Skip to content

15 Best Day Trips From Scottsdale to Explore Eye-catching Sight

Basically, Arizona has brought to our mind the scorching deserts and wide-open spaces, and it is certainly what you will find at its periphery, but Scottsdale is a friendly oasis center of tourist attractions i.e. Golf course, spa, museums, beaches, castles, lots of natural lures and all the modern amenities that you want for a trip.

Located east of the Arizona capital, Scottsdale is a great place for adventurers to base themselves, providing excellent resorts to escape the heat of the desert, as well as plenty of great restaurants to soothe hunger.

Must Read: Top tourist attraction of USA

Let’s have a look at best day trips from Scottsdale to explore the spectacular sight. 

Famous Day Trips from Scottsdale


1. Sedona


This is a truly impressive geological site for a day trip, painted in sandstone ocher with monolithic stones reaching into the sky.

Surrounded by the weather and shaped during the years of wind and rain, you can see much work of nature in their presence. On a sunny day, they stand firmly against the sky.

With a backdrop of cedar trees, these gravity precipitation structures are well worth seeing, just roll your eyes at them. There are variations around for a long time, from luxury resorts to golf courses.

Approximate Distance: 153.6 km or 95.5 miles from Scottsdale to Sedona.

Approximate Reach Time: 2 hours 3 minutes via I-17 N road from Scottsdale to Sedona through the car. 

2. Prescott

Prescott;Day trips from Scottsdale

Once the regional capital of Arizona, Prescott is now a pleasant, medium-sized city in the middle of Arizona. It is a beautiful place to spend the day and also one of the best day trips from Scottsdale. Its historical roots are the main appeal.

Founded on the gold rush of 1863, it still retains some of that old world, with ever saloon bars and Victorian architecture around the city.

The sharlot hall museum is a fantastic place for a day trip, where all your speculations about the place are cemented, with a full range of different performances including interactive live history shows and Alfresco Theater shows. This is a very large space, so leave enough time to fully explore.

Approximate Distance: 171 km or 106 miles from Scottsdale to Prescott.

Approximate Reach Time: 1 hour 15 minutes via I-17 N and E State Rte 69 road from Scottsdale to Prescott through car. 

3. Payson


The home of the world’s oldest continuous rodeo, the Payson is well worth a stop if you are in Scottsdale, especially if you are walking around in the summer.

The drive along the beeline highway is stunning in itself, but rim country as is known is definitely a worthy end destination.

With an elevation of 5000 feet, the air is fresher than the state, and even if there is the weather for it you will see snow.

If you have got a little more time on your hands, drive east along the name pine and strawberry to see a more scenic roadside.

Approximate Distance:  124.4 km or 77.3 miles from Scottsdale to Payson.

Approximate Reach Time: 1 hour 22 minutes via AZ-87 N road from Scottsdale to Payson through the car.

4. Jerome

Jerome;Day trips from Scottsdale

This strangely named town is a local favorite, with its historical significance and the nearby wineries excellent. From the visitor’s point of view, it is somewhat different than many other sites in Arizona.

The area around Jerome, as well as its museum, has been given state park status and reveals its past as a mining area.

Be sure to stop at the eclectic mix of artist studios around the city, this is now Jerome’s main source.

Approximate Distance: 188 km or 117 miles from Scottsdale to Jerome.

Approximate Reach Time: 2 hours 4 minutes via I-17 N road from Scottsdale to Jerome through the car.

5. Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot

Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot
Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot

These two magnificent national monuments are located a short distance to each other north of Phoenix. Both sites are of importance to Native American history and have long been in proximity to villages, which have been abandoned, located between the clifftops.

You will definitely be impressed by the houses that are literally dug into the hill. It is one of the most well-preserved examples of this type in the country.

The people of Sinagua are believed to have lived there for about 150 years, sometime between 1250 and 1400. It is a wonderful place of natural beauty. After spending some time, make sure to spend time walking further, hiking with ridges.

Approximate Distance: 167 km or 103.8 miles from Scottsdale to Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot

Approximate Reach Time: 1 hour 37 minutes via I-17 N road from Scottsdale to Montezuma castle and 1 hour 58 minute via I-17N  road from Scottsdale to Tuzigoot through car.

6. Phoenix

Phoenix;Day trips from Scottsdale

A vast state visit to Phoenix is definitely worth it while you are in the neighborhood and it is only a stone’s throw distance from Scottsdale.

In addition to all the usual attractions of a major city bar, restaurants, museums, and art galleries. There is also the charming Desert Botanical Garden, which showcases the best of Arizona’s original plant life to its full potential

Walking between cacti and marvel amidst the intensification of the rag eating creatures that survive in harsh conditions in the desert.

Approximate Distance: 24 km or 15 miles from Scottsdale to Phoenix.

Approximate Reach Time: 21 minutes via AZ-202 Loop W from Scottsdale to Phoenix through the car.

7. Verde Valley

Verde Valley;Day trips from Scottsdale
Verde Valley

About 100 miles from the capital of Arizona, is the Verde Valley, with its scenic appeal and, more importantly, the ever-popular Verde Canyon railroad.

The railroad is actually located in Clarkdale and the train runs through 20 miles of land, including the ancient roots of the people of Sinagua and the recent history of the mines.

It is about a four-hour return trip and there is plenty of opportunity to get your head out the window and feel the wind blow on your face, which also makes it a great choice for children.

Approximate Distance: 30.4 km or 18.9 miles from Scottsdale to Verde Valley.

Approximate Reach Time: 29 minutes via AZ-87 S and E Indian school road from Scottsdale to Verde valley through the car.

