Duration: 12-14 days
Days 1,2: Denver to Casa Grande National Monument (845 mi/1352 km)
Plan to pick up your RV early today from the AmeriDream RV Rentals location in Denver as there’s a lot of ground to cover in the next two days. Head south through Colorado Springs, situated near the base of Pikes Peak, one of the most famous American mountains at the eastern edge of the southern Colorado Rockies. Watch the landscape changing before you as you travel into the more arid climate of New Mexico.
We suggest you plan your first overnight stop in Albuquerque, a city with a distinctly Spanish influence. Be sure to take a stroll through Albuquerque’s Old Town, a serene village that has been the focal point of community life since 1706. Suggested campground is Arbour RV Park, a short distance from the Old Town.
Continue south west on day 2, crossing into Arizona and arriving at Casa Grande in the late afternoon. The closest campground to the ruins is Indian Skies RV resort.
Day 3: Casa Grande National Monument to Saguaro National Park (72 mi/115 km)
With only a short drive ahead of you today, you’ll have most of the day available to explore at Casa Grande National Monument. The monument preserves a group of Hohokam structures, the oldest of which has been standing for around 7 centuries. From Casa Grande take highway 287 back onto Highway 79 continuing south through Catalina and Catalina State Park to Tuscon. Saguaro National Park is on the outskirts of the city and there are no drive in camping facilities in the park. There are a number of RV parks close by in the Eastern Tuscon area.
Days 4,5: Tuscon/Saguaro National Park to Organ Pipe National Monument and Hoover Dam and Las Vegas (422 mi/675 km)
Today we come close to the Mexican border as we visit Organ Pipe National Monument. This park is the only place in the US where organ pipe cactus grows wild. The park is a beautiful preservation of the American Southwest. From Organ Pipe National Monument take highway 85 to the western outskirts of Phoenix then join highway 93 en route to the Hoover Dam. Located only 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, the dam was the largest concrete structure in the world when constructed in 1936. As the next leg of your trip will take you to the Grand Canyon, you may like to spend tonight in a campground in Las Vegas. Sam’s Town Casino Resort. The campground operates free shuttle buses to the Strip and downtown Las Vegas.
Days 6,7: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon (68 mi/108km)
While the distance travelled in the next two days is not great, we suggest you get on the road early as there’s so much to do and see in the Grand Canyon area. Retrace your steps back south to Kingman before taking highway 40 east through the Kaibab national Forest. Head north on highway 64 at Williams Junction. This will take you to the Grand Canyon Village at the south rim of the park. Plan to spend a couple of days in the park. There are three campgrounds operated by the national parks here. The Mather Campground accepts reservations while the Desert View Campground, 25 miles to the east, is first-come, first-served. There are no hookups at either campground. Hookups are available at Trailer Village, adjacent to the Mather Campground. This is operated by Zanterra Parks and advance reservations are accepted.
Days 8,9: Grand Canyon to Tuzigoot National Monument and Montezuma Castle (240 mi/384 km)
Enjoy a day exploring ancient ruins as you leave the grandeur of the Grand Canyon behind you and head to Tuzigoot National Monument. This monument, just east of Clarkdale, preserves a 2-3 story pueblo run on the summit of a limestone ridge. Historically it was built by the Sinagua people between 1125 and 1400 AD. It is the largest and best preserved of the many Sinagua pueblo runs in the Verde Valley. From here it’s a short drive to Montezuma Castle National Monument. These ruins differ from those at Tuzigoot as they feature cliff dewellings built and used by pre-Columbia Sinagua people around 700 AD. This is an easy monument to visit. There is a paved ¼ mile trail from the visitor center along the base of the cliff which enable you to view the ruins. Access into the ruins itself is not allowed. There are no campgrounds at the momument itself. The Verde River RV Resort is a short drive away.
Days 10,11: Verde River to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Petrified Forest National Park (216 mi / 346 km)
Sunset Crater is the youngest in a string of volcanoes in the San Francisco volcanic field. Located north of Flagstaff, its last known eruption was between 1080 and 1150 AD. Take the one mile (1.6 km) self-guided loop trail around the base of the volcano. This trail skirts to substantial Bonita Lava Flow.
Continue on to Petrified Forest National Park on Interstate 40 between Holbrook and Navajo. This park features oen of the world’s largest and most colourful concentrations of petrified wood. Hiking opportunities are varied. The longest trail extends for only two miles. A 28 mile (45 km) long road runs through much of the park. Landmarks include the Agate House, built of petrified wood, the painted desert and the Agate Bridge.
Camping is available along Interstate 40 near Holbrook.
Days 12,13: Holbrook to Denver (600 mi/960 km)
Today you begin your return journey to Denver. You can return back through Albuquerque along the route you originally travelled or to head north from either Gallup or Santa Fe along different highways to take you back to your motorhome rental drop off location in Denver. We hope you enjoyed your tour of Arizona and New Mexico and look forward to having you back as an AmeriDream guest in the future.
Legend: RV tour route