This state capital of Arizona serves as a gateway to surreal desert landscapes, rocky mountain tops, and surprisingly lush forests. Crank up the AC and make sure to make plenty of pit stops for water along the way.
Saguaro National Park
1 hour, 45 minute drive from Phoenix
Look, but don’t touch, the rows of saguaro cacti reaching over 40 feet over their 150-year lifespan. Saguaro National Park is located right off I-10 as you approach Tucson. There are options to continue to cruise and drive through the park, or park and hike through the desert. Be sure to stay for the stunning sunsets – we recommend Tucson Mountain District for those!
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
2 hour drive from Phoenix
Hikes are short, but steep. The drive in on Route 87 provides some of the best desert and mountain landscapes in Arizona, so be sure to take a look around.
3 hour drive from Phoenix
Known as the city of seven wonders, Flagstaff’s backyard encompasses seven national parks and monuments within an 80-mile radius. And yes, one happens to be the Grand Canyon, maybe you’ve heard of it? Additionally, Wupatki National Monument, Oak Creek Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano, San Francisco Peaks, Coconino National Forest, and Walnut Canyon, offer plenty of vista views, twisting trails, and historic buildings.