8. The Apache Trail

The Apache Trail
The Apache Trail

Another famous attraction of Arizona is the Apache Trail: the route of an old stagecoach trail that runs through the Superstition Mountains.

Once home to the Apache Indians, this route has some spectacular views with its fascinating history, so hold onto your hats.

Start the route at apache junction, just a short walk from Scottsdale, and wind your way 46 miles to Roosevelt lake. You will cross rugged, raw, natural beauty ghost cities and valley lakes.

Approximate Distance: 166.2 km or 103.3 miles from Scottsdale to the apache trail.

Approximate Reach Time: 2 hours 8 minutes via AZ-87 S and E Indian school road from Scottsdale to the apache trail through the car.

9. Tucson


It is the second-largest city in the state and is located just two hours from Scottsdale. It can have all the attractions you want from a bustling metropolis: museums, bars, specimens, and restaurants to entice you.

There are also a bunch of scenic drives that you can take to your surroundings, as well as you can explore out on foot.

Residents can tell you that Tucson receives sunshine 350 days a year, so you guarantee some great weather to accompany you on your explorations.

Approximate Distance: 195 km or 121 miles from Scottsdale to Tucson

Approximate Reach Time: 1 hour 43 minutes via I-10 E road from Scottsdale to Tucson

10. Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

To the north of the city is the rugged area of ​​Spur Cross Ranch, which is located a day away from Scottsdale.

It is open land for hiking and biking, with lush green areas along the creek, and of course, the dry land of the farm makes up most of the space. There are also remnants of early mines to see on your adventures.

If you are lucky, you will travel during the wildflower season in the early spring and have a chance to see the place in its full natural splendor.

Approximate Distance: 53.5 km or 33.3 miles from Scottsdale to Spur cross ranch conservation area.

Approximate Reach Time:  50 minutes via AZ-101 Loop N road from Scottsdale to Spur cross ranch conservation area through the car. 

11. Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake;Day trips from Scottsdale
Canyon Lake

About an hour from Scottsdale, Canyon Lake is a stress-free option and a child-friendly day trips from Scottsdale.

The lake is ten miles long, and a fascinating attraction in itself, but the real attraction of this place is taking a cruise on the Dolly Steamboat. The 103-foot boat slides easily through the lake’s water, passing the Mormon flat dam in its path.

It provides a great platform for nature from the deck. You can see bald eagles and big horned sheep, as well as other inhabitants of the desert.

Approximate Distance: 1588.9 km or 986.9 miles from Scottsdale to Canyon lake

Approximate Reach Time: 14 hours 3 minute minutes via I-10 E road from Scottsdale to Canyon Lake through the car.

12. Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park

Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park;Day trips from Scottsdale
Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park

For a super easy day trips from Scottsdale, why not take a look at the spectacular scenery on offer at McDowell mountain regional park? It is only a thirty-minute drive, and as soon as you arrive, you will be greeted with stunning views of crooked peaks and cactus-dotted landscapes.

There are some fairly easy walking trails stretching your way through the park, or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can take a mountain bike between the rocks.

Approximate Distance: 40.7 km or 25.3 miles from Scottsdale to Mcdowell mountain regional park.

Approximate Reach Time: 51 minutes via E Shea Blvd road from Scottsdale to Mcdowell mountain regional park through the car.

13. Kartchner Caverns

Kartchner Caverns
Kartchner Caverns

Sitting south-east of Arizona is yet another impressive geological attraction: the Kartchner Caverns.

Tower stalagmites reach out to meet the heavy stalactites and the stone milky pool cave floor.

These caves are still growing year after year and were only discovered in 1974. They also survive the scorching heat of the desert and offer something different from the many other natural attractions that populate the state.

Approximate Distance: 271 km or 169 miles from Scottsdale to Kartchner Caverns.

Approximate Reach Time: 2 hours 27 minute minutes via I-10 E road from Scottsdale to Kartchner Caverns through the car.

14. Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon;Day trips from Scottsdale
Grand Canyon

It would simply be right to spend time in this part of the world without visiting its most popular attraction.

Although it may be a few treks to get there on a drive of over three hours, it is one of the few world-famous destinations that is really everything you hoped it would be.

The Grand Canyon National Park is vast and beautiful, and of course, the natural wonder after which it is named hardly fails to impress.

It dwarfs its surroundings with a depth of up to a mile, 277 km long and 29 km wide. Truly a good-looking example of the power and beauty of nature.

Approximate Distance: 381 km or 236.7 miles from Scottsdale to Grand Canyon.

Approximate Reach Time: 3 hours 37 minute minutes via I-17 N road from Scottsdale to Grand canyon through the car.

15. San Xavier del Bac mission

San Xavier del Bac mission;Day trips from Scottsdale
San Xavier del Bac mission

A rare example of a man-made Arizona tourist attraction is the magnificent mission cathedral of San Xavier del Bac. It is also one of the wonderful day trips from Scottsdale.

Its white-colored twin towers stand out against the surroundings and its architecture is somewhat amazing.

The detail on the Spiers is grand, and before you even venture inside. Established in 1692, it is the oldest European structure in the state, making it worth visiting.

Approximate Distance: 199 km or 123.7 miles from Scottsdale to San Xavier del Bac mission

Approximate Reach Time: 1 hour 52 minute minutes via I-10 E road from Scottsdale to San Xavier del Bac mission through the car.

Bottom Line

At the end of the blog, surely you got an idea about the best day trips from Scottsdale. There are inadequate attractions nearby Scottsdale which you would love to come and explore on your vacation day. 

I hope this quick guide can plant a seed of day trip on your mind and make you think about the plan for next weekend. 

Call Now