If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to make an easy but scenic trip to neighboring Arizona, consider a trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix.

As you travel through a predominantly desert area, you will feel the unique beauty of Southern California and Arizona more than ever before.

The journey from Los Angeles to Phoenix takes 6 hours non-stop. Take a break in Palm Springs and explore the Salton Sea area, Joshua Tree National Park, White Tank Mountain and the Quartzite Gem and Mineral Show.

There’s a lot to see on this deceptively simple route, so read all about it so you don’t miss anything.

How far is Phoenix from Los Angeles and how long does it take to get there?

A trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix can be made in about 5 hours and 30 minutes and covers 370 miles without a break.

Usually it is an undisturbed road through the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts – if you really want to, you can leave quite late in the morning and still have time to spend a night in Phoenix.

A deserted road along Joshua National Park with rocky cliffs and mountainsides on a clear morning sky
A view you will enjoy with confidence as you drive along Joshua National Park to Theonix.

S. Borisov/Shutterstock.com

At the same time, the essence of a good road trip is the journey itself. So if you can help, try to spend at least a few days on this route and take a few night breaks along the way.

You can also keep an eye on rush-hour traffic: the major cities of California and Arizona can bother you with their traffic if you leave at the wrong time.

As with any trip to and from a large city, you should try to avoid weekends and public holidays, otherwise you can extend your trip by an hour or two.

Best route from Los Angeles to Phoenix

The last trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix is one highway at a time. The disk is actually a straight line from point A to point B, but there is something to see along the way.

Directions from Los Angeles to Phoenix

From Los Angeles take Highway 10 between San Bernardino National Forest and Mount San Jacinto. Don’t forget to spend a day in Palm Springs and then continue past Coachella Valley Reserve and Joshua Tree National Park.

You will then pass through Mesa Verde, cross the Colorado River and arrive in Arizona. Relax on quartzite, then drive past Kofa National Wildlife Area and relax in the Burnt Well Rest Area.

Shortly after passing Skyline and Estrella Mountain Regional Parks you will arrive in Phoenix.

Best ports of call between Los Angeles and Phoenix

A 6 hour bike ride in the desert might not be the best idea, so consider spending at least one night on the road from Los Angeles to Phoenix.

Not all parts of the trip have much to offer in terms of luxury accommodation, but there are some excellent resorts that you will definitely want to book:

Enjoy the unique atmosphere of Palm Springs

As long as you are not travelling on a limited budget, an overnight stay in Palm Springs is an integral part of your trip on this itinerary – there is a very good reason why so many celebrities live in this beautiful city or have their own home there, so take the time to explore it for yourself.

Although there are many great hotels here, it can’t go wrong with the La Serena Villas, which are located in the centre of Palm Springs.

These villas show how different intelligent aesthetic solutions can transform a solid hotel into a perfect desert paradise. The tapestries and decorations are so old that they go back to modern times, and you will certainly feel like you are in the desert, even if you are less than a kilometre from the city centre.

La Serena features a large outdoor pool, a beautiful rooftop lounge and Whispers Spa, the perfect place to get away from the summer heat. If this is not enough, you can also book a suite with its own jacuzzi.

It is a resort that is particularly suitable if you are looking for a romantic getaway. You can order all kinds of great extras, from champagne and scented candles delivered to your room, to a family massage for couples and a private yoga session on the roof for two.

Thanks to the excellent location of LSV you don’t need a car to explore Palm Springs – just take your (free) bike and pedal wherever you want. The resort is not cheap, but you can expect it given the quality of your stay.

Breathtaking view of the Phoenix.

It is difficult to find the best hotel in a large metropolis, and the Phoenix is no exception. After a day exploring the beautiful city, you’ll want to unwind in a high-end hotel, and the capital of Arizona will cover you with The Camby, Autograph Collection.

Bird's eye view of the Arizona Metropolitan Building with its blue lights on the roof and the charming lights of the city of Arizona at the back of
Take a tour of the Arizona Metropolitan Building in Phoenix.

Real Window Creative/Shutterstock.com

To start with, waking up in a beautiful room with a breathtaking view of the city or the mountains is an incredible way to start the day.

