Los Angeles to Grand Canyon Road Trip

December 12, 2015 in Tours by cipcipTrip

See oceans, canyons, and everything in between on this 1,208-mile route.

Start: Los Angeles, California

Days 1 & 2 Los Angeles

Spend your first two days in sunny Los Angeles, home to Hollywood stars, top-flight cultural attractions, and beautiful scenery stretching from the ocean to the mountains. Beach bums should visit at least one city beach (Santa Monica’s boardwalk is a classic), and culture fans can visit world-class museums.

Santa Monica Beach at sunset.

Day 3 Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park: 129 miles

Rock formation and cactus in Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Chris Hogan

Take CA 60 and 62 east to Joshua Tree National Park, a unique desert preserve with lush oases, mountain peaks, and forests of its twisted namesake trees to explore. Top dayhike: the 3-mile (round-trip) trail to 49 Palms Oasis. Rock climbers will find an abundance of routes to try, plus plenty of non-technical scrambling opportunities.

Day 4 Joshua Tree NP to Lake Havasu City: 163 miles

London Bridge on Lake Havasu

Take CA 62 east to AZ 95 north up to Lake Havasu City. The Sonoran Desert town is the ideal base for exploring Lake Havasu. Hike, take a boat ride, kayak, fish, or relax at London Bridge Resort (next to the relocated 1831 London Bridge that once crossed the Thames River).

Day 5 Lake Havasu City to Grand Canyon National Park: 233 miles

Yavapai Point Sunset at the Grand Canyon's South Rim

Drive north on AZ 95, then hop on I-40 east to cruise through Kingman (a fun stopover for Route 66 fans) and Williams. Then take AZ 64 north to reach Grand Canyon National Park. If you have extra days, you’ll want to spend them camping, hiking, and sightseeing here.

Day 6 Grand Canyon to Cottonwood: 132 miles

Sedona Arizona red rocks and cactus

Head south on AZ 64, then east on I-40. Take I-17 south to access AZ 89A south, a scenic drive through Sedona to Cottonwood, a small town in the charming Verde Valley. Stroll the historic downtown, take a jeep tour, or sip wines from local vines. Also worth a visit: historic Jerome, with its early 20th-century mansions and a gold mine; Clarkdale, home base for the Verde Canyon Railroad‘s scenic rides and the Copper Art Museum; and the Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde.

Day 7 Cottonwood to Yuma: 279 miles

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

Take US 89A/89 south to Prescott, an outdoor recreation hub with lots of art, culture, and nightlife. Continue to AZ 71 south to US 60 west to US 95 south to reach Yuma, a southern Arizona town on the Colorado River. With more than 12 museums and historic sites, it’s a great place to dig into the past. One favorite stop: the infamous Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, a site of a prison dating back to 1876.

Day 8 Yuma to Los Angeles: 272 miles

Enjoy one last scenic drive west on I-8 west, CA 86 north, and I-10 west on your way back to Los Angeles. Now’s your chance to hit up any attractions you missed the first time around; finish the trip with a stroll on your favorite beach.

End: Los Angeles, California

For more information, please visit the website www.mygrandcanyonpark.com