Taylor-Monument-Valley

A woman looking out at Bryce Canyon in Utah

There is no doubt that road trips have become the latest trend in the world of travel. People are doing local road trips, mini regional road trips, coastal road trips and cross-country road trips. Now, as much as most of us would love to do a big cross-country road trip, it just isn’t a reality for many. Unless you’re a digital nomad, most people have to work, have personal and family obligations and other responsibilities where they unfortunately cannot take a few weeks to months off driving around the country. People still want to get the road trip experience without having to take an extended amount of time off, so that is where mini road trips come into play! I have taken a few mini road trips throughout my life, but 2020 has forced me to plan out quite a few epic ones around the United States. The first mini road trip I took in June 2020 was an American Southwest road trip that started and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am excited to share this epic Southwest road trip itinerary with you all!

A woman having fun in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

For my 29th birthday this past June 2020, I did a mini road trip with my mom and youngest brother that started and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada. My road trip was a loop where I began at the Grand Canyon West Rim and then made my way to Sedona and Page, Arizona and then up into Southern Utah. I got to visit all of the amazing natural wonders and National Parks that the Southwest has to offer and it was such a dream seeing all of the places that have been on my bucket list for so many years.

A woman walking over the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West

The American Southwest is absolutely fascinating as it features stunning red rock canyons, breathtaking natural wonders, great local cuisines and charming Western towns. If you are looking to see the best of the Southwest, I recommend following this epic road trip itinerary that features everything you could see in one full week!

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Southwest Road Trip Itinerary

Las Vegas Southwest Road Trip Itinerary Loop:

A woman inside The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

Getting to Las Vegas:

Unless you live in the Las Vegas area or Southwest in general, you will need to book your flights to and from McCarran International Airport. Since this is a road trip to and from Vegas, I recommend spending at least a night or two there before you hit the road. The best way to get from the airport to The Strip is either by taxi, Uber, Lyft, RTC Public Buses, a specific hotel’s shuttle service or a private limousine.

Since you will be following along a Southwest road trip itinerary, it is best to rent a car from McCarran Airport. The hotels along The Strip offer parking and they even have valet services.

(Please note that it costs $35 USD per vehicle to get into most big USA National Parks and $10 USD per vehicle for most State Parks. Passes are valid for seven consecutive days. If you are doing a road trip where you know you will be seeing a lot of National Parks along the way, I recommend getting the America the Beautiful Pass for $80 USD. You will definitely save money that way!)

Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas

A woman in front of The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

Where to Stay: The Venetian or Airbnb (For one night.)

Where to Eat:

Brunch – Chica in The Venetian

Dinner – Mott 32 in The Venetian

What to do in Las Vegas:

I highly recommend organizing your flights so that you arrive in Las Vegas earlier in the day. There are so many epic things to do in Las Vegas from experiencing the party life to enjoying fun outdoor adventures and savoring delicious food to seeing a talented show or art display.

The Las Vegas Strip is definitely a MUST to explore when you are there. All along The Strip, you could find incredible shows to attend such as Cirque du Soleil, luxurious pool parties to have fun at, world-renowned restaurants to enjoy and casinos to make some cash. What is cool about walking along The Strip is that you could also feel like you’ve traveled around the world! Check out the pyramids at The Luxor, see the Statue of Liberty by the New York-New York hotel, pretend you’re in Venice by riding a gondola at The Venetian and enjoy stunning views of the city at the Eiffel Tower by the Paris hotel.

Other cool things to do in Las Vegas is visit The Neon Museum and admire all of the iconic neon signs. You could also do indoor skydiving, zip lining and so much more. What is great about Las Vegas is that there is something for everyone!

Day 2: Visit Grand Canyon West

A woman enjoying the views at Grand Canyon West

(It takes around two hours to get from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West by car.)

Where to Stay: Hualapai Lodge (During our time at Grand Canyon West, Hualapai Lodge was not open due to the unfortunate global events, so instead, we drove straight to Sedona and spent the following two nights there at Courtyard by Marriott Sedona. You could also find Airbnbs near the town of Kingman, Arizona, which isn’t too far from Grand Canyon West.)

