Eternal Arrival

The Only Southwest Road Trip Itinerary You Need

Planning an epic road trip through America’s Southwest? You’ll be richly rewarded with insane Martian-esque landscapes, beautiful national parks, empty stretches of road, and stunning sunsets.

I’ve highlighted all the best on and off the beaten path adventures so you can create a Southwest road trip of your dreams. This itinerary should take you from 10 days to two weeks to complete, though if you were pressed for time, you could certainly condense it to a one week road trip or hit a few highlights in just 5 days.

As written, this road trip will take you through six national parks, three state parks, a handful of national monuments, and through hundreds if not thousands of miles of untamed landscapes. We saw one national park in Arizona and all five national parks in Utah.

You can also easily add on a little Western road trip from Vegas to see some of California’s famous parks (Joshua Tree and Death Valley come to mind) or swing up north after Moab to visit the famous Yellowstone National Park.

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We  swung north and east after Moab and went up to Denver and Boulder for a few days before heading back to Las Vegas to drop off our rental car, but considering the drive from Moab is about 8 hours, you may want to break it up with some time in Grand Junction or somewhere else in Colorado if you choose to continue eastwards.

To save money, be sure to buy an Annual Pass for the national parks– you can easily purchase one at the first national park you visit. For $80, you have unlimited entrances for one vehicle for a year. Seeing as national parks cost anywhere from $10-30 to enter, you’ll definitely save money buying an annual pass.

Another way to save money is to travel by campervan or RV, eliminating or reducing your accommodation costs. There is free camping in BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land across most of the Southwest, and paid campgrounds are typically around $30 per night.

Southwest Road Trip Itinerary, Stop One: Las Vegas, Nevada

My Southwest road trip itinerary has you starting in Las Vegas for a variety of reasons: the first being that renting a car in Vegas is loads cheaper than renting in Arizona or Utah.

Not sure where to get the best deal on your rental? I’ve rented cars dozens of times through various search engines and have settled on Discover Cars as the best car rental search engine – it searches over 500 trusted rental companies to find the cheapest price for your rental! Compare prices for car rentals in Las Vegas here.

You can also rent an RV in Las Vegas and use that as your transport and accommodation all in one. The second reason being that flights to Las Vegas are often incredibly affordable — my flight from Vegas to San Francisco was only $32 on Southwest, which even includes a bag!

While in Vegas, check out the Seven Magic Mountains about 20 minutes outside of town – it’s a fabulous art installation by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, which will be dismantled at the end of 2018.

The Seven Magic Mountains installation, a temporary art exhibit 20 minutes outside of Vegas

If money permits, there’s no better way to get excited about the landscape you’re about to see than to take a helicopter tour from Las Vegas.

There are several ones you can do — I did the Grand Canyon and Valley of Fire sunset tour with 5 Star Helicopter tours and loved it. But if you’re on a tight budget in Vegas and still want to ride in a helicopter, there are several more affordable rides you can do, including a nighttime flight over the Las Vegas strip!

Recommended photo spots: Anywhere and everywhere, really! A helicopter ride will give you stunning views; The Bellagio, the W, the Wynn, and pretty much anywhere on the Strip are also great places for photos.

Recommended accommodations: The W is the funkiest boutique hotel in all of Vegas — perfect for the ‘gram! The rooms are over the top and ridiculously outlandish, the staff is amazing with their personalized recommendations and greetings, and the calm of the pool there compared to at the SLS (which you can also visit if you stay at the W) was an awesome oasis in the middle of crazy Vegas. Can’t rate highly enough! Check prices, ratings, and availability at The W here.

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Two: Valley of Fire

About 45 minutes from Las Vegas is what I deem to be the most underrated spot in the entire Southwest: the Valley of Fire State Park. I literally have no idea why this isn’t a national park — it’s so massive and the vistas are so spectacular that it surely deserves the title.

That said, the fact that it’s a lowly state park will serve you well, as despite its proximity to Las Vegas there are very few people at the park.

Recommended photo spots: Rainbow Vista trail, The Beehives, Elephant Rock, Balanced Rock, pretty much anywhere with an open road!

Recommended accommodations: Overnight somewhere in Vegas; we loved our stay at The W (find rates & availability here) but there are a ton of other budget-friendly options available in Vegas. You can also camp inside the park, first come first serve.

