Although driving from Tucson, Arizona, to Yosemite National Park in California can be done in a day, it'll be worth your time to stop and indulge in fun activities and adventures en route. You'll go through various cities, such as Phoenix, renowned for vibrant nightclubs and high-end spa resorts. Anyone who loves television and film will find Los Angeles to be a marvel, with iconic studios such as Universal, Warner Brothers, and Paramount Pictures offering behind-the-scenes tours. For the wine lover, you can indulge your taste buds and sample wine along the way in Livermore Valley, one of the finest wine regions in California. It'll also be hard to miss out on the picturesque mountainous terrain and sweeping coastal views as you pass through California. As such, your Tucson to Yosemite National Park road trip can go well above the estimated travel time, but you'll get your heart's fill.
Joshua Tree National Park
Your Tucson to Yosemite National Park road trip can only get better if you stop by Joshua Tree National Park. You'll get to see firsthand the stunning scenery where two clear-cut desert ecosystems, the Colorado and the Mojave, meet. Joshua Tree National Park has a lot for you to explore, from the slow-growing and famous Joshua trees to unusual geologic features and the rich cultural history spanning the vast wilderness.
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park lies off the coast of Southern California. It encompasses five islands and their surrounding waters. The park has been in isolation for more than thousands of years and so has a rich and unique collection of plants, animals, and archeological artifacts you'll find nowhere else on the globe. With a detour to these islands during your road trip itinerary from Tucson to Yosemite National Park, you'll get to experience how the southern California coast was before human disturbance. In addition, snorkeling, hiking, birdwatching, camping, and kayaking are some of the activities you can do. Note that you might have to take a short ocean voyage or charter a small commercial airplane to get to these magnificent islands.
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park will be an excellent addition to your Tucson to Yosemite National Park road trip itinerary, especially if you love nature. It protects the giant sequoia redwood trees, including some of the largest trees in the world. Other than admiring the stunning views of the mountainous terrain, other things to do are camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, skiing, and going on an educational tour.
Kings Canyon National Park
North of Sequoia National Park, a stop at the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park will let you visit two parks in the same vicinity. The park also protects the giant sequoias, but the General Grant Tree's size and magnificence stand out. The Sierra Nevada mountain range views are also incredible when you explore the area. In addition, some activities you can engage in include horseback riding, rock climbing, and backpacking.
Death Valley National Park
As the name suggests, Death Valley National Park is famous for having scorching and dry weather. When you tour this park, you can visit Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the United States. Brave this challenging terrain and explore it through biking, hiking, or horseback riding if you're not faint-hearted. With the park lying in a remote location, it's best to bring along plenty of supplies, such as fuel. Death Valley National Park is also a popular destination for stargazing due to the presence of some of the country's darkest skies.
Catalina State Park
Approximately 14.5 miles from Tucson, Catalina State Park sits at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. It's home to a massive number of desert flora and fauna, letting you take in the eye-catching scenery of the desert wildflowers and wildlife. The park's canyons, foothills, streams, and trails attract activities such as picnicking, camping, hiking, and birdwatching.
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
While the original acquisition of the state park that was once a ranch has a story involving a dead horse, that shouldn't fool you into thinking that the park has no life. The Dead Horse Ranch State Park strategically lies along the Verde river, meaning its proximity to water can sustain wildlife and plants. Wildlife viewing, fishing, birdwatching, and kayaking are some things to do in the state park. You can also go hiking or camp around the serene outdoors on your Tucson to Yosemite National Park road trip.
Jerome State Historic Park
Stop by Jerome State Historic Park, which sits on The Douglas Mansion, a dazzling landmark in existence for over a century. The mansion transitioned into a museum that documents the history of the mining area, Jerome. When you get to this site, you'll have a peek into how mining life was in the past through the exhibits and photographs on display. There's also a picnic area on the property, with scenic views of the Verde Valley waiting for you to explore.
When you get to Phoenix, pass by the historic site Wrigley Mansion. This landmark strategically sits at the top of a hill, giving a panoramic view of the city and surrounding mountains. The property is a fine dining and event venue whereby you can savor delicious cuisines at its restaurant and sample various wines at the wine bar while taking in the scenic environment below.
A symbol of a father's love for a beloved daughter, Mystery Castle in Phoenix is a native stone castle that's unlike the fairy-tale castle you would envision. The building features 18 rooms, parapets, thirteen fireplaces, various nooks and crannies, and southwestern antique furnishing. The "castle" lets you into the history of what a loving father's imagination can do, bringing to rise a historical phenomenon.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
The hall is an architectural wonder and an ultra-modern concert hall. Its striking exterior curves and the hardwood panels in the main auditorium make it beautiful to the eye. When you stop by the Walt Disney Concert Hall, you'll enjoy top-notch classical or contemporary music from global artists.
The Old Fresno Water Tower
Your Tucson to Yosemite National Park RV road trip will be worth taking a digression to Fresno's historic water tower. The building came into existence in the late 19th century carrying a lot of history, and its American Romanesque Architecture is appealing to the eye. The interior's red brick décor accentuates the old water tower's beauty. Shop around for souvenirs of artwork and displays from the local craftsmen and artists on-site, and you'll have a little piece of Fresno with you always.
One exciting thing about Phoenix is its year-round sunny weather which makes it easy to have fun outdoors. The city has mountain ranges and hills, making it a hiker's paradise. Some of the popular spots to hike at include Camelback Mountain and South Mountain Regional Park. When it comes to cuisine, Phoenix prides on serving the best of Mexican dishes. Of course, you can always take your time to enjoy this city by camping in one of its campgrounds where you'll also find a number of dump stations.
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is an entertainment hub that's popular for its role in film production. Therefore, it's an ideal stop if you're a movie diehard with many studio tours available. The city also has a wide array of beaches and mountains to explore, hence a stopover will be worthwhile. Luckily, you have a wide selection of campgrounds where you can park your RV and have a mini-vacation.
Renowned worldwide as the home to famous country music singers, a stopover at the live music venue Buck Owen's Crystal Palace will make you understand why Bakersfield's nickname is "the country music capital of the West Coast." Camp at one of the various campgrounds nearby on your road trip from Tucson to Yosemite National Park, and get to enjoy all that this musical city has to offer. This city also offers dump stations for your convenience.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Tucson to Yosemite National Park, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Tucson or Yosemite National Park.