Where to Eat:

At Grand Canyon West – Skywalk Café, Sky View Restaurant and Guano Point Café

At Hualapai Lodge – Diamond Creek Restaurant

(Due to the global events, the restaurants associated with Grand Canyon West were not opened when I visited.)

Restaurants Near Grand Canyon West – Diamond Bar – Grand Canyon Ranch, Anchor Smokehouse and Babe’s Café.

What to do at Grand Canyon West:

The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The west rim is located closest to Las Vegas and it is owned and managed by the Hualapai Indian Reservation (pronounced as Wal lah pie). A general admission ticket to get into Grand Canyon West is $39 USD per person (not by vehicle like it is for other National Parks) and it includes access to Eagle Point and Guano Point. There is a hop-on/hop-off shuttle service that is provided for you as well! If you want to do the Skywalk, please note that it costs an extra $20 USD per person.

At Eagle Point, you could learn the history of the Hualapai Indian Reservation, learn the legend behind the Eagle Rock itself and even see Native American dances at the amphitheater. There is also the Creations by Native Hands Gift Shop where you could purchase beautiful handcrafted jewelry and weavings made by the Hualapai tribe.

One of the top experiences you cannot miss out on when you visit Grand Canyon West is the Skywalk! It is a 10-foot wide, U-shapes glass bridge that extends 70 feet out over the west rim. Since the Skywalk is made of glass, you could look and see 4,000 feet down to the canyon floor! Walking over the bridge could be a bit overwhelming at first because you can see the canyon underneath you, but after a minute, you will get comfortable. The Skywalk is recognized as an engineering marvel! Construction of the Skywalk started in 2005 and it was completed in 2007. The beams of the Skywalk were designed to resist wind forces over 90mph as well as vibration effects and were anchored deep into the rock with large groups of drilled micro-piles.

After experiencing the fun on the Skywalk, take the shuttle to Guano Point that features the most dramatic viewpoints of Grand Canyon West. Do the “Highpoint Hike” where you could take in 360-degree views of the Grand Canyon. You could also learn about the history of a guano cave that was discovered in the 1930s and see the remnants of the historic tram that once stretched 8,800 feet across the canyon.

Day 3: Enjoy Sedona, Arizona

A woman enjoying the Devil's Bridge hike in Sedona, Arizona

(It takes around four hours to get from Grand Canyon West to Sedona by car.)

Where to Stay: Courtyard by Marriott Sedona or Airbnb (For two nights if the Hualapai Lodge isn’t opened.)

Where to Eat:

Breakfast – Wildflower Bread Company

Brunch – 89Agave Cantina

Dinner – Dahl & DiLuca Ristorante Italiano and Pisa Lisa Pizzeria Autentico

What to do in Sedona:

Sedona is surrounded by amazing red rock mountains and canyons and it is a MUST to do a hike there. The top hiking spots in Sedona are Devil’s Bridge; Cathedral Rock; Palatki Ruins Trail; Loy Canyon Trail and Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte Loop.

Another great thing to do during your time in Sedona is go wine tasting. The city of Sedona is located right outside of the Verde Valley Wine Trail, which has 24 wineries. There are also a few urban wineries in downtown Sedona that you could visit. The top wineries and vineyards located closest to the city are Winery 1912, Flying Leap, Javelina Leap, Oak Creek Vineyards, Page Spring Cellars and Alcantara Vineyards.

Shopping is also popular in Sedona and not only could you find great stores and boutiques downtown, you could also visit Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, which is modeled after a traditional Mexican village. It is here where you could find wonderful arts and crafts, paintings, jewelry, home décor and fashion wear.

Day 4: Explore the Wonders in Page, Arizona

A woman enjoying the views at Horseshoe Bend on a Southwest road trip

(It takes around three hours to get from Sedona to Page by car.)

Where to Stay: Courtyard by Marriott Page at Lake Powell or Airbnb (For two nights.)

