It takes a little more than 10 hours to reach Salt Lake City from Phoenix, but you'll find some fun places to stop along the way. You can check out the Sliding Jail and Gold King Mine & Ghost Town in Jerome and go hiking or relax in the hot springs in the Fishlake National Forest. Bridal Veil Falls and Provo Canyon in Provo are also worth a stop on your trip. With so many great attractions along the way, you might want to allocate several days for your road trip itinerary for Phoenix to Salt Lake City.
No Phoenix to Salt Lake City RV road trip will be complete without a visit to a national park along the way. You have some options that are not far off from the main route.
Petrified Forest National Park
As you travel through Arizona, you can see some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country in Petrified Forest National Park. Established in 1982, it covers more than 146,000 acres. Backcountry hikes help you explore spots off the beaten path, including Martha's Butte. You may want to head over to the visitor’s center to meet a guide or sign up for a walking tour.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is open 24/7, so you'll be able to check in no matter when you arrive. Known as the first national park in Utah, it has shuttles that take visitors to various points of interest and a visitor center where you can watch a documentary about the region. Multiple campgrounds inside Zion National Park accept RVs and put you close to the top attractions. Both Watchman Campground and South Campground accept reservations.
Some of the state parks between Phoenix and Salt Lake City offer just as many fun activities as the national park sites. You can learn more about these parks and look over RVshare's state park guide as you plan your road trip.
Lost Dutchman State Park
Once you hear the story of the Lost Dutchman goldmine, you'll understand why so many head to this state park on the hunt for lost treasure. You can do more than search for lost gold, though, because Lost Dutchman State Park boasts trails that lead deep into the wilderness that features tons of wild animals such as jackrabbits. You'll also have the chance to explore the Superstition Mountains.
Papago State Park
Not far away from Phoenix where you start your trip is Papago State Park, which features trails that take you on trips by the ruins that ancient tribes once used. When you reach the top of one of the hills, you can see as far away as Tempe Town Lake and downtown Phoenix. This park offers some of the best hiking trails in the Phoenix area. If you want to start your trip off on the right foot, head to Papago.
Jordan River Off-Highway Vehicle State Park
If you want to bring an ATV on your road trip, unpack it once you cross over the Utah state line and hit the Jordan River Off-Highway Vehicle State Park. It costs just $20 to buy a one-day pass per person, but you can get discounts if everyone in your group needs a pass. The trails here are amazing and will let you send the dirt flying. Furthermore, the park has clean restrooms and picnic tables as well as a playground for kids.
Great Salt Lake State Park
You can't think about a road trip from Phoenix to Salt Lake City without thinking about the Great Salt Lake State Park. This landmark lets you explore the salty waters whether you want to swim or use a kayak or canoe. The on-site marina makes it easy for you to get your boat into the water, and the park has campgrounds for those who want to spend the night. You can also grab supplies and snacks from the Salty Shore Snack Shack.
You don't need to leave the Phoenix city limits to learn about American history. The Heard Museum, which opened in 1919, is home to many exhibits detailing the history of the Native Americans and the impacts that they had on the country. It has exhibits on both the ground and second floors as well as displays outside. You'll also find a gift shop and a cafe where you can grab a meal.
Arizona Science Center
Kids and parents have fun with the exhibits and displays at the Arizona Science Center. The W.O.N.D.E.R. Center has different zones devoted to different themes, such as the American Airlines Flight Zone that looks at how planes fly and All About Me, which focuses on the human body. Kids can also learn about certain diseases and mental health problems through special programs. On your Phoenix to Salt Lake City RV road trip, you can check out this center before leaving the state.
Many people who visit Salt Lake City head to Temple Square in the heart of downtown. This is where you can take a walking tour to learn about the historic buildings, including the Beehive House and Assembly Hall. If you love genealogy and want to trace your family roots, the Church History Library has one of the largest collections of family records in the world and is open to the public. Though some buildings are only open to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, others are open to all visitors.
Fans of space will want to visit the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City. In addition to exhibits about Earth, it has many displays on the solar system. You may want to take in one of the live shows at the planetarium in the Hansen Dome Theatre. Most shows run for 45 minutes or less and are suitable for both kids and adults. Depending on how much free time you have, you may want to watch a show in the morning and explore the planetarium before returning for another show later in the day.
Anyone who loves nature and animals will appreciate Utah's Hogle Zoo. A special program called Wildlife Connections lets you get close to the caged animals and touch them. From May through September, guests can help the workers feed giraffes during designated times. The zoo also has special events and activities that you can view in its calendar of events.
You'll pass through several main cities on your trip to Salt Lake City from Phoenix, but you also have the chance to get off the beaten trail, too. Many of these cities have campgrounds with dump stations that help you get ready for the road ahead.
On a road trip from Phoenix to Salt Lake City, you'll pass through the town of Jerome, which is close to the top campgrounds in Cottonwood. Jerome's Sliding Jail is a historic site and home to the city's first jail. Not far away is the Gold King Mine & Ghost Town that lets you pan for gold and tour the historic former working mine before watching a live show. You may want to check out the hiking trails and other activities in the Jerome State Historic Park, too.
Though Beaver is a small town with a population of fewer than 4,000 people, it offers some fun outdoor activities that you may want to try on a Phoenix to Salt Lake City road trip. Kane Canyon offers some of the best hiking trails as well as the best views. Once you finish your hike, you can head over to Kate Canyon to find even more trails. Beaver is also home to a historic opera house. Though Beaver doesn't have any campgrounds, you'll find some great Utah RV parks a few miles away in Fillmore.
While known as a popular spot for skiers and others who love winter sports, Provo offers just as many adventure opportunities when the weather is warm. Home to Brigham Young University, the city houses the BYU Arboretum and Duck Pond. Waffle Love calls Provo home, too. Not only did this food truck appear on the Food Network, but it also makes some of the best waffles in the world. You may want to check out Y Mountain for the hiking trails or the dinosaur skeletons on display at the BYU Museum of Paleontology after registering at a Provo campground. Check-in at the Springville / Provo KOA Journey if you need a dump station.
To truly enjoy your Phoenix to Salt Lake City road trip, be sure to rent an RV in Phoenix. With a recreational vehicle, you'll be ready to stop at landmarks in both cities as well as places such as Jerome along the way. At RVshare, you can also rent a Salt Lake City RV and follow this road trip route in the opposite direction.