Traveling to Arizona with your family can include a great deal of variety. If you travel in the winter, you can camp in southern Arizona and fall in love with the Sonoran Desert. If you have a child who is crazy about planes or your family contains a military history buff, do you need to go to Tucson—traveling in summer? Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon are waiting for you!
The Jumping Off Point
When trying to get a great price on flights into Arizona, Las Vegas can be an ideal starting point. If you fly into Vegas, you can rent a vehicle, head south to Kingman or North toward the Grand Canyon, and point east. You can also get a reasonable price on your first or last hotel room before you board to head home.
Your travel goals don’t have to include gambling to enjoy any time in Vegas. Even if you head straight southeast to Kingman, you’ll love the view on the drive past Lake Mead. Consider stopping in Kingman or hiking the Mount Tipton Wilderness to stretch your legs and enjoy the fantastic views.
Northern Arizona Options
If your family loves the great outdoors, the drive to Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas offers great views and wonderful activities. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon formed when flowing water was forced through desert sandstone. You will need a guide to tour both the upper and lower Antelope Canyon; there are no square corners in these slot canyons, and it is easy to get lost.
After your tour of Antelope Canyon, consider a trip east to Monument Valley. This collection of sandstone buttes can be viewed from
- hiking trails
- hot air balloon
Do be aware that Monument Valley is part of the Navajo Nation Reservation. You can camp or park an RV there, but you must make reservations. If you travel here, familiarize yourself with Leave No Trace rules to protect this remarkable landscape.
Fun in Flagstaff
Older children (and adults) may be ready for a higher view of Flagstaff. Check out the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course for a view from the top and plenty of fresh air. If you and your spouse are hoping for a good night’s sleep, you can tire out the entire clan at this fun adventure park.
The Arboretum also offers plenty of fresh air and an excellent spot for a family picnic. The butterfly garden will fascinate the whole family, as will the wide variety of plants native to Northern Arizona. If you love to camp with your clan, the Coconino National Forest is not far away; make sure your tent is pitched in time to watch the moon rise and the stars fill the sky. If you can, get far enough from Flagstaff to enjoy a night under very dark skies.
A Great Time in Tucson
If you have children who are a little horse crazy or drawn to the cowboy lifestyle, children six and up can ride at the White Stallion Ranch. You’ll enjoy a hearty chuckwagon breakfast at the end of your first guided ride into the desert. This facility offers a pool and cabins you can rent for an extended stay and even more fun.
Take the time to enjoy a guided tour of the Pima Air and Space Museum. This remarkable facility offers the chance to peek into commercial and military aircraft. Many of the docents are retired pilots and have terrific insight into the development of airplanes over time.
The Sonoran Desert
The Sonoran Desert is bordered by Phoenix in the north, Tucson to the east, and encompasses Yuma to the west. If you’ve watched old westerns and loved the saguaro cactus, you must visit the Sonoran Desert.
Take time to stop by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum before you head back to Las Vegas. The animals and plants of this remarkable region are studied in remarkable detail. Adults and children alike will leave with a deep respect for this unique region.
Travel in Arizona can be scheduled to avoid the most severe weather. If you travel in summer, do make sure to carry plenty of sun protection and water. Break in your hiking boots for a beautiful adventure throughout Arizona!