Where to Eat:

Breakfast – Ranch House Grille and LP Espresso

Lunch/Dinner – Big John’s Texas BBQ and El Tapatio

What to do in Page:

One of the most jaw dropping places I visited and a MUST SEE in Page, Arizona is Horseshoe Bend! This amazing natural wonder is a horseshoe-shaped canyon that features a 1,000-foot drop that looks down into the Colorado River.

Another breathtaking landmark to visit during your time in Page is Antelope Canyon. Owned and managed by the Navajo Nation, Antelope Canyon features tall winding walls with a colorful and monumental red sandstone sculpture. Light beams will shine directly down into the opening of the slot canyons that create beautiful views. (Please note that you will need to schedule guided tour of Antelope Canyon prior to visiting!)

Page is situated around Lake Powell, which is known as one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States. There is a plethora of fun water activities for you to enjoy and have fun on this amazing lake. I recommend renting a jet ski, powerboat, kayak, canoe or paddle boat.

Day 5: Do a Day Trip to Monument Valley from Page

A woman on a road trip in Monument Valley Park

(It takes around two hours one way to get from Page to Monument Valley by car.)

What to do at Monument Valley Park:

Just like Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley Park is also owned by the Navajo Nation. Overall, Monument Valley is one of the most photographed landmarks on Earth and should definitely be included in a Southwest road trip itinerary! The valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that range from 400 to 1,000 feet above the desert floor. Before human existence, millions of years ago, Monument Valley was once a lowland basin. Over the years, natural forces of wind and water peeled away at the surface of the basin, making Monument Valley what it is today.

Overall, Monument Valley is located in both Arizona and Utah. You could do a hike there, go horseback riding and so much more. It is also great for photography. As you cross the state border from Arizona into Utah, you will find the colorful Utah Welcome Sign. As you drive 10 minutes up the road, make sure to stop at Forrest Gump Hill where you could catch the most iconic views of Monument Valley! The reason why this epic spot is called Forrest Gump Hill is because it is the spot where Forrest Gump ended his cross-country run in the film.

Day 6: Visit Bryce Canyon National Park before heading to Zion

A woman admiring the views at Bryce Canyon National Park

(It takes around two and a half hours to get from Page to Bryce Canyon National Park by car. It takes another hour and a half to get from Bryce National Park to Zion National Park.)

Where to Stay: Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort or Airbnb (For two nights.)

Where to Eat:

Breakfast – Canyon Diner

Lunch – Cowboy’s Smokehouse Café

Dinner – Stone Hearth Grille

What to at Bryce Canyon National Park:

Before making our way to Zion National Park, we stopped at Bryce Canyon National Park. (Either way, Bryce Canyon makes for the perfect day trip from Zion and it is definitely a MUST see during a Southwest road trip, so make sure it is on your itinerary.) Bryce Canyon National Park is absolutely amazing as it features the highest concentration of crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations.

The top places to visit in Bryce Canyon where you could get the best views are at Sunrise Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. If you could visit Bryce Canyon for sunrise, you will definitely be in for a treat! In addition to checking out the views, Bryce offers amazing hiking trails. You could hike to the different viewing points and even into the actual hoodoo-filled depression where you could get up close to the cool rock formations. A few popular hikes to do at Bryce Canyon are the Navajo Loop, Fairyland Loop and Sunset Point hike. In addition to hiking, you could also go camping, ATV riding, mountain biking and horseback riding.

After spending time at Bryce Canyon, drive an hour and a half to Zion National Park!

Day 7: Have Fun in Zion National Park

A woman hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park

Where to Stay: Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort or Airbnb (For two nights.)

Where to Eat:

Breakfast: MeMe’s Café

Lunch: Thai Sapa

Dinner: Zion Canyon Brew Pub

What to do at Zion National Park:

Zion National Park is Utah’s first National Park and it should definitely be included in your Southwest road trip itinerary. It is a gorgeous nature preserve that is filled with fascinating canyons and steep red rock cliffs.  A trip to Zion is filled with gorgeous natural wonders, stunning plant life, fascinating animals and a plethora of different adventures.

