Discover the Best of the Southwest: A Grand Circle Road Trip Itinerary
If you are looking for an unforgettable road trip experience, a Grand Circle Road Trip is an excellent option to consider. The Grand Circle is a region in the Southwest United States, covering parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. It is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes, national parks, and monuments in the country. This article will provide you with a comprehensive itinerary for a Grand Circle Road Trip, covering some of the best attractions and landmarks along the way.
Table of Contents
Starting Point: Las Vegas, Nevada
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Ending Point: Las Vegas, Nevada
A Grand Circle Road Trip is a journey through the Southwest United States, covering over 1,200 miles of scenic roads, stunning landscapes, and iconic national parks. This itinerary will take you through some of the most popular national parks, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon.
1. Starting Point: Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is a popular starting point for a Grand Circle Road Trip, as it is conveniently located near many of the national parks and attractions. From Las Vegas, head northeast towards Zion National Park.
2. Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a nature lover’s paradise, offering a variety of activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and wildlife watching. Some of the must-see attractions in the park include the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, the Narrows, and Angels Landing. Spend a day exploring the park before continuing to the next destination.
3. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for its unique geological structures called hoodoos. The park offers several scenic drives and hiking trails, including the popular Navajo Loop Trail and the Queen’s Garden Trail. The best time to visit Bryce Canyon is during sunrise or sunset, when the colors of the hoodoos are most vibrant.
4. Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden gem, offering stunning vistas and unique rock formations. The park is home to several hiking trails, such as the Capitol Gorge Trail and the Grand Wash Trail. Be sure to stop at the historic Fruita District, where you can pick fresh fruit from the orchards.
5. Arches National Park
Arches National Park is known for its iconic red rock arches and spires. The park offers several hiking trails, including the popular Delicate Arch Trail and the Devil’s Garden Trail. Be sure to catch the sunrise or sunset at the Windows Section of the park, where you can see several arches illuminated in a beautiful array of colors.
6. Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is a vast wilderness area, covering over 300,000 acres of canyons, mesas, and buttes. The park offers several scenic drives and hiking trails, including the Mesa Arch Trail and the Grand View Point Trail. Be sure to visit the Island in the Sky Visitor Center, where you can learn about the park’s history and geology.
7. Monument Valley
Monument Valley is a sacred place for the Navajo Nation and a must-see destination on a Grand Circle Road Trip. The valley is famous for its towering sandstone formations, known as “monuments,” that rise from the desert floor. You can explore the valley on a guided tour or take a scenic drive on the 17-mile loop road. Be sure to visit the John Ford Point overlook, where you can see a panoramic view of the valley and the surrounding red rock formations.
8. Grand Canyon National Park
No Grand Circle Road Trip would be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon. The park offers several lookout points, hiking trails, and ranger-led programs. Be sure to catch the sunrise or sunset at one of the park’s many overlooks, such as Yavapai Point or Hopi Point. If you have time, take a scenic helicopter or airplane tour of the canyon for a bird’s eye view of this natural wonder.
9. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona. The canyon is known for its smooth, flowing sandstone walls that have been eroded by water over millions of years. You can explore the canyon on a guided tour, which takes you through the narrow passageways and showcases the unique lighting effects that occur at certain times of the day.
10. Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend is a natural wonder located near Page, Arizona. The bend is formed by the meandering Colorado River, which has carved out a horseshoe-shaped curve in the sandstone. You can view the bend from a lookout point, which offers a breathtaking view of the river and the surrounding cliffs.
11. Lake Powell
Lake Powell is a massive reservoir located on the border of Arizona and Utah. The lake is surrounded by towering red rock formations and offers several recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, and hiking. Be sure to take a scenic boat tour of the lake, where you can explore hidden coves and see ancient rock art.
12. Ending Point: Las Vegas, Nevada
After exploring the best of the Southwest, return to Las Vegas to conclude your Grand Circle Road Trip. Las Vegas offers several world-class attractions, such as the Bellagio Fountains, the High Roller Observation Wheel, and the Neon Museum.
Hit the Road Jack!
A Grand Circle Road Trip is an unforgettable journey through some of the most stunning landscapes and national parks in the country. This itinerary covers some of the best attractions and landmarks in the Southwest, offering a diverse range of activities and experiences. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes, plenty of sunscreen, and a sense of adventure for your Grand Circle Road Trip.
What is the Grand Circle Tour?
The Grand Circle Tour is a road trip itinerary that covers over 1,200 miles of scenic roads, national parks, and iconic landmarks in the Southwest United States.
How long does the Grand Circle road trip take?
The Grand Circle road trip typically takes 7-10 days to complete, depending on the number of stops and activities you plan to do.
What is included in the Grand Circle?
The Grand Circle includes several national parks, such as Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon, as well as other attractions such as Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell.
How many national parks are in the Grand Circle?
There are seven national parks in the Grand Circle: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, and the Grand Canyon.