Escape the City: Top 9 Weekend RV Trips Near Phoenix 

Travel Inspiration

Escape the City: Top 9 Weekend RV Trips Near Phoenix

There’s no denying the fact that Phoenix is an amazing place to be. There are so many awesome things to do and see in the city that it would be hard to get bored. That said, sometimes you just want to escape the city and find some soothing natural areas or even just find a change of scenery. In these cases, it’s nice to know there are plenty of things to do around Phoenix.

Looking to get out of Phoenix and take a quick weekend RV trip for a change of pace? Below are our favorite weekend destinations for those leaving from Phoenix. 

Saguaro outside of Tucson

Tucson, AZ

Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Yes, we know you’re trying to escape the city, but hear us out. Tucson is a great place to hang out for a weekend if you want plenty to do while still getting that change of scenery.

If you’re looking for nature, you can escape into the beautiful Saguaro National Park, which is well worth the trip all on its own. That said, there are also plenty of things to do in Tucson itself. These include the amazing Reid Park Zoo, the Pima Air & Space Museum, and plenty of dining opportunities. 

Where to Stay

Looking for free camping? Snyder Hill BLM is a popular place for boondockers to park. You can camp for free for up to 14 days, but there are no amenities whatsoever. 

If you want amenities, we recommend Tucson/Lazydays KOA Resort

Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest

Distance from Phoenix: About 1 hour, depending on actual destination

Hoping for a quieter escape? Why not head to the lovely Tonto National Forest? Here you’ll find mountains, canyons, cacti, pine trees, and even a lake, making this an absolute paradise for nature-lovers. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Apache Trail Scenic Drive for some gorgeous views. You may also want to check out the Tonto National Monument for a fantastic history lesson. 

Where to Stay

Indian Point Campground is a great place to park an RV when visiting Tonto National Forest. It is run by the Forest Service and is free to use for up to 14 days. There are no amenities aside from vault toilets here. 

If you’re looking for hookups, consider going to Roosevelt Lakeview Park


Sedona, AZ

Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours

Another one of the best things to do outside Phoenix is to hop over to the gorgeous town of Sedona, AZ. Check out the shops, art galleries, and spas of the uptown area, or stick to the enormous number of trails scattered around the outskirts of town. Either way, you’re sure to fall in love with the red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls, and pine forests that surround this artsy little town. 

Where to Stay

The closest free camping option to Sedona is the Javelina Designated Dispersed Camping. This is a popular free camping area where you can park for up to 14 days. No amenities are available, but the views are lovely. 

For hookups or to stay in town, consider Rancho Sedona RV Park.

Man hiking outside of Flagstaff

Flagstaff, AZ

Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Not far from Sedona is the city of Flagstaff. A visit to Flagstaff could easily be combined with a visit to Sedona, but honestly, we recommend dedicating at least an entire weekend to each. While in Flagstaff, be sure to visit the amazing Lowell Observatory to check out the night sky. You can also check out the lava tubes nearby or even hit the slopes in the winter months. 

It should also be noted that temperatures in Flagstaff are generally 20 degrees cooler than temperatures in Phoenix, making this a great summer escape. 

Where to Stay

Fort Valley Dispersed Camping is the place to go if you want to camp for free. Again, the stay limit is 14 days and you should not expect amenities at this campsite.

Those looking for amenities should check out Flagstaff KOA Holiday

Balloon over Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Distance from Phoenix: 3 hours

Speaking of great summer escapes, Lake Havasu is another wonderful place to escape the city and cool off when the weather is hot. This 30-square-mile turquoise lake is the place to go for water sports while in Arizona.

Here you can rent a jet ski or boat for the day and head out to the secluded coves of the lake—or just relax on the beach, hopping in the water once in a while to cool off. Either way, make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen because there is little to no shade. 

Where to Stay

For free camping, head to Craggy Wash Dispersed Camping or one of the other BLM sites nearby. As usual, these sites do not provide amenities, but they are free!

Paid camping with amenities is available at Lake Havasu State Park as well as Campbell Cove RV Resort

Kartchner Caverns
Image source: Mike Lewis and Gary Tenen

Kartchner Caverns State Park

Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours and 30 minutes

If you’re in search of shade, Lake Havasu may not be your place. Instead, you might want to consider visiting Kartchner Caverns State Park where you can escape the sun by going underground. These awesome caverns were first discovered in 1974 and became a state park in 1999. Guests are invited to tour the cave and learn about its history and the bats that live there. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see some of those bats!

Where to Stay

The absolute best place to stay when visiting the caverns is in Kartchner Caverns State Park. The sites are clean and totally affordable. There are water and electric hookups available, and restrooms with showers are onsite. 

Horses in Tombstone

Tombstone, AZ

Distance from Phoenix: 3 hours

The history of Kartchner Caverns is interesting, and if it’s history that interests you, we have another great spot you’ll want to visit: Tombstone, AZ. Tombstone was originally a mining boomtown, and soon enough, the place attracted prospectors and outlaws. These days, visitors are invited to experience Wild West reenactments, visit the saloon for lunch or an ice cream cone, and even take a ride in an old stagecoach. 

Where to Stay

When it comes to camping in Tombstone, we have to recommend staying at Tombstone RV Park and Campground. This spot is basic but includes everything you need for a comfortable stay while you explore the town. 

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Distance from Phoenix: 3–4 hours, depending on actual destination 

If you’re willing to drive a bit further from the city to see something truly awesome, you might want to consider Joshua Tree National Park as your weekend escape. This is an absolutely beautiful park with some of the most incredible rock formations and amazing views out there. There are plenty of great hiking trails to explore, and if you stay in the park after dark, you’ll be treated to a fantastic show in the night sky. 

Where to Stay

If your RV is small enough, we highly recommend staying in the park at Jumbo Rocks Campground or one of the other in-park campgrounds. There is a small fee to dry camp inside the park, but you will be treated to some amazing views for the duration of your stay.

Other options nearby include dry camping at the Joshua Tree South Dispersed Camping BLM Land or heading to Palm Springs RV Resort

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Distance from Phoenix: 3 hours and 30 minutes

Another option that requires a bit more driving (but is well worth the extra effort) is Grand Canyon National Park. If you’ve never visited this park and seen the majesty of this place before, you will absolutely want to make this your getaway.

Honestly, even if you have been previously, it’s always worth going again in order to check out some different views of the canyons and hike another trail or two. Make sure to catch a sunrise over the canyon for the ultimate Grand Canyon experience!

Where to Stay

Once again, we highly recommend camping inside of the park if possible. There are several camping options within the park, and you can find spots for RVs of all sizes. No national park campgrounds have hookups, but Trailer Village in South Rim Village has spots with full hookups. 

More Things to Do Outside Phoenix

The suggestions above are our favorite things to do outside of Phoenix, but they are far from the only options. If you’re looking for more weekend getaway ideas or even just some Phoenix day trips, you could try Montezuma Castle National Monument, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Winslow, Jerome, or seek out a little known hidden gem that isn’t listed here at all.

No matter what you choose, we’re sure you’re going to have an amazing time exploring the gorgeous state of Arizona!