During a trip to Zion National Park, you must definitely do a hike, but before you do so, I recommend enjoying the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The views are absolutely phenomenal! Located along the road are viewpoints where you could pull over and take amazing photos. A few popular hikes to do at Zion National Park are the Emerald Pools Trail, The Narrows, the Watchman Trail and Angel’s Landing. We did the Watchman Trail one morning and it was beautiful and we also hiked The Narrows, which is an epic hike through water! Please note that for the Emerald Pools Trail and The Narrows, you will need to take the shuttle within the park. Because of the unfortunate events going on in the world during the time I visited in June 2020, Zion National Park did everything they can to maintain distancing among guests. Even though hiking The Narrows is free, you will need to get your shuttle tickets online here at 9am MST the day before you want to go there. A shuttle ticket is only $1 USD per person and they sell out quick.

What is great about Zion National Park is that there are so many other fun things to do besides hiking. East Zion Adventures offers Jeep tours, canyoneering (which is what I did), guided hiking, shooting, yoga and more. If I could give you a recommendation on another fun adventure to do at Zion, it is definitely canyoneering! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will take you into the most breathtaking slot canyons of the National Park. It is such a blast!

Day 8: Head Back to Vegas

A family on a Southwest road trip starting in Las Vegas

On your way back to Las Vegas to fly home, there are a few places I recommend checking out before you head back to McCarran International Airport. Seven Magic Mountains are a unique attraction and art installation. There are 33 colorful limestone boulders that weigh between 10 to 25 tons that you could admire and take photos in front of. I also suggest adding Valley of Fire State Park to your Southwest road trip itinerary where you could hike, explore petroglyphs and get lost in the winding roads. Lastly, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is also a cool place to check out where you could enjoy the beauty of the Mojave Desert’s red rocks through hiking or biking.


A woman hiking through Zion National Park

I hope you all enjoyed reading about the best American Southwest road trip itinerary that you could reference on your next mini driving adventure. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected].

Make sure to pin this post if you find it useful!

An epic American Southwest Road Trip Itinerary

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NV State Capital: Carson City, UT State Capital: Salt Lake City, AZ State Capital: Phoenix, NV Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time, UT Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time, AZ Time Zone: Arizona does not follow Daylight Savings. During the warmer months, Arizona is on Pacific Time Zone and then it is on Mountain Standard Time during the colder months.

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8 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on July 29, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Perfect itinerary for a great adventurous vacation out in the beautiful western U.S. Arizona and Utah have so many beautiful National parks and Natural wonders to see and hike at. Every place we visited was amazing and breathtaking ~ I also enjoyed staying at the beautiful fun filled Zion Ponderosa campground ~ the log cabin suite we stayed at was so much fun ~ this campground offers so many funfilled activities ~ Great guide Taylor ~ love you, mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on July 30, 2020 at 12:15 am

      Thank you mom! Every place truly was amazing. I had so much fun too! Love you too xoxo

  2. Elena Pappalardo on July 30, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Loving this thorough itinerary, Taylor! I’ve found mainly IG guides to this part of the world, so it’s great to have all of this in one place. Monument Valley in particular looks amazing!!

    • Taylor Deer on July 30, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you Elena and yes, it’s all so photogenic!

  3. Brittany Sneller on July 31, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Ah, this makes me so excited to go! Looks like you and your family had so much fun. Definitely on the fence but if we go I’ll definitely check back to your itinerary for tips! x

    • Taylor Deer on July 31, 2020 at 2:48 pm

      Yes, it was such a blast! I get how it’s hard to travel internationally right now. (Also are the borders open between the USA and Canada?) You will have a great time when you eventually go!

  4. Cristina on August 7, 2020 at 7:39 am

    I wish I could do an American road trip! It looks so much fun 🙂 Also, all these places are incredible and are on my travel list. I’m saving your post for the future.

