The Adventurer’s Road Trip: Arizona to Utah

Some of the best road trips in the U.S. exist out west.  With the stunning beauty of the Pacific coast, the majestic Rocky Mountains, and the extraordinary Grand Canyon, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to planning your trip.  With so much beauty to behold and limited vacation time for most, we’ve created a road trip from Arizona to Utah designed for the person craving adventure and an unforgettable experience.

Road Trip From Arizona To Utah

Starting Point: Sedona, Arizona

You could easily spend an entire week in Sedona exploring its red-rock buttes, steep canyons, and pine forests or partaking in luxury spa retreats located throughout the area.  There is something for everyone in this dreamy desert town that offers picturesque views everywhere you look.

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Davis

If you’re a hiker, some notable favorites include:

  • Devil’s Bridge (2 miles, easy)
  • Bell Rock (1 mile, moderate)
  • Cathedral Rock (1.2 miles, moderate)
  • Fay Canyon (2 miles, easy)

If you’re more interested in a laid-back experience to take in the views, Red Rock State Park is the perfect place to picnic. Once you’ve secured your pictures, the Devil’s Bridge being one of the most photographed sights in the area, and are ready to continue your adventures, it’s time to make your way 2 hours north towards the Grand Canyon via 89A out of Sedona, heading to Page, AZ.

Stop 1: Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is a sight that must be visited when road-tripping through Arizona.  Most first-time visitors stick to the South Rim, which offers expansive views, is accessible year-round, and provides hikes for adventurers of all skill levels.  In the South Rim, you’ll find numerous lodging options and notable dining spots, such as the historic El Tovar Hotel dining room.

While you can stay within the national park itself, the prices will be higher than options on the outskirts, so many visitors opt for a hotel in Tusayan, located just 10 minutes away. It’s recommended that you spend at least two days in the area, so you don’t feel rushed and can fully experience all the canyon’s magic.

Stop 2: Page, Arizona

After you’ve taken in the views of the Grand Canyon, travel along Highway 89 to your final stop in the state, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page, Arizona.  Page is home to Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell, which are excellent locations to visit, with various excursions available to satisfy every level of desired adventure.

Horseshoe Bend, formed by the meandering Colorado River, is one of the most recognizable places in northern Arizona.  The Horseshoe Bend trail offers a short walk (1.5-mile round trip) along a relatively flat path that leads to an overlook with a birds-eye view of the natural landform and crystal blue-green water.  Most people visit the sight in the mornings and late afternoons when the sun illuminates the canyon walls. If you’d prefer to be in the canyon, water activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are available as well as fly fishing and river rafting.  The ultimate experience is by helicopter, where a 20-minute ride will provide breathtaking views while your knowledgeable pilot will share the history and details of the area.

Before arriving in Page, book your tour of the most famous slot canyon in the world, Antelope Canyon. This landmark is part of the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, and access is only available with an authorized Navajo guide.  Named Antelope Canyon due to the pronghorn antelope believed to have once roamed the land, this magnificent canyon was shaped by water and erosion over millions of years, creating smooth sandstone and unique shapes.  In the summer months, when the sun is high in the sky, the beams of light accentuate the eye-catching colors of the magnificent canyon.

Lower Antelope Canyon
Photo Courtesy of Natalie Davis
Horseshoe Bend
Photos Courtesy of Natalie Davis

Before crossing state lines to explore Utah, enjoy a relaxing stay at Lake Powell Resort.  Depending on the time of year you’re visiting, you can book a boating adventure or sunset dinner cruise for more spectacular scenery.

Stop 3: Zion National Park, Utah

Leaving Page, Arizona, you’ll continue traveling Highway 89 and quickly enter Utah. Your first stop should be Zion National Park, one of Utah’s Mighty Five.  The park runs about 25 miles long from north to south, so you can rest assured knowing you’ll have plenty to do in this area.

While visiting Zion all in one day is possible, consider allowing two days to embrace the vast opportunities within the park.  A stay in Springdale, a charming town on the park’s southern border, offers lodging and restaurants, making it a convenient spot for park exploration. Zion National Park has something for every visitor, as there are many overlooks, moderate hikes, paved paths to take in the views, and massive challenges for the big adventurers.

Canyon Overlook in Zion National Park

A few of the most notable hikes within the park include:

  • Canyon Overlook (1-mile round trip, easy)
  • Emerald Pools (2.5-mile round trip, easy to moderate)
  • The Narrows (strenuous day hike through a river)
  • Angel’s Landing (the most challenging hike in Zion, permit only)

With so much to explore and see within the park, it’s worth spending extra time planning each day of your visit to make the most of it.

Stop 4: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Another Mighty Five destination, Bryce Canyon, is known for its crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations. While these exist worldwide, Bryce Canyon has the largest concentration found anywhere.  This next stop on your adventure road trip is just over two hours from Zion National Park.

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Davis

Bryce is filled with a few different hikes for those that want to travel further into the hoodoos, but if you want the views without the work, you’ll find many scenic overlooks as you make your way into the park. Compared to Zion, Bryce is much more compact, making it utterly doable in just a few hours, so depending on the time of day that you arrive, you may find that you’re ready to move on to your next destination. However, suppose you want to slow down and take in the prime viewing at sunset or sunrise. In that case, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is located within the park, and a few additional lodging options are just 30 minutes away in the closest developed city, Panguitch.

Stop 5: Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Located just over 2 hours from Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park is the perfect option for those who enjoy a more laid-back experience with fewer crowds and easier hiking options.  The lesser known of the Mighty Five parks, Capitol Reef, is worth exploring with its scenic views and unique landscape, including Waterpocket Fold and white domes.  The ability to have a more peaceful experience and more profound connection with nature is the main draw and serves as a great stop along the way to the last stop in this road trip adventure, Moab, Utah.

Destination: Moab, Utah

The drive to Moab will be the longest drive of the trip, coming in at just over two and a half hours. This populated city, frequently visited by travelers, offers plenty of choices regarding places to stay and restaurants to enjoy.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

Like Sedona, Moab is a popular destination where you can easily spend 3-5 days. When deciding on your stay, make sure you’re considering all the adventures that await, including the final two spots of the Mighty Five: Arches and Canyonlands National Park. With both national parks located north of Moab, you’ll want to plan accordingly to see the Delicate Arch, a widely recognized symbol of Utah, and the Island in the Sky district of the Canyonlands, the largest national park in Utah.

A road trip is one of the best ways to see so much of the world’s wonder and majesty.  We hope this guide inspires your next adventure across the U.S., whether it’s top hiking spots in the U.S. or off-season travel destinations. Where will you be heading next?


Change perceptions by living how you feel. Join the community of ageless Athletes Adventurers Wellness Seekers Motivators .



An ageless community built by you.

Follow Timeless on Spotify

For playlists made just for you.

Share Your Thoughts


Continue Reading

Adventure Travel