The travel time between Phoenix and Tucson is short, but you can pack in a lot of fun between these two cities. While you are in Phoenix, challenge yourself at one of the high-end golf courses. You can also take it easy and relax at Phoenix's world-renowned day spas. As you travel south from Phoenix, your vehicle will pass by some impressive desert landscapes. Once you are in Tucson, make sure to check out the historic Mission San Xavier del Bac. With this jam-packed road trip itinerary from Phoenix to Tucson, you can stay entertained in the Grand Canyon State.
If you want to make a long road trip from Phoenix to Tucson, you should add a national park to your itinerary. At RVshare's website, you can find out more information about these locations on the national parks guide page.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park might be the best-known park in the United States. Every year, the Grand Canyon welcomes over six million visitors. This park encompasses over 1.2 million acres. While you are there, you can see the breathtaking views created as the Colorado River carved out the landscape. Many people travel to the park in the morning or late afternoon to view the sun peaking over the canyons. If you want to do more than view the canyons, this park is a great place to backpack, whitewater raft, or bike through the area. On the ranger-led hikes and tours, you can also learn about the native plants and animals that live in the park.
Petrified Forest National Park
Another national treasure is located at Petrified Forest National Park. This park covers over 200 square miles of desert in the state, and it is known for its archaeological sites. There are 600 documented historic spots in the park, including ancient petroglyphs and petrified wood. If you want to see a bit of nature, the park is filled with bobcats, pronghorn sheep, and coyotes. For a closer look at the park's unique features, you can hike, horseback ride, or backpack throughout the area. During certain times of the year, the rangers will lead a guided tour.
Saguaro National Park
If you have ever wanted to visit a giant cactus, you can get your chance at Saguaro National Park. This park is home to some awe-inspiring saguaro cacti. Many of these cacti can only be found in the Sonoran Desert. While you can hike through the desert, many people prefer to view these magnificent plants by car. There are a few roads that travel throughout the park. If you want to learn more about this unique environment, make sure to sign up for the ranger-led programs. For a spectacular view, visit in the late evening to see the sunset over the desert landscape. Note that Saguaro has both an east and a west unit.
Your Phoenix to Tucson RV road trip will only take a day of driving. However, you can extend your fun with a few visits to the beautiful state parks in Arizona. If you need help planning your journey, make sure to visit RVshare's state park guide.
Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman State Park near Phoenix is a popular park with a mysterious past. According to legend, there is a gold mine filled with treasures in the park. For that reason, many visitors head to this location in hopes of finding the lost gold mine. If you would rather relax, this state park is the perfect place to camp out for the night. Lost Dutchman is a great place to hit the trails. There are over 320 acres of land for you to explore. You might even stumble across the legendary mine.
Picacho Peak State Park
Picacho Peak State Park is convenient as it's roughly halfway on your Phoenix to Tucson route. Hike to the top of the peak, which sits at an elevation of 3,374 feet. If you hike in the spring, you may get to see fields of wildflowers on your way up to the top. As this area does get quite hot in the summer, you may wish to save more strenuous hikes for the fall, winter, or spring. In the park, you'll find a campground, picnic areas, and a park store.
Catalina State Park
Located at the Santa Catalina Mountain base, this state park is home to various desert plants. If you want to explore the foothills of Catalina State Park, there are several trails for hikers and horseback riders. With over 150 bird species in the park, this is a great location for bird-watching. You should keep your eyes open for the native wildflowers that bloom throughout this desert landscape.
Phoenix and Tucson are home to several excellent points of interest. You will want to pull off the road and explore these great attractions.
Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Art Museum is known as the largest visual arts museum in the area. You can see art collections from all over the world. In addition to that, this museum hosts several community programs, film festivals, and educational events throughout the year.
Desert Botanical Garden
If you want to visit one of Phoenix's most popular attractions, then head over to the Desert Botanical Garden. This 140-acre garden is the home to more than 50,000 plants, including cacti and agave. Most of the exhibits focus on plants from California, South America, and Australia. The Desert Botanical Garden hosts events to help local gardeners keep their plants strong and healthy.
Mission San Xavier del Bac
If you want to see a little history, you must visit this Spanish mission. It is located about 10 miles from Tucson. In 1692, the historic mission was founded near the modern-day Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. This mission was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960. You can take tours of the buildings and grounds. While you are there, you will notice the unique architecture of the mission buildings. Most of the architecture has a distinctive European appearance.
Whether you need a campground for the night or a dump station to keep your vehicle clean, you can find plenty of accommodations throughout Arizona. These towns and cities will keep you comfortable on this quick trip in the Grand Canyon State.
The town of Gilbert is located southeast of Phoenix. This town was once known as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World." While hay is in this town's past, there are other fascination attractions in this area. At the Riparian Preserve, you can visit over 200 species of birds. Before you head off to the big city of Phoenix, spend the night at one of Gilbert's campgrounds.
Chandler is also located southeast of Phoenix. Throughout the city, you can find many parks, including Desert Breeze Park. While you are there, don't forget to take a vintage train ride on the Desert Breeze Railroad. If you are a big railroad fan, you should make a stop at the Arizona Railway Museum. This spot features exhibits on the unique trains that once passed through the area. You might want to find a campground and spend several days near this exciting city.
This small town in Maricopa County is known for its impressive water fountain. At one time, it was the tallest fountain in the world. Along with the fountain, you should check out the River of Time Museum that traces the town's local history. If you need to find a campground for your rig, there are several choices throughout this area.
As you prepare your Phoenix to Tucson road trip itinerary, you can add several fun options to your plans. If you want to try a new experience for your next trip, you should rent an RV from RVshare. These rental options can fit your budget and travel needs. You are protected on the road with RVshare's 24/7 roadside assistance and insurance. RVshare has rental vehicles in both Phoenix and Tucson. With an RV rental, you will see the best of America's Southwest.