How to Plan THE MOST EPIC Road Trip to the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles


Are you an Angeleno looking for a different kind of getaway? Or maybe you’re from out of town and looking to have a west coast adventure! Learn how you can have the most epic road trip to the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles with this road trip guide through Arizona, California and Nevada.

Here in Los Angeles, the summer season brings a heavy wanderlust to just about every Angeleno in the city.

People are itching to get out of town starting from the weekend of Memorial Day until mid-September when school starts again. Maybe it’s to escape the California drought heat or maybe it’s the serious FOMO.

Whatever the reason, it was the perfect justification to travel to the Grand Canyon, an UNESCO World Heritage Site I’ve never seen before!

So I decided to take a 5-day road trip to see the best of Arizona, some of Nevada and a touch of California! After a ton of research and going through it myself, use this guide for your next road trip so you can see some of the best this route has to offer!

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Stop 1: Palm Springs, California

If you’re coming from Los Angeles, then you will definitely be passing through the famous Palm Springs. Known for its wild parties and festivals as well as its mid-century modern architecture, Palm Springs is a premier weekend getaway for those in and around the Los Angeles area.

Where to Stay:

  • The Colony Palm Springs
  • Korakia Pensione
  • The Parker Palm Springs

Where to Eat:

  • Spencer’s
  • Cheeky’s
  • Felipe’s
  • Birba
  • SO.PA

Where to Play:

  • Enjoy the view at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  • Visit that pink door
  • Gamble at the Agua Caliente Casino
  • Enjoy the many art studios, shops and museum
  • Marvel at the Cabazon Dinosaurs
  • Go to a festival
  • Lounge by one of the many pools (at your own hotel or grab a day pass)

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Stop 2: Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital and Southwestern hub of Phoenix. Rather than drive by this diverse city, it’s best to spend at least one night and day checking out all of the eateries, craft beer and Mexican influence brought to this location.

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat:

Where to Play:

  • Shop and wander around Old Town Scottsdale
  • Hike Camelback Mountain
  • Visit the Desert Botanical Garden
  • Enjoy a game at Chase Field
  • Check out the Phoenix Zoo
  • Enjoy a brewery tour at Four Peaks

Want to Visit Arizona

Stop 3: Sedona, Arizona

Probably my favorite of them all, Sedona is a spiritual and magical place known for its strange vortexes, it’s mesmerizing red rock landscapes and the social elite who retreat here. There was such a calming and peaceful vibe about this area, I highly recommend stopping here for two nights if possible to soak up all of the energy permeating throughout this quaint city.

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat:

  • Sedona Hideaway House
  • Elote Cafe
  • L’Auberge Restaurant On Oak
  • Mariposa

Where to Play:

  • The Airport Vortex
  • Slide Rock State Park
  • Hike Cathedral Rock
  • Go shopping
  • Hike Devil’s Bridge Trail
  • Visit Red Rock State Park
  • Try some yoga or meditation classes in the many vortexes
  • Visit the Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well National Parks

Want to Visit Arizona

Stop 4: The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Finally, the pinnacle of your road trip! This was the very point of your 20+ hour drive and you will definitely not regret it! What can be a day trip to others can turn into a week-long trip for some. But I will say that while I thought 5 hours would be enough here, I was definitely wrong.

Where to Stay:

  • El Tovar Hotel
  • Bright Angel Lodge
  • Yavapai Lodge

Where to Eat:

  • El Tovar Dining Room
  • Roughrider Saloon
  • Desert View Trading Post Cafeteria
  • Bright Angel Cafe

How to Play:

  • Hike to Havasupai Falls
  • Check out the Grand Canyon Skywalk
  • Hike the South Rim Trail
  • Try whitewater rafting through the Canyon
  • Go hot air ballooning
  • Enjoy sunset from Hopi Point

Want to Visit Arizona

Stop 5: Page, Arizona

Don’t let this small and seemingly empty town fool you. While it may appear to have little to do, there is a lot to see for the nature buff or budding photographer. Page borders Utah and is home to many natural landscapes including Horseshoe Bend, Lower Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell and the Coyote Buttes. Easily seen in a day, you don’t need to spend more than one night here.

Where to Stay:

  • Lake Powell Resort
  • Lake Powell Motel
  • Red Rock Motel

Where to Eat:

  • Big John’s Texas BBQ
  • El Tapatio
  • The Rivers End Cafe
  • Blue Wine Bar

Where to Play:

  • Check out Horseshoe Bend
  • Go on a boat tour at the bottom of Horseshoe Canyon
  • Go on a tour to Lower Antelope Canyon
  • Visit and boat around Powell Lake
  • Check out Rainbow Bridge National Monument

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Stop 6: Las Vegas, Nevada

Sin City, Disneyland for Adults, the Entertainment Capital of the World… Whatever you want to call it, Las Vegas is one of the best places in the United States to dine, explore, see and get your party on. (It’s also one of my favorite cities in the entire world!)

Where to Stay:

  • The Encore
  • Caesar’s Palace
  • MGM Grand
  • Aria

Where to Eat:

  • Sinatra at The Encore
  • Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar
  • é by José Andrés
  • NOVE Italiano
  • Peppermill Fireside Lounge
  • The Sugar Factory

Where to Play:

  • Enjoy a drink at the beautiful Chandelier Bar
  • See a concert, magic, comedy or acrobatic show
  • Ride the roller coaster at New York, New York
  • Play some carnival games at Circus, Circus
  • Gamble at the tons of Casinos
  • Visit some of the hottest night clubs
  • Go to a pool party (topless or not!)
  • Walk around and people watch on the strip
  • Go zip lining at the Fremont Street Experience
  • Take in the view at the Stratosphere
  • Pawn your belongings at the famous Pawn Stars shop

Have you been on an epic road trip to the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles? Where else did you go?

7 comments on “How to Plan THE MOST EPIC Road Trip to the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles”

  1. Hi there! I was hoping to do this same exact trip with my boyfriend. Do you have a specific itinerary we could follow? Anything detailed on what/how/where to go would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  2. I’ve made part of this trip, actually a loop from Las Vegas to see the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and then back to Las Vegas. But in my book, you missed a couple of magical spots. Bryce Canyon is like a fairy tail decked out in stripes and spires that inspire the imagination. I recommend overnighting there and taking a morning horseback ride. The lodge in the park keeps the views only steps from your door. From there , take an hour or day to visit Zion on your way back to LV. It’s been years, but I’ll never forget how different the 3 canyons are. Grand is just that vast, immense. Bryce magical and fantasy. Zion, massive.

  3. Omg, thank you for this! I am going on my first road trip with my bf in november and we are using this as a guide! Not doing all the stops, but most of them!

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