If you’re an Arizona local or an out-of-state visitor looking for great weekend trips from Phoenix, you’ve come to the right place!
Arizona is one of those states that I just can’t help but return to over and over again. From the snow-frosted peaks of Flagstaff and the twisty orange slot canyons of Page to the saguaro-filled desert in Tuscon and the red-rock paradise in Sedona, Arizona is known to make quite a splashy impression on its visitors.
Keep reading to discover the eight best weekend trips from Phoenix along with drive times, places to stay with a range of budgets, and the best things to do while you’re at each destination.
8 Best Weekend Trips From Phoenix
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks so much for your support!
📍Distance From Phoenix: 2 hours
Sedona is a magical desert oasis in central Arizona featuring prominent, jagged cliffs and striking crimson rocks – a hiker’s, off-roader’s, and scenic driver’s dream town.
The secret is out about Sedona, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting. Quite the opposite, in my opinion.
The best way to fill a weekend in Sedona is by hiking amongst the red rocks! My favorite trails in Sedona are Cathedral Rock (fun, steep rock scramble), Subway Cave via Boynton Canyon (leads to a natural cave), and Devil’s Bridge (leads to a natural bridge).
Off-roading is another one of the best things to do in Sedona, so if you can, take a 4×4 vehicle to explore the dusty red-dirt backroads, or book a Pink Jeep Tour and have someone else take you! The best off-roads are Schnebly Hill, Soldier Pass, and Broken Arrow.
Be sure to catch one (or two) of the breathtaking cotton candy sunsets painting the desert skies. Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Doe Mountain are three of the best sunset spots in Sedona.
→ READ NEXT: 17 Best Things to Do in Sedona 🏜️
💤 Best Places to Stay in Sedona:
- Manzanita Campground – Budget
- Arabella Hotel Sedona – Mid-range
- Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock – Luxury
📍Distance From Phoenix: 4.5 hours
Page, Arizona, a sleepy town near the border of Utah and Arizona, has some of the most beautiful natural features in the entire country. From the wavy slots of Antelope Canyon to the gooseneck of Horseshoe Bend and the incredible recreational opportunities on Lake Powell, Page is a highly sought-after place to visit and recreate.
I have a blog post on how to spend one day in Page, but for a weekend, you’ll need a few more things to do.
During your weekend in Page, make sure you take a tour through Antelope Canyon. If you have the time and the budget, I’d encourage you to tour all of the slot canyons – Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, and Canyon X. They are each unique and so beautiful!
To fill your other day, I’d rent a kayak and paddle on Lake Powell to the slot canyons. You can explore the breathtaking orange slots without a guide, on foot and by water.
Take a trip to Horseshoe Bend to cap off your weekend!
💤 Best Places to Stay in Page:
- Travelodge by Wyndham Page – Budget
- Courtyard Page at Lake Powell – Mid-range
- Home2 Suites By Hilton Page Lake Powell – Luxury
→ READ NEXT: One Perfect Day in Page, Arizona
3. Petrified Forest National Park
📍Distance From Phoenix: 3.5 hours
Petrified Forest is one of the most underrated National Parks in America. Inside its boundaries are incredible badlands, otherworldly landscapes, and the largest concentration of petrified wood in the entire world.
You will be able to cruise the scenic drive and hike the shorter trails all in one day. So if you’d like to spend an entire weekend there, I’d suggest stepping into the backcountry and sleeping at one of the wilderness campsites!
→ READ NEXT: One Perfect Day in Petrified Forest National Park 🪵
💤 Best Places to Stay in Petrified Forest:
- GreenTree Inn of Holbrook – Budget
- La Quinta Inn & Suites By Wyndham Holbrook – Mid-range
- Best Western Arizonian Inn – Luxury
4. Saguaro National Park
📍Distance From Phoenix: 2 hours
Saguaro National Park is another underrated site in the NPS system. Featuring the largest cacti in the USA, the giant saguaro, this park boasts mountains, scenic drives, and beautiful desertscapes.
I would take one day to explore each side of Saguaro National Park – the East and the West.
On the East side, stop by the visitor center, cruise the scenic drive, stop at the scenic overlooks, and take a few hikes. The Javelina Rocks is my favorite overlook while Mica View and Bridal Wreath Falls are can’t-miss hikes.
On the West side, stop by the visitor center, cruise the dirt road, and hike the Valley View, Signal Hill, Desert Discovery, and Gould Mine Trails.
