You could drive from Phoenix directly to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in three hours and 40 minutes. But you’d miss some of Arizona’s most fascinating communities and the adventures they offer.
Farther north lie towns like Jerome, once a thriving copper mining town that’s become a haven for artists, musicians, writers and history buffs. Cottonwood is home to neat rows of deep green grapevines racing 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.
Then stop in Flagstaff, a vibrant university town where Pluto was discovered and great food awaits. As you drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon, the soil turns 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
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.
Gilbert's Foodie Paradise
Gilbert, Ariz. has remained true to its agricultural roots, serving up some of the country’s most inventive farm-to-table cuisine. A 400-acre farm is now the Agritopia neighborhood.
Centered in Sedona
Sedona's Secret Seven
A 2-hour drive from the Grand Canyon's South Rim, discover Sedona's seven off-the-beaten-path trails and 80 magnificent art galleries.
Wine Tasting Near Sedona
The Verde Valley is home to a handful of winemakers. Here are three ways to experience this wine-producing area near Sedona: Alcantara Vineyards, Classic Water-to-Wine Tour and Page Springs Cellars.
Beauty Without Crowds at Arizona State Parks
Wear your jeans to slide down a slick natural water chute or put on your bathing suit to wade in a sparkling creek at Slide Rock State Park seven miles north of Sedona. Plus 8 more state parks near the Grand Canyon.
6 Stops in Flagstaff
Located 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.
Play in the Trees at Flagstaff Extreme
Fly through the trees at Arizona’s only tree-top self-guided obstacle course with five adult courses and one kids course ranging from easy to challenging.
Starry Nights at Lowell Observatory
Visit a legendary landmark where Pluto was discovered and scientists continue to unravel the mysteries of the universe.
Bears, Brew and Trains in Williams
Williams is a southern gateway to the Grand Canyon and a historic stop on Route 66. A wildlife park, scenic train ride and a thrilling zipline adventure await.
Bearizona Drive-thru Wildlife Park
See bears, wolves, buffalo and more in this drive through park among the pine forests of north Arizona.
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.
Take the Train to the Grand Canyon
Park your car in Williams and take a scenic ride on the Grand Canyon Railway into the heart of Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon National Park
Stop at Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Hidden secrets await in Tusayan.
Bring the Gypsy Guide App
Enjoy the freedom of driving your own car while traveling with an entertaining guide that doesn't take up space. Learn more at gypsyguide.com/tour/grand-canyon-south-rim/
48 Hours in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
Get ready for adventure. Here are some of our favorite things to do while at the South Rim from biking in solitude to exploring some of the rim’s most historic treasures.
Fly Above the Grand Canyon with Maverick Helicopters
Take a helicopter tour of some of Grand Canyon South Rim's most popular sights. View Marble Canyon and Point Imperial as you fly through the canyon and climb above the North Rim. Learn more at www.maverickhelicopter.com
A Grander Stay at Yavapai Lodge
Sleep well and sustainably about a mile from the rim. The Yavapai Lodge's restaurant, tavern and nearby market and shuttle stop make navigating the rim easy.
Into the Deep
Read a family's story about hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and discovering there's more than meets the eye.