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  1. #1

    Default Phoenix to Salt Lake City


    A friend and I are plotting to do a driving trip from Pheonix to Salt Lake City for the end of april / early may. We figure we'd give about 8 or 10 days to meander around, and were wondering about some general routes to take and sites to see along the way.

    We're thinking of starting in Pheonix for a day or so then heading out to the flagstaff area, then going by the canyon and hitting up monument valley, from there we'd head into Utah then up to SLC.

    Any suggestions or ideas would be welcome.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default 1 or 2 Way Trip

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Is this a one-way or round-trip drive? Time will not be too much of a constraint in either case, but it will make a difference. If it's to be a one-way trip, then your general plan is a good one. There is plenty to see and do in the general Flagstaff area. Then a trip up through Monument Valley puts you within easy range of both Mesa Verde National Park and Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. Continuing north through Utah would bring you to Arches National Park before you get to SLC.

    If it's to be a round-trip, then you may have to forego a site or two on the northbound leg in order to leave time to come back around to the west of the Grand Canyon with stops at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, Las Vegas and Lake Mead.


  3. #3


    Hi AZ Buck,

    Thanks for the Reply and the link.

    This is indeed a one way trip from Phoenix to SLC. We figured we'd structure things like go to one city and stay for 3 days, then head off to elsewhere stay for a few days to explore, then continue etc. Around Flagstaff we figure we can check out their observatory, and NAU, then maybe make some side trips to some of the monuments and what not.

    I'm really curious about possible scenic routes from phoenix up to flagstaff (Rather than just doing an interstate run) and possible routes through Utah.

    thanks. :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default OK Then

    Between Phoenix and Flagstaff, there are two very nice scenic routes that can be strung together. You would leave Phoenix on AZ-87 northeast through the Mazatzal Mountains to Payson and then take AZ-260 northwest past Tonto Natural Bridge State Park (be sure to check the web site for closures) to Cottonwood where AZ-89A will take you up through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. In Utah, it will be tough to do better than US-163 up through Monument Valley, but the 'scenic' route from there to Salt Lake City would follow UT-95 and UT_24 northwest through Glen Canyon and Capitol Reef and then join US-89 north of Richfield for the rest of the drive to SLC. But as nice as that drive is, and I've done it, for my money the route from Monument Valley north on US-191 and then US-6 after Price, is hardly that much less scenic, and does include Arches National Park which is a one-of-a-kind opportunity.


  5. #5


    Cool. Thanks for that reply, its very appreciated.

    We are also possibly debating starting in SLC instead, then going down, and around to vegas instead of phoenix. Do you still think 10 days would be enough for that kind of trip with the added milage?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not With Your Original Plan

    You can certainly do a round trip from Salt Lake City to Phoenix and back, including Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks and Las Vegas on the way down, and the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Arches National Park on the way back. But such a tour would be 1500 miles minimum requiring at least three full days of driving spread out over the trip. You could still spend a couple of days in Las Vegas, and a couple of days in Phoenix, and a couple of days in Flagstaff, but not three days in any of them, and you'd still have to find the time for the great parks along the way.


  7. #7

    Default it would be a one way trip...

    Hey thanks for that post reply (i've been absent with work lately and just popped back in). Its not a round trip just a one way. Sorry if my post made it sound like a round trip plan. :)

    So it would start in SLC then go down through Utah, past Monument valley and the canyon, then down into flagstaff, then over to las vegas. I think that's about 900 miles or so in about 10 odd days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Yes, that would make a nice trip

    900 miles over 10 days will give you plenty of time to explore some of the places you'll be visiting in-depth. Here's how I'd do it: Salt Lake City to Moab/Arches National Park to Monument Valley to Grand Canyon South Rim to Grand Canyon North Rim to Bryce National Park to Zion National Park to Vegas. This is about 1100 miles. Still an extremely leisurely roadtrip with plenty of time to relax and explore.

    It's refreshing to see somewhere here planning a leisurely trip. Most of us tend to try to cram too much stuff in.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    First, I would want to make one way itineraries south to north instead north to south. Driving with the sun at the back is preferable imo. So I would vote for Las Vegas-Salt Lake City or Phx-SLC. Plus in april also better drive south to north weathewise.
    Second, if you want to see all mentioned places it's not that leisurely in 10 days. Judy mentioned north rim, but north rim will be closed till mid may.
    Have you made up your mind yet what road to follow? 10 days for seeing Sedona, GCNP, MV, Page, Zion, Bryce, Capitol reef and the Moab area is pretty short imo.

  10. #10


    Thanks for the replies Judy and Yeehaw :)
    Haven't totally decided what roads to take yet, we did think of south to north, but after my friend departs, i plan to continue into california, then go up the coast (at my own pace). so it made more sense to me to end in vegas, rather than double back and go south from salt lake city.

    As for the actual driving I figured i could structure 10 days as something like: 2 days or so in SLC then a nice drive down to flagstaff, flagstaff area for 3 days (my travel companion has biz related things to do in flagstaff so we have to go by that area), then explore some areas while driving to las vegas to finsh off.

    I've been told that Sedona is a really lovely spot, and i'm excited about monument valley (its really my maine reason for wanting to go down there), and arches, I would love to see the north rim and that area, but having to be in flagstaff sort of cuts that out this time around.

    Also i've been looking at possible hotels and hostels along the way, if anyone has some experiences they would like to share about places they've stayed, i'd love to hear them. :)

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