From 80-foot waterfalls to an underground hiking cave, the Grand Canyon State has so many gems that are only a short road trip away from the Valley. If you're looking to spice up your day, you should check out these spontaneous day trips from Phoenix. They are must-see places to visit this winter.
If you're meticulous about planning your day weeks in advance, we've got some ideas for you. You can opt for a challenging hike that will give you amazing red rock cliffs and clear blue water views or a short one that leads to a waterfall with clear water.
Length: Approx. 3.5-miles roundtrip
Address: Whiteriver, Arizona
Why You Need To Go: Only about three hours away from the Valley, this short and moderate hike leads you to an 80-foot tall waterfall.
Lava River Cave
Length: Approx. 2-miles roundtrip
Address: 171B Forest Rd, Flagstaff, Arizona
Why You Need To Go: Underground hikes are the best. This one leads you through an actual lava tube.
Saguaro National Park
Price: $20 weekly pass for one vehicle
Address: Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Why You Need To Go: This park is home to some of the largest cacti around. It's like walking through a cactus wonderland.
Abandoned Lisa Frank Factory
Address: 6760 S. Lisa Frank Ave., Tucson, Arizona
Why You Need To Go: Although there are no tours held here anymore, you can get a pic of the once-thriving building and then head downtown.
West Fork Trail
Length: Approx. 7.5-miles roundtrip
Address: W Fork Trail, Sedona, Arizona
Why You Need To Go: If you have a random Tuesday off, it's worth it to take a drive here. The scenery is amazing.
El Dorado Hot Springs
Price: $15 an hour per person
Address: 41225 W. Indian School Rd., Tonopah, Arizona
Why You Need To Go: A little under two hours away from Phoenix, these hot springs are the best place to escape the city and unwind.
Length: Approx. 3-miles roundtrip
Address: Village of Oak Creek, Arizona
Why You Need To Go: Depending on where you park, this short hike will lead you to a lookout with amazing views.
Price: No permit needed from October 2, 2019 - March 31, 2020 (Parking available on a first come first serve basis during this time.)
Address: Fossil Creek, Arizona
Why You Need To Go: With cooler weather on the forecast, you can make a day trip here. The water is clear and blue.
No swimming, fishing, or camping is allowed at Cibecue Falls. The falls are considered sacred to the Native American tribes.
There are no water or restroom facilities available near Fossil Creek, only on designated parking lots. No campfires, warming fires, or grills are allowed. You are not allowed to put up rope swings. Glass containers are prohibited. No loud music, tampering with historic sites are artifacts are allowed. As always, pack out what you packed in. No trashcans are onsite in the permit area.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.