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Three: Hoover Dam

After visiting the Valley of Fire, you’ll need to route back via Vegas on your way to the Hoover Dam. This is right on your way to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon – no circuitous rerouting required – so you might as well see one of America’s biggest engineering marvels.

The Hoover Dam used to be the tallest dam in the world when it was first built, but it’s since been overtaken by a dam no one has heard of in Tajikistan *shakes fist*. The most amazing fact, to me at least, about the Hoover Dam is that the concrete holding up is still not dry all the way through!

At its base, it’s a massive 660 feet thick — the equivalent of two back-to-back football fields. Scientists say it’ll take 125 years for it to cure all the way through; at only 80 years since its construction, we’ve still got 30 to go.

The Hoover Dam from above – a sight to behold

Recommended photo spots: The dam, obviously; the Pat Tillman memorial bridge

Recommended accommodations: No need to stay overnight – this is best done as a quick stop off on the way to Flagstaff and/or the Grand Canyon.

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Four: Flagstaff, Arizona (the Grand Canyon & Sedona)

Flagstaff is a perfect base for further road trips in the Southwest USA. That said, Flagstaff on its own has plenty to write home about — don’t miss Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, with its beautiful landscape and exciting lava trails.

But perhaps the best thing about Flagstaff is its proximity to some of Arizona’s greatest attractions. 30 minutes through a winding national forest, you’ll find Sedona — one of Arizona’s most scenic places, and a must on any Southwest US road trip itinerary. If you have time, it’s worth giving at least a full day for exploring Sedona.

Check out the stunning red rocks arching into the sky, and be sure not to miss the Devil’s Bridge hike or the Church of the Holy Cross — a stunning chapel quite literally built into the side of a mountain.

Sedona is great for a day trip, but the main attraction when visiting Flagstaff is the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is a mere 90 minutes away.

No amount of preparation can truly ready you for the grandeur of what it’s like to stand at the edge of this canyon in person. I even flew over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter a few days prior to seeing it from the edge; while the helicopter ride was an amazing experience, truly nothing beats standing at its edge and seeing its vastness from ground level.

Recommended Accommodation: When I was in Flagstaff, I stayed at the Hilton Doubletree in town. With free (warm!) cookies upon check-in, large rooms, and an in-house restaurant, it’s a comfortable and affordable crash pad between adventures and it’s much cheaper than staying in either the Grand Canyon or Sedona. Check prices, rates, & availability here.

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Five: Page, Arizona (Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, & Lake Powell)

Page, Arizona is probably the most Instagrammable town no one has ever heard of, although that’s quickly changing. For one, Horseshoe Bend, one of the most iconic photography spots in the entire Southwest US, is located a mere 3 miles down the main highway.

But the main draw to Page is the stunning Antelope Canyon. Broken into two parts, Upper and Lower, we opted for the Lower — having heard that it has more vibrant colors, as opposed to Upper which is famous for its sunbeams much-loved by photographers.

Upper is more popular (and thus more expensive and more crowded) than Lower, plus it requires advance reservations. (Not sure which to choose? This guide will help you out) Chronic underplanners as we are, we opted for Lower, as we were able to book next-day tickets quite easily. The information online is a bit out of date; there are now two tour companies operating tours to Lower Antelope Canyon. Ken’s Tours charges $20 as far as I know, Dixie Ellis’ $25; plus the $8 tribal lands fee. We went with Dixie Ellis’ Lower Antelope Canyon Tours as the line was shorter and highly recommend the experience.

Be aware that this is an incredibly popular tour on everyone’s Southwest itinerary no matter what tour company you go with, and you will be waiting in line quite a bit – not to mention the waiting you’ll have to do in order to snap photos without people in them. However, it’s entirely worth the experience in my opinion!

Horseshoe Bend is a bit less crowded than Antelope Canyon, mainly because it’s more spacious. We went three times in the span of 24 hours seeking the perfect shot. Sunrise is fantastic because so few people are there, although the sun rises on the opposite side of the bend so if you’re looking for sunbursts, you’re better off at sunset. Midday, you’ll see a wild array of colors that you can’t quite see during sunrise/sunset, so it’s worth a separate trip just for that as it’s not so far away from Page

At sunset

At sunrise

While sunset is the most crowded at Horseshoe Bend, it’s also the most magical. As a bonus, if you scrabble up the rocks a bit, you can quite easily get epic photos with no one else in the shot!

