The road trip from Boise to Las Vegas is a journey of stunning contrasts, from the lush, green valleys of Idaho to the striking desert vistas of Nevada. Along this route, you will experience a remarkable transition from the rugged, outdoor charm of Boise to the glittering lights and excitement of Las Vegas.
The 825-mile road trip from Boise to Las Vegas will take about 13 hours to drive. on the way, you can visit Twin Falls, Shoshone Falls, Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Provo, Fillmore, Beaver, Zion National Park, Reno, Carson City and Lake Tahoe.
If you love desert landscapes, history-rich towns and cities, and endless natural spectacles, then this drive from Boise to Las Vegas is perfect for you. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, top things to do and see, best places to stay, and the best seasons to make the drive.
How far is Las Vegas from Boise, and how long will the road trip take?
|Zion National Park Route
|12 hours and 40 minutes
|Lake Tahoe Route
|14 hours and 30 minutes
The Zion National Park Route for the road trip from Boise to Las Vegas covers a distance of 825 miles and can be completed in around 12 hours and 40 minutes.
Alternatively, the Lake Tahoe Route, which passes through Reno and around scenic Lake Tahoe, spans 930 miles and takes around 14 hours and 30 minutes of driving time to reach Las Vegas.
While you can complete these journeys in a day or two, we recommend spending 4-5 days to fully appreciate the experience.
Best road trip route from Boise to Las Vegas
While both the Zion National Park and Lake Tahoe routes offer a wealth of natural beauty and unique attractions, their landscapes and experiences differ significantly.
The Zion National Park Route takes you through stunning mountain vistas and untouched expanses. This route is a photographer's dream, with picturesque stops like Shoshone Falls and Belly of the Dragon.
For nature enthusiasts, detours to Bryce Canyon National Park and Dixie National Forest add more depth to the adventure. However, this route may not be ideal if you want to experience more cities and diverse landscapes.
The alternative Lake Tahoe Route is a striking contrast to the Zion National Park Route. It blends beautiful mountain scenery with the classic desert vistas of Nevada.
It's not just nature and views, this route has plenty of culture to explore. You'll drive through historical stops like the Humboldt Museum and the Tonopah Historic Mining Park.
If you have a little extra time, you can extend your journey to Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks. Additionally, a stop in Reno allows for a bit of gaming fun before reaching Las Vegas.
How to drive from Boise to Las Vegas
The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Boise and Las Vegas. Keep reading for detailed descriptions of both routes, where to stay on either, and the best things to do on the way.
Zion National Park Route
Starting your journey from Boise, Idaho, head south along Interstate 84 (I-84) towards Twin Falls, where you can admire the stunning Shoshone Falls. Continuing on the interstate, you'll pass through the scenic Willard Bay State Park before reaching Antelope Island State Park and the Great Salt Lake.
Next, make your way to Salt Lake City, a beautiful desert city nestled against the backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains. From here, you'll take I-15 south towards Provo, Utah, where you can explore Provo Canyon's natural beauty.
Further along I-15, you'll get to stop at the quaint town of Fillmore, Utah, and take a detour to the expansive Fishlake National Forest.
Driving further south, you'll reach Beaver, Utah, and then Mount Carmel, Utah, where the landscape transitions into the stunning red rocks of southern Utah. A must-see detour here is the Belly of the Dragon, a unique tunnel carved through the rock.
The highlight of this route is Zion National Park, a majestic area of natural beauty. After exploring the park, continue your journey on I-15 south into Nevada, passing through Mesquite, a small city known for its golf courses and casinos, before finally arriving in Las Vegas.
Lake Tahoe Route
Begin your epic drive from Boise, Idaho, and head west on I-84 towards the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, a haven for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts. Continue your drive on US-95 South through the picturesque Jordan Valley and witness the unique geological formations of the Pillars of Rome.
Proceeding on your route, visit the Humboldt Museum in Nevada. From there, drive southwest to Reno, a city known for its nightlife and attractions like the National Automobile Museum.
Next, head south to Carson City, Nevada's state capital, where you can explore the Nevada State Museum. From Carson City, make your way to the stunning Lake Tahoe, a beautiful lake nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Here, South Lake Tahoe in California offers a range of recreational activities amidst breathtaking scenery. Then get back on route on Highway 95 South to Walker Lake, Nevada, another tranquil natural site.
As you near the end of your journey, visit the Tonopah Historic Mining Park to experience the area's mining heritage. Then, travel to Beatty, Nevada, which serves as a gateway to the Death Valley National Park.
Finally, finish your road trip in world-famous Las Vegas, where the bright city lights and endless entertainment options await you.
Best places to stop between Boise and Las Vegas
With so much to see and do along the way on a drive from Boise to Las Vegas, you'll want to stop in one of our recommended destinations below. This way, you can rest up and have time to explore this incredible part of the USA.
Architectural marvels in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah, is an ideal stopover on the Zion National Park Route, about 5 hours into the drive. Salt Lake City is famous for the picturesque mountains surrounding it. Throughout the gorgeous area are various natural parks and some of the best skiing areas in the country.
