On a recent trip from Denver to Phoenix, the drive took us 2 days. What was your experience?
The “phoenix to denver road trip time” is a popular destination for the summer. There are many things to do in Phoenix and Denver, so it is important to plan your trip accordingly.
A road journey from Denver to Phoenix is one of the most picturesque trips in the American South, despite the fact that it’s a massive endeavor. This excursion will make a lasting impact with its lush woods, parched deserts, and skyscraping mountains.
It takes 13 hours to drive 820 miles from Denver to Phoenix. The Rocky Mountain, Arches, and Grand Canyon National Parks, as well as the Tonto and Coconino National Forests, the Taos Historic District, and Sedona’s rock formations, are all worth seeing.
You’ll want to be well-prepared for your voyage, so make sure you read all the way to the end to learn all there is to know about this epic trek.
What is the distance between Phoenix and Denver, and how long will the journey take?
|Route||Distance||Time to Drive|
|Route via the Rockies||820 miles||13 hours|
|The route across New Mexico||865 miles||13 minutes and 20 seconds|
The road journey from Denver to Phoenix takes roughly 13 hours and spans 865 miles if you choose the most direct route. You should plan at least one overnight break along the road, if not more, so you can see as much as possible.
This route, which never deviates from the freeway, will take you through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains before cutting through Santa Fe and Albuquerque before ending in Phoenix.
Another option is to take the trek through the Rockies themselves. Instead, you’ll journey through Utah, and you’ll enter Arizona from the north, passing via Moab, Flagstaff, and Sedona on your route to Phoenix, or possibly seeing the Grand Canyon.
If you have the time, go to Canyonlands National Park to see the famous dawn.
Keep in mind that following the Red Rock Scenic Byway out of Sedona will need some mandatory pauses and may lengthen your journey, but it’s a worthwhile alternative to explore.
Having saying that, be cautious of traffic on the latter route. The grid design of the residential districts along the first route allows you to easily escape traffic in Albuquerque (the route’s largest city).
However, tourist hotspots like Flagstaff and Sedona attract enormous people on weekends and holidays, so you could be yourself looking at tail lights for a few hours longer.
The best route from Denver to Phoenix for a road trip
In general, there is no optimal route from Denver to Phoenix – both are quite picturesque and work well together, so take one on the way to Phoenix and the other on the way back to get the most out of your vacation.
The route across New Mexico
Take Interstate 25 south from Denver, passing through Colorado Springs and the San Isabel National Forest. Cross into New Mexico after passing through Great Sand Dunes National Park Preserve. To the north of Santa Fe, check out Taos and the Carson National Forest.
Follow the highway via Cibola National Forest and into Albuquerque after you’ve finished. Before reaching Arizona, go on Interstate 40 and take it through El Malapis National Conservation Area and Bluewater State Park.
Throughout Petrified Forest National Park, stay on the interstate. Soon after leaving the park, take Routes 377, 277, 260, and 87 to Phoenix, passing through the Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto National Forests, as well as McDowell Mountain Regional Park.
Almost immediately after entering Arizona, you’ll come to a fork in the road called Route 160, which you may take east for a brief diversion to Mesa Verde National Park through the Four Corners Monument, or remain on the main road and follow it to Route 89, which is just east of Grand Canyon National Park. If you take a detour west, you’ll pass through Monument Valley, which is home to some of the world’s most iconic desert rock formations.
Make a pit break in Flagstaff after going through Kaibab National Forest. Take Route 89A to Sedona and the Red Rock Scenic Byway on the way out, or take Interstate 17 via the Coconino National Forest to save time.
In any case, you’ll ultimately pass Montezuma Castle National Monument on the highway; continue on it until you reach Phoenix.
Route via the Rocky Mountains
Take Interstate 70 west into the Rockies, passing through Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapho, and Roosevelt National Forests. In addition, there’s the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.
Take Route 191 south out of Thompson Springs, via Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Once in Arizona, take Route 160 west through the Grand Canyon, then take Route 89 through the Coconino National Forest and onto Interstate 17, which will take you the rest of the way to Phoenix.
Between Denver and Phoenix, the best locations to stop are
There are lots of fantastic places to stop on the journey from Denver to Phoenix, thanks to the variety of monuments and attractions around every turn. Make plans to stay for at least a few weeks to see all there is to see. Here are a few hotel options for you to consider:
Take in Albuquerque’s distinct ambiance.
Albuquerque, with its perfect balance of urban and tranquility, is the ideal destination to stay for a few nights while seeing New Mexico. If you’re searching for something more opulent, the gorgeous Hotel Chaco has the best-looking rooms in town.
The inside is really trendy, and the apartments have incredible views over the property, which is a delight in and of itself. On the subject of views, the terrace sitting area has a beautiful view of the city and is a perfect spot for a morning coffee.
Albuquerque is the quintessential desert metropolis, with stunning architecture and a striking landscape.
Shutterstock.com/Sean Pavone is a writer who lives in New York City
After a long day of touring Albuquerque, the outdoor swimming pool is a terrific location to cool off, and for lunch, you may order a la carte to start your day off well.
Given that you’ll be staying in a large metropolis, the hotel is surprisingly pretty affordable. You’ll be around a mile and a half from the city’s core, putting you within walking distance of most of Albuquerque’s attractions.
In Moab, see Utah’s national parks.
