A Must-Do Phoenix to Utah Road Trip

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If you’re heading from Phoenix to Utah, traveling through Sedona, Tusayan, and Colorado City to Springdale makes for the perfect outdoorsy road trip. (And we’ve hidden a bonus destination for you at the end if you just can’t get enough of this spectacular vacation!)
Whether you’re hitting the road solo or loading up the car with friends, a road trip between Arizona and Utah has plenty to offer. Make sure you pack your camera because you’re heading through some of the most beautiful spots in the country on this road trip.
Of course, you won’t want to leave before making sure your insurance and roadside assistance plans are in order. Nothing kills the buzz of a road trip faster than a flat tire. Thankfully, Jerry can help you on both counts—with dozens of cheap insurance quotes and a stellar roadside assistance program.
All set? Then enjoy your road trip from Phoenix to Utah!
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Phoenix to Sedona

Driving time: 2 hours
The trip from Phoenix to Sedona isn’t a long one, but the scenery is pretty stunning. As you head north, you’ll admire beautiful rock formations and Native American cliff dwellings. Stop at Montezuma Castle National Monument to see one of the most well-preserved cliff dwellings in the entire continent (it dates back to the 12th century!).

Sleep here

There’s no shortage of hotels in Sedona. If luxury is what you’re after, the L'Auberge de Sedona Resort & Spa will definitely deliver. Complete with gorgeous views, a nature spa, and exceptional cuisine, it’s an incredible place to refresh for a night (or three!) before you jump back in the car for the next leg of your trip.
The Sedona Summit Resort is a more affordable option that provides all the comfort and fun (it has four pools!) at a price tag that’s a little easier to handle.
If you're the outdoorsy type, check out one of these campgrounds and spend the night under the stars:
  • Manzanita Campground
  • Slide Rock State Park
  • Rancho Sedona RV Park

Eat here

Golden Goose American Grill brings you steak and seafood—the ideal combination. If you’re wanting food that’s a little more unique to Sedona, pick up some Mexican/southwestern food at Elote Cafe.

Try this

Sedona, Arizona is the outdoor enthusiast’s mecca, boasting brilliant rock formations all around with endless outdoor activities.
Hike Devil’s Bridge Trail, Broken Arrow Trail, Airport Mesa, or Oak Creek Canyon for beautiful views of the city’s natural scenery. Alternatively, take a scenic drive through Red Rock Scenic Byway (SR 179).
You’ll definitely need to make sure you stop in Red Rock State Park—and you might want to purchase a National Parks Pass since we’ll be taking you to some more state parks on the back end of your trip!
Pro Tip Buying a National Parks Pass can save you money and give you an easy-in for hours upon hours of affordable entertainment.
Red rock formations tower over a Sedona neighborhood.
Sedona, Arizona

Sedona to Tusayan

Driving time: 2 hours
As you drive up to Tusayan, you’ll pass through both mountainous greenery and Arizona desert, giving you the full range of Arizonan beauty.

Sleep here

Hotel snobs will appreciate The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon, just one mile from the South Rim entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. It’s one of the few hotels in the area with an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. The hotel’s blend of rustic and modern design will give you an escape from the outside summer heat without having to sacrifice appreciation for the surrounding beauty.
Red Feather Lodge is a better option for those who don’t want to pay luxury prices for accommodations. The lodge offers everything you need—plus they have both hotel and motel accommodations, so you’ll find something to suit your budget.
And whether you are an ultra-penny-pincher or simply want to be outdoors as much as possible, you can check out these great campgrounds:
  • Mather Campground – Grand Canyon Village
  • Ten-X Campground
  • Desert View Campground
  • Grand Canyon Camper Village

Eat here

El Tovar Lodge Dining Room will bring you upscale southwestern food, letting you celebrate the Arizona area while keeping some serious class.
Big E Steakhouse & Saloon is more moderately priced and will have something for everyone— whether it’s their homemade potato chips or beef kabobs.

