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Jimmy Rox shares everywhere to stop on a Utah and Arizona road trip.

Ready for an adventure this Summer? Plan a Utah and Arizona road trip!

If there’s anything that the lockdown from 2020 taught me, it’s that there is so much to see in our very own backyard. They call it America the Beautiful for a reason! I love discovering small towns and exploring National Parks. With a road trip, planning can get a bit overwhelming because there is just so much to do and you can’t do it all in one trip. I always like to leave something to go back to :)

This trip for me was really special being my first time in Utah and that I brought my dad. With our matching walking sticks, bucket hats and backpacks, we really had a blast.

I hope this helps you with your own planning for adventure. To do. a Utah and Arizona road trip properly, it’s important to give yourself time to just take it all in wherever you go vs. just pack an itinerary to the point where it’s not as enjoyable as you’d like.

A must-do for a Utah and Arizona road trip is to go ATV riding.

Stop 1: Sedona, Arizona

Distance if you fly into Phoenix: 2 hours (116 miles) Distance if you fly into Flagstaff: 49 minutes (30 miles)

Vibe: Sedona is classic Americana and if you haven’t been it’s an easy stop where you can hike as much as you want to…or not at all. Red rock formations surround the landscape and there’s a small town to walk through with art galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Favorite thing I did here: For the extreme and the non, I have two options. First, my dad and I went ATV riding in a Polaris RZR which was incredible and yes you’ll get completely covered in dust. We literally drove it on the main road (without prior experience) to get to the trailhead.

Additionally if you don’t have a lot of time to hike or don’t want to, the Pink Jeep Tours is a great way to see the Mars-like landscape without the work to get there. The ride itself is super fun and there’s plenty of stops to get that perfect photo.

Stopping at Antelope Canyon is a must do on a Utah and Arizona road trip.

Stop 2: Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Distance from Sedona: 2 hours, 49 minutes (161 miles)

Vibe: While it is touristy and crowded, it is really freaking cool to see in person and I’m glad I made the time to go. It’s on Navajo land so it’s privately owned and you can get tickets here. If you’re planning to go, get those tickets as soon as you can because it does sell out.

Favorite thing I did here: A short drive away is Horseshoe Bend, which you don’t need to spend more than 30 minutes there and the views are stunning. I stayed at a local Navajo Sheep Ranch nearby which was honestly the best part of this stop. I slept in a hogan and the stars without any other buildings around were surreal.

Make time to hike Arches National Park on a Utah and Arizona road trip.

Stop 3: Moab, Utah

Distance from Antelope Canyon: 4 hours, 16 minutes (266 miles) Vibe: My favorite stop on the entire trip. Moab is a small town with a downtown for local ice cream on hot days, restaurants and of course Arches National Park. There aren't as many accessible airports around so it’s not as crowded as Zion since more driving is required.

Favorite thing I did here: In two days, I went to Arches National Park four times. There’s various hikes from a short walk to the Window Arches to a 3-mile hike to the iconic Delicate Arch. Make sure to pack a lunch and bring lots of water.

A Utah and Arizona road trip is best done with family and friends.

Stop 4: Zion National Park, Utah

Distance from Moab: 5 hours, 19 minutes (345 miles) Additional stops: Depending on how much time you have, you can stop at Canyonlands National Park and Bryce Canyon.

Vibe: Zion may seem touristy, but for good reason. With hikes like Angel’s Landing and the Narrows, it’s truly some bucket list sh*t and you can’t do these things anywhere else. There is a shuttle bus system in the park – it’s that big. Plan ahead if you have to wait in line.

Favorite thing I did here: The Narrows is the best hike I’ve ever done. You literally trek through a river. In my hiking boots, backpack and walking sticks, at one point the water came up to my chest.

A great way to end a Utah and Arizona road trip is to drive to Vegas and see the magic rocks.

Last stop: Las Vegas, Nevada

Distance from Zion: 2 hours, 37 minutes (165 miles)

Vibe: I only spent one night here to basically fly out. It’s quite a funny juxtaposition to one night being under the stars with a campfire with no one around to find yourself in the middle of the Strip with all walks of life.

Favorite thing I did here: Seven Magic Mountains is an art installation that may seem just for the pictures but it was really cool to see. It’s about a 30 minute drive outside of downtown Vegas.

Hope this inspires some Summer travel right in America’s own backyard.

Be good,

JB

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