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 Tori Peglar ,

Bell Rock outside of Sedona, Arizona

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This spectacular adventure starts by flying into Phoenix's international airport. Get your city fix by exploring the incredible museums, shops and sporting events in Phoenix and Glendale, Ariz.

Farther north lie towns like Jerome and Cottonwood where neat rows of deep green grapevines race up and down dry, rolling hills. Discover Arizona wines at one of the inviting tasting rooms there. In the distance, you’ll see the red rocks of Sedona, some of which are believed to have special energy fields. Hike to one of these vortexes in Sedona en route to the breathtaking Grand Canyon.

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, explore this vibrant university town where Pluto was discovered and great food awaits.

Make your way to Williams and experience Route 66 the way families did 60 years ago. Stroll on streets lined with shops, museums, and restaurants that pay homage to mid-century travel on the Mother Road. As you drive from Williams to the Grand Canyon, the soil turns to red, hinting at what's to come. With so much to see on this road trip, discover our top picks in the next several pages.


Start: Phoenix, Arizona

Desert sunset through cactus tree over Phoenix, Arizona

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Rising Phoenix 
Get to know the cosmopolitan side of Arizona in Phoenix where there is an activity for every interest. Here are the top seven things to do

Unexpected in Glendale

Colorful peacocks roam the Sahuaro Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.

Courtesy Visit Glendale

Glendale's Sporty Places and Shopper's Paradise
If Glendale was a person, she would be a fun-loving woman who effortlessly throws the most elaborate of parties but can get downright sporty hosting a Super Bowl.

Get Centered in Sedona

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
Winemakers in Verde Valley between Sedona, Cottonwood and Jerome, pour their passion into their work. Read about Glomski’s and Predmore’s path to winemaking.

Sedona's Seven Secrets
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. Read about four gems plus three places to refuel.

Red Rock State Park
This is a 286-acre nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the rich banks of Oak Creek.

Phenomenal Flagstaff

Overlooking downtown Flagstaff from the balcony of the Weatherford Hotel

Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau

6 Stops in Flagstaff
Two hours from six national monuments and Grand Canyon National Park, Flagstaff is a thriving university town with a charming historic downtown. Here are six things to do.

One Giant Leap
Fifty years ago, Americans landed on the moon. Few know the important role the Grand Canyon area played in helping them achieve this seemingly impossible goal. Read more

Bears, Brew and Trains in Williams

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

Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Williams is a southern gateway to the Grand Canyon and a historic stop on Route 66. A wildlife park, scenic train ride, a thrilling zipline adventure above Route 66, and a peaceful mountain retreat are waiting for you.

Bearizona Drive-thru Wildlife Park
See bears, wolves, buffalo and more in this drive through park among the pine forests of north Arizona. 60 miles from Grand Canyon's south rim in Williams.

Grand Canyon Brewing Co.
Savor a Sunset Amber Ale at the new Grand Canyon Brewing Co. location. There’s a tasting room and restaurant with burgers, brats and pizza. Take a tour of the brewery. 

Grand Canyon National Park

Sunset at Desert View Point in Grand Canyon National Park

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First See the Secret Grand Canyon
Located just 7 miles south of Grand Canyon Village, Tusayan's 4 best-kept secrets are the IMAX's "Hidden Secrets," finding a parking space, a pool and park passes.

Top Things to Do in 48 Hours on the South Rim 
Open 365 days a year, the South Rim offers plenty of activities, restaurants and, of course, gorgeous views. Read more.

Leave Your Car When You Stay at Yavapai Lodge
Sleep in a forest of ponderosa pine trees near Grand Canyon's South
Rim. The Yavapai Lodge's restaurant, tavern and nearby market and shuttle stop make navigating the rim easy.

GyPSy Guide South Rim Driving Tour App
Feel like you're touring with a local in your car. The Gypsy Guide app uses your phone or tablet’s location to play commentary about attractions as you drive. Learn more at