Road Trips

Arizona Utah Road Trip Itinerary – 10 Epic Days in the Southwest

Mar 22, 2022

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I'm an Instagram influencer coach and lifestyle content creator based in Arizona. I help others live out extraordinary lives through my influencer career advice, travel guides, and life hacks.

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Imagine a world with endless sunrises and sunsets that are so beautiful they leave you feeling enchanted and unworthy of their presence all at the same time (kidding). The only world capable of this magical kind of spell is the USA Southwest. And if you’ve never been to this part of the States before, there’s no better introduction to some Southwest magic than a proper Arizona Utah road trip. 

As an Arizona resident, I’ve done a Phoenix to Utah road trip or two or ten, and I am so excited to present you with the ultimate AZ, UT itinerary!

Who knows, maybe you’ll love it so much that you’ll find yourself moving here ;). 

This trip is special because it it comprised of a Utah National Parks road trip and a Phoenix to Sedona to Grand Canyon National Park tripβ€”both of which I have blogs on!

Let’s not waste any more time! Before getting into the Utah Arizona road trip itinerary, I want to take a minute to discuss a few planning “must-knows.”

Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links.

Planning Your Road Trip Itinerary

When planning to road trip Utah and Arizona, you’ll want to keep the below details in mind.

  • 🌡When to Go: Winter to early summer is a great time to road trip Utah and Arizona. Winter may require some extra prep, but it’s a gorgeous time to visit!
  • ⏰Trip Length: 10 days
  • ✈️Fly: For the best tickets, check KAYAK. Fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor (a popular choice).
  • πŸš—Rental Car: KAYAK can also help you find cheap rental cars! You will not need a 4Γ—4 for this trip.
  • 🚐Rental Campervan: Want a campervan instead? You can rent one using Outdoorsy.
  • 🏨Stay: We’ll cover where to stay too.
  • 🎟Park Fees: You will be visiting national parks on this trip. The standard entrance fee is about $35 per park. To save, snag the America The Beautiful Pass ($79.99).

It’s worth noting that while you might be able to do this trip in less than 10 days, you’ll end up rushing through it!

A 10 day itinerary will give you enough time to actually enjoy all the attractions we discuss.

Arizona Utah Road Trip Map

Here’s what your route will look like!

Click here to view a live version of the map!

Arizona Utah Road Trip Map

Utah Arizona Road Trip Itinerary 

  • Day 1 – Sedona
  • Day 2 – Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods
  • Day 3 – Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park
  • Day 4 – Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park
  • Day 5 – Capitol Reef National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Day 6 – Zion National Park and Page, AZ
  • Day 7 – Grand Canyon National Park
  • Day 8 – Flagstaff and Scottsdale, AZ
  • Day 9 – Scottsdale, AZ
  • Day 10 – Depart

Now we can get into the fun stuff! When you set off to road trip Utah and Arizona, you’ll have COUNTLESS things to see and do.

We will narrow your scope a bit and focus most of your attention on Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. 

You will be hitting the best National Parks in Utah and Arizona, so no need to fret about that!

In this itinerary, which we’ll dive into below, we’re making sure you see enough to satiate your appetite for the Southwest!

Each day is split into morning, afternoon, and evening itineraries, complete with specifics on places to see in Arizona and Utah. 

Day 1 β€” Start Your Arizona Utah Road Trip in Sedona, AZ

Morning & Afternoon

Once you’ve landed in Phoenix and picked up your rental car, start making your 2 hour drive up to Sedona.

This is where you will spend the night and your first day in AZ before continuing up your road trip from Arizona to Utah!

When you get there, you can head off on a Sedona hike. There are some fantastic trails in Sedona.

Below is a quick list of my favorites:

  • Cathedral Rock Vortex β€“ A must-do Sedona sunset hike. It’s a short 1.4miles round trip and is perfect for any Sedona first-timer!
  • Birthing Cave – One of the best caves in Sedona and relatively easy to get to. The hike is 1.5 miles round trip. 
  • Sugarloaf Summit – 1.6 mile round trip hike to the top of a beautiful mountain that’s perfect for sunrise!

If you want to do something a bit different, you can book a tour!

Below are some popular choices for your day in Sedona:

  • Pink Jeep Tour – Go off-roading in Sedona in, you guessed it, a pink jeep!
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride – Book a sunrise hot air balloon ride to see Sedona in all its golden light glory!
  • Sedona Helicopter Tour – Perfect for adventure lovers and thrill-seekers who want to see Sedona from a different perspective. 

Evening

You can certainly end your day with a Sedona sunset hike, but I say opt to watch the sunset at Airport Mesa vortex for ease.

This beautiful 360 vortex is extremely easy to get to. 

You’ll park in the designated lot and take a .1 mile (if that) path to a plateau where you’ll be greeted with a 360 view of Sedona. Pick a spot to watch the sunset and enjoy! 

Day 2 β€” Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, Moab, UT

Morning

From Sedona, make the 3 and a half-hour drive to Monument Valley. If you’re feeling super adventurous, you can get here for sunrise, which is one of the prettiest times to be there!

Monument Valley is where you can see the famous “Forrest Gump Road.”

You can also see the large mitten-like formations towering over the Arizona Utah border.

Because Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park, you must comply with park rules and regulations. I recommend visiting NavajoNationParks.org to read into the hours and the current vehicle restrictions for the famous 17-mile loop road through the Valley!

Next up is Valley of the Gods!

Valley of the Gods is a scenic sandstone formation area located in Mexican Hat, Utah.

The drive here from Monument Valley is about an hour. 

You’ll enter a dirt road that takes you through the Valley when you arrive. It’s a gorgeous place to explore and admire Utah’s famous views!

Afternoon & Evening

The drive to Moab, Utah will be about 3 hours. Moab is home to some Utah National Parks like Arches and Canyonlands. Once you arrive here, you’ll stay in Moab for 2 days before setting off again!

Spend your first evening getting something to eat and settling in.

Days 3 & 4 β€” Moab & The National Parks

Arches National Park

Arches will be your first National Park on your Arizona Utah road trip!

A visit to Arches will be a great intro to all the UT Park goodness to come.

Here are some things to do in the park:

  • Hike to Delicate Arch
  • Visit the Windows Section
  • Get a permit for Fiery Furnace
  • Visit Sand Dune Arch

You can spend an entire day exploring these attractions and the surrounding Moab area.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands is equally impressive and a Utah National Park you won’t want to skip on your Utah Arizona road trip itinerary! Here are some things to do in Canyonlands:

  • Visit Mesa Arch
  • Catch sunset at Grand View Point Overlook
  • Admire Green River Overlook

What Else to do in Moab

Moab is an adventure hub full of things to do. Aside from the parks, I recommend checking out Dead Horse Point State Park for an epic sunset or sunrise!

But here are some great tours and excursions you can embark on, too:

You might find my complete Moab Utah travel guide helpful for this portion of your trip!

Day 5 β€” Long Driving Day on Your Utah and Arizona Road Trip

Morning & Afternoon

At around the 2 hours and 30-minute mark is when you’ll get to Capitol Reef National Park! When you arrive, I recommend stopping at the Gifford House and getting a fresh-baked item.

They have bread, pies, jelliesβ€”it’s pretty spectacular. Then if you’re up for it, you can drive the park’s Scenic Byway and take in some of the surrounding views. 

I would like to note that I’ve written a blog about visiting Utah’s Mighty 5 via a Utah National Parks road trip. I recommend giving that a read if you want to spend more time here or in another one of the parks we’ve already discussed! 

Afternoon & Evening

The drive to Bryce is about 2 hours from Capitol Reef National Park. Once you arrive in the Bryce Canyon National Park area, you’ll see towering orange hoodoo formations that let you know you’re in the right place! 

You’ll most likely arrive in Bryce National Park during the late afternoon or just in time for sunset. If so, head to Sunset Point before going to sleep!

If you have time, you can also hike the Navajo Loop! It’s a 3-mile trail that brings you into Bryce Canyon NP to get up close and personal with some of it’s famous rock formations.

Expect it to take about 2 hours to complete.

If you don’t have time, you can save this trail for the morning or hike part of it!

