17 days in Big Bend National Park, Las Cruces & Tucson and Southern Arizona Itinerary

17 days in Big Bend National Park, Las Cruces & Tucson and Southern Arizona Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States travel route builder
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Fly to Midland/Odessa, Drive to Big Bend National Park
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Big Bend National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Las Cruces
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Willcox
— 1 night
Drive
4
Bisbee
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Ajo
— 1 night
Drive
6
Tucson
— 4 nights
Shuttle to Phoenix, Fly to Boston

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Big Bend National Park — 3 nights

Situated where the Rio Grande River takes a big southerly dip in West Texas, Big Bend National Park covers a massive expanse of desert, woodlands, and grasslands full of rivers, limestone canyons, and high mountains. Nearly 2,000 species of plant and animal life call this place home.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Lajitas Zipline and Tuff Canyon Trail. Escape the urban bustle at Ernst Tinaja Trail and Chihuahuan Desert. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Lower Burro Mesa Pour-off Trail and explore the striking landscape of Dug Out Wells Picnic Area and Nature Trail.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Big Bend National Park road trip planning app.

Boston to Big Bend National Park is an approximately 13.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Boston in December, expect nights in Big Bend National Park to be somewhat warmer, around 41°F, while days are much hotter, around 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Las Cruces.
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Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Las Cruces — 3 nights

Las Cruces, also known as "The City of the Crosses", is the seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. Visiting Soledad Canyon Day Use Area and Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Basilica San Albino Catholic Church and Las Cruces Water Tank Murals. Venture out of the city with trips to Truth or Consequences (Veterans Memorial Park & Blackstone Hotsprings). Next up on the itinerary: pause for some photo ops at Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and get engrossed in the history at Las Cruces Museum of Fine Arts and Culture.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Las Cruces itinerary planner.

You can drive from Big Bend National Park to Las Cruces in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car, flight, and bus; or do a combination of car, flight, and bus. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Big Bend National Park in December, things will get slightly colder in Las Cruces: highs are around 57°F and lows about 31°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can go by car to Willcox.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Wildlife
Side Trip

Willcox — 1 night

Willcox is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States. Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): trek along Heart of Rocks, then identify plant and animal life at Willcox Playa Wildlife Area, and then learn about winemaking at Flying Leap Vineyards.

To find traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read Willcox trip itinerary planning app.

Drive from Las Cruces to Willcox in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 60°F in December, and nighttime lows around 35°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Bisbee.
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Parks · Trails · Wildlife · Wineries

Bisbee — 2 nights

Bisbee is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, southeast of Tucson. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sun): go on a hair-raising tour with a ghost and vampire tour, then identify plant and animal life at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, and then sample the tasty concoctions at Old Bisbee Brewing Company. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Bisbee Olive Oil and then explore the stunning scenery at The Nature Conservancys Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

For reviews, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Bisbee trip planner.

You can drive from Willcox to Bisbee in 1.5 hours. Traveling from Willcox in December, plan for slightly colder nights in Bisbee, with lows around 29°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can drive to Ajo.
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Wildlife · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Nature
Side Trips

Ajo — 1 night

Ajo is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pima County, Arizona, United States. On the 28th (Tue), identify plant and animal life at Quitobaquito Spring and then identify plant and animal life at Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Keep things going the next day: take a memorable drive along Puerto Blanco Scenic Drive and then get engrossed in the history at Ajo Historical Museum.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Ajo day trip planning tool.

Getting from Bisbee to Ajo by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Bisbee in December since evenings lows in Ajo dip to 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to drive to Tucson.
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Wildlife · Parks · Scenic Drive · Museums

Tucson — 4 nights

Old Pueblo

One of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country, Tucson is a city on a cultural crossroads, with European, Native American, Mexican, and Asian residents blending and sometimes conflicting with one another.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch and Tucson Mountain Park West. Get in touch with nature at Picacho Peak State Park and Cactus Forest Drive. When in Tucson, make a side trip to see Colossal Cave Mountain Park in Vail, approximately Vail away. And it doesn't end there: admire the majestic nature at Catalina State Park, sample the tasty concoctions at Pueblo Vida Brewing Company, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Mission San Xavier del Bac.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Tucson tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Ajo to Tucson in 2.5 hours. Another option is to drive. December in Tucson sees daily highs of 65°F and lows of 41°F at night. On the 2nd (Sun), you'll travel back home.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Scenic Drive
Side Trips