The southwestern area of the US is filled with gems, national parks, history, and a ton of fun. If you’d like to see all of this is one trip, check out this perfect Arizona Utah Road Trip. With so many things to see, it can be hard to figure out where to stop, especially if you are limited on time.
Let’s Jet, Kids! uses affiliate links. As an Amazon (and other networks) Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It is no extra cost to you.
So use this itinerary through Arizona and Utah to get the most out of your trip. I’ve combined some great places we have been and should not be missed with some great places we would also like to get on our next itinerary.
Check out national parks, lakes, waterfalls, sand dunes, and more on this diverse, unique Arizona Utah Road Trip!
As always, these stops are family-friendly so they are perfect to bring the kids along!
The Arizona Utah Road Trip Route
If you have plenty of time, then here is the route you will cover:
- Lower Calf Creek Falls (Between Boulder and Escalante, Utah)
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Zion National Park
- Kanab, UT
- Page, AZ
- Antelope Canyon
- Monument Valley
- Valley of the Gods
The entire route makes a loop, so feel free to start anywhere that is convenient.
You can fly into Las Vegas and begin in Zion (or Bryce Canyon or Page, AZ).
Or you can fly into Salt Lake City or Denver and begin in Moab.
2-3 weeks is a great amount of time to cover all these places. Can you do it in a week? No. You’ll need 10 days minimum to cover all the destinations, and that is if you are really going from one thing to the next.
Don’t have 2-3 weeks?
No problem! Read on to find which places you’d like to see most and plan around them.
Or, take a look at the end of this post for sample itineraries for 5, 7, or 10 days on your Arizona Utah Road Trip!
Your Arizona Utah road trip begins in Moab. Moab is a really fun town for families with plenty of restaurants (even a food truck park!) and things to do.
Moab is the entrance to Arches National Park, as well as the best place to stay if you’d like to visit Canyonlands National Park. Each park can easily take a full day to explore, or even two days to really appreciate.
At Arches, make sure to see Delicate Arch and the Windows. You can hike all the way in to Delicate Arch (a tougher, longer option) or simply go to the viewpoint (shorter and easier). If you have all day, there are plenty of kid-friendly hikes you can do at Arches.
While in Canyonlands, make sure to see the Island in the Sky to catch a sunrise if you have early risers, or see the popular Mesa Arch (a short, easy trail!)
Besides the national parks, Moab is a great stomping ground for the dinosaurs, or at least it was hundred of millions of years ago. There are many track sites, hikes to see fossils, and even a huge dino center attraction.
Or, just get in some great, scenic hiking in Moab. There are tons of family-friendly activities in Moab, so stay a day or stay a few days!
Arches: entrance fee $30, timed entry reservation required April THRU October.
Canyonlands: $30 entrance, no reservation required
Where to Stay: The Fairfield
Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point is a cool geological attraction. It’s not far from Moab, so that is still a great home-base for this attraction.
Dead Horse Point is a popular place to see where the Colorado River carves through rock. Millions of years ago, it was a solid peninsula of rock that would create layers from the ocean, lakes, and rivers.
When you arrive, you’ll see a massive horseshoe shape carved in the rock where the river flows through. It’s quite a site.
There is a short 1 mile loop that you can hike (called the Short Loop). If you have really young ones, you can even do the 1/4 mile trail by the visitors center. Older kids can do the 3 mile r/t Big Horn Overlook trail for great views as well.
This is an easy stop that you can simply enjoy the view at for a bit, or spend half a day exploring around.
Entrance: State parks in Utah have a $20 entrance fee per vehicle
Lower Calf Creek Falls
The next stop on your Arizona Utah road trip is Lower Calf Creek Falls.
If you are a waterfall chaser like we are, then Lower Creek Calf Falls is a must-stop during your Utah Arizona road trip. It’s located along highway 12, a popular scenic highway as you make your way to the next stop (Bryce Canyon).
There is an upper and a lower falls, but the lower falls is much easier and more accessible to get to.
That said, it is still a 6 mile round trip hike to see this beautiful waterfall. The hike brings signs and points of interest like pictographs and granaries, making it pretty interesting for the 3 miles in.
Bring your swimsuit because the nice, gentle pool at the bottom is a great place to cool down. Pack lots of water and snacks so the kids really have a chance to relax and play a bit before heading back.
Lower Calf Creek Falls is managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). As such, entrance is covered under the America the Beautiful Pass. If you don’t have one, entrance is $5/vehicle.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is an incredible park known for its many red spires that create panoramic views.
Try the popular 3 mile hike at the Navajo and Queens Garden loop. This moderate hike is perfect for seeing incredible amounts of spires and formations, including the famous amphitheater.
The park is just over 56 square miles, leaving plenty to be explored. Spend a day or two checking out the red formations all over the park.
Entrance to Bryce Canyon is $35/vehicle. No Reservations needed
Where to Stay: Best Western Plus
Zion National Park
Zion is known for its massive canyon and hard core hikes like wading through water through the canyon in The Narrows. It’s probably the most popular place to stop during your Arizona Utah road tirp.
But there is also plenty of family friendly hikes no matter what age the kids are.
A few days in Zion will really give you the best experience and chance to explore. If you’re not a hiker, you can take a scenic drive through the park or stop at the observation points for incredible views.
If you are a hiker, easy trails include the Riverside walk, Lower Emerald Pool Trail, or the Pa’ rus Trail. All will give you great scenery with an easy hike.
