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The Ultimate Arizona Utah Road Trip Itinerary: 14 Stops Not to Miss!

Last month, I blew a fuse and booked a trip to America, more precisely, I went on an Arizona Utah Road trip! It was time for me to explore a new part of the world, and I had my eye on Utah for the longest time! The West American national parks have some of the most beautiful landscapes and are worth a spot on your travel bucket list.

I landed at Harry Reid Airport in Las Vegas, and from there, I discovered Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Bryce and Zion National Parks, Horseshoe Bend, and Upper Antelope Canyon, just to name a few!

I went for 1 week, so I focused on northern Arizona and Southern Utah, which I feel was the perfect itinerary for such a short time!

Getting to & Around an Arizona Utah Road Trip

Given I was flying in, I had two choices where to land: either Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City was a bit more expensive than Las Vegas, so I went with the latter, which ended up being perfect for me. It allowed me to visit Arizona a bit more and spend some time in Las Vegas while I was there!

I would want to come back to visit northern Utah and Colorado, or Southern Arizona!

Utah and Arizona national parks road trip map

You can see below the route I used to get around. As I mentioned, I started at Harry Reid International Airport, then made my way to Arizona, visiting the Grand Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, and Page. From there, I traveled to Utah, exploring Moab, Bryce, and Zion National Parks, before completing the loop back in Las Vegas.

The Ultimate Arizona Utah Road Trip Itinerary: 20 Stops Not to Miss!

🔥 SAVING TIP: If you plan on visiting more than two National Parks, I strongly suggest getting the National Park Annual Pass. It costs $80 and grants you access to over 2,000 recreation sites nationwide. It’s already worth every penny for this road trip, and even later in the year if I visit a different part of the country, I can still use it! Give me suggestions of your favorite national parks in America so that I can visit them by the end of the year!

6 Days Arizona Utah National Park Itinerary

Day 1: Direction to the Grand Canyon National Park.

I drove about 5 hours from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon without stopping anywhere really, leaving the hotel around 8 am. It’s quite a long drive and living in Canada, which is very dense with trees and greenery, it was such a nice change of landscape! With great music, it went by very quickly.

Stop 1 – Mather Point, Arizona

Arriving at the Grand Canyon with high hopes but no concrete plans, I followed the advice from fellow hikers who recommended the Mather trail. A very short trail and a pleasant walk with surreal views! The end of the trail to get to the edge is a bit tricky and is not for the faint of heart! But overall it was so worth it.

At the entrance, I was given a map of the canyon which had this amazing view with a river going through the canyon which is the view I wanted to see different from the Mather trail. The agent working at the visitor center very unpleasantly told me this was impossible to see, and that it would require a day or 2 of hike to get there. Time we didn’t have but it brings me to the next stop!

Stop 2 – Navajo Point, Arizona

On my way out of the Grand Canyon, there was a little parking lot near the end that was called the Navajo Point. This was exactly the view I wanted to see from the start and I found it completely by chance. This particular point is one of the highest points of the South Rim trail of the Grand Canyon and overlooks a vista of the Colorado River passing through the canyon. The way I felt small all that day in comparison with how vast and immense the Grand Canyon was is indescribable.

From there, I went to Page, Arizona, and relaxed until the next day!

Day 2: From the Grand Canyon to the Upper Antelope Canyon.

The second day involved a lot less driving as everything was close to each other. If you like to take a lot of pictures (like me!), I would suggest having outfit changes this day as we have many picture-worthy stops! And out of this whole Arizona-Utah road trip, this was my favorite day!

Stop 3 – Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona

I booked this tour of the Upper Antelope Canyon to start the day. Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo Nation land. You can’t visit this incredible rock formation of Navajo Sandstone without a guide, so book this tour in advance to ensure there is space available for the day you plan to visit. It’s a very popular tour, especially during the high season, so make sure you book it ahead of time!

The best time to visit is from 10 am to 12 pm when sunlight beams down at the perfect angle to capture the best pictures!

When we think of canyons, we usually imagine the Grand Canyon, where you’re often on top looking down. However, this time, you’re inside the canyon, having to look up just to see the sky. Witnessing the result of the rock formations that have created this narrow corridor is truly amazing. Once you’re inside, you quickly understand why it’s so protected!

Stop 4 – Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Another short hike (1.5km) to some breathtaking views! You can see another version of the stunning view of the Colorado River in the shape of a horseshoe from a cliff overlooking over 1,000 feet below.

Horseshoe Bend is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, managed by the National Park Service. They are working to manage tourism in the area given the increasing number of visitors each year. That’s something I loved about Utah and Arizona – how they protect their ecosystems, whether it’s through governmental plans or different indigenous nations protecting their sacred lands.

