There’s nothing like a summer road trip. The warm sea breeze flying through your hair as you cruise down the coast. The fresh, piney air as you trek up mountain roads. The glint of sunlight and vast expanses as you drive through desert highways. This is why you wake up early in the morning to beat the traffic.
Grand Canyon Road Trip
Our featured road trip for this summer is making the trek up to Grand Canyon National Park. The beauty of this natural wonder needs to be appreciated up close, where the immense cliffs and ravines will leave you awestruck. The surrounding amenities of campgrounds, hotels, general stores, and restaurants gives you plenty of creature comforts so you’re not totally lost in the wild.
There are plenty of roads that will take you there, but our favorite route is starting from Phoenix, AZ. This three-and-a-half hour trip has shifting landscapes and breathtaking views throughout, even before you get to the canyon. As you drive out of the city on I-17, you find yourself in the desert, surrounded by tall cacti as far as the eye can see. You climb elevation and next you’re cruising by the red cliffs and hills of Sedona, where the desert meets ponderosa pine trees.
Further, you climb to Flagstaff, where you’re in the thick of alpine forest and near the base of Humphrey’s Peak, the highest mountain in Arizona at over 12,000 ft. Drive through more forests and then a stretch of plateau grasslands before a final climb in elevation, where the Grand Canyon awaits you.
Summer Road Trip Tip: If your A/C is blowing warm air and the A/C condenser is working properly, then your problem is most likely low refrigerant. Make a stop at Advance for canned refrigerant with a gauge and hose—ask for one with leak-sealers if you suspect a leak. You can quickly recharge your A/C and get cold air back instantly, making your road trip comfortable again. Get the full A/C recharge details.
Detours and the Scenic Routes
You may want to stop at the famous vineyards in Sedona and the Native American pueblo sites at Wupatki National Monument by Flagstaff. If you like mountain roads with a view, take the scenic drive on Rte. 180 instead of Highway 40 as you're approaching Grand Canyon National Park. Once you get to the Grand Canyon Village, check out the sights from nearby Mather Point. Make sure you leave time to drive east on Desert View Dr. over to Desert View Watchtower. This road is right along the edge of the canyon with great sightseeing at Grandview Point and Lipan Point.
Share Your Road Trip
This road trip is an American classic that we hope you and your family will get to experience. If you’ve made this trip or are planning to hit the road, share a photo and your story on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear about the vehicle that got you there and the fun detours you took along the way!