Phoenix to Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon Road Trip

Take the red-rock and wine-country route to the Grand Canyon on this awe-inspiring 248-mile road trip from Phoenix's international airport to the South Rim.
By Staff ,

Bell Rock outside of Sedona, Arizona

Deposit Photos

Trip Overview

From big-city shopping and museums, this incredible adventure starts by flying into Phoenix's international airport. Surround yourself with cultural experiences and sports fans, then travel north to Verde Valley where neat rows of deep green grapevines race up and down dry, rolling hills. Discover Arizona wines at one of the inviting tasting rooms lining the historic streets in Jerome, Cottonwood, Cornville and Clarkdale.

A bit farther to the north are the energy-filled red rocks of Sedona, ranked among America's most romantic cities. Peruse Sedona's many art galleries, boutiques and trendy restaurants but don't forget its biggest attractions, hiking Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and other formations in search of vortexes.

With your sights on Flagstaff, you'll leave Sedona behind, cruising Route 89A through Oak Creek Canyon, recognized as one of the top five most scenic drives in America by Rand McNally. When you reach your destination, you'll find a a vibrant university town where Pluto was discovered and great food awaits.

Continue on the trip by driving due west along historic Route 66 to Williams. Stroll on streets lined with shops, museums, and restaurants that pay homage to mid-century travel on the Mother Road. The Grand Canyon Railroad departs from Williams. Base your vacation in town and ride the rails to the park, or drive on your own one hour north to the most popular park entrance and Grand Canyon Village.

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Road Trip Itinerary

Start: Phoenix, Arizona

Desert sunset through cactus tree over Phoenix, Arizona

Deposit Photos

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Glendale, Arizona

Colorful peacocks roam the Sahuaro Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.

Courtesy Visit Glendale

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Sedona, Ariz.

Biking on a trail through Sedona's red rock formations.

Photo by Lear Miller courtesy of Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

A Toast to Verde Valley, Arizona's Wine Country
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Centered in Sedona
Sedona is just a 2-hour drive from the Grand Canyon's South Rim. Hike or bike 100 red rock trails, visit a spiritual vortex in the mountains, or browse one of 40 art galleries.
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Flagstaff, Arizona

Overlooking downtown Flagstaff from the balcony of the Weatherford Hotel

Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau

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Williams, Arizona

The Grand Canyon Railway snakes itself through a forest south of the canyon.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Route 66 Gateway to the Canyon
Ride the train to the Grand Canyon on the Grand Canyon Railway, get up close to animals at Bearizona, a drive-through wildlife park, savor locally-made beer at the Grand Canyon Brewery, and experience a thrilling zipline adventure in Williams.
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Grand Canyon National Park

Sunset at Desert View Point in Grand Canyon National Park

Deposit Photos

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Open 365 days a year, the South Rim offers plenty of activities, restaurants and, of course, gorgeous views.
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