Finally, as if I haven’t written enough about Page to fill an entire blog post all on its own, you must check out Lake Powell. This lake is simply stunning, with glassy blue water amidst a desert landscape. You can rent a paddleboard and check out the lake at your own speed, or go to one of the many viewpoints to see it from above.

Recommended photo spots: Horseshoe Bend, Lower/Upper Antelope, Lake Powell, Wahweap Overlook

Recommended accommodations: We stayed at Hampton Inn & Suites in Page – Lake Powell and highly recommend it. The rooms are large with plenty of space to work and relax in, with all the comfortable amenities you’d expect like a fitness room, a heated indoor pool, a Jacuzzi (perfect for sore legs after hiking all day!). Breakfast was also delicious and included in the price of the room. It also couldn’t be any closer to Horseshoe Bend, just three miles and a quick five-minute drive down the road. If you’re planning to visit Horseshoe Bend multiple times for the perfect photo like we did, it’s an awesome place to base yourself because as soon as you leave the parking lot you’re already on the road to Horseshoe Bend! Check rates, prices, & availability here.

Reminder: Don’t forget to buy travel insurance. I personally use World Nomads on all of my trips, as it’s affordable and easy to book online.

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Six: Kanab, Utah

On the way from Page to Utah, you can go two different ways. We actually did both as we did a huge circle from Page to Kanab and back all in one day when we couldn’t go to Antelope Canyon as planned, so I can report on each way.

The first way, via I-89, you’ll pass a view of Lake Powell at Wahweap Overlook before making your way to the Visitor Center of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park. Stop off at the visitor center in Big Water, Utah and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to meet a man who discovered a brand new species of dinosaur!

On the way to Kanab, you can stop off to do the Toadstools hike — a short one-hour roundtrip hike that ends in a truly Martian landscape. Quite off the beaten path of most people’s typical Southwest road trip itineraries, and well worth the stop!

“Toadstools” are formed when rain makes boulders fall from cliffs and land atop softer rocks, creating mushroom-looking rock structures. They look manmade but they’re entirely natural!

After passing Kanab, quickly grab lunch somewhere before making your way to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. This little-visited park has sand dunes that look as if they’re straight out of the Sahara — all against the backdrop of some legendary Utah mountains.

This park is so close to Zion that I don’t know why it’s more popular, but you definitely should have it on your Southwest itinerary — all the better for you to snap some epic photos without the crowds! With the clouds, it looked more orange than pink, but on a sunny day, I’m sure the sands are more true to their name.

If you go the other way from Page via the longer but more scenic route (I-89A), you can go over a beautiful mountain pass filled with lush evergreen trees and stop at the Vermillion Cliffs viewpoint and LeFevre Overlook.

There, you can see four plateaus that make up the “Staircase” of Grand Staircase-Escalante in a variety of hues — including chocolate brown, vermillion, and purple (two of the plateaus was unfortunately covered by some clouds when we were there!)

While you’re in Kanab, you’re so close to Zion, but I urge you to skip it — for now — in lieu of visiting it on your way back to Las Vegas!

Finally, Kanab is also a good stopping point if you are testing your luck for permits for the Wave in Arizona, as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center visitor center here is where you would need to get your permit. Your chances are low, but it’s worth a try!

Recommended photo spots: Lefevre Point, Vermillion Cliffs overlook, Toadstools, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Recommended accommodations: We didn’t stay in Kanab during this trip because we went back to Page in a giant circle (not recommended), but Canyons Boutique Hotel would have been a great choice if we did. With a 8.9 rating on Booking, spacious rooms, nice décor, and a central location, it’s the best choice in town. Check prices, reviews, and availability here.

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Seven: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon is truly one of the most memorable stops on any Southwest US road trip itinerary. For one, it has its distinctive hoodoos which you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the world in such number and scale.

Hoodoos (also called “fairy chimneys”) form when the water from melting snow seeps into the cracks of the rock and freezes overnight. Bit by bit, the cracks expand until large chunks of rock fall away, leaving pillars in their place.

Hoodoos form all over the world, but there are thousands of them at Bryce Canyon, partly because the elevation is so high (around 8,000 feet!) that the melt-freeze cycle happens at least 200 nights per year

Recommended photo spots: Queen’s Garden Trail, Navajo Loop, Inspiration Point, Natural Bridge, and Sunset/Sunrise Points.

