Most Scenic route from Minneapolis to Phoenix

It is not advisable to drive from Minneapolis to Phoenix nonstop. The most direct route takes about 25 hours. We advise you to split this trip into four days of moderate driving to reduce the road strain and make the trip pleasant and safe. It’s what you do along the way that makes a trip memorable. If you are taking the most scenic route from Minneapolis to Phoenix, consider stopping at numerous places. Several stops are a good idea to remember this beautiful trip. This article has compiled the best destinations to see on your long journey.


Table Of Contents

  • Flint Hills
  • Santa Fe Trail Scenic Byway
  • Frontier Pathways Scenic Byway
  • Enchanted Circle
  • The High Road to Taos

Day 1 Minneapolis to Kansas City

528 mi — about 7 hours, 59 mins

Before heading on to Kansas City, you can unwind a bit. Take I-35 to begin your journey from Minneapolis to Kansas City. Des Moines and Bloomington are between Minneapolis and Kansas City. According to estimations from 2018, Bloomington is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is situated in Hennepin County on the Minnesota River’s north bank, above the Mississippi River’s confluence.

Des Moines is Iowa’s state capital, and the gold-domed Iowa State Capitol building is one of the East Village’s 19th- and early 20th-century icons. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park and modern Des Moines Art Center collections are renowned. Attractions at the Downtown Farmers’ Market include live music and local vegetables, and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden features a geodesic dome and outdoor plant displays. Vermillion Falls Park Pit Stop, which has a beautiful waterfall, a walking track, and a rentable picnic pavilion for gatherings, is also on the route. You can enjoy some meals at Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ & Catering.

Day 2 Kansas city to Borger

547 mi — about 10 hours

Move from Kansas City in the direction of Borger while passing via Wichita. The “Air Capital of the World” in Wichita. The fast food restaurants Pizza Hut and White Castle originated in Wichita. The Old Mill Tasty Shop on Douglas Avenue in Old Town is a must-visit location for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. One of Wichita’s oldest eateries, it offers delicious meals and a vintage soda fountain. Visit the Nifty Nut House next for a wide variety of nuts and candies, including those you thought were long gone. Don’t forget to pose for a photo with a friend inside the squirrel cutout. Stay the night at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Borger or AmericInn Borger when you stop in Borger. In Borger, there is a 25-mile loop that travels west and north to Stinnett and through the rugged, canyon-carved terrain of the Canadian River Breaks.

Day 3 Borger to Santa Fe

330 miles About 5 hours

Drive away from Borger in the direction of Winslow, stopping in Santa Fe. Tucumcari lies halfway between Borger and Santa Fe. Tucumcari is a relaxing place. The mountain that bears the name Tucumcari rises 1,000 feet (305 meters) above the plains to the south; the name is likely derived from the Comanche verb tukumukaru, which means to wait for an incoming person, and appears as Cuchuncari in early Spanish sources. Eat at the best BBQ and hardware store, Watson’s BBQ. The meal is delicious, the ambiance is enjoyable, and while you’re there, pick up some amusing trinkets (and don’t forget to write your names on the wall). 

The lovely city of Tucumcari is a well-known rest station for motorists using the former U.S. Route 66, now known as Interstate 40. It is ideal for tourists looking for a fun weekend trip because it has many neon signs, gorgeous architecture, and historic buildings. In Santa Fe, you can spend the night in the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi. It is a lovely location to walk to almost anyplace in Santa Fe.

 Day 4 Santa Fe to Phoenix

480 miles About 7,5 hours

As you leave Rosewood Inn and travel through Winslow, Arizona, turn right toward Phoenix. Beyond “The Corner District,” Winslow, Arizona, is well worth investigating. When visiting nearby attractions like the Meteor Crater, Homolovi Ruins, or even the Petrified Forest, Winslow is a terrific area to stay. A visitor’s center and gift stores are across the street from the well-known Winslow Corner. To learn more about Winslow, you should start with the visitor center. 

They will inform you of the fantastic park and walking route only a block away along the railroad lines and the plans to repair the brick trading post just down the street. Take some time to pause, pick up a few pamphlets, and admire the old pictures on the wall. The Sandia Peak Tramway, Old Town, and Meteor Crater Natural Landmark are the best stops from Santa Fe to Phoenix (with brief detours). Walnut Canyon National Monument, Slide Rock State Park, and Bandelier National Monument are a few more well-liked destinations.

Finally Phoenix

Phoenix offers a lot, from magnificent gardens and intriguing historical tourist destinations to major sports franchises and exciting nightlife. One of Phoenix’s most famous and well-known locations is the CamelBack Mountains, which got its name from how they resemble a kneeling camel. You must climb to its 2,700-foot “hump” for some of the city’s best views. The South Mountain Preserve’s highest point offers sweeping city vistas and a stone ramada on the ledge of a 2,330-foot lookout. On the 2.5-mile Holbert Trail, hike to Dobbins Lookout. You may find everything you need about the nation’s sunniest major metropolis and the Sonoran Desert in Phoenix.

 If you’re interested in touring, one of the most significant areas to stay in Phoenix is its bustling downtown, which is home to numerous tourist attractions. Staying in downtown Scottsdale, close to Old Town, is an additional choice. The Kimpton Hotel Palomar, a new luxury hotel choice in downtown Phoenix, is situated in the brand-new CityScape development. 

This modern hotel has spacious suites, rooms, and a lovely rooftop pool. Look no further than the Found: Re Phoenix for stylish and hip. This boutique hotel, situated in the center of Phoenix and close to several attractions, has 104 distinctive rooms with industrial-chic decor. The Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North’s comfort and friendliness are unmatched for a charming, opulent vacation in the desert. And this is the ideal location for a peaceful getaway because it is close to the Troon North Golf Club and in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak.


As you can see, the I-35 route from Minneapolis to Phoenix passes through many beautiful locations. The drive from Minneapolis to Phoenix is wonderfully gorgeous, and there are many exciting sites to stop and explore along the way. On the way to Phoenix, there is something for everyone to see, including historic archeological sites, natural attractions, and spiritual locations.

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