    • Taylor Deer on August 7, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      I hope you get to do one in the near future. There sure are amazing places here. 🙂

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Monument-Valley

A woman looking out at Bryce Canyon in Utah

There is no doubt that road trips have become the latest trend in the world of travel. People are doing local road trips, mini regional road trips, coastal road trips and cross-country road trips. Now, as much as most of us would love to do a big cross-country road trip, it just isn’t a reality for many. Unless you’re a digital nomad, most people have to work, have personal and family obligations and other responsibilities where they unfortunately cannot take a few weeks to months off driving around the country. People still want to get the road trip experience without having to take an extended amount of time off, so that is where mini road trips come into play! I have taken a few mini road trips throughout my life, but 2020 has forced me to plan out quite a few epic ones around the United States. The first mini road trip I took in June 2020 was an American Southwest road trip that started and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am excited to share this epic Southwest road trip itinerary with you all!

A woman having fun in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

For my 29th birthday this past June 2020, I did a mini road trip with my mom and youngest brother that started and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada. My road trip was a loop where I began at the Grand Canyon West Rim and then made my way to Sedona and Page, Arizona and then up into Southern Utah. I got to visit all of the amazing natural wonders and National Parks that the Southwest has to offer and it was such a dream seeing all of the places that have been on my bucket list for so many years.

A woman walking over the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West

The American Southwest is absolutely fascinating as it features stunning red rock canyons, breathtaking natural wonders, great local cuisines and charming Western towns. If you are looking to see the best of the Southwest, I recommend following this epic road trip itinerary that features everything you could see in one full week!

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Southwest Road Trip Itinerary

Las Vegas Southwest Road Trip Itinerary Loop:

A woman inside The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

Getting to Las Vegas:

Unless you live in the Las Vegas area or Southwest in general, you will need to book your flights to and from McCarran International Airport. Since this is a road trip to and from Vegas, I recommend spending at least a night or two there before you hit the road. The best way to get from the airport to The Strip is either by taxi, Uber, Lyft, RTC Public Buses, a specific hotel’s shuttle service or a private limousine.

Since you will be following along a Southwest road trip itinerary, it is best to rent a car from McCarran Airport. The hotels along The Strip offer parking and they even have valet services.

(Please note that it costs $35 USD per vehicle to get into most big USA National Parks and $10 USD per vehicle for most State Parks. Passes are valid for seven consecutive days. If you are doing a road trip where you know you will be seeing a lot of National Parks along the way, I recommend getting the America the Beautiful Pass for $80 USD. You will definitely save money that way!)

Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas

A woman in front of The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

Where to Stay: The Venetian or Airbnb (For one night.)

Where to Eat:

Brunch – Chica in The Venetian

Dinner – Mott 32 in The Venetian

What to do in Las Vegas:

I highly recommend organizing your flights so that you arrive in Las Vegas earlier in the day. There are so many epic things to do in Las Vegas from experiencing the party life to enjoying fun outdoor adventures and savoring delicious food to seeing a talented show or art display.

The Las Vegas Strip is definitely a MUST to explore when you are there. All along The Strip, you could find incredible shows to attend such as Cirque du Soleil, luxurious pool parties to have fun at, world-renowned restaurants to enjoy and casinos to make some cash. What is cool about walking along The Strip is that you could also feel like you’ve traveled around the world! Check out the pyramids at The Luxor, see the Statue of Liberty by the New York-New York hotel, pretend you’re in Venice by riding a gondola at The Venetian and enjoy stunning views of the city at the Eiffel Tower by the Paris hotel.

Other cool things to do in Las Vegas is visit The Neon Museum and admire all of the iconic neon signs. You could also do indoor skydiving, zip lining and so much more. What is great about Las Vegas is that there is something for everyone!

Day 2: Visit Grand Canyon West

A woman enjoying the views at Grand Canyon West

(It takes around two hours to get from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West by car.)

Where to Stay: Hualapai Lodge (During our time at Grand Canyon West, Hualapai Lodge was not open due to the unfortunate global events, so instead, we drove straight to Sedona and spent the following two nights there at Courtyard by Marriott Sedona. You could also find Airbnbs near the town of Kingman, Arizona, which isn’t too far from Grand Canyon West.)

