The Grand Canyon in Wintertime
How long does it take to drive to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix? It’ll take you a 5 hours to drive to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix. The hotel up there is going to cost you about $100/night (in winter) but you are right in the park and can get up bright and early and trudge through the snow and see a sunrise. During the summer reservations are required fairly far in advance to stay directly in the park, but there are not too many people up there during the winter. Check weather conditions before going. There are frequent winter storms at the canyon.
The red rocks are splendid. Makes a nice day trip as it is just two hours north of Phoenix. Lots of shopping and tourists traps. Ice Cream shops and jeep tours. Plenty of hiking through the pine trees and mountains. A natural water slide may be too cold for all but the most hardy!
Two to three hours north of Phoenix and in the cool mountain tops with lots of pine trees. Snow during the winter with downhill skiing and cross-country skiing.
Arizona Botanical Gardens
The Arizona Botanical Gardens are a nice place to see all the cacti and desert plants that we have in the Sonoran Desert. The gardens are centrally located, and about 15 minutes from both Scottsdale and downtown Phoenix. The park is near McDowell and Galvin Parkway (Priest in Tempe) and you have to watch for the entrance otherwise you’ll miss it. The Botanical Gardens are near the Phoenix Zoo as well, take Galvin Parkway farther south and watch for animals.
There are a bunch of mountains right around here you can hike if interested. Camelback Mountain is a good challenge but Squaw Peak is less of a hike (it is north of Lincoln Rd and at about 22nd St.). Both offer a great view of the surrounding valley. Another nearby hike is Hole In The Rock, which is located next to the Phoenix Zoo.
Home to some shopping areas. To get there, drive north on Scottsdale Road for about 35 minutes into the desert.
Golf & Parks in Scottsdale
There is a lot of golf around here, you can pretty much just find one anywhere around here if you just drive for a little ways. The Phoenix Open golf tournament is hosted in Scottsdale every January (now called the Waste Management Open).
You can always see a baseball game downtown at Chase Field, and see downtown Phoenix. There are a few museums plus a beautiful Victorian house to see.
Drive to 57th Avenue, then you are in a very big antique shopping district. The Glendale town square.
Old Town Scottsdale
Comprised of many stores, Old Town Scottsdale has almost everything for those that want to do a little shopping. They’ve got everything from ice cream which is very important to Mexican hats to Indian jewelry. Dozens and dozens of stores. The area also includes many art stores. It is in the area of Scottsdale road and Indian School Rd.
On the west side of Scottsdale Rd. just north of Old Town. you can find even more shopping! Good place to find nice Indian Jewelry stores as well as good south western art and other tourist shopping. If we catch you here we will know you are a shopping fanatic and have been to Glendale and Old Scottsdale for shopping already.
To see the desert really good, you can drive north on Scottsdale Road until you reach the desert – then keep on driving!
Superstition Mountains and the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine
Or, for a better desert tour, try The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine — a.k.a. Superstition Mountains that are east of Scottsdale. To get there take a road going south and then go east on University (which is down in Tempe) for a long ways till you reach Apache Junction Rd. Then take a left and turn in where you see the sign for Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. The better photo opportunities will be at this second place.
For an extended full day trip in a very rugged canyon is to take a nice dirt road. Just continue on the Apache Trail Rd. until you get to Roosevelt Lake. A neat Indian Cliff dwelling is there, also. You could find snow at the other end if it is snowing in the winter time.