Make sure to dedicate some time to explore the Las Vegas area away from the Strip. If you can find a day off or free weekend, you can take a spectacular road trip from Las Vegas. Las Vegas is perfectly positioned to give you some amazing experiences. Ready to plan your route? Here are the 5 most spectacular Las Vegas day road trips you can take.
Go on your own or with an organized tour?
Before setting off on your Las Vegas day road trip, you need to think ahead to what your plans will be. Will you travel for one or two days? Will you rather go on your own or with an organized tour? There are plenty of transportation options to get around Las Vegas. You can easily book a tour to many of the places below or you can borrow a van or car.
A van lets you explore at your own pace and offers enough space so no one is left out on the fun. It will definitely give you more freedom. Renting a van or car? Make sure your vehicle works properly and that you always carry a paper map or atlas, extra fuel, water, and food.
On the other hand you can choose to go with an organized tour to one of the places below. The advantage is pretty obvious: one price, everything’s taken care of, you meet new people, and a guide to get you from place to place.
The 5 best Las Vegas day road trips
1. Grand Canyon, AZ
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best things to do near Las Vegas and a popular destination for hiking, whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities. It’s well worth the tank of gas to get there and back.
The distance from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is about 271 miles and will be a 2.5-hour drive to the closest point, the Grand Canyon West Rim. This is a great opportunity to see the Grand Canyon if you’re short on time. If you have more time, you can visit the Grand Canyon for a 2-day road trip from Las Vegas. This will approximately be around 576 miles and take about 9 hours of total driving time. Right outside Las Vegas, you’ll pass the Hoover Dam, where you can spend some time and then you will drive towards the Grand Canyon Village, also known as the South Rim. We recommend taking historic Route 66 from Kingman to Seligman. At the South Rim you definitely are going to see the beauty and grandeur of the canyon.
There are no tolls on the route to the Grand Canyon and the park is open 24/7. The entrance fee is $30 per vehicle.
2. Lake Mead
Lake Mead is the closest body of water to Las Vegas and a great place for ATV tours or to go swimming, boating or jet skiing.
The distance from Las Vegas to Lake Mead is about 31 miles and will be a 50-60 minute drive. There are no tolls on the route and the entrance fee is $25 per vehicle (valid for a week).
3. Valley of Fire State Park
A third easily reachable destination outside Las Vegas is the Valley of Fire State Park. The Valley of Fire is named for the color of the 150-million-year-old Aztec Red sandstone. The park can be enjoyed from the car using the excellent Scenic Loop Road that curves its way through the rock formations. Make sure to stop at the Petroglyph Canyon, Rainbow Vista and White Domes trail.
It’s about an hour away from Las Vegas and the entrance fee is $10 per vehicle.
4. Death Valley, CA
Death Valley offers some of the most spectacular and dramatic scenery in the southwest. Think about dunes, salt flats, mountains, ancient trails, and amazing rock formations.
Death Valley is a 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas and is about 123 miles. There are no tolls along the route and the road is one-way, well paved and narrow.
5. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is the longest of the road trips we recommend from Las Vegas. It’s at least a full-day commitment from Las Vegas, but worth it. At Antelope Canyon are two slot canyons that you can visit with an authorized guide. Both canyons deliver stunning plays of light on sandstone sculpted by rushing water. Reservations can be made online and do sell out. Tour prices range from about $50 for the Lower Canyon to $70 for the Upper Canyon. Keep in mind it can get busy inside the canyons and most of the times you have to share the pretty views with others.
The driving time from Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon takes about 4.5 hours (about 275 miles). You’ll probably want to at least spend the night in Page before making your way back to Vegas.
If you are looking for a road trip out of Las Vegas, there’s plenty nearby that can broaden and enhance the experience. Safe travels!