The main reason to take an Arizona road trip is to see a natural wonder of the world, the Grand Canyon.  What’s more, the famous Route 66 traverses Arizona.  In addition to these big attractions, Arizona has a lot of hidden gems to explore.

Arizona Road Trip Inspiration

Meteor Crater, Arizona Road Trip

It’s recommend you stop by the meteor crater on your Arizona road trip.  Around 50,000 years ago a huge a nickel-iron meteorite struck Arizona.  This created the 1,200 meter wide and 170 meter deep crater you see today.  Although, the meteorite was mostly vaporized on impact, there were a few remains.  Meteorite remains are on display in the visitor center.

More Arizona Road Trip Ideas

More Arizona Road Trip Ideas

There’s a vintage 1932 Studebaker where Highway 40 crosses Park Road near the Petrified Forest National Park.  Seeing this piece of history which was part of an Arizona road trip past should get you into the spirit of things for your road trip ahead.

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park - Arizona Road Trip

Arizona is the Grand Canyon State but there are places in Arizona which rival the Grand Canyon for beauty.  One such place is the Petrified Forest National Park.  Around 200 million years ago this area was a covered with trees and vegetation.  However, volcanic lava destroyed this lush landscape and buried it.  After years of erosion, the petrified remains you see today were exposed.  In addition, the Petrified Forest is surrounded by the equally beautiful Painted Desert.  Drive around the Petrified Forest and stop to take the short hiking trails.

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon - Arizona Road Trip

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon.  It’s famous for the beams of light which distinctly shine through and illuminate the unique interior.  For this reason, Antelope Canyon is an Instagram heaven in Arizona.  Finally, visit from April to October to witness the beams of light illuminating the canyon.

Tombstone – Wild West

Old Tombstone - Wild West - Arizona Road Trip

No Arizona road trip is complete without a visit to the Wild West.  Tombstone, Arizona will fulfill all your Wild West needs.  As well as the town itself, you’ll also see cowboy gunfights and gallows.  What’s more, there’s a lot of history to this town with references to famous outlaws.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley, Arizona

Most people recognise Monument Valley before they’ve actually been there but why?  Monument Valley is a top filming location for movies set in the Wild West.  For me, I first saw it in Back to the Future III.  It’s also the place where Forrest Gump decided he wasn’t going to run anymore.  I don’t think Forrest Gump could have picked a more dramatic location to end his run!

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park, Arizona Road Trip

The largest cactus in the USA is the Saguaro.  You’ll see thousands of these cacti which grow as tall as 40 feet.  Drive through routes within Saguaro National Park which pass by Saguaro forests and stunning desert landscapes.

Jerome Ghost Town

Jerome Ghost Town, Arizona

In the 1920’s, Jerome was a Copper mining town of over 10,000 inhabitants.  Fast forward to the 2020’s and Jerome is a ghost town of few inhabitants.  As a matter of fact, today it’s a tourist attraction to its past and how a town looks once it’s abandoned.  It’s definitely worth adding Jerome Ghost Town to your Arizona itinerary for the unique photo opportunities into another era.

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway - Arizona Road Trip

Park your car in Williams before taking the morning train to the Grand Canyon.  As you enjoy the train ride, you may encounter cowboys!  Lastly, did you know that the Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world?

Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the state capital of Arizona.  An interesting fact about Phoenix is that it’s the most populated State capital in the United States.  Find a hotel with parking and take a couple of days break from your road trip as you explore Phoenix.

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam, Arizona

Hoover Dam is located on the border of Arizona and Nevada.  It dams the Colorado River which creates the largest reservoir in the United States, Lake Mead.  A stop at Hoover Dam is a must, even more so if you’re heading to Las Vegas which is a 45 minute drive away.  By the way, Las Vegas is one of the cheapest cities in the USA to pick up your hire car from.

Enjoy Your Arizona Road Trip

Arizona Road Trip Inspiration from KAYAK

Arizona has a lot to offer and no doubt you’ll discover much more than I’ve shared above.  To conclude, the best way to explore Arizona is to hire a car which gives you the freedom to see exactly what you want for as long as you want.

Do you need more USA road trip inspiration?  Read about a USA road trip, California road trip, Washington road trip, South Dakota road trip, Texas road trip, Oregon road trip, Colorado road trip, Yellowstone National Park road trip, Chicago landmarks, Mount Rushmore, Las Vegas landmarks and Lassen Volcanic National Park.