Where to Eat:

At Grand Canyon West – Skywalk Café, Sky View Restaurant and Guano Point Café

At Hualapai Lodge – Diamond Creek Restaurant

(Due to the global events, the restaurants associated with Grand Canyon West were not opened when I visited.)

Restaurants Near Grand Canyon West – Diamond Bar – Grand Canyon Ranch, Anchor Smokehouse and Babe’s Café.

What to do at Grand Canyon West:

The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The west rim is located closest to Las Vegas and it is owned and managed by the Hualapai Indian Reservation (pronounced as Wal lah pie). A general admission ticket to get into Grand Canyon West is $39 USD per person (not by vehicle like it is for other National Parks) and it includes access to Eagle Point and Guano Point. There is a hop-on/hop-off shuttle service that is provided for you as well! If you want to do the Skywalk, please note that it costs an extra $20 USD per person.

At Eagle Point, you could learn the history of the Hualapai Indian Reservation, learn the legend behind the Eagle Rock itself and even see Native American dances at the amphitheater. There is also the Creations by Native Hands Gift Shop where you could purchase beautiful handcrafted jewelry and weavings made by the Hualapai tribe.

One of the top experiences you cannot miss out on when you visit Grand Canyon West is the Skywalk! It is a 10-foot wide, U-shapes glass bridge that extends 70 feet out over the west rim. Since the Skywalk is made of glass, you could look and see 4,000 feet down to the canyon floor! Walking over the bridge could be a bit overwhelming at first because you can see the canyon underneath you, but after a minute, you will get comfortable. The Skywalk is recognized as an engineering marvel! Construction of the Skywalk started in 2005 and it was completed in 2007. The beams of the Skywalk were designed to resist wind forces over 90mph as well as vibration effects and were anchored deep into the rock with large groups of drilled micro-piles.

After experiencing the fun on the Skywalk, take the shuttle to Guano Point that features the most dramatic viewpoints of Grand Canyon West. Do the “Highpoint Hike” where you could take in 360-degree views of the Grand Canyon. You could also learn about the history of a guano cave that was discovered in the 1930s and see the remnants of the historic tram that once stretched 8,800 feet across the canyon.

Day 3: Enjoy Sedona, Arizona

A woman enjoying the Devil's Bridge hike in Sedona, Arizona

(It takes around four hours to get from Grand Canyon West to Sedona by car.)

Where to Stay: Courtyard by Marriott Sedona or Airbnb (For two nights if the Hualapai Lodge isn’t opened.)

Where to Eat:

Breakfast – Wildflower Bread Company

Brunch – 89Agave Cantina

Dinner – Dahl & DiLuca Ristorante Italiano and Pisa Lisa Pizzeria Autentico

What to do in Sedona:

Sedona is surrounded by amazing red rock mountains and canyons and it is a MUST to do a hike there. The top hiking spots in Sedona are Devil’s Bridge; Cathedral Rock; Palatki Ruins Trail; Loy Canyon Trail and Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte Loop.

Another great thing to do during your time in Sedona is go wine tasting. The city of Sedona is located right outside of the Verde Valley Wine Trail, which has 24 wineries. There are also a few urban wineries in downtown Sedona that you could visit. The top wineries and vineyards located closest to the city are Winery 1912, Flying Leap, Javelina Leap, Oak Creek Vineyards, Page Spring Cellars and Alcantara Vineyards.

Shopping is also popular in Sedona and not only could you find great stores and boutiques downtown, you could also visit Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, which is modeled after a traditional Mexican village. It is here where you could find wonderful arts and crafts, paintings, jewelry, home décor and fashion wear.

Day 4: Explore the Wonders in Page, Arizona

A woman enjoying the views at Horseshoe Bend on a Southwest road trip

(It takes around three hours to get from Sedona to Page by car.)

Where to Stay: Courtyard by Marriott Page at Lake Powell or Airbnb (For two nights.)

