Arizona Is the Place to Go for a Winter Road Trip

Gorgeous red rock formations that reach into the sky. Sunny blue skies with comfortable winter temps. Canyons that take your breath away. These are just a few of the many things that travelers can see and experience during a winter road trip in Arizona. For those who are less than enchanted with the idea of contending with snow, freezing rain and black ice for the next several months, come visit the Grand Canyon State for a rejuvenating adventure. Four destinations we recommend:

Havasu Falls

Photo by Moondigger via Wikimedia Commons

The drive through the canyons that go to the Havasupai Reservation in the Grand Canyon in Arizona will reward travelers with views of some of the most amazing water they have ever seen. The blue water cascades down almost 100 feet in stark contrast to the red rocks of the canyon; be sure to bring a camera to get shots of the falls, which have appeared in numerous travel journals and magazines.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Photo by romainguy via Flickr

Part of the U.S. Park Service, Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “canyon duh shay”) in northern Arizona was home to indigenous people who lived in the 1,000-foot-high rock cliffs for almost 5,000 years. Most people drive through the park and view the canyon from both North Rim and South Rim Drives. The various structures and ancient ruins can still be seen. For those who want to venture farther into the park, Mummy Cave includes a variety of structures that were made over the centuries.


Photo by onenjen via Flickr

No road trip to the Southwest would be complete without a visit to Sedona. Average-high temperatures of 50-plus degrees in winter will feel positively warm to travelers from the East Coast or Midwest. Sedona is well-known for its breathtaking array of gorgeous red rock formations, most of which have charming names like Snoopy Rock and Bell Rock. For those who want to take a break from driving, lodging in Sedona tends to be especially affordable during the winter, and it is also not as crowded.

Monument Valley (Utah-Arizona State Line)

Photo by Tom Coates via Flickr

Famous for its iconic “Mittens,” as well as numerous other mesas and buttes, Monument Valley is a must-see during a wintertime road trip. The small town of Kayenta is the gateway to this famous area. Turn left on U.S. 160 and then a right onto U.S. 163, and then prepare yourself for some of the most incredible rock formations you have ever seen. Upon arriving at the Navajo Tribal Park, it is definitely worth the money to enter into the area and drive through the meandering and occasional bouncy dirt roads to see an up-close view of each and every monument.

Before You Go

Before hitting the road, take the time to make sure your car is in good working order. Some companies have a special inventory for all-season tires. TireBuyer has all-season Nexen tires that start at $57 per tire. Get an oil change to ensure proper engine maintenance. And remember, Arizona temperatures can get a bit chilly at night—don’t forget to pack some warm clothes.



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