What’s the best route from San Diego to the Grand Canyon?

I’m planning to see the Grand Canyon (finally!) this summer. What’s the best route to take from San Diego?

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Answer provided by
Matt Nightingale
Answered on May 10, 2022
The best route from San Diego to the Grand Canyon is to follow I-8 along the California–Mexico border then head north on the US-95. Once you enter Arizona, you’ll wind your way northeast toward the I-40. Take the I-40 until just past Williams, AZ, then get on to State Hwy 64 north to the Grand Canyon.
If you’re looking for a more interesting route, try Route 66
  • Head north on the I-15
  • Meet up with the Mother Road in San Bernardino via the I-215
  • From there, follow the historic highway to Williams, AZ
  • Then, follow 64 to the Grand Canyon.
There’s a lot to see and do on this route. Some notable stops include:
  • The Mother Road Museum (Barstow, CA)
  • Calico Ghost Town
  • Kelso Dunes
  • Roy’s Motel and Cafe (Amboy, CA)
  • Bottle Tree Ranch
  • The Original McDonald’s Museum (San Bernardino)
  • Oatman, AZ
  • Williams, AZ
If you’re up for a detour or two, you can also hit Joshua Tree National Park and Pioneertown, a small western-themed town originally built as a movie set in the 1940s.
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