The Grand Canyon State may be the setting of the most famous natural attraction but it’s so much more than its nickname suggests. During this 12-night self-drive, Arizona’s cowboy culture, indigenous history, in-vogue cities, Route 66 kitsch and Nat Geo-worthy views will get under your skin.
Suggested route & duration
12 nights from Phoenix
• Scottsdale: 1 night
• Lake Havasu: 1 night
• Grand Canyon Village: 1 night
• Page/Lake Powell: 1 night
• Monument Valley: 1 night
• Flagstaff: 1 night
• Sedona: 2 nights
• Tucson: 2 nights
• Scottsdale: 2 nights
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this self-drive
• See a trio of Arizona’s natural attractions: the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Saguaro National Park
• Experience the contrasting cities of forest-surrounded Flagstaff and Tucson, a desert town in southern Arizona
• Hike across red-rock trails in mystical Sedona in search of the city’s fabled vortexes (or just enjoy the views)
• Finish your trip on a relaxing note in sedate Scottsdale
• This itinerary can also be done in a motorhome.
Suggested self-drive details
Day 1: Scottsdale After flying into Phoenix, begin your Arizona adventure with a night in Scottsdale. Stay at Courtyard Scottsdale Old Town.
Day 2: Lake Havasu If you’ve ever wondered where the original London Bridge ended up, you’ll get your answer in this lakeside city. Stay at Hampton Inn Lake Havasu.
Day 3: Grand Canyon The awe-inspiring and humbling Grand Canyon, a natural icon of Arizona, is the next stop. Stay at Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn.
Day 4: Lake Powel Discover how humans have changed the landscapes of northern Arizona during your stay on the shore of Lake Powell. Head to Horsehoe Bend or Antelope Canyon for incredible natural experiences. Stay at Lake Powell Resort.
Day 5: Monument Valley Continue on to the highlight of any trip to Arizona, the beautiful Monument Valley. Stay at Gouldings Trading Lodge.
Day 6: Flagstaff Travel to Flagstaff, a unique Arizona city surrounded by dense pine forests and mountains rather than cacti-scattered desert. Stop in the Route 66 town of Williams on your way. Stay at Little America Hotel.
Day 7: Sedona Drive onwards to spiritual Sedona, a red-rock city with an artistic vibe and reputed healing vortexes. Browse the galleries and hike the many canyon trails. Stay 2 nights at Poco Diablo Resort.
Day 9: Tucson Follow Interstate 10 south to Tucson, a sun-drenched city in the middle of a saguaro-scattered desert. Stay 2 nights at Hilton Tuscon El Conquistador.
Day 11: Scottsdale Wind down after your Arizona road trip with a couple of days in Scottsdale. If you have a bit more time, we suggest extending your stay here. You'll then have time to browse the Old Town's shops, dine at more restaurants and soak up the sun. Stay 2 nights at Courtyard Scottsdale Old Town.
Soar above the Grand Canyon and see Arizona’s most iconic natural landscape from above on an optional helicopter excursion
Get up close to Monument Valley’s breathtaking rock formations on a Navajo-guided tour
Red rocks of Sedona
Scenically beautiful and artsy Sedona is one of our favourite stops on this road trip
End your trip in style with an upgrade to The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort
Extend in Scottsdale
As well as upgrading your Scottsdale stay, we recommend extending it too; you can enjoy the great climate, shopping and food
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this self-drive based on our own experiences and customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
While most of the hotels featured are well-placed chain hotels, there are a couple of independently run places such as the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff. To be closer to the action in the Grand Canyon, upgrade to El Tovar; this hotel couldn’t better placed – it sits right on the canyon rim.
By just focusing on Arizona, this trip gives you plenty of time to explore in more depth. Watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon, seek out Sedona’s supposed energy-rich vortexes, go on a craft brewery crawl in Flagstaff and get that classic cacti-at-sunset shot in Saguaro National Park.
Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to spend in Arizona. If you want to hike the famous hiking canyon trails, stay another night by the Grand Canyon. To slow the pace, add an extra night in artsy Sedona, or spend more time enjoying Scottsdale’s dining scene at the end of your holiday.
The bright-lights of Las Vegas are just a few hours’ drive from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon so it’s easy to add a stop here. You could even make Vegas the start and end point of your holiday. For a different Grand Canyon perspective visit the North Rim, an easy out-and-back trip from Lake Powell.
Good to know
When to go
• It’s best to avoid travelling in the summer as the temperatures soar in Scottsdale, Tucson and even in the Grand Canyon; monsoon rains can impact travel in northern Arizona during July and August
• It’s cooler in spring and autumn: both seasons are ideal travelling periods
• You can travel in the winter but it might snow in northern Arizona