As you’ll want to stay a night or two to get the most out of the park, Zion has a lot of lodging options.
The most unique lodging (and more affordable) is the Zion Wildflower where you can stay in a tradition room, a covered wagon, or a canvas tent.
Entrance to Zion is $35/vehicle. No reservation required to enter the park.
Recommended Tour: East Zion Crimson Canyon Hike and UTV
( ^ Above Tour for ages 10+)
Making your way around southern Utah? Check out this self-drive audio tour through many attractions!
If you’re not from Utah or a nearby area, it’s likely you haven’t heard of Kanab before. Kanab is in southern Utah and while it’s not a big national park, it’s beautiful with a lot to offer. It’s definitely one of the more unique, lesser known stops on this Arizona Utah road trip.
If you stop in Kanab, check out the Coral Sand Dunes. They aren’t quite the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, but they are beautiful and unique to the area.
You can find them at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, where you’ll be surrounded by red rock, pinkish sand, and green juniper trees. It’s quite the color palette!
Paria River Canyon is another beautiful area in Kanab where you can appreciate the colorful stripes along the sandstone mountainsides. There is over 30 miles of trail where adventurers can hike in the open or narrow walls of the canyon.
And lastly, if you don’t have time to do the big, popular slot canyons (later on this trip), check out Peek-a-Boo slot canyons in Kanab. It’s only about a 1.5 mile trek through, so perfect for kids who don’t want a long hike.
Entrance to Coral Sand Dunes is $10/vehicle
As you enter Arizona on your Utah Arizona road trip, the first stop will be in Page. Page is popular for Lake Powell. Lake Powell is a great stop, and perhaps it would be nice to spend a day on the lake.
But really, Lake Powell is a whole vacation in itself! And after years of low water levels, the water is finally starting to rise again.
Besides Lake Powell, Page is a great place to see Horseshoe Bend. Some people confuse Horseshoe Bend and Dead Horse Point (noted above), but they are two different stops in two different states!
Horseshoe Bend is home to the Colorado River, just like Dead Horse Point. You can catch a great sunset at the overlook of Horseshoe Bend.
If you stay a night or two in Page, you could also make a day trip (a couple hours away) down to the Grand Canyon if you have the time. This is a national park where a canyon runs an average of 4,000 feet deep for 277 miles! The deepest point is 6,000 feet…over 1 mile deep!
Entrance to Horseshoe Bend is $10/vehicle
Where to Stay: Hyatt Place
Another great stop near Page is Antelope Canyon. Here lie the famous, massive slot canyons that you see in magazines. If you visit at just the right time (midday in the summer with blue skies), you’ll even be able to witness the magical sun beams that burst throught the canyon like spotlights.
Antelope Canyon is actually part of the Navajo Parks and Recreations, so you cannot go without a guide.
Grab an official tour to make planning easy, and then enjoy the colorful, swirling formations inside this canyon!
Reserve Your Tour: Lower Antelope Canyon
If you are into old Westerns, then Monument Valley might look familiar. It was used as the backdrop to many Westerns, like Lone Star Ranger or My Darling Clementine.
You may also recognize it from movies like Forrest Gump or National Lampoons Vacation.
Monument Valley is part of the Navajo Nation. As such, visitors are required to follower their guidelines.
As you go through Monument Valley, you’ll be presented with huge sandstone formations, anywhere from 400 to 1,000 feet tall.
Enjoy the 17 mile loop, as well as local artisan vendors with hand crafted jewelry and other items.
Entrance to Monument Valley is $8/person. See updated info
Valley of the Gods
As you loop back up to Utah, you can stop in Mexican Hat, Utah and visit Valley of the Gods. While the scenery appears similar to Monument Valley, it is its own separate attraction.
Valley of the Gods has a 17 mile road, made of dirt and gravel, so driving during the rain may not be ideal as sections may be washed out. A 4×4 is recommended but not required during dry times.
Valley of the Gods is Free to visit
After you visit Valley of the Gods, you are just about 2 hours south of Moab. This completes the Arizona Utah Road Trip!
How Many Days to Spend on This Arizona Utah Road Trip?
As I mentioned, 2 weeks or more would be ideal so you can really spend some time in some of these places, especially the national parks. Completing this whole route will take you on a loop, so feel free to start anywhere that’s most convenient.
For two weeks, here is how to break it down:
Days 1-4: Moab (Arches, Canyonlands, Deadhorse Point, and/or trails around Moab)
Days 4-6: Stop at Lower Calf Creek Falls on the way. Stay at Bryce Canyon.
Days 7-9: Zion National Park
Day 10-11: Kanab (slot canyons, Coral Sand Dunes)
Day 12-13: Page, AZ (Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon)
Day 14: Drive through Monument Valley and/or Valley of the Gods
5, 7, or 10 day Itineraries
But if you don’t have 2 weeks, no problem! Here are a few adjustments in the image below to cater to your time restrictions.
Make sure to scroll and read on for all these wonderful places and a quick guide on what to do (and where to stay) at each location!
Arizona Utah Road Trip
While this Arizona Utah road trip only covers a fraction of these two states, you really get a lot packed into such a small area. From national parks in Utah, waterfalls, sand dunes, slot canyons, lakes, and incredible geological lookouts, there is quite a lot to do on this trip.
Decide whether you have 5 days or 2 weeks to make this Arizona Utah road trip work, and then use the above itineraries to get the most out of your time.
Save This to Pinterest!
You’ll also enjoy: