With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Phoenix and the rest of the so-called ‘Valley of the Sun’ attract hordes of tourists and permanent relocators from the midwest and the east coast. For golfers, Phoenix is mecca: there are more than 200 golf courses and 3,600 holes to play. But for most visitors, renting an RV in Phoenix puts them on the road to the sparkling jewel in Arizona's crown. Many make the 230-mile journey to the north to witness a giant gash in the earth few places in the world can rival.
The Great Outdoors
In a land of head-spinning geology, the Grand Canyon is literally Arizona's colossal tourist draw. And it helps that getting there from Phoenix is a straightforward affair. Take Interstate 17 up to Flagstaff, then Highway 180 to Tusayan, a tiny gateway town just outside the park entrance. But in summer when everyone descends to the Grand Canyon and takes the direct route, best avoid the congestion.
Instead, while still on I-17, bypass Flagstaff and take your Phoenix rental RV Highway 89 to Cameron Trading Post. It was originally where Navajo and Hopi tribes came to barter their wares (livestock, blankets, wool) for dry goods.
Eighty miles straight ahead from Cameron Trading Post via Highway 89 is a photographer's dream. Antelope Canyon is traditionally called by the Navajo, owners of the land where the canyon is located, as "the place where water runs through rocks." It is rightly famous for its dazzling display of light against vermilion rocks sinuously carved by water and wind. Entrance to either Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon is only available via guided tours.
Not 10 miles west of Antelope Canyon is Horseshoe Bend, so named for the shape the river takes as it meanders around a rock. Park your Phoenix camper rental off Highway 89, then make the three-fourth mile hike to the top of a lookout with a breathtaking 1,000- foot drop.
Sedona, about halfway between the Grand Canyon and Phoenix, is thought to be the center of energy vortices (or vortexes, as locals prefer to call them) that emanate from the red rocks. These vortices are said to be conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration, which perhaps explains why Sedona teems with wellness centers and yoga retreats. But if you just want to marvel at something you can actually see, then the towering and stupendously carved red rocks (with the Cathedral Rock being the most photographed) should do the trick.
Monument Valley is close to the Utah-Arizona border, so if you are planning to take your RV rental in Phoenix, Arizona on a journey onward to Arches National Park in Utah, take a few hours to breathe in the minimalist beauty of Monument Valley in the heart of Navajoland where big blue sky and big red rocks rule.
The Grand Canyon may be on the top of your list, but you if plan to be within striking distance of other natural wonders in Arizona, the RV park right across the Cameron Trading Post, while basic, makes you uniquely positioned to explore Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Monument Valley on a day trip.
The Cameron Trading Post RV park is right off Highway 89 and offers full electric, water, and sewage hook-ups. Across the street is a gas station, and one mile up the road you'll find a grocery store. The South Rim entrance is only a half-hour's drive away. If you plan to hike down to the canyon or explore it by pack-mule, Cameron Trading Post offers guided tours.
If you want to be right inside the Grand Canyon National Park, rent a motorhome in Phoenix then camp in the Trailer Village on the South Rim. The campground, located in Grand Canyon Village, is paved, offers full hook-ups, has a dump station, and is walking distance to the market. Children, pets and apparently, wildlife are welcome. (Expect to be greeted by elk and mule deer upon waking up.) Even better, you can take advantage of the free park shuttle at the entrance. A gas station right within the Grand Canyon Village is less than 15 minutes away from the RV park.
With all these wonderful amenities, it comes as no surprise that the Trailer Village is often packed, even in January, as it operates year-round. So book an RV in Phoenix and make your reservations well ahead of time to secure a space.
If you wish to see the Grand Canyon from the North Rim, drive your Phoenix camper rental to Kaibab Camper Village in Fredonia. They offer full hookups but are only open from mid-May through mid-October. A country store and full-service gas station can be found just five miles to the north at Jacob Lake Inn. From the camper village, the canyon rim is 45 miles away via the scenic North Rim Parkway.
Exploring the City
The city’s sheer size means that Phoenix brims with full hookup RV parks right within the city. Rent an RV in Phoenix and settle in for the night with your motorhome or travel trailer in one of the RV resorts. Explore the metro area using the Valley Metro Light Rail which serves downtown and central Phoenix. Valley Metro also links these areas to the airport and neighboring urban centers of Mesa and Tempe.
Visit the Desert Botanical Garden, see up close a Komodo dragon or a Galapagos tortoise at the Phoenix Zoo, admire the works of Diego Rivera, Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Khalo at Phoenix Art Museum, or learn about the history of the area at Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park. For an unimpeded view of Phoenix from above, take the Valley Metro and get off at the station near East Camelback Road. You have to be physically fit to hike up the Camelback Mountain. Many hikers find it challenging, but the payoff is well worth it.
Begin your search for an RV in Phoenix and get ready for an unforgettable Arizona adventure.
Phoenix, AZ is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Phoenix. Outdoorsy's Phoenix RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.