The Northern Arizona Travel Guide is a resource for those planning a road trip in the region.
It is especially useful for trips originating in Las Vegas or Phoenix, or for those traveling on I-40.
All the popular attractions are included, such as Oak Creek Canyon, Historic Route 66, the Painted Desert,
Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Hoover Dam, Lake Powell, Prescott and Sedona, Arizona.
Many less famous destinations are also included. Details include descriptions and links to many references.
Historic Route 66, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, Verde Valley, and Grand Canyon Skywalk
This symbol indicates links into the American West Travelogue.
One of the most popular outdoor destinations for Las Vegas and Phoenix visitors is the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, an easy five-hour drive or less. En route from Las Vegas, you can tour Hoover Dam and drive an outstanding segment of Historic Route 66 from Kingman to Seligman, Arizona. Phoenix visitors can conveniently visit Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and the Verde Valley (includes Prescott and historic Jerome). Other outstanding attractions can be reached with short side trips.
All Las Vegas visitors touring Northern Arizona will drive past spectacular Hoover Dam,
located about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The new Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge connecting Arizona and Nevada is now open.
The 2,000-foot long bridge crosses Black Canyon just south of the dam, 900 feet above the Colorado River. Highway US-93 previously crossed the top of the dam into Arizona.
The new bridge greatly alleviates traffic congestion around the dam and offers spectacular views. However you cannot see off the bridge from your vehicle! Follow signs into the dam complex where there is a trail up to the bridge’s pedestrian walkway from a signed parking area.
The dam's visitor center/museum offers an Exhibit
Gallery featuring the history of the dam and the natural history of the area, Theater One with an
informational film, and an observation deck with a panoramic view of the dam. A self-guided tour into
the heart of the dam via elevator is available. There are also street-level displays. Visit time: up to a few hours.
The Old West Town of Oatman - Route 66 West of Kingman
The town of Oatman started as a gold-mining camp in 1915. After the gold ran out, it served travelers on
Route 66 and became a backwater after the freeways were built. Today, visitors can still visit the largely
authentic town and sample a bit of the old west as well as a piece of Route 66. The are several
old-fashioned hotels including the Oatman Hotel (a favorite of Clark Gable) and various craft and other
retail shops. Tame mules wander the main street, and can be fed by visitors. There are daily staged
gunfights and other events.
From Kingman, take I-40 west one exit, then go west on Route 66. En route, stop at the Cool Springs gift shop and museum. The owner beautifully restored the ruins of an antique gas station into perfect condition. The winding but highly scenic road through the Black Mountains into Oatman is slow and tedious with hairpin curves.
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Historic Route 66 - Kingman to Seligman
Arizona's Route 66 between Kingman and Seligman is the longest remaining stretches of the historic highway.
Here is a chance to see a few of the remaining businesses and places that still exist from the old days. Some of the highlights going west to east:
- Kingman - Route 66 strip features many of the historic restaurants and motels with their flashy neon signs. The historic (built in 1907) Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center downtown features the Route 66 Museum.
- Hackberry - The Hackberry General Store is loaded with antiques and roadside memorabilia. Offers snacks and souvenirs.
- Valentine - Features Keepers of the Wild Nature Park, a santuary for rescued exotic animals.
- Peach Springs - Headquarters of the Hualapai Nation. The nation offers recreational opportunities in the western end of the Grand Canyon and has a resort (motel, restaurant, visitor center) here, about 45 miles east of Kingman. Their feature attraction is the recently opened Grand Canyon Skywalk (see below). Peach Springs is the starting point for a popular one-day white water raft trip in the Grand Canyon as well as the the Diamond Creek Road, the only auto access to the bottom of Grand Canyon.
- Grand Canyon Caverns - Spectacular caverns accessed by guided tour. The long-time attraction also has a motel, restaurant, and campground. The new Cavern Suite at the bottom of the caverns is available to guests.
- Seligman - Features the Route 66 Gift Shop and Visitor Center.
Grand Canyon West - Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Hualapai Nation offers a variety of recreational opportunities at Grand Canyon West (off of US-93) and Peach Springs (on Route 66). Their feature attraction is the recently opened Grand Canyon Skywalk, a unique horseshoe-shaped structure which extends 70 feet beyond the edge of the Grand Canyon. Its glass-bottomed pathway allows visitors an opportunity to peer thousands of feet straight down into the Grand Canyon for a very unique perspective. Other activities include helicopter tours, Colorado River raft trips, Indian village, cookouts, etc. Air and ground transport to and from Las Vegas available in all-inclusive tours.
Peach Springs is the starting point for the one-day white water raft trip in the Grand Canyon as well as the the Diamond Creek Road, the only auto access to the bottom of Grand Canyon. A permit is required to drive the Diamond Creek Road which is marginally drivable by passenger cars. It is a little rough at the bottom - inquire locally about road conditions. There is a motel, restaurant, and visitor center (in the motel) at Peach Springs.
Prescott - Sedona Loop
The loop offers a wide variety of scenery and activities. Prescott, the old territorial capitol of
Arizona offers outdoor recreation, a historic downtown, and culture. Tuzigoot National Monument protects the
remnants of a Sinaguan Pueblo dating to 1000 A.D. The Verde Canyon Railroad tours a spectacular canyon.
There are three Arizona state parks along the way.
The historic mining town of Jerome sits in a unique locale on Cleopatra Hill. The town which is on five levels on the steep hillside dwindled from a peak population of 15,000 during the mining heyday to a few hundred and became a decrepit semi-ghost town. In modern times, Jerome has made a comeback as an artist colony and tourist attraction. It now features numerous art galleries, small specialty shops, classic hotels, bed and breakfasts, and funky restaurants. Many of the businesses reside in buildings that are refurbished saloons and brothels.
Directions: From I-40 at Ash Fork, go south on AZ-89 to Prescott, go east on AZ-89a to Sedona, go north on AZ-89a through Oak Creek Canyon (extremely scenic) for a return to I-40 at Flagstaff. From Phoenix, Sedona (and AZ-89a) can be directly reached by AZ-179 from I-17. Visit time: a few hours if just driving through; a few days or more to fully enjoy each site.
Sedona - Oak Creek Canyon
Sedona, Arizona, is the gateway to spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in Oak Creek Canyon and the
surrounding Red Rock Country of Arizona's Mogollon Rim. The town also offers world-class resorts, shopping,
arts and crafts, varied cuisine, cultural events, "new age energy vortexes", and more. Oak Creek Canyon
offers great scenic hiking, fishing, and access to wilderness areas. One highlight is Slide Rock State Park,
a natural water park right in Oak Creek. Four wheel drive tours are also very popular. Visitor centers can
be found in downtown Sedona and the village of Oak Creek. Directions: from Flagstaff, south on Arizona-89a;
from Phoenix, north on I-17, west on Arizona-179. Visit time: can drive through in half a day, can easily
spend a week in the area.
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Northern Arizona Travel Guide Index
- Hoover Dam, Historic Route 66, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, Verde Valley, Grand Canyon Skywalk
- Flagstaff, Grand Canyon - South Rim, Painted Desert / Petrified Forest, Canyon de Chelly
- Indian Country, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Grand Canyon - North Rim, Utah Parks
- Travel Itineraries
Guides to Nearby Destinations