Las Vegas to Grand Canyon: A Spectacular Road Trip

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Explore the incredible beauty of the southwestern United States on an unforgettable road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon! Take advantage of this one-of-a-kind adventure through spectacular landscapes.

road trip from las vegas to grand canyon.
Image Source: Pexels

As one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is on many travelers’ bucket lists. Taking a scenic drive from Las Vegas is one of the most popular ways to get to this famous National Park. This journey is just as breathtaking as the route from Phoenix to Grand Canyon, with its spectacular views and diverse landscapes.

Driving through this area of the Southwest will take you through stunning views of the desert landscape and surrounding mountains. This route takes travelers through some of the most beautiful parts of Arizona and Nevada. With towering red-rock formations, iconic neon signs, and an array of unique cultural experiences, this trip has something to offer everyone — from families looking for an adventure to couples on a romantic getaway.

Planning Your Route

You can take a few different scenic routes from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, depending on your time and the scenery you want to see. The best scenic way from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon depends on your interests and time.

Each route offers unique views and experiences, so choose the one that appeals to you the most. It will take a couple of hours, so you may want to play some fun road trip games.

Direct to Grand Canyon South Rim National Park

Driving right to the South rim is the most direct route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park, taking about four hours each way. The drive takes you through the scenic Mojave Desert, the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, and the Kaibab National Forest. Once you reach the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you can take in the breathtaking views of the canyon.

The typical drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is from Route 93 North to Route 40 East. You can also take Route 15 North to Route 40 East. Both routes will take you through stunning desert landscapes and allow you to see unique attractions. You should bring snacks, water, and other essentials for the road. Before leaving, it is also a good idea to check the weather and road conditions to ensure a safe and comfortable trip.

Ali Garland of Travel Made Simple made this trip part of a more extensive Southwest USA road trip. She says, “The Southwest has so many amazing national parks, but it’s nice to break it up with a few days in a city, and Vegas is an excellent choice. Stopping in Vegas allowed us to stay in a nice hotel, and the city also has a big enough airport to fly in/out of.”

grand canyon view.
Image Source: Lisa MarcAurele

Short Route to the West Rim

“Make a day trip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by visiting the not-often visited West Rim of the canyon, home of the famous Skywalk. This trip is only four hours round-trip! A small portion of the road from the interstate to the canyon is a dirt road, but well-maintained and suitable for all vehicles.” — Kristen Wood,

It’s about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Las Vegas to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon via US-93 South and Pierce Ferry Road. This area offers stunning canyon views from the Skywalk, a glass-bottomed observation deck. During the drive from Vegas, you’ll pass through the Mojave Desert and the Joshua Tree National Forest. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead along the way.

The Hualapai Tribe manages the Grand Canyon West Rim, and this area is separate from the Grand Canyon National Park located at the South Rim. There is an admission fee to see the canyon and visit the Skywalk. Booking your tickets in advance is recommended.

Summer Route to the North Rim

The drive from Las Vegas to the North Rim takes around four to five hours. This part of the Grand Canyon is in a remote area of northern Arizona that gets snow and ice, so it closes in the winter months.

This route takes you through some stunning scenery across three states. From Vegas, take I-15 east to St. George, Utah. Then take State Route 9 toward Hurricane, Utah, continuing to La Verkin. From there, you’ll take State Route 59 south toward Arizona. Once you reach the park entrance, follow North Rim Parkway for the various lookout points and trails.

Long Drive Through Historic Route 66

Consider taking Historic Route 66 from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon for a more scenic and leisurely drive that will take about five to six hours. You can make the time feel faster with some easy road trip hacks.

This route takes you through small towns, past old gas stations, diners, and other classic Americana. You’ll also pass through Seligman, Arizona, which is known as the birthplace of Route 66.

Route 66 no longer exists as a continuous highway. However, there are still plenty of sections of the original road that you can explore that follow the old Route 66 path.

historic route 66 in arizona.
Image Source: Pexels

Here are some general directions to follow:

  1. From Las Vegas, head south on Route 95 until you reach the town of Oatman.
  2. Take the Oatman Highway towards Kingman.
  3. Continue on Route 66 toward Hackberry. 
  4. From Hackberry, head towards Peach Springs.
  5. Continue towards the Grand Canyon Caverns.
  6. Keep driving towards Seligman, then continue to Williams. A quick stop at Buckskinner Park in Williams is a great way to see a beautiful water view.
  7. From Williams, follow Route 64 north to the Grand Canyon National Park entrance.

While following this route, you’ll have the chance to see some of the classic Americana and roadside attractions that made Route 66 famous and some beautiful scenery along the way. It’s a great way to experience a bit of American history and culture on your way to one of the most iconic natural wonders in the world.

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Stops and Sights From Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

This thrilling route offers an abundance of diverse attractions, each worthy of your attention. Along your drive, you will find plenty of opportunities to indulge in local culture and all that nature offers. 

Here are some incredible sights to see on a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon:

  1. Hoover Dam: Located on the border between Arizona and Nevada, the Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering and a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can tour the dam and learn about its history and significance.
  2. Lake Mead: Just east of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States and offers plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
  3. Route 66: If you’re interested in American history and culture, driving along the historic Route 66 is a must-do. You can explore towns like Kingman, Seligman, and Williams that have preserved their Route 66 heritage with vintage motels, diners, and other roadside attractions.
  4. Sedona: If you have some extra time, we recommend visiting the town of Sedona. Known for its stunning red rock formations and spiritual energy, Sedona offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors.
driving through red rock area in sedona arizona.
Image Source: Lisa MarcAurele

Completing the Journey

This spectacular trip offers a lifetime of memories and unforgettable views, which everyone should experience at least once. From the bright lights of Las Vegas to the awe-inspiring beauty of the Grand Canyon, this road trip gives travelers an incredible glimpse into one of America’s most famous landmarks.

As you approach the Grand Canyon, you will see a breathtaking view that will leave you speechless as its vastness stretches before you. The deep valleys and dramatic rock formations create a sense of tranquility that is hard to beat, making it truly one to remember.

When taking a road trip, few destinations rival the grandeur of Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. This journey offers breathtaking views, unique experiences, and exciting adventures. Whether planning a weekend getaway or an inexpensive vacation, completing this journey is an unforgettable experience.

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