Recommended accommodations: Bryce Canyon doesn’t have the most exciting options for accommodations. We didn’t stay overnight here, but if we had, something simple but comfortable like a Best Western is probably your best bet. Check prices, ratings, and availability. 

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Eight: Capitol Reef National Park

On your way to Moab from Bryce, you can take a scenic route passing through Capitol Reef via Highway 12, which I highly recommend. The least visited of Utah’s staggering five national parks, it’s not quite as epic as Zion or Bryce but it has its own charms. It’s worth a quick stop as you pass through, at the very least.

Recommended photo spots: The cute barns and old schoolhouse on the main road, the Scenic Drive, Panorama Point

Recommended accommodations: Not really much in the way of accommodations here – I recommend you move on to Moab rather than overnight here, unless you have a campervan or tent for camping.

Extra Stop: On your way between Capitol Reef and Moab, you’ll have the opportunity to stop off at Goblin Valley State Park! Frankly, we were exhausted and gave it a pass this trip, but it’s definitely on the list for my next Southwest itinerary!

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Nine: Moab, Utah (Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point, and Arches)

Ah, Arches National Park. With its famous Delicate Arch which is featured on the Utah license plate, this is one of the most famous national parks in the US, and a must on any Southwest road trip itinerary.

In addition to the Delicate Arch hike, you should also be sure to see the North & South Window arches, the Double Arch, and the Turret Arch. The Devil’s Garden trail was closed when we visited, but you should definitely check it out if possible — it’s supposed to be a stunner.

Also near Moab is the Canyonlands National Park, which I actually preferred to Arches (blasphemy, I know – but I hate crowds). It was super immense, with really colorful rocks and huge canyons, and far fewer people.

There are two entrances to Canyonlands, both of which are quite far from each other. One is Islands in the Sky, and this is the one that’s closer to Moab (and also Dead Horse Point State Park, another must-see on your Southwest road trip). The other section, Needles, is rather far away, and suitable if you’re staying longer in Moab.

Other spots you can’t miss in the Moab area include Dead Horse Point State Park, a place much more beautiful than the name suggests! It’s right on the way from Canyonlands – Island in the Sky, so it’s a good idea to go there for sunset after visiting Canyonlands in the late afternoon.

Here, the Colorado River winds and rips its way through a valley, like a combination of the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend all in one. It’s absolutely stunning at sunset, although sunrise is supposed to be even better. I never woke up early enough to see for myself.

Finally, the Corona Arch is a great sunset spot – just make sure you arrive there with about an hour to spare, as the hike is one hour on a not super well-marked path, and make sure you leave before it gets too dark.

We missed the sunset by at least a half hour and ended up walking back in the dark because we didn’t give ourselves enough time for this hike (#travelbloggerfail) but we at least made it in time for some super pretty cloud action!

Recommended photo spots: Mesa Arch (sunrise is supposed to be fantastic as the sun will rise directly through the arch!) in Canyonlands NP as well as the scenic drive pulling over at the various viewpoints, Delicate Arch and the other arches (North & South Window, Double, Turret) in Arches NP, Dead Horse Point State Park (please don’t miss this!!), and Corona Arch. Be sure to give yourself enough time in Moab, it’s stunning!

Recommended accommodations: Moab is EXPENSIVE. As in, we arrived without accommodations booked and quickly found that even a crappy motel would set us back $200 or so. Luckily we were driving along about to sleep on the side of the road when we stumbled across Lazy Lizard Hostel, with beds for about $14 per night, or $32 for a two-person private room. Call ahead and book if you’re on a budget, as it can’t be booked online and we got super lucky getting one of the last rooms! If you’d prefer a hotel, the Aarchway Inn is just a tiny bit outside of Moab and has gorgeous settings with that classic Utah red rock all around, a lovely swimming pool, and well-appointed rooms. Check out rates, reviews, and availability here.

Southwest Road Trip, Stop Ten: Zion National Park

I recommended skipping Zion initially and saving it for the end because it’s probably one of the most epic national parks in all of the United States, and you’ll want a cool place to stop on the long drive between Moab and Las Vegas.

If you’re at all into hiking, the Angels Landing hike is truly a can’t-miss experience. Climbing up 1,500 feet over a grueling two hour hike (the last half mile of which is up rocks, which you have to use chain handrails to ascend) is not easy — but no epic view really is.

