Grand Canyon Scenic Circle, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park
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Grand Canyon Scenic Circle

The Grand Canyon Drive, or the Grand Canyon Scenic Circle, takes you to many of Arizona’s scenic wonders and leads you right to the majesty of the Grand Canyon itself.

  • Grand Canyon Scenic Circle takes you from Prescott, Arizona to Grand Canyon
  • Stop in Prescott to explore historic downtown
  • Take time to go for a hike in Prescott National Forest
  • Explore the ghost town of Jerome to get a taste of the Old West
  • Visit the Red Rocks of Sedona

Why should I drive the Grand Canyon Scenic Circle?

Taking Grand Canyon Road offers you the best of the state’s scenery, attractions and outdoor recreation, so is the perfect day trip to reach the Grand Canyon.

Where does the Grand Canyon Scenic Circle begin and end?

The Grand Canyon Scenic Circle begins in Prescott, Arizona, following US Highway 89A to Flagstaff, then taking Highway 180 directly to Grand Canyon Village at Grand Canyon National Park.

How long does the Grand Canyon Scenic Circle take to drive?

The marvelous Grand Canyon Loop is approximately 169 miles long and will take about 3 hours and 51 minutes to drive, if you go straight through. But you will most certainly want to stop and enjoy the sights and activities, so you may want to allow a full day or even two.

What will I see along the way?

  • Prescott: Before you begin your journey north to the Grand Canyon on Grand Canyon Scenic Circle, you should spend some time exploring Prescott. Here you’ll find an American Old West heritage worth viewing, as you take a historic walking tour of downtown and the beautiful Victorian homes so well preserved.
  • Whiskey Row: Stop in Arizona’s oldest restaurant and bar, and visit numerous bookstores, art galleries and boutiques. This used to be home to over 26 saloons in older days.
  • Visit some Museums: Find many informative exhibits in Prescott’s three museums – the Phippen, Smoki and Sharlot Hall. At Sharlot Hall Museum, you can the first capitol building, make of ponderosa logs.
  • Annual Events: Each June, Prescott celebrates Territorial Days, an arts and crafts extravaganza on the Courthouse Plaza. You can also stop and see the “World’s Oldest Rodeo” at the end of June and the beginning of July each year, for some exciting bronc and bull riding competitions.
  • Hiking in Prescott National Forest: Right next door to Prescott is the Prescott National Forest, with more than 400 miles of trails where you can hike, mountain bike or ride horseback. You’ll need to stretch your legs and this is the perfect place.
  • Tour the Ghost Town of Jerome: As you move up Highway 89A, you will come to Mingus Mountain where after driving a winding road, you’ll arrive at Jerome. This ghost town was filled with more than 15,000 people in the 1800s, and now much of it is preserved in its original condition so you can step back in time.
  • Tuzigoot National Monument: Just east of Clarkdale, you must take some time out to see the preserved Sinagua Indian pueblo ruin. Vacated some time in the 1400s, this pueblo overlooks the Verde River from its perch on a high ridge.
  • Sedona: Further along, there’s no better choice than to stop in Sedona and experience the Red Rock country. You can enjoy entertainment in town or get out on the large network of trails to get up close and personal to nature in Red Rock State Park or Dead Horse Ranch State Park.
  • The Grand Canyon: Of course, the end of your trip brings you to the grandest sight yet – Grand Canyon National Park, with breathtaking views of one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders.