10 Best Weekend Road Trips from Phoenix
After exploring around Phoenix for a few years, this is my list of the 10 best weekend road trips from Phoenix. Choose your destination for your next weekend getaway from Phoenix from these incredible locations ranging from white sand dunes, to wine regions, to breathtaking national parks. Where will you explore next?
1. White Sands National Park
Distance: About 445 miles, 6.5 hours
Visit the worlds largest gypsum dunefield, with gypsum sand dunes spanning 275 square miles. Start your weekend getaway from Phoenix on Friday night and book an Airbnb or hotel in Las Cruces, a town in New Mexico located 50 minutes from White Sands. On Saturday and Sunday spend time exploring White Sands. Follow the eight mile Dunes Drive and stop at different spots to enjoy the sand dunes. Make sure to spend time at the furthest end of the road where the largest sand dunes are located. You can sled down the sand dunes, so make sure to bring your own plastic disk or purchase one at the monument gift shop. You can also hike on the dunes following one of the marked trails or create your own path. This is the best weekend trip from Phoenix to see something very unique and beautiful. To learn more about the Best Things to Do in White Sands National Park, continue to our article about White Sands.
2. Monument Valley
Distance: About 320 miles, 5 hours
Monument Valley is a great option for a weekend road trip from Phoenix. Here you can find incredible rock formations formed through erosion by wind and water. Drive up to Monument Valley early Saturday morning in order to save money on a hotel Friday night. Book your stay ahead of time at either The View Hotel or Goulding’s Lodge. Spend time driving along the 17 mile loop through Monument Valley, stopping at different points to take photos and enjoying the view. Hike the Wildcat Trail around Left Mitten Butte (rock structure) and stand between the rock formations. Don’t forget to wake up early Sunday morning to see the beautiful sunrise over Monument Valley. Continue to the Weekend in Monument Valley guide to start planning your weekend getaway from Phoenix.
3. Page: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell
Distance: About 275 miles, 4.5 hours
Northern Arizona has some of the most incredible natural wonders, offering an exciting weekend road trip from Phoenix. Drive up Friday night and book a stay at one of the hotels or Airbnbs in Page. On Saturday spend time exploring Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon formed by erosion from water and wind. Next, follow the path to Horseshoe Bend, a horseshoe shaped part of the Colorado River with an incredible view. On Sunday you can rent a kayak and paddle Lake Powell to a slot canyon. Follow the Weekend in Page, Arizona guide for how to visit Page on a weekend from Phoenix.
4. Grand Canyon National Park
Distance: About 225 miles, 3.5 hours
Only 3.5 hours away, the Grand Canyon offers a unique weekend road trip from Phoenix. A 277 mile long canyon, up to 18 mile wide and a mile deep, the Grand Canyon is breathtaking. To truly experience how vast and deep the canyon is, spend time hiking down the canyon on one of the trails. Remember that whatever you hike down you will have to hike back up, so plan accordingly. The best trails at South Rim are South Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Trail. If you are unable to hike down the canyon you can also follow the rim trail. Spend the night in Flagstaff, about 45 minutes away, in order to save money as the accommodations next to the Grand Canyon can be very expensive.
Distance: About 120 miles, 2 hours
One of the most beautiful places that you can easily drive to from Phoenix is Sedona. This town is surrounded by red rocks and has countless hiking trails. Sedona is a perfect weekend trip from Phoenix, where you can either relax at a hotel pool or spend time hiking. Access our guide to the best hikes in Sedona to learn more about the best trails including Soldier Pass Trial, Broken Arrow, Devil’s Bridge, and Bear Mountain. In the center of the town you can find many shops and restaurants where you can enjoy a great meal with even better views. Continue to our Sedona Weekend Itinerary for the best things to do in Sedona in a weekend.
Distance: About 340 miles, 5 hours
Temecula is a wine region in southern California which offers the best wine filled weekend road trip from Phoenix. The best time to go to Temecula is during harvest season which usually falls between end of August and October. There are over 30 wineries in Temecula which gives you plenty of options for wine tasting during your weekend getaway from Phoenix. Temecula also has a farmers market on Saturdays and many restaurants in the old town. Follow this guide for the perfect weekend getaway in Temecula filled with wine tasting, great food, and amazing views.
7. Joshua Tree National Park
Distance: About 225 miles, 3.5 hours (South Part); About 295 miles, 4.5 hours (North Part)
Spend your weekend exploring Joshua Tree National Park where you can hike, rock climb, boulder, and just enjoy the Mojave Desert and the funny looking trees. Throughout the park there are numerous pull outs from the main road where you can park your car and walk around. Between the West Entrance and Hidden Valley is the most unique part of the park. You can get out and hike for miles, climb rocks, and relax with a beautiful landscape. Make your way to Joshua Tree early Saturday morning, and book your accommodation for that night in the town of Joshua Tree, where there are many unique Airbnbs. Continue to our Weekend in Joshua Tree guide to start planning your weekend getaway from Phoenix.
8. Los Angeles
Distance: About 375 miles, 5.5-6 hours
Los Angeles is an exciting city with so much to see and do, from walking around downtown to relaxing on the many beaches along the coast. Walk down Venice Beach Boardwalk, hike to the Holywood sign or visit the Santa Monica Pier. There is definitely more to do in Los Angeles than possible in two days, but since it is close you can make several different road trips from Phoenix during weekends throughout the year so you don’t have to take any extra vacation time.
9. San Diego
Distance: About 355 miles, 5.5 hours
Visit San Diego, a relaxing city with the best weather year round, offering one of the best weekend getaways from Phoenix and the heat. Explore Little Italy where you can find many delicious Italian restaurants and a farmers market on Saturday mornings. Spend time walking along the Marina and go to the USS Midway Museum. Visit Balboa Park which has many gardens and museums including a Japanese Garden and a Botanical Garden. Spend a day relaxing on Coronado beach with soft white sand and a historic hotel. End the weekend exploring unique bars and restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Distance: About 145 miles, 2.5 hours
Flagstaff offers a great weekend getaway from Phoenix if you you are looking for cooler weather and a change of scenery. In the summer Flagstaff is the perfect place to get away from the Phoenix heat as temperatures in the summer are typically around 70 or 80 degrees. Spend a weekend hiking in and around Flagstaff on the numerous scenic trails. Some of my favorite hiking trails are Kendrick Peak, Walnut Canyon Viewpoint Trail, and Sunset Trail. In the winter you can ski at Arizona Snowbowl which is only 30 minutes from downtown Flagstaff. If you are looking for a night out, Flagstaff has many great restaurants and bars.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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