Angles are deceiving – there was a larger chunk of the rock edge beneath me, and I scooted around while maintaining at least 3 points of contact at all times to be safe. Please be careful when posing on Angels Landing and never do anything you don’t feel comfortable with in pursuit of a good picture!

If you have more time, be sure to check out The Narrows, a full day hike wading through water through a beautiful slot canyon. We didn’t have time for this, as we were flying out of Vegas later that evening, but it’s on my bucket list for my return to Zion. There are some other shorter hikes that are also fantastic if you’re too afraid of heights to take on Angels Landing.

Recommended photo spots: the top of Angel’s Landing OR Observation Point (higher and harder hike),  Emerald Pools, Watchman, the Narrows

Recommended accommodations: We stayed about 45 minutes outside of the East Ranger Station at Zion Backcountry Yurt, with insane views of the Milky Way surrounding us. Book way in advance on Airbnb (you can find it here).  It’s also common to stay by the West Ranger Station, close to Springdale, but expect to pay a pretty penny for the privilege. The best combination of proximity, value, and high-quality amenities is at Driftwood Lodge about a mile outside the center of Springdale. Check prices, reviews, and availability here.

After Zion, head back to Vegas, return your rental, and marvel at all your photos from the trip of a lifetime!

Reminder: Don’t forget that you can get a special discount of 10% off your booking with Sixt Rental Cars. Compare them against a complete database of rental cars for your best, most affordable option. Also, don’t forget to travel with travel insurance, especially on a trip involving lots of driving and hiking! You want to be covered in case of an accident or medical emergency. I use and highly recommend World Nomads for their easy purchasing, extensive coverage, and low prices. Get your free quote here.

The best Southwest US road trip itinerary for you to steal - one week, 10 days, or two weeks, visit the Grand Canyon, Arches, Zion, Bryce national parks as well as off the beaten path places that are just as beautiful

Note: While we paid for much of this trip out of pocket, we did receive complimentary stays at The W, Hilton Doubletree in Flagstaff, Hampton Inn in Page, and Zion Backcountry Yurt. We also received complimentary Valley of Fire and helicopter tours. All opinions and recommendations in this post are entirely my own!

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  • Reply
    December 11, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    This is a great itinerary for the South West but you are missing New Mexico and southern Colorado! I love Northern New Mexico – Santa Fe is such an amazing city, plus Bandelier National Monument, Taos, Ghost Ranch and Ojo Caliente are also definitely worth visiting. Mesa Verde in southern Colorado is a definite south west highlight for me too.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      December 14, 2017 at 8:38 am

      I definitely am! I’ve never been to New Mexico, believe it or not! And I visited Colorado briefly (Denver and Boulder) but didn’t get to see much of it. Adding this all to the agenda for an upcoming road trip. I really want to do New Mexico and Texas 🙂

  • Reply
    January 28, 2018 at 1:00 am

    how long did this trip take you? and how do you think it will be in mid march?

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      January 28, 2018 at 11:46 pm

      Hi Sophie! This trip took about 10 days. In mid-March, it’ll be pretty cold and certain parts at high elevation (Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Flagstaff) will definitely be cold and may be snow. We went in May and it was pretty chilly in some parts. There’s a chance of snow in high elevation but you also may be just fine 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathleen Halverson
    March 12, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Allison, do you think including New Mexico in this trip is reasonable, if other things were to be left out (and if so, what would you leave out in order to add New Mexico in)? Thanks! I’m Kathleen, from Maryland (near DC).

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      March 14, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Kathleen! It is definitely reasonable, but I would leave out Moab (Arches/Canyonlands). Way too far in the wrong direction! I’d route it like this, instead: Las Vegas–> Zion –> Bryce –> Page –> Monument Valley (which I didn’t get to see on this trip!) –> Santa Fe/Albuquerque/whatever you want to see in NM –> Flagstaff & Grand Canyon –> Las Vegas.

      I haven’t been to New Mexico yet, though, so I can’t offer more advice than that. You may have to cut off some things depending on how much time you have. I think 1-2 days in each place is fine, but it is a lot of driving (but you won’t mind because the drives are so beautiful!).