After a quiet night’s sleep you can dine at the Artizen Restaurant (or dine on the terrace while admiring the beautiful scenery), take a dip in the large swimming pool and enjoy a drink at the Wade Poolside Bar.

This hotel has everything you need to keep busy when you’re not far from home: you can play billiards, keep fit or just get together and meet other guests in an incredibly elegant lobby.

Less than 8 km from the city centre, this hotel offers many fantastic amenities while being close to all the attractions of the Phoenix.

The price is that of a Phoenix standard mid-range hotel, but in terms of comfort and luxury, it is for most of its more expensive competitors in this area due to the landslides.

What to see on a trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix

If the weather and your schedule allows it, you will certainly want to study for a few days on your way from Los Angeles to Phoenix.

Although there is plenty of room for excellent detours, especially near the start and finish points, here are some of the best places to discover on the road:

  1. San Jacinto State ParkMount San Jacinto – with beautiful wildlife and greenery (both desert and forest), as well as Mount San Jacinto, an ideal place for hiking.
  2. Oak Glen Sanctuary – a beautiful network of wetland footpaths at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains.
  3. National Forest of San Bernardino – This forest, which covers almost a million hectares, is mainly pine and contains the Great Bear Lake, ideal for fishing.
  4. Palm Springs – The unique architecture of Palm Springs and the many activities throughout the year make it a must on this route.
  5. Salton Sea – This basin is the largest lake in California, accidentally created more than 100 years ago, and has some somewhat unusual art installations to study.
  6. Coachella Valley Reserve – There are several endangered species that only occur in this beautiful desert area.
  7. Yeshua Tree National Park is the meeting place between Mojave and the Sonoran Desert. This unique park is named after the beautiful Yeshua trees.
  8. Quartzite – In this town, which is sparsely populated for most of the year, many exhibitions and displays of precious stones and minerals are held in the cool winter months.
  9. Coffa National Reserve – The abundance of water in this reserve has allowed unlikely animals to thrive in this desert area.
  10. White Tank Mountains Regional Park – Thanks to the designation White Tank Mountains this park has one of the most complex hiking trails in this part of the country.
  11. Skyline Regional Park – This park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Arizona and offers a variety of itineraries for walkers of all levels.
  12. Estrella Mountain Regional Park – Located on the banks of the Gila River, this park is ideal for picnics and outdoor activities and is home to the famous Phoenix Racetrack.
  13. Southern Mountain Park and Reserve – the largest city park in the United States. The Southern Mountain Park is strangely hospitable to occasional picnics, pedestrians, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts.
  14. Pleasant Lake Regional Park – a Pleasant Lake man-made reservoir makes this park a necessary refuge from the heat of the Phoenix at any time of year.

If you have time, consider making a few more adventurous trips when you’re done with the Phoenix – find the beautiful Sedona and Flagstaff in the north, for example, or take the Interstate Highway in the south for a few hours to reach Tuscany.

Picturesque views of Lake Pleasant Park in Phoenix, Arizona from the road on a beautiful day
Take a break from your trip and relax in the Lake Pleasant Park Recreation Area.


Best time to travel from Los Angeles to Phoenix

If you’re planning a trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix, be selective in your programming, as weather conditions can affect or spoil all your experiences.

Phoenix is one of the hottest, if not the warmest, major cities in America, and summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees – it will certainly be very hot in Phoenix between May and September.

If you are planning a desert trip, summer is usually a difficult time for this trip – especially in July or August.

The positive side of the burning summer is that temperatures are excellent for the rest of the year and the city comes alive with events and activities from November to April.

Even the months of December and January can be very pleasant, with temperatures around 65 degrees in the warmest places.

To enjoy the usual summer even more, a visit to the Phoenix in April is the safest option. You always get more sun than in almost any other state, but the temperature should not exceed 85 degrees.

If you decide to travel, do not underestimate the Sonoran and Mojave deserts – do not forget to take plenty of water and do not hesitate to stay in one of the many deserted cities if the heat becomes too much.

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