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Southern Arizona

Road Trip

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547.1 miles: 10 hours, 13 minutes
Saddle up for a spin through the state's southern Sonoran Desert region. Along the way you'll marvel at cacti growing as high as a four-story building; feast on fantastic Mexican food; witness a gunfight in the iconic Wild West town of Tombstone; and, courtesy of Scottsdale, wrap up the road trip in sophisticated style. Happy trails.
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flickr/Lars Hammar
Phoenix to Ajo
114.5 miles: 2 hours, 7 minutes
Once the Metro Phoenix suburbs dissolve into wide-open Sonoran Desert, your first stop is Ajo, a former copper mining town with a lovely Spanish Colonial-style plaza. A handful of lodgings and eateries make it a good base for exploring nearby Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the only place in the country where the park's namesake plant grows wild.
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flickr/Daniel Parks
Ajo to Tucson
161.1 miles: 3 hours, 18 minutes
After some 90 minutes of desert driving, chiefly through the Tohono O'odham Nation Reservation, you'll pass lofty Kitt Peak (crowned by its famed observatory) en route to Tucson. You could easily spend a week delving into this vibrant city's history, culture, Mexican cuisine and natural beauty. Don't miss the towering cacti of neighboring Saguaro National Park.
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Tucson to Tombstone
70.4 miles: 1 hours, 20 minutes
It's a short ride to Tombstone, the storied Wild West town “too tough to die” but not too proud to milk the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral for every last cent. You want mock shoot-outs, old-timey saloons and costumed Doc Hollidays who say “I'm your huckleberry”? Of course you do. Tombstone is Western history, touristy cheese and outlaw fun all rolled into one.
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Tombstone to Scottsdale
201.1 miles: 3 hours, 27 minutes
Blowing out of Tombstone like a tumbleweed, head back to the Phoenix area and its numero uno resort town, Scottsdale. Here, the streets are lined with chichi art galleries, impeccable restaurants, hip nightspots, plush hotels and PGA-caliber golf courses—a refined finale to a dusty desert adventure.