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The #1 Grand Canyon To Joshua Tree Nationwide Park Itinerary


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Relating to exploring the most effective pure magnificence on the Southwest Coast, there’s a lot to uncover from The Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree Nationwide Park.

The enduring Grand Canyon, one of many Seven Pure Wonders of the World, is a mere 361.2 miles from Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, which is legendary for its rock formations and distinctive Joshua tree inhabitants.

road winding through Joshua tree national park california

It takes about 5.5 hours to drive between the 2 parks, crossing state borders between Arizona and California, so it is sensible you’re going to need to cease alongside the way in which and make a nationwide park highway journey of it.

We’d advocate you intend not less than 10-14 days to do a highway journey from The Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree, to essentially take advantage of the websites on this area.

On this information, we share our highlights of those two iconic nationwide parks, and share some concepts for what to see on the way in which from the Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree.

The Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree Nationwide Park Itinerary

As talked about, the gap between The Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree is sort of a protracted one, so we advocate breaking it up and seeing another common websites within the area on the way in which.

Above is a map of the place we visited on our Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree highway journey.

We stopped in Flagstaff, Sedona, Kingman, Pirate Cove, and at last Joshua Tree.

There have been different locations we might have stopped, which I’ll point out in additional element beneath.

1. Cease 1: Grand Canyon Nationwide Park South Rim

pink Hopi Point sunset Grand Canyon

Earlier than we dive into the stops between The Grand Canon and Joshua Tree, let’s shortly speak about why you shouldn’t rush off from the Large GC.

Most individuals go to The Grand Canyon for the West Space, the place you can find the well-known Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Nevertheless, there are another websites within the nationwide park which are value exploring.

For instance, in The Grand Canyon South Rim, there’s a pretty path referred to as the Vivid Angel Path, which is what we did earlier than setting off on our highway journey.

girl walking on snow Grand Canyon
Vivid Angel Lodge, Grand Canyon

It was pretty to go to the Grand Canyon within the winter – every thing was slower and the later dawn and early sundown occasions meant we may very well be extra easeful. 

Mountaineering did show to be tough as all trails happening into the canyon have been lined in ice and snow.

girls walking on bright angel trail covered in snow
Vivid Angel Path – Grand Canyon
girls walking on snow on Bright Angel Trail
Vivid Angel Path

We managed just a little hour journey down the Vivid Angel Path transferring at a sluggish tempo up in opposition to the canyon wall to make sure we have been secure and guarded.

It was nice enjoyable and as soon as once more the ladies enthusiasm to tackle the problem together with their accountability with it amazed me.

There’s one thing in regards to the quiet repetitiveness of strolling. It has an uncanny skill to harden but soften you on the similar time.

It hardens your bodily physique, your stamina and your resolve, but it opens up an area so that you can dwell extra gently.

To ponder and marvel.

It’s about simplifying, eradicating all distractions and disconnecting from issues that matter.

All that issues is the scrunching of the gravel beneath your toes, the quiet rustle of the breeze, the awe inspiring pure environment and the humorous conversations you possibly can have together with your youngsters.

There’s no must delay time with them for different calls for. You possibly can hear, be taught extra about them and naturally reply all their curious questions as finest you possibly can.

As Savannah stated to me, “”I like listening to the sound of strolling over the path.”

I like how she acknowledges the tranquility and worth of that already.

family walking on paved south rim trail at grand canyon
South Rim Path

The South Rim Path was one other simple one to stroll and benefit from the attractive canyon views.

We took benefit of the 2 scenic drives alongside the South Rim for beautiful views and sunsets.

Don’t miss the Desert View Drive and the Desert View Watchtower.

The views there have been my favourite with the pink and reddish rocks and the brilliant inexperienced Colorado River snaking via the canyon.

We even had a rainbow seem!

colorado river running through grand canyon. View from Desert View watchtower
Desert View watchtower
colorado river running through grand canyon. View from Desert View watchtower

We cherished all of the Elk lazing about within the snow lined forest on our final day when the snow was actually coming down and we needed to head out.

The deer positive didn’t care and weren’t going anyplace.

elk sitting in the snow

Cease 2: Horseshoe Bend

Tips for visiting Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is a little bit of a detour from path to take from The Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree, however it’s solely about an hour’s drive North and properly value it.

Positioned near the border with Utah, Horseshoe Bend is a pure surprise that defies easy description.

This iconic scene was created by a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River, which carved into the sandstone and made picturesque scene.

There’s a hike to Horseshoe Bend, which we don’t advocate within the winter, as there’s an fringe of the 1,000-foot cliff! We share extra suggestions in our full information to visiting Horseshoe Bend, Arizona.

Cease 3: Williams

train running through Williams az

Positioned simply 54 miles South of The Grand Canyon is the small city of Williams, which is a good cease for lunch or a espresso. It takes about an hour to drive there from The Grand Canyon.