Where to Eat:

Breakfast – Ranch House Grille and LP Espresso

Lunch/Dinner – Big John’s Texas BBQ and El Tapatio

What to do in Page:

One of the most jaw dropping places I visited and a MUST SEE in Page, Arizona is Horseshoe Bend! This amazing natural wonder is a horseshoe-shaped canyon that features a 1,000-foot drop that looks down into the Colorado River.

Another breathtaking landmark to visit during your time in Page is Antelope Canyon. Owned and managed by the Navajo Nation, Antelope Canyon features tall winding walls with a colorful and monumental red sandstone sculpture. Light beams will shine directly down into the opening of the slot canyons that create beautiful views. (Please note that you will need to schedule guided tour of Antelope Canyon prior to visiting!)

Page is situated around Lake Powell, which is known as one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States. There is a plethora of fun water activities for you to enjoy and have fun on this amazing lake. I recommend renting a jet ski, powerboat, kayak, canoe or paddle boat.

Day 5: Do a Day Trip to Monument Valley from Page

A woman on a road trip in Monument Valley Park

(It takes around two hours one way to get from Page to Monument Valley by car.)

What to do at Monument Valley Park:

Just like Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley Park is also owned by the Navajo Nation. Overall, Monument Valley is one of the most photographed landmarks on Earth and should definitely be included in a Southwest road trip itinerary! The valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that range from 400 to 1,000 feet above the desert floor. Before human existence, millions of years ago, Monument Valley was once a lowland basin. Over the years, natural forces of wind and water peeled away at the surface of the basin, making Monument Valley what it is today.

Overall, Monument Valley is located in both Arizona and Utah. You could do a hike there, go horseback riding and so much more. It is also great for photography. As you cross the state border from Arizona into Utah, you will find the colorful Utah Welcome Sign. As you drive 10 minutes up the road, make sure to stop at Forrest Gump Hill where you could catch the most iconic views of Monument Valley! The reason why this epic spot is called Forrest Gump Hill is because it is the spot where Forrest Gump ended his cross-country run in the film.

Day 6: Visit Bryce Canyon National Park before heading to Zion

A woman admiring the views at Bryce Canyon National Park

(It takes around two and a half hours to get from Page to Bryce Canyon National Park by car. It takes another hour and a half to get from Bryce National Park to Zion National Park.)

Where to Stay: Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort or Airbnb (For two nights.)

Where to Eat:

Breakfast – Canyon Diner

Lunch – Cowboy’s Smokehouse Café

Dinner – Stone Hearth Grille

What to at Bryce Canyon National Park:

Before making our way to Zion National Park, we stopped at Bryce Canyon National Park. (Either way, Bryce Canyon makes for the perfect day trip from Zion and it is definitely a MUST see during a Southwest road trip, so make sure it is on your itinerary.) Bryce Canyon National Park is absolutely amazing as it features the highest concentration of crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations.

The top places to visit in Bryce Canyon where you could get the best views are at Sunrise Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. If you could visit Bryce Canyon for sunrise, you will definitely be in for a treat! In addition to checking out the views, Bryce offers amazing hiking trails. You could hike to the different viewing points and even into the actual hoodoo-filled depression where you could get up close to the cool rock formations. A few popular hikes to do at Bryce Canyon are the Navajo Loop, Fairyland Loop and Sunset Point hike. In addition to hiking, you could also go camping, ATV riding, mountain biking and horseback riding.

After spending time at Bryce Canyon, drive an hour and a half to Zion National Park!

Day 7: Have Fun in Zion National Park

A woman hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park

Where to Stay: Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort or Airbnb (For two nights.)

Where to Eat:

Breakfast: MeMe’s Café

Lunch: Thai Sapa

Dinner: Zion Canyon Brew Pub

What to do at Zion National Park:

Zion National Park is Utah’s first National Park and it should definitely be included in your Southwest road trip itinerary. It is a gorgeous nature preserve that is filled with fascinating canyons and steep red rock cliffs.  A trip to Zion is filled with gorgeous natural wonders, stunning plant life, fascinating animals and a plethora of different adventures.

