scenic road trip from phoenix to flagstaff
scenic road trip from phoenix to flagstaff

If you are planning a road trip from Phoenix to Flagstaff I have the perfect route for you to take. Don’t rush through on the boring interstate. The route that I will take you on will take you the scenic route from the desert of Phoenix, to the massive granite boulders of Yavapai County, to the beautiful mountains of Prescott National Forest, to the historic ghost town of Jerome, to Red Rock Country in Sedona and finally to the beautiful mountains of Flagstaff. This is a day trip that you will want to take your time on. 

Starting Point: US-60W


Start your day off in Phoenix on US-60W. You will drive through the flat desert valley of Phoenix with views of the mountains and massive cacti. As you drive into Yavapai County you will drive through the small town of Wickenburg and then take US-93 until you get to Congress. When you get to Congress you will take US-89N. This is where the drive really starts to get fun.

Yarnell Hill

As you make your way through the valley you will be driving towards the mountains and if you make this drive in the winter like we did these mountains will likely be covered in snow. You will climb your first mountain in Yarnell at Yarnell Hill. At this point you will have scenic views of Wickenburg. 

Peeple’s Valley

peeple's valley

As you descend Yarnell Hill you will find yourself in Peeple’s Valley. This is where you will drive through a valley of massive granite boulders and ranch land. You will see lots of cows, horses and other farm animals along the way. 

Prescott National Forest

You will make your next climb into the Prescott National Forest. This is an especially beautiful drive in the snow. Just drive slow and watch for icy patches. You will reach elevations as high as 7600 feet when you make it to Mingus Summit. As you reach the end of Prescott National Forest you will reach the small town of Prescott where you might want to get out and stretch and grab a bite to eat. 

Coconino National Forest

coconino national forest

As you leave Prescott, you will take 89A and enter the Coconino National Forest. You will climb more beautiful mountains until you reach red rocks and the view will open up to the valley below. Your next stop will be in the historic ghost town of Jerome. You can take a short little walking tour through this old mining town. 



Sedona is just a 30 minute drive from Jerome. You will want to spend a good deal of time exploring Sedona. You might even want to spend the night here at one of the quirky rental properties available. There are multiple fantastic hikes around Red Rock State Park. If you visit in the warmer months be sure to take a dip in one of America’s most famous swimming holes at Slide Rock State Park. 



As you leave Sedona you will keep climbing the mountains of Coconino National Forest until you reach Flagstaff. If you drive this route in the winter I promise you will be driving in a winter wonderland. The snow of the mountains here is nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Once you reach Flagstaff you will have a ton of things to choose from to do. Visit historic route 66, take a stroll through downtown Flagstaff, visit the Lowell Observatory, or go skiing at Arizona Snowbowl. 

scenic road trip from phoenix to flagstaff

I promise that this is a drive that you don’t want to miss. I was amazed at the rapidly changing landscapes during this drive. Take your time and enjoy this beautiful road trip.  If you aren’t really up for the road trip you could always look into a party bus Riverside rental option.

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  1. Wow, the video really put your words to life. Driving through that scenery just looks so peaceful! I am in awe. Ready to plan my next road trip.

    Xoxo, Theresa

  2. Wow, all of these landscapes are just gorgeous! I’d really love to visit Sedona – what an oasis it looks like!

    -madi xo |

  3. Looks like a lot of fun there!!! Not so much snow unlike here in Alberta!

  4. I live on the east coast I’m always wanted to check out this area! And looks beautiful

  5. Wow. What a beautiful trip. I’ve never visited Arizona but it’s definitely on my list of places to visit.

  6. Gosh, what an absolutely gorgeous driving route! Definitely always take the scenic route over the boring one, that’s how memories are made! I don’t know how you guys doing it, but those roads look crazy clear even with the snow! We have an inch in the UK and our roads look a state! Sim x

  7. Wow I didn’t know Arizona was so scenic! When I think of Arizona I think of desert and heat most definitely not snow! It is beautiful drive.

  8. This is really pretty. I been In Arizona once with my husband and we had an awesome time.

  9. Sedona is such an eye catching environment to me 😍 All these places are so peaceful and beautiful.

  10. Love the beautiful scenery in these pics!

  11. Looks like an amazing adventure…I hope to someday soon visit!!

  12. Prescott National Forest looks beautiful. I bet the hiking is amazing out there

  13. Great photos! Arizona is such a pretty state! Can’t wait until I get to go out West.

  14. I’ve never documented my road trips and haven’t been to such as this one. You have nice photos as well, great job.

  15. I always love taking this trip both during the summer and the winter, it is so beautiful to see the area. I also highly recommend that if you have extra time near this area check out the little hillside town of Jerome. It is gorgeous!

    1. We drove through Jerome, but we didn’t get out. My dad told me that the is a cool ghost town to walk around in Jerome.

  16. I have taken this route before and absolutely love it. I love your descriptions and video…thanks for sharing!

    1. It is such a fantastic route! It was so amazing watching the changing landscapes as we drove through.

  17. Wow these places look amazing, I love to travel; so these will be future destinations for our family. Thank you for sharing.

  18. This is perfectly detailed. I can’t wait to take a trip to Arizona especially to Sedona. Thanks

  19. The views on this road trip are so beautiful! When I drive I like as well to avoid motorways and just take the scenic route, even if it’s longer.

  20. My Uncle lives in Arizona and enjoys scenic views around the city. I ask him what he thinks about this as he will enjoy it!

  21. Nice! The video made me feel that I’m also on the road

  22. All I want to do now is to take a road trip. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me. Beautiful pictures!

  23. Very beautiful!!
    I wish to visit this place.

  24. i love arizona it make me say lovley and plan for my vacations

  25. This looks like an absolutely beautiful trip.

  26. Beautiful video! The trip looks awesome!

  27. Awesome post keep up great work

  28. […] just take the highway your whole time. Take the more scenic routes. It may add more time to your trip, but I promise it will be worth […]

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