This is a good long day ride to the most popular National Park in the United States. The total route is 450 miles roundtrip and will end up taking you around 13 hours depending on how much you stop. The first 125 miles will take you up I-17 to Flagstaff at an elevation of 7000 feet on a 4 lane Interstate. So be sure and check the weather up there before you go. Should be around 30 degrees cooler. The next 80 miles will take you as high as 8400 feet on a two lane State Highway 180 that is lightly traveled. You will go through Aspens, Pines and High Desert. The scenery is very pretty and the roads are good. Once you reach the entrance of the Grand Canyon it will cost you $10 per person to enter. Go straight ahead to Mather Point for your first look. Then follow the signs around to El Tovar for your next vantage point. You have a few choices on your return trip.

Option 1:
You can take Hwy. 64 on around to several more lookout points. You can then follow 64 to Hwy. 89 and come back to Flagstaff.

Option 2: Regardless of which way you go back, once you reach Flagstaff you can take 89A down through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona. This is one of the most beautiful rides in the State. Then take Hwy. 179 back to I-17 for the last leg of your trip home.


Varies from where you start in the Valley. It was 448.5 miles roundtrip for us starting at I-17 and Loop 101. You can take a look at the Garmin Emap trip computer to get an idea of travel times both stopped and moving, miles and total time. See below the route that we took.

Click Here For Map

Starting from I-17 and Loop 101, take I-17 North 125 miles to Flagstaff.
If you would like to eat breakfast on the way. You can stop in at Rock Springs for an old fashioned breakfast at the Rock Springs Cafe. Rock Springs is located 27 Miles North of the 101 and I-17.

When you reach Flagstaff follow the signs to the Grand Canyon. You will be working your way to Hwy. 180.

Shortly after getting on 180 in Flagstaff you will see the sign that tells you how far to the Grand Canyon.


Stay on Hwy. 180 for 50 miles until it ends at Hwy. 64. You will go through very beautiful scenery in the Coconino Forest to elevations as high as 8400 feet on a 2 lane road through Aspens, pines and High Desert landscape.  


Turn Right on Hwy. 64 and ride 22 miles to Tusayan. Here you can get gas and food.


 From Tusayan continue on Hwy. 64 two more miles to the entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park.


This is the GPS trip computer as it reads just inside the gates of the Grand Canyon National Park on the way up. This gives you a good idea of timing and miles.

From the gate continue on 4 miles to Mather Point. This is the most famous and most visited viewing location in all of the Grand Canyon.


When you leave Mather Point continue on into the park and follow the signs that say Rim Lodges. This road will take you in a circle around all the lodges including the world famous El Tovar Lodge. I recommend stopping at El Tovar for another vantage point of the Canyon.

Scenes From The Grand Canyon

A Group of Riders We Met From Sweden

Harley Shirt From Sweden

Your Return Home Options

Option 1: You can continue on around Hwy. 64 and stop at several more viewing locations on your way back to Hwy. 89 South. This will add about 40 miles to your trip back to Phoenix.
Option 2: For the return trip you can go back the way you came or take Hwy. 64 straight South to I-40 and then East to Flagstaff and then back down I-17 to Phoenix. This is a few more miles, but is faster and different scenery. This is the route that we took.
Option 3: When you get back to Flagstaff, you can take 89A down through Oak Creek Canyon and into Sedona. Then take Hwy. 179 back to I-17 and back to Phoenix. This is the route that we took.
Here are the final roundtrip ride statistics from the Garmin Emap GPS. We took Hwy. 64 to I-40 to I-17 to 89A down through Sedona and 179 back to I-17.


My Review Of This Ride:

Pros: A good long day ride to a world famous destination. If it is hot in the Valley it is a nice ride to cooler weather. Good roads and beautiful scenery all the way up and back. I would highly recommend coming back down through Sedona on 89A.

Cons: This must be where the phrase "It not the destination, it's the journey" was first uttered by a motorcycle rider. The Grand Canyon is awesome and beautiful, but it just doesn't take that long to get your fill of it. However, it is a fun ride to get their and back home.

Conclusion: I give this ride 4 spokes out of 5 for the shear excitement of going to the Grand Canyon and the beauty of coming back through Sedona.

Click Here For A Complete Detailed Map