You might have already stopped in Williams to take the Grand Canyon Railway to the park, but when not, remember to cease off right here on the way in which again.

It’s well-known for its quirky Route 66 sights, from traditional Americana-style boutique shops and diners, to Pete’s Route 66 Fuel Station Museum.

Cease 4: Flagstaff

View of the Meteor Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona
View of the Meteor Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona

From Williams, journey 33 miles to Flagstaff in Arizona (35 minutes of driving) the place you possibly can spend a few days exploring all of the websites.

Flagstaff is a metropolis surrounded by nature. It’s the place you can find San Francisco Peaks and the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort.

It’s additionally an important place to go stargazing because it’s an authorized dark-skies metropolis. Who is aware of, you might even spot a UFO!

Cease 5: Sedona

family hiking the Bell Rock Path -
Mountaineering to the Bell Rock Vortex

No journey to Arizona is full with out visiting Sedona in Arizona. It’s well-known for its vortex websites, that are therapeutic power pockets

From Flagstaff, Sedona is a forty five minute drive (29 miles) and may simply be seen in a day or two.

Apart from the vortex websites, Sedona can be filled with purple sandstone formations and winding rivers. It’s a desert paradise with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

Sedona is considered one of my favourite locations within the USA. We spent 5 days there and loved mountain climbing to spectacular viewpoints and soaking in these purple rock views.

Cease 6: Seligman

old cars outside gas station in Seligman

You’ll need to flip again on your self a bit to move to Seligman, a 109 mile journey from Sedona (about 2 hours driving).

It is a distinctive place in that it’s a census-designated place (in different phrases, it’s a ghost city), on the northern border of Yavapai County.

What makes Seligman distinctive is the quirky reward retailers, that are bursting with bric-a-brac gadgets and Route 66 memorabilia.

Cease 7: Kingman

Kingman Diner

From Seligman, head in direction of Kingman, which is about 72 miles from Seligman and takes simply over 1 hour to drive.

Kingman is one other tiny city on Route 66 and is the place you can find the Route 66 Museum, set contained in the Powerhouse Guests Heart.

Take a look at the Locomotive Park and the Kingman Railroad Museum to be taught in regards to the city’s railroad historical past.

Take a detour as much as Hackberry Common Retailer, a museum alongside the well-known Route 66 that includes rustic, nostalgic gadgets from the Seventies.

Cease 8: Mojave Nationwide Protect

sand dunes in Mojave National Preserve

The Mojave Nationwide Protect is about 1.5 hours drive from Kingman (83 miles) and is properly value a cease.

The Mojave Nationwide Protect is a sprawling protect that’s made up of the towering sand dunes of the Kelso Dunes and historical rock formations within the Clark Mountains – the geological variety of the area is nothing in need of awe-inspiring.

Past its pure wonders, the Mojave Desert boasts a vibrant historical past, with proof of historical human presence evident in petroglyphs left behind by indigenous tribes.

We stayed at Pirate Cove Resort whereas we explored Lake Havasu Metropolis and Mojave Nationwide Protect.

Cease 9: Lake Havasu Metropolis

parasailer on Lake Havasu City

Drive South to Lake Havasu Metropolis, a 72 mile journey that takes about 1.5 hour to drive from Mojave Nationwide Protect.

Town is famend for the long-lasting London Bridge, which was transported and painstakingly reconstructed right here, creating a singular juxtaposition of Previous World appeal in opposition to the rugged desert backdrop.

Past this architectural marvel, Lake Havasu Metropolis has tons of out of doors actions to occupy your self with, from leisurely beachcombing to adrenaline-pumping water sports activities.

Town additionally has a vibrant cultural scene, and there’s all the time a bar with dwell music, loads of artwork galleries with common occasions, bustling native markets, and extra, making it a worthwhile vacation spot to spend a number of days.

Cease 10: Joshua Tree Nationwide Park

Joshua trees in the desert

After a two night time break at Pirate Cove Resort on the border of Arizona and California we headed to Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, a 2 hour drive from Lake Havasu Metropolis (149 miles).

Similar to we fell in love with the Saguaro Cactus in Tucson, we fell in love with the Joshua timber right here.

What attractive timber that may be seen all through the Nationwide Park amongst the outcropping of rocks. The surroundings is exclusive and spectacular.

We loved a number of brief hikes: the Hidden Valley Path, the place cattle rustlers used to cover their stolen cattle, and the Barton Rattling.

girl on trail with joshua trees
Joshua tree nationwide park
girl on rocks on Hidden Valley Trail

The sundown from Key Views was out of this world. I’m so glad we determined finally minute to show again kind the actually lengthy Pinto Basin Drive to go right here as an alternative.

key views Joshua Tree National Park

Following your intestine takes you to your coronary heart’s happiness.