Stop 5 – Lake Powell, Arizona

Lake Powell sits on the Colorado River. It’s the second-largest artificial reservoir in America, stretching from Colorado to Nevada and even California. From Horseshoe Bend, you can see the lake from afar, so you should drive down to have some fun and relaxing time.

Lake Powell attracts many tourists thanks to its proximity to the water! You can head to Wahweap Marina, where they offer everything from very relaxing to thrilling activities. I went in March, so it was a bit cold for me to get into the water, but even just lounging by the shore is enough to feel at peace.

Day 3 and 4: From the Upper Antelope Canyon to MOAB, Utah

I stayed in Page that night since my second day was packed with activities, and Moab was too far for a night drive.

Stop 6 – Welcome to Utah/Arizona sign

Before leaving Arizona, I wanted to visit the beautiful Welcome to Utah or Welcome to Arizona signs. I’ve seen these signs all over social media and wanted a picture with one! There are a few signs on the border, but these particular ones are perfect for avid picture-takers like me! The other signs we passed were small and had less picturesque backgrounds or were obstructed, making them less appealing for posting and not as breathtaking!

The two signs were across the road from each other, and here is the approximate address: Page, AZ 86040, United States.

Stop 7 – Monument Valley, Arizona

Another Navajo Nation land worth visiting. The stunning views took me back to my childhood when I watched western movies with my dad late at night, and we bonded over that.

This tour of Monument Valley was surreal. Your Navajo guide, born and raised in the area, will take you from buttes, spires, and mesas to natural arches, amphitheaters, and Anasazi petroglyphs. They’ll share all about the creation, beauty, significance, history, and culture of the valley. You’ll feel connected to this sacred ground! The most mesmerizing part is seeing the three structures standing tall amidst nothingness: East Mitten, West Mitten, and Merrick Butte.

Stop 8 – Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

This was our last stop of the day because it’s incredibly beautiful at sundown and night, with the sky full of stars and no light pollution. Visit the three majestic natural bridges: “Kachina,” “Owachomo,” and “Sipapu,” named in honor of the Puebloans who once called the area home.

You can easily hike to each bridge starting from the visitor center if you don’t want to visit all three or hike the full loop, which is about 20 km if you have time. Alternatively, you can drive around, as I did, since I arrived in the early evening. Later, I learned you could camp on-site, but I wasn’t prepared for that and had already reserved a place in Moab. Nonetheless, I know I would’ve enjoyed my night there!

That was all for the third day! Let the fourth day begin! The fourth day was probably the most peaceful for me. I didn’t have much planned, so I could take my time and enjoy the views more!

Stop 9 – Delicate Arch, Utah

This was the first real hike of the road trip, and I enjoyed it very much. It took about an hour to get to the Delicate Arch, and I felt great once I reached it. I took a little nap, enjoyed the view, and hiked back down.

The hike was all uphill, very steep, on rocks, and with no shade. Since I went in March, it wasn’t as bad, but in the summer, you shouldn’t forget to bring a head covering and water because you’ll need it! The national park is in high desert terrain with red sandstone formations, towering cliffs, and deep canyons that took millions of years to form due to erosion and weathering.

The arch on this hike is the emblem of Utah, appearing on Utah license plates. So, you really shouldn’t miss it. But if you don’t have much time or don’t enjoy hiking as much, another easier hike I’d recommend with a similar view is the Windows Loop trail. It’s a 1 km trail, which can be done in 25 minutes, and the view is just as breathtaking.

Stop 10 – Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands National Park is located near Arches National Park. This park is huge, and you could spend the whole day there. It has three distinct sections: Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze. Additionally, you have all the rivers that flow through the park.

Island in the Sky is the most popular and accessible section, offering views from its high mesa overlooking canyons and the surrounding terrain. You can enjoy scenic drives and easy hiking trails. The Needles are more rugged and isolated, with more moderate hikes and backpacking expeditions. Lastly, The Maze is the most remote section, with few tourists, and only experienced and self-sufficient hikers venture there.

I’ve been told that Canyonlands is an excellent destination for stargazing, as it’s designated as an International Dark Sky Park.

For convenience, I stayed in the Island in the Sky section, allowing me to drive to most spots and see most of the sights and overlooks in a few hours!

During the Arizona Utah road trip, I realized that many of the Mighty Five National Parks and the surrounding parks form a circuit that you can mostly drive with short walks to reach amazing views. Coming from Canada, where I’m used to hiking for a minimum of three hours to reach the top and where it’s not car accessible, this was a shock.

Day 5: From MOAB to Bryce National Park

Early in the morning, I made my way to Bryce, with a little stop at a hidden gem along the road.

Stop 11 – Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Located between Bryce and Arches, Capitol Reef National Park is often overlooked. The most popular trail is the Hickman Bridge Trail, a 2.7 km out-and-back trail that takes about an hour to complete.

