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You are watching: Driving distance from phoenix to tucson



If you space making the Phoenix to Tucson drive, you’ll an alert on a map the the fastest course is the directly shot under I-10, a six-lane federal government crowded through truckers and harried Arizonans who will recognize they frequently tire the the drive between the state’s two biggest cities.

You could be top to Tucson or Tombstone, two renowned tourist destinations, and also think that speeding down I-10 to obtain there is a clever move. That a sunbaked stretch of mostly level desert that numerous travelers think of as uninteresting compared to the many stunning natural sites in other parts the the state. Yet if you are willing to veer off the interstate, you’ll discover some absolutely beautiful, historic, and uniquely Arizonan attractions on this drive.

Table that Contents

Phoenix come Tucson Road pilgrimage StopsWhere to continue to be in Phoenix & Tucson

Planning a Phoenix come Tucson Drive

I-10 is typically in an excellent shape, return there are frequent accidents that snarl traffic and also haboobs (dust storms) and also violent monsoons in the summer that are typical in this area, so examine the weather prior to traveling.

There room a couple of gas stations and also fast-food restaurants at the exits southern of Phoenix to Eloy and one at Picacho peak and much more on Highways 79 and also 87, i m sorry some would certainly argue is the an ext scenic route.

There is one recently renovated rest protect against on this stretch of I-10 near Sacaton, simply South that Phoenix.

If you require a auto hire because that this trip, check the end Rentalcars.com because that deals across major car providers. Alternatively, if you’re planning come explore much more of Arizona such together the stops from Phoenix to cool Canyon, you have the right to rent an RV or campervan native Outdoorsy.

Tucson skyline

How much is Phoenix to Tucson?

The full distance native Phoenix to Tucson is 113 miles. If she in a rush, the Tucson come Phoenix journey time deserve to be just under two hours, but to do it best you have to stretch it out to a full day or also camp overnight at Picacho peak State Park and also make it two days.

Phoenix come Tucson Road expedition Stops

San Tan Mountain regional Park

If you want to take the scenic course from Phoenix come Tucson, start out in Queen Creek top top Phillips road at san Tan Mountain local Park south-east of Phoenix.

This big scenic park boasts one of the most famed crested saguaros in the region. That looks precisely like the form of her hand when you do the cave ten authorize (except with a couple of more fingers in the middle) and also is the topic of numerous Instagram picture ops.

There are nine trails in the park open up to hiking, hill biking, and horseback riding; the longest is 6 miles. Over there are also petroglyphs and a large array the wildlife to spot.

Casa Grande Ruins

Head through the Pima cotton areas to the city of Coolidge ~ above Highway 287, wherein you’ll discover one the the most famous historical sites in the entire Southwest on your drive indigenous Phoenix to Tucson: the Casa Grande Ruins, a nationwide Monument.

This large four-story adobe framework was developed by ancestral Sonoran Desert people in the 12th century and also was component of a village compound of various other structures and an irrigation network created by hand from the surrounding Gila flow to support agriculture. What the building was precisely used for—administrative, housing, or ceremonial purposes—remains a an enig to archaeologists.

Father Eusebio Kino, the well known missionary, was the very first European to view the ruins in 1694, and he called it Casa Grande. End the next few centuries, white inhabitants vandalized the structure until it became the first federally defended prehistoric website in the United states in 1892. A big roof now protects it from the harsh climate.

Today, the progeny of the original civilization who developed Casa Grande, the Tohono O’odham, the Hopi, and also the Zuni tribes, take into consideration it a spiritual site and also hold ceremonies there. The Casa Grande Ruins, including a visitor’s center and also guided tours, are open up Tuesday v Saturday native 9am come 4pm. The monument does not charge an join fee.

Casa Grande Ruins national Monument

Gallopin’ Goose Saloon

Drive south on 287 come the other finish of Coolidge and you’ll discover the Gallopin’ Goose Saloon, a famous watering hole that opened just after prohibition finished in 1935. The saloon to be featured ~ above the TV present Bar Rescue in 2016, back it seems that no a entirety lot has changed.

Many famous country stars have actually played ~ above the Goose’s stage; in fact, Waylon Jennings to be a continuous here before he to be famous. You’ll view their deals with on the wall surface as girlfriend nosh top top burgers, wings, and also other typical bar fare. You might even gain lucky and get to take a drive on the mechanical bull. Look because that the waving goose neon authorize by the next of the road.

Tom Mix Memorial

On Highway 79, a path to take to Tucson if you desire to fully avoid I-10, is a memorial come the early on western star Tom Mix. The starred in almost 300 quiet movies and made the west genre very popular in the 1930s.

In 1940, Mix to be driving native Tucson come Phoenix on this road in a 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton when he swerved come avoid building and construction barriers and also crashed into a wash. A suitcase in the auto hit the in the head and instantly eliminated him.

The rock monument by the roadway here contains a bronze silhouette that his faithful companion, Tony the Wonder Horse. Slow down ~ above Highway 79 at around the halfway suggest on your Phoenix come Tucson drive; blink and you’ll miss this memorial through the next of the roadway if you’re going too fast.

Casa Grande Neon authorize Park

Just off the downtown piece in the town of Casa Grande, west the I-10 on Highway 287, is the Casa Grande Neon sign Park, tucked behind Florence Boulevard.

Started with a give from the American Express partner in Preservationin 2017, the park preservation Casa Grande’s mid-century modern heritage of roadside culture by restoring and relocating gorgeous, Instagram-worthy indicators from local businesses that have closed prefer the equine Shoe Motel, Arizona Edison, Ralph’s Café, and also the Hotel Sacaton.

The park is component of a bigger effort across southern Arizona to keep its distinct neon signs and roadside landmarks. The indications at Casa Grande Neon authorize Park space lit up until 11pm, yet the best time to view and also photograph lock is at sunset.

Sonoran Desert ~ above the way to Tucson

Domes that Casa Grande

Just southern of Casa Grande on Thornton Road, you’ll discover one the the eeriest web page in every one of Arizona, the Domes that Casa Grande. That was developed as a futuristic-looking development for a computer company named InnerConn in the beforehand 1980s, yet it was abandoned before it was also finished.

Since then, the structures have actually deteriorated, and local teens have used them together a backdrop because that parties and graffiti. Some also say there are groups who use them for satanic rituals and that they are haunted.

Technically, the website is not open up to tourists. If you challenge to watch the domes, proceed at your own risk together the structures and the tunnels underground are unstable. Trespassers can be fined.

Picacho Peak

On her Phoenix come Tucson road trip, Picacho optimal is most likely the most well known stop and also the one thing you won’t desire to miss. This renowned landmark is recognized to anyone in the southern component of the state, and also for countless Tucsonans, the is the authorize on the drive that tells lock they are almost home.

Picacho Peak, part of an old volcanic flow, rises up like a saddle pointing to the east; the many dramatic see is from the south. The is the website of the just Civil War fight in Arizona and also the westernmost the the whole war.

Now that is a state park through a campground, RV park, visitor’s center, fields of wildflowers after that rains, and also nature trails. For serious hikers, there space three much longer trails of varying difficulty:

The shortest and also the simplest is the Calloway Trail, a half-mile yet somewhat steep trek that takes you come an overlook check out of I-10 and the flat expanse come the east.The Sunset Vista trail starts in ~ the western next of the park and loops around the southerly edge of Picacho Peak, ultimately leading you end 2.5 miles to the summit v the assist of anchored cables.The most difficult path, Hunter Trail, bring away you to the summit native the east side yet is almost vertical and additionally uses anchored cables.

It is possible to do whole loop the the top on both the Hunter Trail and Sunset Vista. Picacho peak is open every day other than Christmas till sunset and also costs $7.00 per car to enter.

Don’t forget to avoid at Bowlin’s Picacho optimal Travel Center throughout I-10 on departure 219 because that a huge array the Southwest tchotchkes and a dairy products Queen, too.

Picacho Peak

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Farm

Just south-east of Picacho optimal on eastern Peak Lane is among the many unexpected and also fun stops on the drive from Phoenix to Tucson. Named for the cantankerous U.S. Marshal Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn from Charles Portis’s novel True Grit, the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch opened in 1999 with simply ostriches.

It has increased to incorporate goats, donkeys, deer, ducks, sheep, lorikeets, stingrays, bunnies, and more. Pay because that your cups of pet feed and also peruse the pet pens for as lengthy as you like. Be prepared for several photo ops, not only of the animals but additionally beautiful views of Picacho Peak.

On your means out you have the right to buy selection of ostrich products at the gift store, including ostrich feather dusters and also ostrich oil. The ranch is right now open Friday through Mondays and also hours vary depending on the season.