Try this

The main treasure of Tusayan? Seeing the Grand Canyon South Rim. The South Rim is known to be the more exciting and scenic rim of the canyon, and you’ll be set to easily find loads of food, lodging, and entertainment options in this hot-spot tourist area.
There are many ways to see the canyon—of course, hiking is probably primary. Consider the South Rim Trail or South Kaibab Trail for some good physical activity.
Better yet, experience the canyon by bike with Bright Angel Bicycle Rentals (you can also bring your own bike) or even by horse with Grand Canyon Apache Stables!
If you’re wanting less physical activity, you can drive to some of the various South Rim Lookout Points for great views of the canyon.
Pro Tip While on your road trip, keep an eye out for national forests. Unlike national parks, national forests are free to visit so they’re a great budget-friendly way to sprinkle in extra destinations to your trip!
The South Rim Trail curves around a hill in the Grand Canyon.
South Rim Trail, Grand Canyon

Tusayan to Springdale

Driving time: 5 hours
Next, you’ll drive around the east side of Kaibab National Forest to Springdale, Utah—aka Zion National Park. The food options here will be a little more sparse, but the endless outdoor activities will be more than enough to overshadow that.

Sleep here

If you’re looking for indoor accommodations, try Desert Pearl Inn or Zion Cliff Lodge. Both will give you nearby access to enter the park. Desert Pearl is more high-end (and has a pool!), whereas Zion Cliff is a bit more budget friendly with a rustic and homey aesthetic.
If you can hack it, we recommend camping in or near the park for at least a night or two. Here are some of the most convenient campground options:
  • Zion Canyon Campground
  • Bryce Canyon Campground
  • South Campground Zion National Park

Eat here

For some more southwestern/Mexican food, stop at Bit & Spur Restaurant & Saloon. The menu offers various pastas, enchiladas, and our favorite: sweet potato tamales.
Every camper needs a caffeine fix, and Deep Creek Coffee Co. can help you out with that. They have snacks, too, so it’s a great late morning stop or afternoon pick-me-up.

Try this

In Springdale, you’re going to want to spend your time in Zion National Park.
Like to hike? Try out Angels Landing, the hike that brings you the highest view of the park. But take note: the view requires traversing a set of 21 steep, zig-zagging switchbacks and a final mile where the path is no wider than 5 feet with cliff drops on either side.
Pro Tip Head out early for Angels Landing! The trail is popular and becomes quickly crowded—and gets pretty darn hot in the summers.
Even non-avid hikers will enjoy The Narrows, Zion’s most famous hike. You’ll get to hike through the narrowest part of the canyon, wading through the Virgin River for as many miles as your heart desires through the gorge with 1,000-foot canyon walls towering on either side of you.
Pro Tip Bring water shoes or sneakers with good traction for The Narrows—you’ll be wading in the river most of the hike. And secure your electronics in water-tight bags in case you slip and fall in the water!
Two sitting people look down at a valley in Zion National Park.
Zion National Park, Utah

Bonus: Bryce Canyon

From Springdale, we recommend taking a day trip up to Bryce Canyon City (the drive is less than 2 hours) to see Bryce Canyon National Park. If you want to check out the park for two (or more) days, you can stay in one of the various campgrounds nearby:
  • Ruby's Inn Campground and RV Park
  • North Campground (Bryce Canyon National Park)
  • Sunset Campground (Bryce Canyon National Park)
And to close off your trip, make sure you do some scenic hiking at Bryce!
  • The Rim Trail in Bryce Canyon is an easy hike that gives you views into the Canyon
  • Peekaboo Loop Trail is moderate at 5.2 miles total (and is even open to horseback riding!)
  • Navajo Loop is a shorter (2.2 miles) but more strenuous hike that gives great views of Bryce Amphitheater, the eastern slope of a plateau
  • Avid hikers may want to hike the 8-mile Fairyland Loop to avoid hiking crowds
Trees seen through a geological arch in Bryce Canyon.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
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Get roadside assistance

If you’re going to be embarking on a multi-state road trip, you’ll definitely want to make sure you have emergency roadside assistance. Jerry’s roadside assistance program ensures that you have all the support you need in any emergency scenario—think flat tires, getting locked out of your car, or needing a jumpstart.
Jerry is here for more than that, too: as a cheap car insurance comparison and broker app, Jerry will help you find the lowest rates for your car insurance—so you can spend your money on your next big vacation.
Jerry does all the work of setting up your new policy for you—that means no calls and no paperwork for you. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the savings. The average Jerry customer saves $879 per year on their car insurance!
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