At the visitor center, you can find other amazing suggestions for different hikes such as the Cassidy Arch Trail, Rim Overlook Trail, or the Navajo Knob Trail. You can also enjoy a scenic drive to take in the beautiful orange landscapes.

Then, I headed west to Bryce National Park.

Stop 12 – Bryce National Park, Utah

This is the only National Park that still had snow in March, making it a very cold day for me. I thought I was escaping the Canadian winter, but surprise surprise! Seeing the snow discouraged me from attempting a harder hike, as I wasn’t properly dressed. I was told the trails are icy and muddy until mid-April if not later!

So, I went on two shorter hikes: Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail, and Sunset Point to Sunrise Point.

The former is a 5 km moderate hike that takes about 2 hours to complete. The latter is a quick, pleasant walk along the top edge of the wall. In both hikes, you have an amazing view of the hoodoos all around the park. Despite the snow and mud, the views were unlike anything I had seen since the start of this Arizona Utah road trip.

Day 6: From Bryce National Park to Zion National Park

Stop 13 – Zion National Park, Utah

For our last day, we headed first to Zion National Park, specifically the Overlook Trail. From the park entrance, you need to drive up the mountain to reach the parking lot. From there, it takes about 20 minutes to reach the overlook. Finding parking can be a bit challenging, so be patient and try further down the road to find a spot. The hike is easy but becomes very steep in some areas, and there are one-way passages at times.

The view from the overlook was truly breathtaking.

For those seeking a bigger challenge, Angel’s Landing is a popular but very difficult 7 km hike. However, I was feeling too tired from all the driving and lack of sleep for such a strenuous hike.

Stop 14 – Red Cliffs National Conservational Area, Utah

This was a delightful surprise hike as I realized I still had plenty of time before my flight back. With a quick search, I found Miss Rover’s article about Tant Flat and Candy Cliffs, which are located within the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area.

The drive there and back was exhilarating; I couldn’t even look at the side of the road while driving for fear of falling over the cliff. It was simply insane. I couldn’t film anything as I usually would; I had to park and film, and even then, I couldn’t get too close to the edge.

The hike itself was enjoyable, and the warmth of the sun made it even more pleasant. I could have admired the view from the top forever and never grown tired of it.

Day 7: From Zion National Park to Las Vegas

And that concludes this beautiful Arizona Utah road trip. I departed Zion National Park early in the morning, returned to Las Vegas, and you can read about how I spent 24 hours in Las Vegas on a budget.

Where to stay in the Utah Arizona Road Trip

Stay in Page, Arizona

MY Pick

Best Western View of Lake Powell Hotel

This hotel was so nice and close to many stops and landmarks in Arizona such as Antelope Marina and Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell.

I was not expecting such a crazy view and you could enjoy it from their nice open terrace.

Stay in MOAB, Utah

MY Pick

Expedition Lodge

It’s one of my favorite hotels on the trip.

The decor was on point. It was all themed in the 80’s and nicely executed from the rooms to the dining room.

The area is full of delicious restaurants and stores so you won’t get bored!

And it was 5 min away from Arches National Park!

Stay in Bryce, Utah

MY Pick

Comfort Suites Kanab National Park Area

I loved how spacious the rooms were and how warm the staff was!

Zion National Park is less than an hour away and the Grand Canyon is less than 2 hours away. This place is very convenient if you’re thinking of staying in the west side of Utah and Arizona.

Stay in Zion, Utah

MY Pick

Abbey Inn Cedar City

Located in Cedar City, this hotel had one of the friendliest reception staff. They gave me a few suggestions which I almost took them up upon.

The rooms were nicely decorated and had all the amenities I was looking for.

They have a breakfast room, a pool, and a hot tub you can enjoy at the end of the day or to start your day!

🔥 SAVING TIP: I booked all the hotels with breakfast included, and you should too! I also brought food with me on the road and packed a coffee tumbler for coffee or tea. Many places were in secluded areas with limited dining options nearby, so this was the smartest way to save money. Those snacks came in handy several times on the road, and when I checked my accounts upon returning, I was very happy with my decision.

That’s how I spent 6 days on an Arizona Utah road trip, and it was amazing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who needs to disconnect and recharge.

Let me know if you’ve tried this road trip before and what hikes or sites you would add to the list!

Until next time!

Sofyah,

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SofyahOv

Sofyah Ov is the founder of Sofyahscorner. Through her travels, she emphasizes the art of living comfortably while adventuring, showing readers how to strike a harmonious balance between world exploration and the soft life. Having lived in 3 different continents, the writer, passionate traveler, and lifestyle enthusiast would love to teach you how you can have it all!

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