Self-Guided Road Trip Details
Day 1 Grand Canyon South Rim and Lake Powell:
The best locations to begin this road trip from are Flagstaff, Williams, Tusayan or Grand Canyon Village (South Rim). Once you're on the road and ready to explore head out to the South Rim, either on your own or select to take one of many exciting guided Grand Canyon tours. No matter how you choose to travel, awesome vistas, ancient ruins, and a time for a picnic lunch are all a part of a trip to Grand Canyon.
- Begin your South Rim exploration at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and enjoy a short walk to the first breathtaking view of the canyon at Mather Point. From there you can decide to take a leisurely walk along the rim to take in even more views along the way, or you can return to the Visitor Center and hop on the park’s free Kaibab/Orange shuttle bus route that will take you to more scenic views over the course of about two hours.
- You’ll continue along Hwy 64E and can make short stops at the ancient Tusayan Ruins and at the beautiful Desert View Watchtower that overlooks Grand Canyon.
- Once you exit the park, you’ll be on the land of the Navajo Nation and you should make sure to check out the Cameron Trading Post, a great place to check out authentic native art or grab a delicious Navajo taco. From there, a few hours’ scenic drive will take you to Kanab, UT for a good night’s rest.
Day 2 Zion National Park:
Waking up in beautiful Southern Utah means it’s only a short drive to Zion National Park. Spend the day exploring Zion in all its splendor by using the park’s free shuttle buses.
- Make sure you stop at the intriguing Weeping Wall and the Temple of Sinawava where you can wade into the waters of the Virgin River and take in a view of the “Narrows.”
- If you want a short hike, get off the shuttle at the Grotto and hike to Upper Emerald Pool which takes about an hour and rewards you with the beautiful contrast of water flowing through the red rocks.
- After a busy day exploring, you’ll head back to your lodging in Kanab, UT.
Guru Tip: Zion is an extremely beautiful and very busy destination. Zion National Park operates a shuttle system that runs most of the year (March-November, plus busy weekends) and limits where and when you can drive your personal vehicle. Parking lots for the shuttle fill up early when it’s busy and lines to get into the park get backed up, so it’s important to do some planning and get to Zion early in the day to enjoy your visit. Camping, backpacking and other activities may also require advanced reservations if you want to make sure to include them in your trip. For more tips and up to date information on the shuttle, traffic and traveling to Zion you can check out the parks travel page.
Day 3 Bryce Canyon National Park:
Day three takes you even higher up the Paunsaugunt Plateau through the cliffs of the Grand Staircase and the beauty of Red Canyon until you reach Bryce Canyon National Park. One of Utah's most sought after destinations, you'll marvel at the hoodoo- filled amphitheaters at places like Inspiration Point.
- If you’re looking for a mellow day, take an easy hike along the canyon’s rim but if you’re up for more adventure, a hike that descends into Bryce Canyon will reward you with incredible views. I
- f time allows, enjoy a beautiful sunset at the park before heading back to your hotel for a peaceful night’s rest.
Day 4 Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument:
From Bryce Canyon, you'll cruise Scenic Route 12 along Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This hidden gem of Southern Utah is a destination most travelers never see.
- Your first stop is the historic town of Escalante, the portal that reveals the astounding beauty of the Staircase.
- Continue your day with a relaxing hike along Calf Creek and a chance to see some one of a kind rock art.
- One memorable scene after another will lead you to the picturesque town of Boulder, UT for the night.
Day 5 Capitol Reef National Park, and Glen Canyon:
Now it's time to experience the wild nature of Southern Utah with one of the world's most spectacular drives through Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase and Glen Canyon.
- Following the Burr trail, you'll pass through the heart of Grand Staircase National Monument, Capital Reef National Park, and Glen Canyon National Monument. You'll be in awe of one magnificent panorama after another as you follow the Waterpocket Fold to Lake Powell.
- From Bullfrog Marina, drive onto the ferry for a calm cruise to the other side of Lake Powell.
- Once you're back on the road, enjoy ancient cliff dwellings and desert landscapes as you make your way back to Page, AZ.
Day 6 Antelope Canyon:
Your Southwest trip continues with more wonders of Canyon Country. The day begins with a Jeep Tour to explore the world-famous slot canyon at Antelope Canyon.
- You can book your Jeep tour in Page and most hotels are able to make arrangements for you. After some off-road fun, you’ll arrive at Antelope Canyon where a Navajo guide will lead you on a tour along the gentle floor of this colorful sandstone canyon for some once in a lifetime photos.
- After exploring Antelope Canyon, you’ll return to Page and then drive to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook of Glen Canyon. A short and easy hike will reward you with one of the most iconic views of the Colorado River.
- From there, you’ll continue across the Navajo Indian Reservation en route to the historic town of Flagstaff, AZ. Explore Flagstaff’s charming downtown on foot and stop to enjoy a beer at one of its many excellent breweries.
Day 7 Sedona, AZ:
From Flagstaff you'll drive through scenic Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, AZ for breathtaking red rock views.
- It is easy to take self-guided trips to two of Sedona's most popular parks: Slide Rock and Red Rock State Parks. Slide Rock offers incredible swimming opportunities, especially refreshing on a hot summer day, or you can enjoy a tour of the historic orchards or hike on one of the park’s trails. Red Rock State Park has a beautiful trail system that allows you to get more sweeping views of Sedona’s scenic wonders.
- As you head out of Sedona, no matter where your final destination may be, you’ll enjoy some final views of the spectacular Arizona desert to complete this Grand Circle road trip.