Ultimate Road Trip: Tucson to Grand Canyon

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Road-tripping from Tucson, Arizona to the Grand Canyon via Globe, Show Low, and Holbrook offers an exciting adventure through the American Southwest. Along the way, there are several recommended activities to enjoy, such as exploring historic downtown Globe, hiking in the Pinal Mountains, a thrilling whitewater rafting experience in the Salt River Canyon – Arizona’s “Little Grand Canyon”, a visit to Cibecue Falls on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, exploring Fort Apache, skiing at Sunrise Ski Area, and suggestions for some great places to stay in Globe, Show Low, Holbrook, and the Grand Canyon.

Stop 1: Globe

The first stop on the journey is Globe, a historic mining town with plenty of charm and character. Take a stroll through downtown Globe to see the colorful murals and historic buildings, including the Old Dominion Historic Mine Park and the Besh Ba Gowah Archaeological Park. For some great food, visit the Copper Bistro, an Italian restaurant that offers delicious pizza and pasta dishes.

Archaeological Park on the way from Tucson to Grand Canyon

Stop 2: Salt River Canyon

Next, head to Salt River Canyon, located between Globe and Show Low, for a thrilling whitewater rafting experience with Arizona Rafting. Arizona Rafting offers half-day, full-day, and multi-day rafting trips through the Sonoran Desert’s Salt River Canyon in the spring between March and May during the wildflower bloom, providing you with plenty of options for experiencing the beautiful and rugged terrain of the area. All full-day trips and longer offer a sizzling hot steak and chicken, or vegetarian-friendly fajita lunch fresh off the grill with plenty of fixings to quell your hunger.

The Salt River Canyon is known as Arizona’s “Little Grand Canyon,” offering a breathtaking landscape filled with towering red rock cliffs, crystal-clear water, and a diverse range of flora and fauna. While navigating the rapids, you’ll have the opportunity to spot desert bighorn sheep, eagles, and other wildlife that call the canyon home.

Salt River Canyon on the way from Tucson to Grand Canyon

Stop 3: Cibecue Falls

Afterward, visit Cibecue Falls, located on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. This beautiful waterfall is one of the most secluded and serene natural wonders in Arizona, requiring a hike through a rocky canyon to reach it. For some tasty food, visit the Cibecue Apache Market, which offers a variety of fresh and traditional Apache foods.

After that, visit the White Mountain Apache Reservation for a cultural experience at the tribe’s cultural center and museum in nearby Fort Apache. Here, you can learn about the history and traditions of the Apache people. For a great meal, visit the Apache Spirit Ranch, which offers delicious American and Mexican cuisine. Then, head to Show Low, a charming mountain town that offers skiing and snowboarding at Sunrise Ski Area in the winter, and plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and fishing in the summer. For some great food, visit The House Restaurant, a popular spot that offers delicious southwestern cuisine. After all the adventure, it’s time to unwind and relax in one of the charming towns along the way. Holbrook is a popular destination, known for its Route 66 history and quirky attractions like the Wigwam Motel and the Petrified Forest National Park.

Holbrook on the way from Tucson to Grand Canyon

Stop 4: The Grand Canyon

Finally, it’s time to reach the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. There are several ways to experience the canyon, from hiking and camping to helicopter tours and scenic drives. For some tasty food, visit the Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room, which offers stunning views of the canyon along with delicious American cuisine.


Grand Canyon scenic vista

As for accommodations, there are plenty of options along the way. The Copper Mountain Motel in Globe and the KC Motel are both comfortable and affordable options. In Show Low, consider staying at the Days Inn by Wyndham Show Low or the Hampton Inn & Suites Show Low-Pinetop. For a luxury desert escape, the Hon-Dah Resort Casino and Conference Center in Pinetop-Lakeside offers a range of amenities and activities. In conclusion, a road trip from Tucson to the Grand Canyon via a thrilling whitewater rafting experience with Arizona Rafting in the Salt River Canyon, a visit to Cibecue Falls, exploring the White Mountain Apache Tribe and Fort Apache, Show Low, and Holbrook is an unforgettable adventure filled with natural wonders and amazing scenery sure to create long-lasting memories with loved ones and friends.

Arizona Rafting on Salt River Canyon

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