National Parks Near Phoenix
Are you looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors with your significant other and/or family? Visiting nearby national parks is one of the most fulfilling ways to take a break from your busy Phoenix lifestyle.
No matter which park you choose, you’ll see intriguing wildlife and come across some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet. But before you jump in your vehicle, you should figure out exactly where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.
US National Parks
Here’s what you need to know about the driving distance from Phoenix to popular national parks.
- Phoenix to Yosemite National Park is about 650 miles
- Phoenix to Zion National Park is just a little over 400 miles
- Phoenix to Grand Canyon National Park is 231 miles
Phoenix to Zion National Park
Zion National Park is located within Utah and is one of the most iconic national parks in existence. The distance from Phoenix to Zion National Park is just a little over 400 miles, which means it should take you about 7.5 hours to drive there. This beautiful park is the perfect destination if you’re looking for adventure and love to explore. You’ll find everything from rugged, rocky landscapes to a powerful river and lush Emerald Pools.
There are a few must-see destinations every traveler to Zion National Park should visit. If you don’t get to them all the first time, schedule another trip to see what you’ve missed. You won’t regret it.
Zion Canyon - Zion National Park
This 15-mile-long mammoth of a canyon is composed of stunning red Navajo sandstone. Peaks up to 8,726 feet high rise breathtakingly toward the sky and surround you on every side.
The Narrows - Zion National Park
As the name suggests, The Narrows is the narrowest portion of Zion Canyon. In some places, it’s just 20 feet wide. It’s also one of the most popular hikes in the park. The trail takes you directly up a section of the Virgin River (so bring your water shoes!) and is a great hike in calm weather. If there’s any threat of rain, stay away from this area, since flash floods are known to occur quickly and unexpectedly here.
Angel’s Landing - Zion National Park
If you’re an adventurous soul and aren’t afraid of heights, Angel’s Landing is the hike of a lifetime. The trail takes you up a breathtakingly tall formation of red rock with layers as ancient as 270 million years old.
Some sections of the trail are so precarious that chains have been installed to help hikers make their way up. The hike is thrilling, and the view at the top is unforgettable. Plan to take between three and five hours out of your day to complete this strenuous hike. It’s open year-round, but the best times to go are in the spring and fall.
Mount Carmel Highway - Zion National Park
If you only have time to drive through Zion National Park, you’ll still be treated to some of the most spectacular, awe-inspiring views of a lifetime. The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway will take you through the park from the South entrance to the East. You’ll have to pay a park entrance fee, but the dramatic scenery is well worth the fare.
Weeping Rock Trail - Zion National Park
If you’re looking for a less-strenuous hike the entire family can enjoy, try the Weeping Rock Trail. It will take you to a sheer cliff wall dripping with water and adorned with hanging plants. The entire walk to the cliff and back to the shuttle bus is only a half mile.
If you have time, you might also want to visit the Lower, Middle and Upper Emerald Pools during your stay. The hikes feature a stunning weeping wall with gorgeous pools around its base.
Phoenix to Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is a sight to behold, no matter what time of year you go. The distance from Phoenix to Yosemite National Park is about 650 miles, so you’ll get there in approximately 10 hours if you take minimal stops.
Located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, this incredible park is notorious for its ancient sequoia trees, granite cliffs, and pristine waterfalls. From November through May, most of the park is blanketed in snow. You could never hope to see everything the nearly 1,200 miles of wild wilderness contains, but here are a few things every visitor should see while there:
Yosemite Valley - Yosemite National Park
This world-famous destination can be easily accessed by car year-round and features towering cliffs, breathtaking waterfalls, and sprawling meadows teeming with life. The best time to see waterfalls is during the spring runoff when water flow is at its most impressive.
Half Dome - Yosemite National Park
The Half Dome is a monstrous granite dome that is both a challenging hike and a popular visual attraction. Anyone who wishes to hike it must rely on a series of cables to help them get to the top unscathed.
Yosemite Falls - Yosemite National Park
If you love waterfalls, this one is a must-see. It’s the sixth largest waterfall in the world and the highest in North America. The best time to see it is when the snowpack melts rapidly in late spring.
El Capitan - Yosemite National Park
Rock climbers love scaling the vertical rock formations at El Capitan. Climbing the white cliff is incredibly challenging and should be attempted by only experienced climbers.
Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park
This overlook is just over 7,200 feet in elevation and provides incredible views of Yosemite Valley, Vernal Fall, Half Dome, Nevada Fall, and Yosemite Falls.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias - Yosemite National Park
If gazing up at ancient sequoias is on your bucket list, there’s no better place to go than Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Some of the trees here are more than 3,000 years old!
There is no shortage of things to see and do in Yosemite National Park. Pick up a map at the park entrance and start exploring!
Phoenix to Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is a mere 231 miles from Phoenix and can be reached by vehicle in three to four hours. The canyons are made of layered bands of red rock that hint at the area’s rich geological history.
Many visitors take day hikes here, but if you opt to do this, make sure you’re well prepared with a map and plenty of water. You can also drive to one of the many scenic points in the park to take in the canyon’s beauty without working up a sweat. Here are some popular attractions in the park:
Bright Angel Trail - Grand Canyon National Park
This trail begins near the main Visitor Center complex and takes you deep into the Grand Canyon. You don’t have to go all the way to the base of the canyon unless you have a lot of time and energy. There are water and rest stops along the way to keep you comfortable and hydrated.
Visitor Center & Mather Point Overlook - Grand Canyon National Park
Visitors entering the park from the South Entrance frequently go straight to the visitor center. Here you’ll find out a lot about the park’s fascinating history and learn where the best hiking spots are located.
Take a short walk from the visitor center to Mather Point Overlook, where you’ll get your first impressive view of the Grand Canyon’s dramatic landscape.
The Grand Canyon has something for everyone. Whether you choose to just drive through it or explore one of the many hiking trails it offers, you’ll remember the experience for a lifetime.
Travel With Confidence
No matter which park you plan to visit this year, it’s important to drive a vehicle that can get you where you want to go safely and reliably. Visit your Valley Chevy dealer to test drive the perfect vehicle to match your outdoorsman spirit.