Phoenix to Reno Road Trip Guide


Phoenix, AZ, is preferred by all those who love sunny days, warm weather and plenty of hiking and sightseeing opportunities. The city will certainly keep you entertained with all the animals to see at the Phoenix Zoo and gorgeous panoramic views from the hump of the Camelback Mountain.

Begin your journey by bringing some music and life into the mix by taking a trip to the Musical Instrument Museum where you can hear and even play musical instruments from almost every part of the world.

In addition to being a great place to live and explore every day, Phoenix also makes for an ideal launching pad to explore the remote and vast northwest wilderness regions of Nevada. The desert landscape found in these parts is unique to this part of the world and makes for some truly spectacular outdoor adventures.

Reno is often referred to as the mini version of Las Vegas, with plenty of glitz and glamor and a thriving casino lifestyle that resides within its downtown area. Unlike Las Vegas, the city also offers gorgeous natural sights and a chance to take a destressing stroll by the Truckee River.

One can even head out to the magnificent Lake Tahoe a little way outside the city to get away from the lights and crowds of city life.

If you arrive here during the winter season, you can enjoy a ski-getaway retreat at Mount Rose Ski Resort that lies within the city’s boundaries.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 3-5 days
Recommend rig: any
audience: family

Point of Interest

Montezuma Castle National Monument

It's not every road trip that lets you see the remains of something truly ancient. But that's what you get at this next stop. Montezuma Castle National Monument in Verde Valley, central Arizona, is a five-story, 20-room structure built on a limestone cliff wall, built around the year 1100.

Initially, the ancient abode was believed to be the home of the Aztec emperor, but it was later found out to be the home of Sinagua Indians, who were especially known for their cliff-dwelling lifestyle. The dwelling is fascinating to see, and while interior tours are not allowed, the look of the structure from the outside is enough to fill you with awe.

One can get a really close-up view of the structure and appreciate the talented Sinagua Indian craftsmen. The structure alone is an indication of how gifted they were and their skills of using natural resources to design practical tools and even decorative items were second to none.

Alpacas of the Southwest

Make your next stop at Kingman, AZ, and enjoy the beautiful sight of numerous alpacas at the Alpacas of the Southwest. This interesting and beloved ranch became accessible to the public in 2002 and has been one of the top tourist attractions ever since.

At this ranch, you can enjoy yourself by spending some quality time with the alpacas and their young ones. Most of these alpacas are of Peruvian, Bolivian, and Chilean heritage. You’ll also get a chance to take pictures with them.

The ranch also has a picnic area where you can settle down for a quick snack-filled meal and even feed the affable alpacas. For the souvenirs, you can head over to the ranch store and splurge on the luxuriously soft alpaca clothing such as a pair of therapeutic socks, hats, rugs, yarn, and sweaters woven from the alpaca fiber.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park with its blunt appearance and a melancholy name is unlike most other national parks. Occupying a whopping 3.3 million acres of land and covering two states - California and a part of Nevada, Death Valley National Park has a reputation of being the USA’s driest and hottest national park.

Death Valley offers an amazing sight for the eyes, mysteries to the brain, and quite a few challenges to your body. The gorgeous sight of the national park includes snow-capped mountains in the distance, colossal sand dunes, bleak and harsh badlands, vast salt flats, and meandering and twisting canyons. Due to its stark landscape, the park has often been dubbed as a nature photographers’ haven.

The resilience of wildlife and plant life in such an arid and isolated landscape is impressive and makes for some truly memorable wilderness moments. The extremely harsh summers in the desert are sure to challenge campers, hikers, and backpackers both physically and mentally so be prepared when coming out here during the summer months.

Yosemite National Park

The route from Phoenix to Reno boasts some legendary National Parks and if you love nature you simply can’t miss any of them, and why would you? With a long weekend off you have plenty of time to enjoy and explore nature.

After laying your eyes upon the barren-looking Death Valley National Park, Yosemite National Park in California will simply overwhelm your eyes and ears.

The park is simply heaven on earth in many ways. Its dramatic waterfalls, enormous sequoias, abundant wildlife, and iconic cliffs with the likes of Half Dome and El Capitan make this park nothing short of legendary in terms of natural beauty.

Yosemite National Park is almost unreal and offers incredible serenity and connectivity with nature. It is highly recommended that you spend the night camping here surrounded by huge granite mountains and dense woods.

If you are a rock climber, you are likely aware that climbing the El Capitan is a rite of passage for every true rock climber and many visit the park each year to achieve this milestone.


Genoa is one of the four cities located in Carson Valley, Nevada. Part of Douglas County, this sparsely populated town is situated right on the base of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada range and offers a very pleasant, small-town vibe with its neat little houses, mountain backdrop, and southern charm.

The quiet and calm ambiance of the little town contrasts with the city you came from and the city you are heading to. The town is located only one hour from Reno and 25 minutes from Lake Tahoe and is home to the Mormon Station Memorial State Park.

Additionally, the raw beauty of this town is magnified when you see local wildlife from the mountains and the forests foray nonchalantly onto the roads and local fields. You can camp in your RVs for at least a day here and enjoy hiking, fishing, and backpacking.

The town also has a decent shopping district, scrumptious diners and restaurants, and other notable attractions such as the Genoa Courthouse Museum and the Hanging Tree.


Reno is often endearingly called the Biggest Little City, and remains a great road trip destination throughout the year, with its 300 odd days of sunshine.

If you are a fan of gambling and casinos but have had enough of visiting Las Vegas, Reno is certainly the next best thing. You can enjoy casino life but with a different vibe.

The city also boasts plenty of trendy restaurants with delicious food, museums, art galleries, and even craft breweries for you to visit and experience for yourself!

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