrive, head to the rim to catch your first view of the Grand Canyon. Stretching farther than the eye can see, the Grand Canyon is even more magnificent than you could imagine. Spend some time walking the South Rim Trail, a flat, paved path around the edge of the canyon.

    Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon

    We stayed at the Yavapai Lodge, a basic but clean mid-budget option that was conveniently located within minutes of the rim. You will definitely want to stay inside the national park, as wait times to get into the park can add significant driving time to your day.

    Tip: Check the weather tonight to prepare for your hike into the Grand Canyon tomorrow. You can purchase any essentials (rain ponchos, gloves, hats, crampons) you may be missing at the Grand Canyon Market across from Yavapai Lodge.

    Day Four | Grand Canyon

    Spend all day on day four exploring the Grand Canyon. If you’re up for a challenge, we highly recommend hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back via the South Kaibab to Bright Angel Trail. If you’re looking for something less strenuous, just hike a few miles down the South Kaibab Trail and back to the rim!

    South Kaibab to Bright Angel Trail Hike

    Time frame | 7 – 12 hours
    Hiking distance | 17 miles
    Difficulty | strenuous

    Day four is easily the most epic day on the itinerary! Today will hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon via the South Kaibab Trail, across the Colorado River and back up the Bright Angel Trail. This South Rim-to-Rim hike is a challenging but incredibly rewarding 17 mile trek with nearly a mile of elevation gain that will give you a more holistic Grand Canyon experience.

    If this hike sounds too intense, you can opt to hike a few miles into the canyon and back up, without venturing all the way to the bottom. In this case, we definitely recommend the South Kaibab Trail. The views from this trail are stunning, even if you only go a couple miles down. You can also hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon as a two-day backpacking trip, adding one day to the itinerary.

    For more detailed information on hiking the South Kaibab to Bright Angel Trail, we’ve put together a complete trail guide:

    Day Five | Page

    Start the morning with a 3 hour drive from the Grand Canyon to Page, Arizona, and then spend the rest of the day in Page exploring Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

    Antelope Canyon

    Time frame | 90 minutes
    Cost | $89 per person

    Schedule an Antelope Canyon tour for noon, and plan to drive straight to the tour agency. There are two Antelope Canyons: Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. While they are both worth seeing, if you are pressed for time or on a budget (tickets are pricey – $89 per person), seeing just one of the canyons will suffice.

    • Book your Antelope Canyon tour here.

    Horseshoe Bend

    Time frame | 1 hour
    Cost | $10 per car

    After your Antelope Canyon tour, take a short 3/4 mile walk to Horseshoe Bend, an epic horseshoe-shaped canyon carved by the Colorado River. The entrance fee is $10 per car. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic with a view!

    Lake Powell

    Time frame | 1 – 3 hours
    Cost | $35 per car

    In the afternoon, spend some time at Lake Powell, one of the largest man-made lakes in the North America with a total shoreline of 1960 miles, accessible through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The red and purple mountains reflecting onto the crystal-clear lake was beautiful and definitely worth a visit. There is a beach-area inside the park, and we recommend spending your afternoon relaxing there beside the lake.

    For more details on how to spend your day in Page, we’ve put together a complete one-day itinerary featuring all the best sights:

    Day Six | Zion National Park

    On day six, continue your road trip from Arizona to Utah and spend the day exploring Zion National Park.

    Hike Angel’s Landing

    Hiking distance | 4.4 miles
    Elevation gain | 1600 feet
    Total time | 2 – 3 hours
    Difficulty | hard

    With just one day in Zion National Park, we’d recommend tackling the famous hike to Angel’s Landing! Gaining 1600 feet of elevation in just over 4 miles, hiking to Angel’s Landing is no walk in the park. The final climb up Angel’s Landing is steep, very narrow, and can be tough if you are afraid of heights.

    Starting in 2022, you will need a permit to hike Angel’s Landing in order to limit crowd sizes. For more information on how to get a permit, check out the Zion NPS website well in advance of your trip to make sure that you don’t miss the window for the lotteries.

    Tip: Angel’s Landing is a popular hike, and gets more crowded as the day goes on. If you want to beat the crowds, you’ll have to get an early start. You could either get up very early in the morning or leave Page the night before and stay closer to Zion.

    Continue on the West Rim Trail

    Nearly everybody who visits Zion hikes to Angel’s Landing, but significantly fewer continue on to experience one of our absolute favorite sections of the park: the West Rim! And while Angel’s Landing is popular for good reason, if you end your hike here you are missing out. After reaching Angel’s Landing, you can continue along the West Rim Trail and the crowds will almost immediately disappear.

