How to Road Trip Arizona | Land of the Cactus Emoji

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

July 16th, 2019


As I sit here in Rasmus’ parent's lovely casita in Austin, Texas I am reflecting on our beautiful trip around Arizona. On an eight-day trek, Rasmus and I worked our way from Albuquerque over to Arizona and had a blast exploring and camping.

I grew up in the southwest and spent lots of time in Arizona (my mom is from Phoenix), but I have never appreciated the sunshine and painted skylines the way I did this go-round. Here’s my quick list of hits for road-trippers.


Sedona is iconic. If you have not been through Sedona— you don’t know the beauty that is the southwest. Rasmus and I got a VIP tour of the town by my grandparents, Maba and Paka Doc, who have a cabin north of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon.

Sedona is famous for its red rock and rock formations. Just the drive through town gives you pause. Its famous rock formations can be seen from the road: “snoopy rock,” “coffee pot rock,” and “bell rock;” all of which look like their given name from a certain angle.

We had a wonderful three-mile hike to Devil’s Bridge. This is a great morning or midday hike. If you’re scared of heights you might have a hard time getting the picture. But it’s worth the trek!

My grandparents treated us to a lovely lunch at Mariposa — a Latin inspired grill, which I would definitely recommend. I had a killer quinoa burger and a side of cactus fruit fries, which is something you really only get in Arizona.

Grand Canyon

We spent a day and a night at the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. We stopped off at Mather Point and got some great shots, this way probably my favorite view of the canyon. We hiked down South Kaibab trailhead a way which is another famous view of the canyon. And we had late afternoon drinks at the El Tovar Hotel, which has been at the Grand Canyon since 1905, this is a must.

Getting around the Grand Canyon is super easy. After you pay the park fee, you drive your car over to the village and park. There are free buses provided that take you all across the Southern Rim. If you want to avoid the people get up early. The pictures really don’t do it justice, this is something you have to see in person! It’s absolutely astonishing.

Horseshoe Bend

This is a drive-by type of stop on your way to do the Antelope Canyon, you pay $10 to park at walk about 10 minutes into the site. In July, there are tons of people! Again, maybe you want to do this early in the morning. But it really is something to see. It is incredible the way that the water bends around the rock.