Best Long Weekend Road Trips from Phoenix
You just realized that you have a three day weekend coming up and want to plan a road trip but need some ideas. Road trips are a great way to save money and are easy to plan last minute since you don’t need to rely on booking your flights early. Below you can find the top long weekend trips near Phoenix, ranging from national parks, to cities, to beach vacations. These long weekend getaways from Phoenix offer the perfect way to escape the summer heat. If you are looking for a road trip to do during a normal weekend, take a look at the 10 Best Weekend Road Trips from Phoenix.
Bryce Canyon National Park & Zion National Park
Distance: About 350 miles, 5.5 hours to Kanab, another 30 minutes to Zion and 1.5 hours to Bryce.
Bryce and Zion National Parks are located near each other, so a three day weekend trip from Phoenix is a perfect opportunity to visit both. The entrance fees for both are $30 a vehicle, so it is beneficial to buy the America the Beautiful Annual Pass at the first national park for only $20 more to use for your future trips ($80 total for the annual national park pass). Book your stay early in the nearby city of Kanab where you can find mainly guesthouses and Airbnbs. Start your trip at Bryce Canyon National Park, where you can find the largest concentration of Hoodoos on earth. Hike down Navajo or Queens Garden trail and continue to Peekaboo trail if you are up for the challenge. The next day, hike Zion’s most popular hike, Angel’s landing, for an incredible view. Make sure to start your days very early at Zion as the parking lots do fill up and the hikes get busy. If you have time, continue to The Narrows, but remember to rent the appropriate gear from one of the park shops.
Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park
Distance: About 470 miles, 7.5 hours to Moab, another 10 minutes to Arches and 30 minutes to Canyonlands
Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are a great weekend getaway from Phoenix. Book your stay in one of the hotels or Airbnbs in Moab and spend the weekend visiting Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. The entrance fees for both National Parks is $30 a vehicle, so it is beneficial to buy the America the Beautiful Annual Pass at the first national park for only $20 more to use for your future trips ($80 total for the annual national park pass). Start your Saturday early at Arches National Park, where there are over 2,000 natural stone arches. There are many great hikes including Delicate Arch and Devils Garden. Check out the must do hikes in Arches National Park for more information. The next day drive to Canyonlands, where you can see incredible views of canyons and the Colorado River. Get more information about the best hikes in the Canyonlands National Park Guide. On your way back from Canyonlands, stop at Dead Horse Point State Park where you can see more breathtaking views of the canyons and the Colorado River.
Grand Canyon National Park and Page (Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell)
Distance: About 275 miles, 4.5 hours to Page. About 225 miles, 3.5 hours back from Grand Canyon
Northern Arizona has some of the most incredible natural wonders. Start your long weekend road trip from Phoenix by driving up Friday night and staying at one of the hotels or Airbnbs in Page, Arizona. 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. On Sunday rent a kayak and paddle Lake Powell to a slot canyon. Follow the Weekend in Page guide for more information. On your way back from Page on Monday, spend your last day visiting the Grand Canyon. 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.
Distance: About 400 miles, 6 hours
Malibu is a stunning beach city west of Los Angeles. Spend your weekend getaway from Phoenix enjoying the nice weather, relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches, or hiking in the nearby Santa Monica Mountains. Don’t miss this beautiful view from Point Dume.
Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs
Distance: About 225 miles, 3.5 hours (South Part); About 295 miles, 4.5 hours (North Part)
A great long weekend trip near Phoenix is 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 just relax with a beautiful landscape. Head 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. Read the Weekend in Joshua Tree guide for more information. With your extra day, explore Palm Springs, located less than an hour from Joshua Tree. In Palm Springs you can hike in the nearby mountains, do a spa day, shop, golf, or checkout one of the vibrant hotels.
San Diego and Imperial Sand Dunes
Distance: About 355 miles, 5.5 hours
Visit San Diego, a relaxing city with the best weather year round, offering the perfect Phoenix weekend getaway. 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 which has perfect white sand. Finally, explore unique bars and restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter. On your way back from San Diego stop at exit 156 of I-8E to explore Imperial Sand Dunes which extend for more than 40 miles. Note that during the peak season (October-April) there is a fee, but you can also rent a off-highway vehicle to ride on the sand dunes. During the off season (May-September) there are barely any people which makes it a fun stop, but temperatures do get up to 110. Try to stay late enough to see a beautiful sunset.
Distance: About 375 miles, 5.5-6 hours
Los Angeles is an exciting city with so much to do and see, from walking around downtown to relaxing on the many beaches along the coast. Only about 6 hours away, LA is a great option for a long weekend trip from phoenix. Walk down Venice Beach Boardwalk, hike to the Holywood sign or visit the Santa Monica Pier. Spend a day beach hopping the numerous beaches in Orange County, such as Thousand Steps Beach or Wood’s Cove Beach. Three days will allow you to see more of LA.
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