Planning an RV Road Trip to Arizona
History buffs can check out the site of the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, drive down historic Route 66 or visit Montezuma Castle, one of the four original national monuments in the United States. Wine lovers can visit the towns of Jerome and Sedona to sample wine in one of the more unique wine countries in the United States. Saguaro National Park and Chiricahua National Monument are a few of the signature national attractions not named the Grand Canyon, while Phoenix and Old-Town Scottsdale offer plenty of opportunities for RVers to have a good time and enjoy great food.
With this many RV destinations to choose from, planning an RV trip to Arizona can be overwhelming. Here, we’ll break down some of our favorite national parks, towns, historic sites and other great places to visit on your next Arizona RV trip.
Historic Route 66
A drive down Route 66 is a must for any RV trip to Arizona. Perhaps the most famous stretch of road in American history, the original U.S. Route 66 stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles and was popularized in numerous songs and films. Arizona is home to the longest original stretch of Route 66, which runs through much of the Northern part of the state.
Driving through the old Route 66, whether you’re coming from the east or the west, takes RVers through the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City and other small towns. Stop in Flagstaff to visit The Museum Club, a historic honky-tonk or in Seligman to visit Delgadillo’s Snow Cap for some Route 66 history and nostalgia.
The Verde Valley
One of the state’s many not-so-hidden gems is the Verde Valley. This area of Northern Arizona has some of the most picturesque scenery in the state and is home to an incredible wine region. With a climate similar to parts of Spain and Southern France, the region has a burgeoning wine industry based in towns like Sedona, Jerome and Cottonwood. Using experimental techniques and featuring tasting rooms that offer locally sourced food, the Northern Arizona wine country is a great place to spend a relaxing weekend.
Beyond wineries, the region features prehistoric sites, museums, five state parks, hiking and more. For RVers, Dead Horse State Park offers over 100 RV campsites and is a great central location to explore the area from.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a sight that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon offers many ways to explore its incredible beauty. Hikes or mule tours are casual options for travelers looking to take their time to soak in the scenery. Helicopter tours offer a bird’s eye view of the canyon in all its glory, while a rafting expedition down the Colorado River gives a proper ground-level tour of the area.
Saguaro National Park
Home of the largest cacti in the U.S., Saguaro National Park is split amongst two locations to the east and west of Tucson. The park is home to the Saguaro Cactus, which is found only in the Sonoran Desert and can grow to be over 40 feet tall. A wide variety of animals can be found in Saguaro National Park including desert tortoises, woodpeckers, roadrunners, great-horned owls, hummingbirds and more. The park includes over 171 miles of hiking trails, picnic areas and incredible views of Tucson from either park.
Western fans will instantly recognize the name of this Southern Arizona town, home of the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Located just over an hour southeast of Tucson, Tombstone has a rich history steeped in the lore of the American West. The old Tombstone Courthouse serves as a museum chronicling the exciting history of Arizona during the Old West period, and reenactments of the shootout are held daily. Tombstone has several saloons and restaurants for visitors to enjoy and plenty of shops to grab some Western gear at.
Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument offers a truly surreal experience that must be had during your next RV trip to Arizona. The otherworldly landscape is the result of volcanic rock experiencing 27 million years of erosion. The monument is located about 2 hours due east of Tucson and features 17 miles of trails for RVers to explore. Caves and lava flows are peppered throughout the spires, some of which are hundreds of feet tall.
Phoenix, which is both Arizona’s state capital and largest city, is one of the most unique major metropolitan areas in the country. The city of Phoenix is the fifth-largest in the country, and the Greater Phoenix area includes the cities of Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale and Tempe. Very few major cities in the country combine urban sprawl and natural beauty like Phoenix. For RVers heading to the area, pick an activity and Phoenix is more than likely to have it.
Entertainment, dining and shopping can be found all over Phoenix and the surrounding area. Downtown is a growing center for all three while Old-Town Scottsdale has the area’s most exciting nightlife and dining. Museums are aplenty in the city and include the Heard Museum, which features an incredible collection of Native American art from tribes native to the Southwest.
Phoenix is a great sports city, with over 200 golf courses in the greater metropolitan area and four professional sports teams. State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, hosts the Fiesta Bowl and is in the regular rotation of stadiums utilized for the College Football National Championship, Final Four and Super Bowl. Over 15 MLB teams hold Spring Training throughout the Phoenix area and the Arizona State Sun Devils offer a great Pac-12 college football experience.
Lake Havasu City
Fun fact: Lake Havasu City, AZ is the current home of the original London Bridge. Yes, you read that right. After centuries of issues with the original bridge, a “New” London Bridge was constructed in 1831. In 1967, entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch, Sr. (who also founded the city) purchased the infamous bridge and moved from the Thames to the Colorado River.
Besides this unique attraction, Lake Havasu is a fantastic destination for RVers to visit any time of year. Visitors can enjoy over 400 miles of river coastline, white sandy beaches and incredible weather. Go boating, kayaking, off-roading, fishing and more through 60 miles of waterways and 1,800 miles of trails in the surrounding area. Downtown features great dining, nightlife and shopping options for RVers to enjoy after a long day of adventure.