It takes about three and a half hours to get from Phoenix, Arizona to Grand Canyon National Park. You'll find some fascinating stops along the way that will break up the drive and long stretches of open landscape. Done right, you can use this route for an intriguing tour of some one-of-a-kind spots in Arizona the entire family will be able to enjoy.
Drive Time from Phoenix to Grand Canyon: approximately 3.5 hours
Distance from Phoenix to Grand Canyon: approximately 250 miles
Start off your trip by heading out of Phoenix and driving for just over an hour to your first stop, Arcosanti. If you have some extra time before getting on the road, check out the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, a unique attraction located less than a 15 minute drive from the airport.
This unusual town is just over an hour north of Phoenix. You'll cover 67 miles via I-17 N on your way. Arcosanti is a fascinating experimental town that focuses on supporting the distinctive architectural philosophy of designer and founder Paolo Soleri. The town is built around an "arcology" concept that merges architecture and ecology. Students from around the world come here to study the concept.
You can take a guided tour of the community or dine in the Arcosanti Cafe, which serves three buffet meals each day. Arcosanti even offers a few affordable rooms for those who want to stay in the community overnight. Visiting hours for Arcosanti are between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
Sedona is another hour north via I-17 N and AZ-179 N. This route takes you across 53 miles, most of which passes through national forests. Sedona is a stunningly beautiful stop, with colorful stone formations and rich forests surrounding the town. Sedona is considered a sacred site by Native Americans and offers many attractions that are focused on spiritual practices and various healing techniques.
If you have time for a rejuvenating break from the road, this is the place to go for reiki healing, a massage, or spiritual readings. If you want to stretch your legs and learn a little more about the area, visit the Sedona Heritage Museum, which is home to everything from movie memorabilia to vintage machinery.
The last leg of this trip is the longest, spanning 109 miles in just under two hours via I-40 W and AZ-64 N. You'll pass Flagstaff and drive through the Kaibab National Forest before entering the Grand Canyon National Park via the South entrance. This route also takes you through the Grand Canyon Village Historic District at the South Rim.
Visiting the Grand Canyon is a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. You'll find your final destination well worth the drive, no matter where you're coming from. This massive canyon ranges from a depth of 2,400 feet below Yavapai Point on the South Rim to a stunning 7,800 feet at the North Rim. Its path covers 277 miles, offering ample opportunities for the intrepid traveler to head down and explore.
Take some time to plan your journey before arriving so you're prepared not only for the drive, but for your time in the canyon as well. You'll find a wide variety of experiences waiting for you, with something for every visitor.