Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Explore   /   Arizona Destinations   /   Arizona Trips of a Lifetime

Northern Arizona

Total Mileage/Average drive time
279 miles, 4 hours, 51 minutes

On this route, you can travel through centuries of history from prehistoric Native American settlements to the Wild West to the majestic Grand Canyon, and all without leaving your recreational vehicle behind.

1. Casa Grande - Starting Point
Travel through the pristine Sonoran Desert into the past and stand among the ruins of a four-story meeting place used by the ancient Puebloa People over 650 years ago. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument provides self-guided tours, a museum and visitors center where you can discover the mysterious yet enticing stories these desert people left regarding their prehistoric lives; all are still captivating and haunting.

Recommended Stopovers:
Fortuna De Oro RV Resort
Yuma, (928) 342-5051

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort
Casa Grande, (888) 696-4957

2. Apache Junction - 55 miles, 1 hour, 4 minutes
To the north is Apache Junction, which is shrouded in the legends and history of the Wild West. The famous profile of the Superstition Mountains loom in the distance. Visit an authentic ghost town, witness an Old West gunfight performed by skilled reenactors and tour historic gold mines. Take a trip to nearby Goldfield Ghost Town for a lesson in Arizona history, but do plan to return with an appetite. Dirtwater Springs Restaurant offers a 72-ounce steak and “spirits”; it’s known as one of the most haunted places in Arizona.

3. Mesa - 21 miles, 26 minutes
Mesa offers plenty of sightseeing opportunities with scenic drives along byways, back routes and historical trails. Take a river cruise aboard the Dolly Steamboat and explore the secluded inner waterways of Canyon Lake. A golfers paradise, golf enthusiasts will discover the Mesa courses stay emerald green all year. Wind down the day at the Silver Star Playhouse with a hilarious show and dinner.

Recommended Stopover:
Cal Am Properties
Mesa, (888) 940-8989

4. Phoenix - 19 miles, 26 minutes
Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix offers big-city style with Wild West flair. The downtown Arizona Center boasts shopping and open-air dining among gardens and ponds. See one of the world’s best collections of desert plants at the Desert Botanical Garden before hiking up the Summit Trail for a vast view of the city. Enjoy great Southwestern food in an authentic 1940s ranch house at Hole-In-The-Wall Restaurant. Sports fans can cheer for football's Arizona Cardinals, basketball's Phoenix Suns or baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks.

5. Flagstaff - 147 miles, 2 hours, 14 minutes
Journey up I-17 to Flagstaff, located in the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, and explore seven nearby national parks and monuments. Revel in the natural beauty of the American Southwest riding the rails of the Verde Canyon Railroad on vintage cars with panoramic views. Visit Meteor Crater in the high grasslands, Sunset Crater Volcano, one of the longest-lived cinder cone volcanoes, and the Roden Crater, an extinct volcano on the edge of the Painted Desert.

6. Williams - 37 miles, 41 minutes
West on I-40 is the town of Williams, “Gateway to the Grand Canyon.” Climb aboard the Grand Canyon Railway and ride on century-old tracks where the end of the line is just steps away from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon; the immense size, amazing colors, and intricate formations are awe inspiring. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon will leave you breathless with its magnificence and beauty.

Recommended Stopover:
Grand Canyon Railway RV Park
Williams, (800) 843-8724