A Road trip about Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Nevada and all their National Parks in 11 days.

7/18/20237 min read

WARNING: This road trip is a little bit intense and contains a lot of driving as we tried to visit one national park per day on an 11 days road trip. I'm happily sharing the itinerary but you are welcome to do as you like. This itinerary is perfect for non-US citizens who want to see as many things as possible without having a lot of time.

welcome to fabulous las vegas nevada signage
welcome to fabulous las vegas nevada signage


Drive or fly to Las Vegas: the starting point of our terrific journey. Spend one day in Vegas, rest, lay by the pool, explore the big city, witness the power of the casinos and have fun !

If you flew to Las Vegas, rent your vehicle in the city. Now for this road trip, I rented a campervan. There are many options possible but I chose to go with Autobarn Traveller, a company that offers unlimited mileage. If you want to know more about it, let me know.

Why a campervan ? It's the cheapest option, you will have a vehicle and save money on hotel rooms !

DAY 1 :

Get your vehicle and start driving toward Grand Canyon National Park ! It's approximately a 4-hour drive from Las Vegas. Make sure you made a reservation ahead to be able to camp in the park. You could also sleep in a hotel room at Grand Canyon Village, but if you have a campervan and a small budget, camping is the best option: the camping spot was 18$ for one night at Mather Campground.

Depending on what time you leave the city, you probably will have an afternoon, evening, and morning to explore the park. Now if you want to go on big hikes or inside the canyon you should save more time.

If you want more information about Grand Canyon National Park, make sure to check the different posts I wrote about it !

DAY 2 :

From Grand Canyon National Park, take the 64 and start driving toward Monument Valley ! On this road, you'll be able to enjoy many landscapes including the Grand Canyon from different angles, it's beautiful. The drive should take you around 3 hours.

Spend a nice afternoon inside the park, where you can take the Scenic Drive and admire nature's beauty or you can go horseback riding ! For more info on Monument Valley, don't hesitate to go check my future posts about it.

Once you're done visiting the park and want to find a place to stay for the night, go to the Valley of the Gods. It looks as beautiful as Monument Valley and you can drive a loop that will take you around an hour or an hour and a half. You can camp inside the Valley of the Gods as it is BLM Land and it's actually free, just make sure you leave no trace.

DAY 3 :

Time to head out to Colorado !

I chose to go to Mesa Verde because I realized it was only 2h45 away from Valley of the Gods and it was a good opportunity !

This park is quite small in comparison to the other national parks but it's also very beautiful as we drive on top of a mountain and we get to witness traces from ancient civilizations.

Where to stay ? You can find many RV parks or hotels in Cortez, a city located 50 minutes away from the park, with many stores to refill your food supplies !

DAY 4 :

Day 4 is all about Canyonlands National Park !

Located in Utah, the drive from Cortez to Canyonlands will take around 2 hours. It offers breathtaking landscapes and a beautiful view of the Colorado River. It is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. One of the must-do activities is exploring the park's numerous hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to more challenging treks, such as the Mesa Arch Trail. If you're not big on hiking, you can also drive inside the park and stop at the different viewpoints.

You can find many campgrounds around Canyonlands, the choice is up to you. We spent one night at Horsethief Campground and paid 20$, but that was before knowing you could camp for free at Lone Mesa Campground.

brown rock formation
brown rock formation

DAY 5 :

From Canyonlands to Arches there is only a 30-minute drive, which is very practical. Now, we did Arches after Canyonlands because you need a time-entrance and we couldn't get one for the day before. Make sure you don't forget to make a reservation !

Again, this park is beautiful and it's amazing to see so many arches in one place. Feel free to do as many hikes as you want but don't forget to bring water !

This time we chose to camp at Lone Mesa Campground, on BLM land. Just be aware that you might encounter snakes, spiders and more wildlife.

DAY 6 :

Day 6 has nothing to do with National Parks, but we are still going to explore an amazing place: Bentonite Hills !

I hope you're ready for adventure because this is a 2-hour-and-thirty-minute drive and you must have a really good car, 4-wheel drive would be the safest option as it involves crossing a river, rocky roads, and sandy/muddy paths. But it's totally worth it, and honestly, very fun to do.

The best part is you can camp there as it is BLM land, just make sure to leave no trace.

DAY 7 :

Let's start driving toward Capitol Reef National Park, which is 45 minutes away from Bentonite Hills.

Spend a nice day visiting and exploring and hiking in Capitol Reef, don't forget to do the Scenic Drive or even Gooseneck viewpoint. Enjoy the petroglyphs and the little schoolhouse.

Then, if you think you're done with everything, get on the road in direction of Bryce Canyon so that tomorrow you'll have plenty of time to visit. Camp at Sunset Campground, inside the park.

DAY 8 :

Visit Bryce Canyon ! You can leave your car and take the bus to different viewpoint or if you prefer you can drive around in your own car and hope to find parking spaces, since at some viewpoints it can be difficult due to the crowd and the popularity of the park.

Enjoy the park and its many hikes. Don't forget to buy a little souvenir from the gift shop, where you can also find showers. Beware, it's not free.

Once the day is over, hit the road again in direction of Zion National Park and camp at the South Campground or Watchman Campground, just don't forget to make a reservation to book a spot !

DAY 9 : part 1

Wake up amongst the wonders of Zion National Park and get your backpack ready, fill it with food supplies and water for the day. Don't forget to leave the campground and park your car near the visitor center, where you will need to take the bus to access the different viewpoints and hikes.

The park offers numerous hiking trails, including the popular Angels Landing and The Narrows, which provide thrilling experiences and breathtaking views.

DAY 9 : part 2

Let's go to the Valley of Fire in Nevada, a mesmerizing natural wonder located in the Mojave Desert, 1h50 away from Zion National Park. This picturesque landscape is renowned for its vibrant red sandstone formations that seem to glow in the sunlight, creating a truly breathtaking sight.

Get your camera ready for your many encounters with the wildlife of this beautiful state park. The entrance inside the park is 15 dollars and you can also stay at Arch Rock Campground for 20 dollars. It's one of my favorite campgrounds because of its landscape and position. You might also enjoy the free showers available 24/24h.

DAY 10 :

The road trip officially comes to an end as it is time to return the campervan in Las Vegas. It is a 47-minute drive.

Always make sure that the vehicle you rented is in good shape, don't forget to check how many miles you did ! I completely forgot and I regret it, it would have been very interesting to know.

It might be the end of the adventure but you can still enjoy Vegas for the rest of the day and appreciate the nice amenities the hotel offers.

DAY 11 :

Time to go home !