During a trip to Zion National Park, you must definitely do a hike, but before you do so, I recommend enjoying the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The views are absolutely phenomenal! Located along the road are viewpoints where you could pull over and take amazing photos. A few popular hikes to do at Zion National Park are the Emerald Pools Trail, The Narrows, the Watchman Trail and Angel’s Landing. We did the Watchman Trail one morning and it was beautiful and we also hiked The Narrows, which is an epic hike through water! Please note that for the Emerald Pools Trail and The Narrows, you will need to take the shuttle within the park. Because of the unfortunate events going on in the world during the time I visited in June 2020, Zion National Park did everything they can to maintain distancing among guests. Even though hiking The Narrows is free, you will need to get your shuttle tickets online here at 9am MST the day before you want to go there. A shuttle ticket is only $1 USD per person and they sell out quick.

What is great about Zion National Park is that there are so many other fun things to do besides hiking. East Zion Adventures offers Jeep tours, canyoneering (which is what I did), guided hiking, shooting, yoga and more. If I could give you a recommendation on another fun adventure to do at Zion, it is definitely canyoneering! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will take you into the most breathtaking slot canyons of the National Park. It is such a blast!

Day 8: Head Back to Vegas

A family on a Southwest road trip starting in Las Vegas

On your way back to Las Vegas to fly home, there are a few places I recommend checking out before you head back to McCarran International Airport. Seven Magic Mountains are a unique attraction and art installation. There are 33 colorful limestone boulders that weigh between 10 to 25 tons that you could admire and take photos in front of. I also suggest adding Valley of Fire State Park to your Southwest road trip itinerary where you could hike, explore petroglyphs and get lost in the winding roads. Lastly, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is also a cool place to check out where you could enjoy the beauty of the Mojave Desert’s red rocks through hiking or biking.


A woman hiking through Zion National Park

I hope you all enjoyed reading about the best American Southwest road trip itinerary that you could reference on your next mini driving adventure. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected].

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An epic American Southwest Road Trip Itinerary

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NV State Capital: Carson City, UT State Capital: Salt Lake City, AZ State Capital: Phoenix, NV Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time, UT Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time, AZ Time Zone: Arizona does not follow Daylight Savings. During the warmer months, Arizona is on Pacific Time Zone and then it is on Mountain Standard Time during the colder months.

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8 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on July 29, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Perfect itinerary for a great adventurous vacation out in the beautiful western U.S. Arizona and Utah have so many beautiful National parks and Natural wonders to see and hike at. Every place we visited was amazing and breathtaking ~ I also enjoyed staying at the beautiful fun filled Zion Ponderosa campground ~ the log cabin suite we stayed at was so much fun ~ this campground offers so many funfilled activities ~ Great guide Taylor ~ love you, mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on July 30, 2020 at 12:15 am

      Thank you mom! Every place truly was amazing. I had so much fun too! Love you too xoxo

  2. Elena Pappalardo on July 30, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Loving this thorough itinerary, Taylor! I’ve found mainly IG guides to this part of the world, so it’s great to have all of this in one place. Monument Valley in particular looks amazing!!

    • Taylor Deer on July 30, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you Elena and yes, it’s all so photogenic!

  3. Brittany Sneller on July 31, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Ah, this makes me so excited to go! Looks like you and your family had so much fun. Definitely on the fence but if we go I’ll definitely check back to your itinerary for tips! x

    • Taylor Deer on July 31, 2020 at 2:48 pm

      Yes, it was such a blast! I get how it’s hard to travel internationally right now. (Also are the borders open between the USA and Canada?) You will have a great time when you eventually go!

  4. Cristina on August 7, 2020 at 7:39 am

    I wish I could do an American road trip! It looks so much fun 🙂 Also, all these places are incredible and are on my travel list. I’m saving your post for the future.

    • Taylor Deer on August 7, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      I hope you get to do one in the near future. There sure are amazing places here. 🙂

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