Back roads. Byways. Scenic highways. Historic routes. Arizona has a variety of them, each with their own unique characteristics, including the following three Arizona scenic drives that we at L&L Asphalt think are worth hitting the open road to experience at least once in your lifetime.
Before hitting the open road, road trippers can visit www.az511.gov or dial 511 to get information on road closures, construction, delays, weather, and more. Travelers should also make sure their vehicles are road trip ready, particularly since many of these drives provide rugged terrain, and that they are prepared with:
- Emergency road side kits
- A charged cell phone and charger
- A spare tire, inflate a tire, and/or a pump.
North Rim Parkway
Kaibab National Forest
If you have ever wondered where Mother Nature spends her time during the fall, the North Rim Parkway, in the Kaibab National Forest is it. From canyons to prairies, peaks to plateaus, evergreens to aspens – there is no place quite like it. Endless opportunities for peace, solitude, and discovery can be yours when you travel here.
Directions: From Flagstaff, go north on U.S. Route 89 for 110 miles to U.S. Route 89A (25 miles south of Page). Turn left onto U.S. 89A and continue 55 miles to Jacob Lake. It is here that your journey begins and continues for 30 miles until you reach the entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park. The rim is 14 miles south.
Vehicle requirements: None
Copper Basin Road
Prescott National Forest
Nestled at an elevation of 5,200 feet above sea level, among the largest stand of ponderosa pine forests in the U.S., Prescott’s perfect fall weather makes road tripping ideal. Copper Basin Road winds its way through the picturesque forests outside Prescott down to the town of Skull Valley, providing panoramic views over the entire region.
Directions: From Prescott, drive south on Copper Basin Road for 13.2 miles to Iron Springs Road at Skull Valley. Turn right and continue for 17 miles to Miller Valley Road in Prescott. Turn right continue for 1 mile to Gurley Street (Thumb Butte Road). Turn right and continue to the Copper Basin Overlook sign. Turn left and continue for 3.6 miles to the overlook.
Vehicle requirements: A 4WD drive vehicle is recommended.
Black Hills Back Country Byway
Black Hills, Eastern Arizona
Take a journey back in time to learn the lessons of Arizona’s earliest inhabitants and the riches from the earth they loved when you travel along Black Hills Back Country Byway and its patches of prickly pear cactuses and fields of native grasses. You’ll be amazed at the views as mountain-studded desert paints the horizon.
Directions: From Safford, go east on U.S. Route 70, which runs concurrently with U.S. Route 191, for 10 miles until the two routes split. Turn left onto U.S. 191 and continue 10 miles to the Black Hills Back Country Byway entrance. Turn left onto the byway and continue 21 miles to its northern junction with U.S. 191.
Vehicle requirements: A 4WD vehicle is required.
Note: Mileages are approximate.