Pinal AirPark

Arizona’s dry climate has actually been a draw for the aviation company ever because its beginnings. The state is house to countless Air pressure bases and boneyards, where old aircraft are sent live out their retirement years in what room essentially vast outdoor museums. The Pinal AirPark is an airport and also commercial boneyard in Marana, a fast-growing suburb of Tucson ideal off I-10.

In the 1960s through the ‘80s, the airport to be a secret CIA site to phase missions right into South America and Asia. Today, that hosts several businesses the recycle plane for parts.

But unlike some other boneyards in the area, this one technically no a museum, and also it isn’t open to the public. You can still drive by and see the colorful planes from all over the world versus a backdrop of saguaro cactus and mountain views.

If you want to check out them increase close, contact Pinal AirPark front of time and also you may have the ability to take a private tour. Take exit 232 and drive down east Pinal Airpark Road. Friend are cost-free to check out the planes as soon as the door is open.

Sanctuary Cove

For your last stop on her Phoenix come Tucson drive, take leave 244 to north Scenic Drive and also head to Sanctuary Cove, a delightful mountainside nature preserve, occasion space, and also nonprofit just north of the much much more famous Saguaro nationwide Park in Tucson’s northwest outskirts.

In 1957, the every Creeds Brotherhood to buy the floor to safeguard the wilderness area and carry out a an are for prayer, meditation, peace, and reflection. The organization hosts Sunday services, including a renowned outdoor Easter service, and also weddings. Friend can additionally rent the head on the property for overnight stays.

There are several walking paths and hiking trails with the saguaros, consisting of a much longer loop trail the goes up Safford peak with inspirational estimates on signposts along the way. Stop and see the small stone chapel and also the meditation labyrinth.

Visiting Sanctuary Cove is free, and it is open every day of the year; the company asks girlfriend to consider making a donation in the box in the parking lot. This last prevent is simply a taste that the many hikes friend will want to take it in Tucson if you room planning to remain in the city for a while.

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Where to stay in Phoenix & Tucson

If you’re visiting Arizona’s two largest cities, you’re likely going to require to uncover a great place to remain in one of two people of them. Luckily for you, there are many accommodation choices in both Phoenix and Tucson that will suit any budget and also travel style. If you’re wondering where to stay, have actually a watch at this suggestions:


Hotel Congress – located in a historic structure in main Tucson, this is a an excellent place to remain if you’re feather to be in on the activity in Arizona’s 2nd city. There are a variety of rooms available, along with an on-site restaurant, bar and also nightclub to ensure the you have a good time no matter the hour the the day. Click below to view their availability

The Downtown Clifton Hotel – situated in downtown Tucson, this hotel is a great option for those searching for a quieter continue to be in the city. They have plenty of rooms obtainable and a restaurant and also bar top top site, together well. Click right here to check out their availability

Private Rental – If you’d rather have your own an are over a hotel, then think about finding a private vacation rental. There space a myriad of options accessible in Tucson, such as this well-located casita that you’re sure to uncover something that suits your fancy. Click right here to browser Tucson exclusive rentals

Not fairly what you’re spring for? Click here to browse more Tucson hotels!


SureStay Hotel Phoenix Airport – positioned close come most whatever of interest in Phoenix, this is a an excellent affordable option in Arizona’s capital. There are a variety of rooms obtainable and breakfast is also included in the nightly rate. Click below to check out their recent prices

The Saguaro Hotel – If her budget permits for a little of luxury while you’re in the Phoenix area, then this is an excellent choice. Situated in the love of Old town Scottsdale, this hotel has a variety of plush rooms obtainable and a beautiful and also inviting pool to enjoy as well. Click right here to watch their latest prices

Private vacation Rental – If you desire to have your own room while in Phoenix or just stay in some distinct accommodations, climate there room a number of private holidays rental choices that will suit any kind of personality or spending plan such as this private casita in a beautiful location. Click below to check out the finest private rentals in Arizona!

Not quite what you’re spring for? Click here to browse other hotels in Phoenix!

Whether you want a fast stop, an amazing photograph op, or a lengthy off-road adventure, there are numerous special places to explore on the road from Phoenix to Tucson. You will do it be happy you took the time to get off the interstate.

Are you planning to drive from Phoenix to Tucson? have actually you done this drive before? permit us know in the comments!