    Day Seven | Bryce Canyon

    Head to Bryce Canyon National Park in the morning on day seven, located 2 hours northeast of Zion. Hiking through Bryce Canyon feels like you have stepped out of the real world and into a fairytale land covered in life-size drip castles. It’s unlike any place we’ve ever seen and one of our all-time favorite national parks!

    Figure 8 Loop Hike

    Time frame | 3 – 5 hours
    Hiking distance | 6.3 miles
    Difficulty | hard

    Bryce Canyon is relatively small, so you will be able to see a decent portion of it with just a few miles of hiking. To make the most of your time in Bryce Canyon, we recommend the Figure 8 Loop, a 6.3 mile hike which combines three smaller trails: Queen’s Garden Loop, Peekaboo Loop, and the Navajo Loop Trail.

    If you are looking for a shorter hike, you can do any of these three hikes on their own. If you have to pick just one, we’d recommend hiking the Navajo Loop Trail, featuring Bryce Canyon’s famous Wall Street.

    To read more about the hike, we’ve put together a complete guide to hiking the Figure 8 Loop:

    Evening in Las Vegas

    Once you finish hiking, hop in the car and drive to Las Vegas. Today will be the longest driving day – it’s 4 hours from Bryce Canyon to Las Vegas. Alternatively, if you have no interest in a night in Vegas, stay in Bryce Canyon for the night and spend the afternoon exploring more of Bryce Canyon.

    By the time you arrive in Las Vegas, you should have just enough time to reward yourself with a delicious meal. We went to Mott 32, an upscale Chinese restaurant at the Venetian. This was definitely a splurge for us, but after a week of hiking we were excited for a night out. If you order wisely, you can eat here without breaking the bank. Mott 32 is the kind of place where you can order a $400 Braised Abalone, or stick to a simple (but worlds better than any takeout Chinese you’ve every had) $25 Orange Chicken.

    Day Eight

    On day eight, your epic Arizona and Utah road trip comes to an end. Catch a flight back home from Las Vegas or continue to your next destination.

    Planning Your Arizona to Utah Road Trip

    In the following section, we’ll help you plan out all the details of your Arizona to Utah road trip, including the best time to visit, a few tips to make the most of your trip, and possible modifications to the itinerary.

    When is the best time to road trip from Arizona to Utah?

    This road trip through Arizona and Southern Utah is best suited to be done between March and October. During the winter, some of the roads between the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Page close down due to snow.

    If you want to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you should definitely plan your trip for spring or fall. This hike is not safe to attempt as a day trip during the summer, as extreme temperatures can cause heat exhaustion and dehydration. If you must travel during the summer, plan to do the hike as a two-day backpacking trip.

    We went in March and it was the perfect weather for hiking in the Grand Canyon and Sedona. In Bryce Canyon, there was still snow on the ground, making the trails a bit more difficult to navigate, so I wouldn’t recommend going much earlier than March.

    Be aware that weather near the Grand Canyon can be unpredictable in March-April and September-October, and snow is possible! However if you want cool weather for hiking and fewer crowds, it may be worth taking a risk on the shoulder season.

    How to get around in Arizona and Utah

    This itinerary is designed as a road trip. You will need to rent a car or drive your own to get between the cities and parks in Arizona and Utah. We rented a small SUV for $60 per day, but you certainly don’t need 4WD for this itinerary – a sedan will do just fine.

    Where to stay

    We stayed in Airbnbs everywhere except for the Grand Canyon because we found that they were typically cheaper than hotels (especially in Las Vegas). For the Grand Canyon, you will want to stay inside the national park, as Airbnbs are not available.

    If you plan to camp along the road trip, be prepared to book your campsites well in advance, especially at Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon, as these spots are in high demand.

    P.S. Check out our complete list of camping essentials for road trips to help you pack:

    Tips for a great road trip

    • Book tickets for Antelope Canyon early. The Antelope Canyons are very popular and time slots fill up early, especially in the summer.
    • If you want to camp in the Grand Canyon, you will need to make reservations and get a permit well in advance.
    • Don’t forget your hiking boots. This trip involves a lot of hiking, and some of these hikes are not suitable to do in tennis shoes, especially in Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon.
    • Check the weather. If visiting in spring or fall, be prepared for snow and colder than expected temperatures. You should be prepared with crampons and cold weather gear.
    • Stop at the grocery store when you arrive in Phoenix to stock up on snacks and lunches for hiking. It’ll save you time and money!

    Modifications to the Itinerary

    Below are a few ways you could customize your itinerary if you have more or less time to spend:

    Other useful resources

    Below we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you plan an epic Utah to Arizona road trip!

    For all things Arizona: Arizona Travel Guide

    Questions about planning your Utah to Arizona road trip itinerary? Comment below and we’re happy to help however we can!

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