Moab, surrounded by the gorgeous Utah desert and two of the greatest National Parks, is a perfect stopover for your road trip, and Hoodoo Moab is the nicest hotel in town with the best morning view.
The rooms are all you’d expect — comfortable, roomy, and, in line with the desert environment, quite easy on the eyes with their beige and light brown tones.
Stepping onto the balcony provides a stunning view of the stunning outside, which includes a magnificent swimming pool that few in the area can equal.
The Arches National Park is a must-see attraction in Moab.
If wandering about Moab doesn’t do it for you, you may use the on-site exercise center to let off steam. Jose Wyatt’s Grille is an on-site restaurant (and a fantastic one), and even spending time in the posh lounge area is a delight after a long day outdoors in the sun.
Arches National Park is the closest landmark, just 2 miles away, while Uncompahgre National Forest and Canyonlands National Park are also close by.
Furthermore, despite its sumptuous nature, the lodging is reasonably priced, enabling you to utilize Moab as a base for further exploring of the region.
On a road journey from Denver to Phoenix, there are many sights to view.
The drive from Denver to Phoenix is full with breathtaking sights that will have you coming back for years. While compiling a comprehensive list is almost difficult, these are the locations you must see:
- San Isabel National Forest – this beautiful forest is home to roughly a third of Colorado’s tallest peaks, including the highest summit, Mount Elbert
- Colorado Springs – the red rocks of the Garden of the Gods make for a lovely precursor to the Arizona portion of your trip
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve – as the name suggests, this preserve is home to the States’ largest dunes
- Taos –the Taos Downtown Historic District and the area’s trademark pueblos are a must-see for anyone passing by this region
- Santa Fe National Forest – featuring Truchas Peak, a wide array of green meadows, and a portion of the Rio Grande, this is one of the more scenic and colorful parts of northern New Mexico
- Albuquerque – a beautiful blend of Latino and Native American cultures, this city features unique adobe architecture, amazing cuisine, and a slew of natural wonders
- Petrified Forest National Park – this park is renowned for its abundance of fossils, particularly petrified trees that date back to tens of millions of years ago
- Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest – featuring beautiful terrain and dramatic changes in elevation, this forest makes for the perfect hiking and camping spot for experienced outdoorsmen
- Tonto National Forest –Arizona’s largest national forest is also arguably its most scenic, courtesy of the lakes, desert flora, and varied wildlife
- Rocky Mountain National Park – the best way to experience this park is by enjoying the 12,000-foot view from Trail Ridge Road
- Arches National Park – this aptly named park is home to Delicate and landscape Arches, along with hundreds of others
- Canyonlands National Park – split by the Green and Colorado Rivers into 3 beautiful regions, this park is Utah’s largest (and perhaps most scenic) national park
- Four Corners Monument – due to major historic events, the meeting point between Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona makes for a popular tourist attraction
- Monument Valley – one of the most iconic desert rock formations in the world on Navajo Nation territory.
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area – this park combines the beautiful San Juan River with its gorgeous cliffs and rock formations for a beautiful backcountry experience
- Vermilion Cliffs – home of countless sandstone formations and buttes that are estimated to be millions of years old
- Grand Canyon National Park – one of the most iconic natural landmarks in all of the States (and the world, for that matter), the Grand Canyon is often considered one of the natural wonders of the world
- Coconino National Forest – a forested area that also features desert terrain and various volcanoes, located just south of Flagstaff
- Sedona – a beautiful tourist town surrounded by red rock formations, connected to the gorgeous Red Rock Scenic Byway
- Montezuma Castle National Monument – built by the Sinagua people around 3000 years ago, these dwellings are thought to have been vacant for about half a millennium
Before arriving in Phoenix, make a point of stopping at Scottsdale.
When is the best time to travel from Denver to Phoenix?
Because of the long journey and the Arizona temperature, there are undoubtedly better and worse times to travel from Denver to Phoenix.
Phoenix, along with its southern neighbor Tucson, is a strong candidate for the hottest city in this region. With that in mind, anybody who isn’t used to high temps should avoid south Arizona throughout the summer.
Furthermore, the number of tourist sites along the road is enormous, so avoiding crowds at this time of year is almost impossible, regardless of which route you choose.
The high temperatures in Phoenix, on the other hand, tend to attract less travelers, so you should have no problem finding inexpensive lodging once you arrive.
Phoenix is one of the few cities in the world that looks as good at night as it does during the day.
Sean Pavone is a writer who lives in New York City
While transitional months like May and September are nearly indistinguishable from summer in terms of heat, months that are cooler in the rest of the country (like April or October) in Phoenix sit at approximately 85 degrees, offering them wonderful windows of opportunity for visiting the city.
With temperatures hovering around 70 degrees and events like the state-wide Arizona Beer Week and the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, late autumn, early spring, and the whole winter are all fantastic seasons to visit Phoenix.
However, bear in mind that ideal weather and a plethora of activities often imply higher throngs of visitors, so make sure to reserve an accommodation well ahead of time.
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The “phoenix to colorado road trip” is a great way to see the beautiful scenery of both states. The journey takes about four days, but is worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where should I stop between Denver and Phoenix?
A: You should stop for gas in Las Vegas.
What is the halfway point between Phoenix and Denver?
A: If you are in Phoenix, the halfway point between Phoenix and Denver is Flagstaff.
What is there to see between Denver and Phoenix?
A: As we fly from Denver to Phoenix, there are many things that can be seen. Some of the cities you will see include Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.
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