  • Reply
    Mary Ellen
    May 23, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    This is a great guide! I plan on visiting a lot of the parks in Utah in June, and this was very helpful.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      May 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you Mary Ellen! Glad to hear it was helpful. Hope you enjoy your trip, June is a perfect time to go! I went in May and it was just a tiny bit cold but June should be nice and warm.

  • Reply
    Kayleigh Deacon
    June 26, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Hi Allison,
    Thanks so much for all the info! I’m doing a similar route in September and am wondering what kind of car you drove? Trying to cut down costs and economy/sedan rentals are always the cheapest but I am wondering if it is practical or if we should go with a larger option

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      June 26, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Hey Kayleigh, you’re welcome! You will definitely be fine with an economy/sedan. We just had the cheapest option because it was quite expensive 🙂

      • Reply
        Kayleigh A Deacon
        June 28, 2018 at 6:57 pm

        Okay great to know! Thanks for the response and all of your tips 🙂

  • Reply
    Karin Gomez
    July 19, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Allison,
    any tips on a shorter roadtrip? Maybe 3-4 days in September.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      July 20, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Hi Karin, yes, there’s still a lot you can do! I would do Las Vegas to Flagstaff/Sedona, then over to the Grand Canyon, then over to Zion National Park before heading back to Vegas.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Allison,
    What time of year do you recommend going on this roadtrip? Is there any months to avoid? Thanks for all the great info!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      August 9, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Shannon! Many of these places are at high elevation and therefore not recommended in the winter. I would say any time from late April to mid October would be ideal 🙂 It’ll be too cold most of the rest of the year and a big risk of snow making these parts unpassable without proper snow tires, etc.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Allison, Thanks for all the great info. We are heading to the Southwest for the first time next May. I have a reservation in Sedona for a week and want to use that as our hub. Will fly into Las Vegas as recommended and rent a car. We can stop overnight on our way to Sedona and also on our way back to Vegas. What do you suggest we definitely should see?

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      August 10, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      Flying into Vegas and using Sedona as your hub, I’d recommend the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, and Page (Horseshoe Bend + Antelope Canyon + Lake Powell). That should all be doable in a week and everything is driving distance from Sedona to be done in a day, but it’ll mean some back-and-forth driving.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    You should also try the north rim of the Grand Canyon. There are a lot less tourists and the Lodge is fantastic.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      August 12, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      Yes, if we had more time, we definitely would have seen the North Rim as well 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Michelle Fuentes
    October 2, 2018 at 5:52 am

    Hi we are newbies when it comes to traveling period. We are going to Fly into Las vegas November 26th , spend the night there and then rent an RV until Dec. 1 back to las vegas and then fly back home on the 2nd, I would love to see the grand canyon and horseshoe bend/antelope. Would this be ok during this time? Any suggests would be greatly appreciated.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      October 2, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Michelle, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon should be fine. The Grand Canyon is high altitude so there is a risk of snow. I’ve never driven an RV or driven in this part of the world during the winter (I did this trip in May) so can’t offer any specific advice.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2018 at 4:19 am

    Hi Michelle, Great blog and pictures!
    We’re planning a trip to UT and have 6/7 days. Looks like we should book our flights in/out of Vegas. What should be not miss/fit into our shorter trip? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      October 6, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Hi, this is Allison – Michelle’s another commenter. If you’re flying into Vegas and only have 6-7 days I’d skip Moab/Arches/Canyonlands and do some of Arizona instead. Vegas->Grand Canyon->Page->Bryce->Zion->Vegas would be doable in your time frame. Have fun!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Hi Allison, is there a chance of a winter trip in the area? I see half the places aren’t doable due to cold temperature, are there other places that would replace them for a 10 day winter getaway?

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      December 11, 2018 at 1:33 am

      Hi John, in cold weather I think you could still do Valley of Fire, Vegas, Page (Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon) but I’d skip Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon/Flagstaff as all are pretty high altitude and likely to have snow that makes hiking difficult. Perhaps you could combine with Joshua Tree or Mojave Desert in California as well, but I’m not that familiar with that part of California though I would guess the weather would be pretty decent.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 2:59 am

    Hello! Really enjoy your blog. My family and I with 3 kids are planning to arrive in PHX on Sat and leaving out of PHX Friday afternoon. Could you suggest an ideal itinerary that would make most use of our time? Kids are older so they can walk/hike.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      February 1, 2019 at 3:55 pm

      Hi JS! I’d go Phoenix – Sedona – Flagstaff – Grand Canyon – back to Phoenix, or if you want to be more ambitious, Phoenix – Sedona – Flagstaff – Page – Zion/Bryce – Grand Canyon – Phoenix, which would be busy and plenty of driving but doable 🙂 Not sure though how the weather is now so you’d want to check that!

