Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

One Tank Trip for Arizona Camping

Total mileage / average drive time:
220 miles – 4 hours, 25 minutes

Within the borders of Arizona lies a carpet of history and legend woven through every mile of the state. It’s hard to drive these roads and not conjure visions of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp galloping ahead of you on horseback or not imagine what it must have been like when this region was as wild and untamed as the men who roamed it. You won’t find any outlaws on horseback these days, but what you will find is a state that seamlessly blends its colorful past with a very modern flare.

At an elevation of 7,000 feet and set in the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world, Flagstaff is a favorite of outdoor lovers, golf enthusiasts, and history buffs looking to retrace the steps of some of Arizona’s most notorious legendary residents. There are nearly
50 miles of Flagstaff Urban Trails System pathways for those who want to hike, walk, run, or bike their way through this unique city. The neighboring San Francisco Peaks, including Arizona’s highest peak, Mt. Humphrey’s, also offer a multitude of hiking options. In the winter, get in some downhill skiing or snowboarding at the Arizona Snowbowl, cross-country ski or go sledding. In the historic downtown area there’s a tempting selection of restaurants, shops, and bars in a pedestrian-friendly setting where you can grab dinner, land some great bargains, and enjoy a few drinks and dancing later in the evening.

39 miles – 42 minutes
Less than 40 miles west of Flagstaff lies your next destination, Williams. Its high elevation and cool summers make Williams one of the most visitor-friendly and picturesque destinations in Arizona. This quaint mountain town has all of the personality and allure of an authentic Western settlement and, in celebrating its location on historic Route 66, it’s preserved a true slice of Americana. Williams is also known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon and from its train depot you can hop aboard the vintage Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic two-hour train ride to the rim of one of our most precious national treasures. With an average summer temperature of 85 degrees, Williams offers a wonderful variety of activities to choose from: hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, golf, and more than a few opportunities for shopping. The summer months also bring out the outlaws, such as the Cataract Creek Gang that performs nightly on Route 66. Williams’ other summer events include its annual motorcycle rally, vintage car cruises, rodeos, and barrel racing. For a small town, Williams offers more than enough to keep its visitors entertained, such as its top attraction, Bearizona, where you get a rare chance to observe animal wildlife up close in its natural environment and from the safety of your car. From majestic bison and spry bighorn sheep to stealthy mountain lions and cuddly bear cubs, Bearizona is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’ll be talking about for years.

Grand Canyon
58.9 miles – 1 hour, 16 minutes
A little less than an hour-and-a-half away from Williams is the south rim of the Grand Canyon and Grand Canyon Village. This is one destination where the written word fails on all accounts to describe the beauty and vastness found here. The Grand Canyon spans 277 miles from end to end and as you stand on the rim, it gives new meaning to the word, “breathtaking.” Ah, but a savvy adventurer such as yourself wouldn’t be happy just standing at the edge staring into the canyon, would you? There are many guided tours offered here, whether you want to take to the skies and see the spectacular beauty of this area from a plane or helicopter or you want to grab your pack and hiking boots and take off on an easy day hike down into the Canyon or indulge in a more challenging multi-day backpacking trip. There is no better way to gain a full appreciation of the Grand Canyon than on a white water rafting trip. Choose from motorized or oar-powered expeditions ranging from a few days to several weeks — all guaranteed to thrill and delight you.

Meteor Crater
122 miles – 2 hours, 27 minutes
Once you’ve rested your weary legs, it’s off to your last stop, Meteor Crater, some 122 miles away. Traveling from the Grand Canyon back through Flagstaff, we continue east to Arizona’s very own meteorite impact crater. The result of a collision between an asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour and our own precious Earth some 50,000 years ago, the crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference, and more than 550 feet deep. As it appears on the map, it doesn’t look like much, but the crater is an international tourist destination complete with outdoor observation trails, an air-conditioned indoor viewing area, and a wide-screen movie theater complete with thunderous sounds and explosions as the meteor’s voyage to earth is recreated on screen. It’s been estimated the collision rocked the Southwest with the energy of more than 20 million tons of TNT. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? Viewing it in person is the only way to truly get the scope of it and to put it into perspective, so make sure you pencil Meteor Crater into your itinerary!

Want some help planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? Or to Flagstaff? Visit where you’ll find a wealth of pertinent information to ensure a safe and fun adventure to one of the most majestic and popular
destinations in North America.

Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip for Arizona
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip for Arizona
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Arizona