→ READ NEXT: Saguaro National Park East Vs. West 🌵
💤 Best Places to Stay in Saguaro:
- Catalina State Park Campground – Budget
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Tuscon City Center – Mid-range
- The Lodge at Ventana Canyon – Luxury
5. Grand Canyon National Park
📍Distance From Phoenix: 4 hours to the South Rim
Grand Canyon National Park is separated by the Colorado River into two rims – the North and the South. It is a roughly 4-hour drive to get from one side to the other, so for your weekend trip from Phoenix, I’d recommend sticking with the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the most popular side because there is the most to do, and it is the most accessible. So you won’t run out of things to do on your Phoenix weekend getaway!
For starters, I’d hike a portion of the South Kaibab Trail. To Ooh-Aah Point, it’s only 1.8 miles roundtrip. But if you have time, go all the way to Skeleton Point, which is 5.8 miles roundtrip.
Next, dip your toes into the Bright Angel Trail. As a day trip, you can hike to Second Tunnel (1.8 miles roundtrip), Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse (3 miles roundtrip), or Three-Mile Resthouse (6 miles roundtrip).
For the evening, take the shuttle and get dropped off at Yavapai Point one night and Mather Point on the other night to take in the amazing desert sunsets over the rim of the Grand Canyon. Get there early; the overlooks fill up quickly for sunset!
💤 Best Places to Stay in Grand Canyon:
- Mather Campground – Budget
- Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon – Mid-range
- Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins – Luxury
6. Las Vegas
📍Distance From Phoenix: 5 hours
Las Vegas is a great weekend destination! There is so much to do, no matter which time of year you go.
If you’re more into city life, you can stay on the Strip all weekend and not run out of things to do. You can gamble, stay in a luxury hotel (for a decent price), catch some amazing live shows, and shop until you drop.
If you want to escape the city and see what outdoorsy spots there are right outside the Strip, head to Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire! (Not recommended in the summer).
You do need to reserve a permit ahead of time to enter Red Rock Canyon’s scenic drive from October 1st to May 31st (8 AM – 5 PM). Don’t miss the Calico Tanks Trail and Icebox Canyon Trail!
Valley of Fire is an iconic Vegas destination. Spend the day cruising the scenic drive, snapping your photo on the signature Mouse’s Tank Road, and hiking the famous Fire Wave, Seven Wonders, and White Domes loop. If you have extra time, stop at all of the roadside attractions like Beehives and Atlatl Rock.
💤 Best Places to Stay in Las Vegas:
7. Joshua Tree National Park
📍Distance From Phoenix: 3.5 hours
Joshua Tree National Park is a great weekend trip from Phoenix. While the park is famous for its unique Joshua Trees, there is so much more to see and explore. The park is filled with vehicle-sized boulders, rugged mountains, challenging climbing routes, and exciting slot canyons.
While you’re there for the weekend, make sure you hike the Hidden Valley, Hall of Horror, and Split Rock Trails, see the unique rocks like Skull, Arch, and Face, walk through the Cholla Cactus Garden, and dabble in some rock climbing with Mojave Guides.
And my absolute favorite thing to do in Joshua Tree is to conquer the Chasm of Doom! Read my blog post here to learn all about the exciting hidden rock scramble featuring narrow passageways, tight squeezes, spelunking-style corridors, and thrilling bouldering routes.
💤 Best Places to Stay in Joshua Tree:
- Jumbo Rocks Campground – Budget
- Oasis Inn and Suites Joshua Tree – 29 Palms – Mid-range
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Twentynine Palms – Luxury
📍Distance From Phoenix: 2.5 hours
Flagstaff is one of the snowiest cities in the USA (90 inches annually! ❄️), so if you’re a winter sports enthusiast, you’re going to want to spend your Phoenix weekend getaway here in Flagstaff. It’s time to hit the slopes and go skiing, snowboarding, and tubing!
Flagstaff is also home to three beautiful National Monuments: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and Wupatki National Monument.
At Walnut Canyon National Monument, you can hike the two trails – Rim Trail (0.7 miles roundtrip) and Island Trail (0.9 miles roundtrip). The Rim Trail has beautiful overlooks over the canyon while the Island Trail descends into the canyon and around the cliff dwellings.
At Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, you can explore the Bonito Lava Flow or climb to the top of Lenox Crater Volcano (⚠️ CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO FIRE DAMAGE).
At Wupatki National Monument, you will see massive pueblos, including Wupatki Pueblo (the largest free-standing pueblo in Northern Arizona) and Wukoki (three-story tower).
→ READ NEXT: Ultimate Arizona National Parks Road Trip Itinerary
💤 Best Places to Stay in Flagstaff:
- Days Inn by Wyndham Flagstaff I-40 – Budget
- Best Western Bellemont Shadow Mountain Inn – Mid-range
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Flagstaff – Luxury
Discover Your Next Adventure
Where to next? I’ve got some suggestions!
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Arches National Park
- Zion National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
PIN IT AND SAVE IT FOR LATER!