  • Reply
    Steve Mann
    March 1, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks so much for this. We’re hoping to sort a 3 week trip around these sort of areas, so your info, pics, suggestions, etc are great help! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kim Duncan
    June 7, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Hi ALison, great blog and some great suggestions, we will be travelling in a 9mtr RV from 6th Dec > 20th ’19 from Vegas drop off at Denver, it looks like on the map you either do GC or Bryce etc alt you do them all in a big loop? we plan on heading to NM – then thru Colorado to Denver, will all the National Parks be open this time of the year,? Mese Verde will this be open? do the roads get blocked if too much snow or do you just need chains? any advise would be great. Kim

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      June 11, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Kim! Thank you! Sounds like a great trip. I did them in a loop because I returned to Vegas but if you were returning in Denver I’d do GC, Zion, Bryce, in that order. I don’t know about that time of the year as my trip was in May – you’d have to check out the national park websites – and not sure about snow either, I’ve never driven in it before (I’m a Californian!) and I wouldn’t want to give you any wrong advice. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  • Reply
    Tonya Nolot
    July 2, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Hello! This trip looks fantastic. I had some slight differences in what I wanted to see and was hoping you could help me with the best layout for a Southwest trip. I want to travel from Vegas back to Vegas and I have a 14 day window. I would like to visit the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Hoover Dam, Flagstaff, Sedona, Yosemite National Park, 4 Corners, Great Basin National Park, Salt Lake City, Hot Springs NV, and possibly Roswell, NM and Carlsbad Caverns. As I have not traveled in the Southwestern states very much it is hard to envision the layout of this trip. Can you please help me understand the best order to see these things. Thank you in advance.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      July 7, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Tonya. Sounds like a memorable trip!! I haven’t been to most of the places on your list so I’m having trouble imagining the layout. I’d cut out Yosmemite and Carlsbad as they’re the most out of the way. I’d go in a circuit from Vegas to Arizona then up to Utah and down through 4 Corners / New Mexico then cut across Arizona again, picking up any places you missed on the first go through. I hope that helps!

  • Reply
    David Morgan
    August 2, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Hi Allison! Great blog and it looks like you planned most of my trip. My mother and I are flying into Vegas on 8/24 and doing a 2 week tour before we head back on 9/7. We are both pretty heavy and out of shape, but want to make the most of what we can. I’d like to add Joshua Tree Nat. Forest and hit up Sequoia in a big loop. Any suggestions on what we should skip or plan extra time for. We want to see lots of canyons, but ones that require moderate hiking would probably shorten our trip. Thanks for any input you can provide!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      August 2, 2019 at 4:35 pm

      Hi David! That sounds like a fantastic trip – I would love to visit Joshua Tree and Sequoia! I feel like such an inadequate Californian that I never visited either (blame my parents as i moved away when I was 17!). I would skip Moab as it’s the furthest away and many of the best views in Arches and Canyonlands require a hike. Zion has lots of easy hikes as does Bryce. Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam etc are all pretty much just drive up and explore.

  • Reply
    Brendlaiz Acosta
    October 28, 2019 at 12:31 am

    Hi! Inspiring. Any tips for December trip. We will arrive in vegas on the 20th and stay there for 2 nights and then we return home from Phoenix on January 3rd.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      October 28, 2019 at 10:10 pm

      Hi Brendlaiz – unfortunately, I haven’t done this trip in winter so I don’t have any firsthand knowledge, but snow is definitely possible, especially at higher altitudes (Grand Canyon, Bryce National Park, Zion NP) so be careful with that. Be prepared to drive in snow or change plans around and dress very warm!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    hi Allison, Thanks for this great info. We are planning a 2 week trip in June, flying into and out of Vegas. Two nights in Grand Canyon, but the rest is wide open. I’d like to do some hiking. Would appreciate your input for our trip. Possible itinerary. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      April 17, 2020 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Eileen – unfortunately with coronavirus at the moment it’s quite hard to say what will and won’t be open, so I imagine it may be a bit difficult to plan right now – fingers crossed the situation improves soon!

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