Arizona to Nevada via Sedona, Flagstaff & the Grand Canyon
A road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas passes through the red rocks of Sedona and the south rim of the Grand Canyon, before reaching the neon lights of infamous Vegas!
The city of Phoenix is situated in the southern part of the state of Arizona and is the natural starting point of many road trips, as it is served by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. A two-hour drive north of Phoenix, just off I-17, is the red rock country of Sedona; from Sedona, take route 89A north, through Oak Creek Canyon to reach Flagstaff. Leave Flagstaff on I-40 west and take a side trip to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, before continuing onto the Hoover Dam and the bright lights of Las Vegas!
The Red Rock Country of Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona is a relatively small town but is popular with visitors because of the natural beauty of its location. Sedona is surrounded by red rocks which can be explored by hiking, riding, and touring the trails and roads around Sedona by a number of modes of transport, including foot, jeep, and mountain bike.
Sedona is also well known for some world-class resorts and spas; in addition, it has a large number of art galleries and boutique-style stores. Throughout the year, Sedona plays host to a number of events and festivals including an International Film Festival, Jazz on the Rocks, and Plein Air Arts Festival.
Oak Creek Canyon Between Sedona and Flagstaff
The drive through Oak Creek Canyon from Sedona to Flagstaff is one of America’s most scenic drives. View spectacular Oak Creek Canyon from a scenic viewpoint, fish or swim in the creek, camp in one of several campsites or hike one of Oak Creek Canyon’s trails. Oak Creek Canyon is extremely popular in summer and it is advisable to both book and plan ahead for accommodation at this time.
Things to Do in Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff is situated several thousand feet higher than Sedona; at an elevation of 6,900 feet, Flagstaff has pleasant summer temperatures and snow in winter. Flagstaff is also a natural outdoor adventure place with the option to hike in summer or ski in winter. In addition, Flagstaff is home to Lowell Observatory and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Flagstaff is a university town with art galleries, spas and boutique stores. A meteor crater and Native American Indian ruins are also nearby.
Visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
The south rim of the Grand Canyon is approximately 80 miles from Flagstaff, and is a small side trip from I-40 on the way to Las Vegas; however, allow at least a day to visit the Grand Canyon, especially in summer. The Grand Canyon has many scenic overlooks, accessible by car, but has outdoor activities too, such as hiking, taking a mule ride, and helicopter tours. Accommodation at the Grand Canyon is often booked up to a year in advance, so plan ahead accordingly.
Hoover Dam on the Arizona/Nevada State Border
The Hoover Dam is situated 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas; U.S. Route 93 passes over the top of Hoover Dam and therefore the dam is seen by visitors driving to and from Las Vegas. However, the Hoover Dam Bypass is currently under construction to divert traffic away from the Hoover Dam, due to the threat of terrorist attacks and the narrow, winding road, with frequent hold-ups, that serves the dam.
The Hoover Dam straddles the Arizona/Nevada state border and, depending on the time of year, there may be an hour’s time difference between the two sides of the dam. It is possible to visit the Hoover Dam from the top and inside (for a fee) to view the engineering construction of the dam.
Sin City – Las Vegas, Nevada
The road finally leads to Las Vegas, also known as “Sin City” due to its flamboyant reputation for all things sinful. However, apart from the strip clubs and the more seedy side of Las Vegas, the city is now becoming known for some world-class spas and hotels and spectacular shows and musicals. The lights and glamor of Las Vegas entice many visitors – but the road trip to reach Vegas can be just as much fun as the final destination!