If you want to travel from the Mile High City to the Valley of the Sun, then you should pack your bags, gas up your camper, and prepare for your Denver to Phoenix road trip. Along the way, you'll have plenty of chances to tour some awesome national and state parks. You'll go through multiple cities that have their own charms and points of interest. There are no limits to the fun you can have on a road trip from Denver to Phoenix, so it's time to hit the open road.
Rocky Mountain National Park
You don't have to go far from Denver to reach an immensely popular national park. Rocky Mountain National Park is about 2 hours northwest of Denver, so it's an early stop on your road trip itinerary from Denver to Phoenix. Three hundred miles of trails wander through a variety of mountain habitats. Whether you want to summit some peaks or take a leisurely stroll around lower elevations, you'll be able to take in plenty of beauty at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is about an hour and a half southeast of Grand Junction, Colorado. The aptly named Black Canyon was carved out of the dark rock by the Gunnison River over time. The night skies in this park are equally black thanks to the park's remote location, so it's an excellent place for stargazing. Rock climbing, hiking, fishing, and kayaking are all popular pastimes at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park consists of over a hundred square miles of incredibly photogenic rock formations. The park's name is accurate since over 2,000 natural stone arches call this park home. Nearly two million travelers per year visit this gorgeous desert environment to hike, bike, ride, and climb. Multiple trails give visitors the ability to visit some of the most famous formations at the park as well as some of the lesser-known ones.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is, more or less, on the other side of town from Arches. It and Arches are on either side of the town of Moab, which is an excellent home base for exploring this region. Like Arches, Canyonlands is aptly named as it features a wide variety of stunning canyon vistas, tall spires, flat-top mesas, and other similar formations. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, and boating are popular here.
Grand Canyon National Park
If you reach this part of your Denver to Phoenix RV road trip and think you've seen enough canyons, Grand Canyon National Park will prove you wrong. This iconic national park is legendary for many reasons that will become obvious to you when you first look over the Grand Canyon's steep edges. You can explore the canyon itself in a variety of ways ranging from hiking to biking to mule riding to rafting. Mather Point, Bright Angel Point, and Yavapai Point all await.
Sylvan Lake State Park
Sylvan Lake State Park is located in the heart of the Rockies, so there's plenty of gorgeous mountain scenery for your viewing pleasure. It's named for its small but pristine lake, yet there are plenty of other places to visit here. Trails ranging in length from short jaunts to day hikes cross the park. The aspen groves are fabulous in the fall, and the forests are perfect for snow sports in the winter.
Rifle Falls State Park
Rifle Falls State Park is named for the cascading triple falls in the park, but you can also explore limestone caves, wetlands, and riparian forests. Mountain biking, hiking, and hunting are big here as are fishing and picnicking. It's located north of Rifle, Colorado, so it's not too far off your route.
Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point State Park is another excellent place to visit in the Moab area. In fact, it's right outside of Canyonlands National Park, so it's conveniently accessible. Canyons, steep cliffs, and those lovely panoramic canyon vistas are all available here in abundance.
Goosenecks State Park
Goosenecks State Park is located in an immensely twisty part of the San Juan River in Utah in which the river winds its way through a steep canyon. The park itself is small, so there aren't many trails or open areas for exploration. In other words, you can see these amazing sights from the comfort of your car—or, at least, from an overlook point close to your car. Bikes are permitted on the park roads, and you can also walk along the roads.
Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park is between Flagstaff and Phoenix, so it's almost at the end of your road trip from Denver to Phoenix. The main attraction is, of course, Slide Rock itself, which is an 80-foot-long natural rock slide that's fun for all ages. There are also some lovely nature trails here you can explore and orchards that provide fresh fruit for visitors.
Frisco Adventure Park
No road trip itinerary from Denver to Phoenix is complete without some fun stops in the Rockies. One such place is Frisco Adventure Park, which is a great place to bike, skate, and camp. Their bike park and skate park provide great natural venues for those sports, and their disc golf course is surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
More adventure awaits at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which is located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It's billed as "America's Only Mountaintop Theme Park," and it uses its Rocky Mountain location well to provide great rides that take advantage of such a unique location. Some thrill rides here include the Haunted Mine Drop, the Giant Canyon Swing, and the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster.
McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
Between Grand Junction and the Colorado/Utah border is the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. You can never take in too many canyons and arches on a Denver to Phoenix RV road trip, so you should take some time to explore this stunning piece of the U.S. as well. Pictoglyphs, petroglyphs, and old historical trails are also contained in the more than 123,000 acres of McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.
Straddling the Utah/Arizona border is the jaw-dropping Monument Valley. Owned and operated by the Navajo tribe, this gorgeous tribal park contains many majestic sandstone masterpieces that tower hundreds of feet above the desert landscape below. One enjoyable way to view these natural wonders is via jeep tours operated by Navajo guides capable of opening up the history of this unique location.
Verde Canyon Railroad
The best way to tour the Verde Canyon in Arizona is aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad. The ride itself is 20 miles long and lasts for three and a half hours. You'll ride in a luxurious train car while viewing the stunning wonders of the Verde Canyon. Buttes, bald eagles, and more are shown at their best at this lovely destination.
Frisco, Colorado, is located about an hour and 15 minutes outside of Denver. There are some lovely campgrounds nearby. Local attractions include Frisco Bay, Frisco Adventure Park, and Frisco Historic Park and Museum.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is known for its hot springs, caverns, and hanging lake, so it's unsurprising that there are lovely campgrounds in the area. Places to visit include Doc Holliday's Grave and Two Rivers Park.
Grand Junction lives up to its name as a convergence of multiple roads and rivers in the Western Colorado area. There are, of course, numerous dump stations and campgrounds in the area. McInnis Canyons and the Colorado National Monument are both close by.
Finding great dump stations and campgrounds in Moab, Utah, is easy because there are so many amazing attractions nearby. Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park are all close by. If you're willing to drive a couple of hours southwest, you can even reach Capitol Reef National Park.
Flagstaff, Arizona, is only a couple of hours away from Phoenix. As with Moab, the sheer number of local attractions makes this an easy place to find quality dump stations and campgrounds. You can visit downtown Flagstaff for some great shopping and dining experiences. Other places to stop by include Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, and Walnut Canyon National Monument.