How To Lengthen This Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree Highway Journey

In case you have extra time at your disposal and need to discover extra nationwide parks and nature websites, then you can prolong your journey by the next methods:

Suggestions For Highway Tripping in an RV

aerial view of Pirates Cove Resort Needles California (3)
Pirates Cove Resort Needles
  • In the event you might help it, don’t go away your slides out to your RV throughout a snowstorm. As we have been accessing Goldie whereas we have been staying within the Yavapai Lodge, we had put our slides out and saved them out. What a trouble sweeping off all of the snow that had gathered on high of them when it was time to go away. We couldn’t shut them till it was all off.
  • Don’t keep in an RV park in excessive climate. It’s simply not definitely worth the danger of a possible pipe burst within the journey trailer. As soon as we noticed the temperatures have been going to dip into the kids and as little as 5F, we knew it was time to go away the Grand Canyon. We all know Goldie can deal with a low of 23 however we didn’t need to danger going decrease and her breaking. We’d then be screwed with out a residence and a ruined America Unplugged RV journey. So we bailed out of there three days earlier.
caravan and truck driving through the snow
  • I don’t like leaving the van to remain in a resort, but when I do, get one with free parking.
  • California gasoline is dear!! As quickly as we crossed the border from Arizona to California the gasoline went from $2.40 to $4.40. We put the automotive in reverse to fill her up in Arizona! That’s an insane value distinction. The crowds have additionally returned. There are extra individuals in California than my total nation of Australia, so that you guess we’re noticing it.
  • Get your personal meals from grocery shops and pack a picnic. There are often picnic areas with picnic tables in most of those stops – it’s a good way to save cash.
  • In case you have youngsters, remember to take them on the Vary Applications. The ladies embraced the Junior Ranger applications within the Grand Canyon and the Joshua Tree Nationwide Park. I like how this program engages youngsters to the expertise they’ve with nature. By it they be taught all in regards to the natural world, however extra importantly learn how to worth nationwide parks and why they need to.

The place To Keep Between The Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree

Beneath are the place we stayed once we visited The Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree.

Yavapai Lodge

trees in front of a lodge in the snow

We jumped out of Goldie for 3 nights to expertise Yavapai Lodge. We needed to see if it was a very good choice for you while you go to the Grand Canyon! Guess what? It’s.

Despite the fact that I missed Goldie, I did like our keep at Yavapai Lodge. It’s a fundamental resort room however the rooms have been clear and cozy – you received’t be in them a lot – and the service was wonderful.

We actually loved the Yavapai Tavern in the principle foyer space and ate there a few  nights and watched the Tremendous Bowl. You possibly can sit by the fireplace and use their foyer Wi-Fi.

They don’t have it within the rooms as a result of Grand Canyon – exit and discover it.

It’s additionally centrally positioned between the Village and the Customer Heart. You possibly can stroll (or bike) to both (possibly a mile every approach), however there’s a shuttle cease right here.

It’s additionally proper subsequent to the most important common retailer within the park.

Pirate Cove Resort

rvs beside river at Pirate Cove Resort Needles California (2)

Pirates Cove Resort is in the course of the desert on the Colorado River. It’s spectacular surroundings and ideal for many who love off-roading, atv adventures, tenting and boating.

Pirates Cove is ready up for summer season enjoyable with its out of doors adventures and river seaside. Sadly, it was too chilly for us to essentially take pleasure in it and it was very quiet.

Though we left on the day an occasion was beginning for the weekend that was going to draw 1,200 individuals!!

This RV resort is very large. Our camp web site was remoted and two miles away from the principle space the place the eating places are. It was so fairly and peaceable.

I cherished watching the dawn over the river early every morning. It was implausible to remain by the Colorado River after seeing the masterpiece it carved up within the Grand Canyon.

The Colorado River is the border between Arizona and Colorado. It’s additionally the time zone change from Mountain to Pacific. I cherished rising early and having an early dawn and sundown.

Twentynine Palms RV Resort

Twentynine Palms is a pleasant RV resort with cottages simply outdoors the Joshua Tree Nationwide Park.

There are a great deal of facilities together with a very heat indoor pool, sauna and health middle.

Ultimate Ideas

two girls sitting on bench looking at grand canyon views.
South Rim Grand Canyon

As we have been watching the spectacular sundown in Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, I watched my ladies soak it up and play on the similar time.

I”m so grateful they’ve the chance to be with nature on this approach. They received’t understand but the calming affect it has on their life.

Sunset in Joshua Tree National Park, California
sundown in Joshua Tree Nationwide Park

I hope they eternally perceive how nature can carry them a lot pleasure and peace and the way simple it’s to entry it inside the usually utter confusion of life.

I’m grateful I get to spend this time with them and present them the websites between The Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree.

Nature helps to show them into fierce warriors wrapped in a delicate softness.

woman looking at view of Hermits Rest Drive Grand Canyon

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