Itinerary – Native Ancestral Cities and Cultures
Arizona and Colorado

National Parks and Beyond Phoenix/Scottsdale | Grand Canyon National Park
Mesa Verde National Park | Chinle


About this itinerary

Driving distance: 954 Miles
Recommended travelling time: 9 Nights
Recommended travel season: Spring
This self-drive itinerary takes visitors along parts of Route 66, one of the most famous roads in the world. Travel through Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico and explore the rich history of the National Parks and the incredible desert.

Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona

 

Start your trip in the luxurious Phoenix/Scottsdale area. View the Sonoran Desert from the sky on a hot-air balloon tour before heading back to earth for a round of golf on one of over 200 courses in the area. Enjoy the local plant-life at the Desert Botanical Garden or learn about Native American heritage at the Heard Museum. Fully explore the surrounding mountains by hiking, mountain biking or taking a jeep tour in areas like the Summit Road to Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain Park or the Echo Canyon Recreation Area.
Length of leg: 0 miles | Total distance travelled: 0 miles

 

Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona to Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Today explore the ancient historical sites along Route 66 such as the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwelling of Montezuma Castle National Monument, Flagstaff, and Sedona, long considered a spiritual oasis because of the number of healers and artists living there. Grand Canyon National Park is not to be missed and can be explored by car, bus, mule, helicopter, raft or on foot. The Grand Canyon is a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide.
Length of leg: 215 miles | Total distance travelled: 215 miles


Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona to Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Head to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and see the iconic sandstone 'sculptures.' Next stop is the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, home to more than 6,000 archaeological sites of the Puebloan and Native American cultures. Continue learning about ancient times with a visit to Mesa Verde National Park. Explore the park's museum collection of more than 3 million objects or take a hike to immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings.
Length of leg: 275 miles | Total distance travelled: 490 miles

 

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado to Chinle, Arizona

Discover the ancient homes of the Hopi and Pueblo people at Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Stop at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic site, which has been selling goods since 1878, to learn about art and culture, before continuing to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, where people have lived for nearly 5,000 years. Deepen your historical knowledge and explore the landscape of canyons and Ancestral Puebloan and Navajo ruins.
Length of leg: 171 miles | Total distance travelled: 661 miles

 

Chinle, Arizona to Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona

Located along famous Route 66, Petrified Forest National Park is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees, from the late Triassic Period, about 200 million years ago. There is much to discover along the way such as rugged hikes, bike outings or drives including bluff overlooks, buttes, hoodoos and petrogylphs. Then make your way back to Phoenix/Scottsdale to treat yourself to a spa and some shopping before heading home.
Length of leg: 293 miles | Total distance travelled: 954 miles

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Some map icons by Scott de Jonge, used under CC 3.0 BY  Train vector by Freepik

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