Day 6 β€” Page, Arizona

  • Total Drive Time: 2 Hours and 30 Minutes OR 4 Hours (with Zion)
  • Time Exploring: 1 Day
  • Stay: Best Western in Page
  • Eat: BirdHouse, Big John’s Texas BBQ, El Tapatio, Fiesta Mexicana
  • Fees: National Park entry ($35) or America The Beautiful Pass

Morning

Along your route to Page, AZ, you’ll pass Zion National Park. You can certainly stop here, but note that doing so will make your drive to Page 4 hours. 

You may want to extend your trip a day. In that case, you’ll want to read my 2 day Zion National Park itinerary blog. Let’s move on to the next part of this road trip guide!

Pro Tip: On your way down from Bryce, you can stop in Kanab, UT, and try to get permits to explore The Wave. 

Afternoon & Evening

Page is full of texture and wide-open landscapes that you can’t miss on your Arizona Utah road trip itinerary. Some of the best activities in Page, AZ can be accessed by booking a tour.

So here are some tours in Page, AZ that are worth your time! 

  • Book a Lower Antelope Canyon Tour – Explore the rainbow-colored canyon walls of Lower Antelope Canyon or Upper Antelope Canyon. 
  • Horseshoe Bend Overlook – Best at sunrise or sunset. Entry is $10. You can also book a helicopter flight over Horseshoe Bend for a different perspective!
  • Jeep Tour – Explore more canyons and hidden gems in Page with a Jeep tour.
  • Lake Powell – While you’re up this way, you can explore the Lake Powell surrounding area or Rainbow Bridge National Monument. 

Day 7 β€” Grand Canyon National Park (An Arizona Utah Road Trip Favorite)

Time to hit another gem on your Arizona Utah road trip itinerary. The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park will be worth the stop.

The drive from Page is about 2 hours and 30 minutes. This will be your last major stop before heading back down to Phoenix. 

Once you arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park, surely you’ll want to explore a bit! Here are some things to do when you get there:

If you want more details on how to best plan your day in the Grand Canyon, I suggest reading my Phoenix to Sedona to Grand Canyon trip blog!

Day 8 β€” Flagstaff, AZ to Phoenix, AZ

Morning & Afternoon

You’ll have about a 4 hour drive to PHX from the Grand Canyon, BUT as with all of the other long drive days, you’ll break it up! At about the halfway point in your drive, you’ll reach Flagstaff.

Stop here for a coffee at Macy’s European Cafe! 

If you’re up for a bit of detour, you can drive up the Snowbowl area to get a nice view of Flagstaff’s tallest mountain, Humphreys Peak, and the San Francisco Peaks! If you’re interested, you can read my write up on things to do in Flagstaff.

Evening

Once you arrive back in the Phoenix area, you’ll probably be tired from all of your driving and might want to crash in your hotel. BUT, if you’re up for exploring a bit more, stay in the Scottsdale area and explore some of the local outdoor spaces, hotels, and restaurants!

I have a blog on spending a weekend in Scottsdale that’ll give you some ideas on how to plan your day here! Scottsdale is about 15 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, so staying here then flying out the next day won’t be a difficult journey!

P.S.: I also recommend that you check out my guide on the best Old Town Scottsdale happy hours for when you arrive in the city!

READ NEXT: Best Boutique Hotels in Scottsdale, AZ

Day 9 β€” Phoenix & Scottsdale

This is an optional day, but you can explore a bit before leaving while you’re back in the Phoenix area!

If you stay in here, there are some great day trips from Scottsdale that may be worth your time, like visiting Lake Pleasant, The Superstition Mountains, Downtown Phoenix, and more! These are all a 30 to 40 minute drive from the city.

Day 10 β€” Wrapping Up Your Utah Arizona Road Trip Itinerary

Should you choose to spend a relaxing last day in Phoenix, you would then depart on day 10, concluding your Arizona Utah itinerary!

And that’s all folks! While you might not have gotten to see EVERYTHING in these Southwest states, hopefully this itinerary was enough to give you a little intro into all the amazingness just waiting for you in the desert!

If you enjoyed this blog, you’ll probably want to check out my other Southwest guides like my Phoenix Sedona Grand Canyon itinerary.

And with that, happy exploring :)!

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I'm a burrito loving explorer who got fired from corporate America and turned that into my dream career as a photographer and blogger. Now I'm here to help you explore life's magic. Thanks for stopping by!