The city is also home to Temple Square, an area featuring beautiful architecture that is full of Mormon history and culture, and the Natural History Museum of Utah, known for its fascinating exhibits on the region's geology and natural history.
For your stay in Salt Lake City, we recommend the Grand America Hotel. This luxurious European-style hotel features opulent decor and amenities.
The hotel's elegant rooms and suites are furnished with handcrafted Richelieu furniture, boast floor-to-ceiling windows, inviting balconies, and bathrooms adorned with Italian marble.
An on-site spa, certified Forbes Five Star, offers a variety of services for relaxation and rejuvenation. Dining options are plentiful with a specialty coffee shop, an upscale brasserie & bar, and a vintage cocktail lounge.
Nearby attractions include the Utah State Capitol, just a 10-minute drive from the hotel, and the Natural History Museum of Utah, a mere 15-minute drive away.
Beautiful lakeshores and watersports in South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe, nestled on the California/Nevada border in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is a superb choice for an overnight stop on the Lake Tahoe Route, located about 7 hours and 40 minutes into your journey.
This resort city is well-known for its natural setting on Lake Tahoe. It has both summer and winter recreational activities, including the luxurious Edgewood Tahoe Resort for golf enthusiasts, the renowned Heavenly Mountain Resort for skiing, and picturesque beaches like El Dorado Beach.
Known for receiving enough snow during an average season to cover a three-story building, South Lake Tahoe has a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventure. Whether you're looking to ski, swim, or golf, this location has something for everyone.
For your stay, the highly-rated Edgewood Tahoe Resort, with its American-West style lodge ambiance, is our top recommendation. This resort has a variety of exciting and luxurious amenities, including multiple pools, a spa, beach access, and a golf course.
Dining at the resort is an experience in itself, with three distinct on-site dining options - The Bistro, The Bistro Bar, and the Edgewood Restaurant, along with a specialty coffee bar. If you're seeking a more intimate dining experience, private dining is also available.
Near the Edgewood Tahoe Resort, you can easily access Lakeside Beach, just a 9-minute walk away, perfect for a relaxing day by the water. Additionally, the Heavenly Mountain Resort is only a 10-minute drive from the hotel, offering world-class skiing and snowboarding experiences.
Where to stay when you reach Las Vegas
Las Vegas, a city that never sleeps, is famed for its dazzling Las Vegas Strip and the engineering marvel, Hoover Dam.
An interesting addition to the city's attractions is the newly completed MSG Sphere Las Vegas, a 516-feet wide venue featuring a high-resolution LED screen that wraps halfway around its nearly 18,000-seat capacity!
Nestled amidst the bustling energy of the Strip, the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas offers a serene, Five-Star experience a stone's throw away from all the excitement Las Vegas has to offer. This unique hotel stands out as one of the few non-gaming and non-smoking options on the Strip, providing a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city.
The Four Seasons features stylish and modern dining options on-site, along with multiple bars and lounges perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring. Accommodations at the hotel include stylish and clean rooms and suites designed to suit groups of various sizes, each offering a blend of comfort and luxury.
For a touch of indulgence, the hotel's Forbes Five-Star Spa and Nail Bar awaits you. Inspired by the tranquility of the desert, it offers a range of personalized treatments and services to rejuvenate and relax.
Things to see on a road trip from Boise to Las Vegas
Along both of these incredible routes, you'll find endless must-see destinations. To help you plan easily, we've chosen our favorites below.
Zion National Park Route
- Twin Falls, Idaho - Twin Falls is a vibrant city known for its stunning canyon views and outdoor recreational opportunities, particularly around the Snake River Canyon.
- Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls - Often referred to as the "Niagara of the West," Shoshone Falls is a majestic waterfall on the Snake River, offering spectacular views and picnic areas.
- Willard Bay State Park - Nestled in northern Utah, Willard Bay State Park is a freshwater reservoir offering boating, fishing, and camping, with stunning mountainous backdrops.
- Antelope Island State Park - This park, located in the Great Salt Lake, is famous for its wildlife, including free-ranging bison, antelope, and numerous bird species, along with hiking and biking trails.
- Great Salt Lake - The largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, the Great Salt Lake is known for its unique ecosystem and the remarkable phenomenon of buoyant swimming.
- Salt Lake City - Utah's capital, Salt Lake City, combines the amenities of a large metropolis with access to the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains, known for world-class skiing and hiking.
- Provo, Utah - Provo is a lively college town, home to Brigham Young University, offering a blend of cultural experiences, historic sites, and access to outdoor activities in the nearby mountains.
- Provo Canyon - A scenic canyon that boasts a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, and fishing, with stunning views of waterfalls and alpine landscapes.
- Fillmore, Utah - Fillmore, once the capital of Utah, is a small town rich in history with access to nearby outdoor adventures, such as ATV trails and fishing spots.
- Fishlake National Forest - This forest is known for its large, natural mountain lake, Fish Lake, offering excellent trout fishing, boating, and beautiful, scenic drives.
- Beaver, Utah - A quaint and historic town, Beaver is famous for its pioneer heritage and serves as a gateway to outdoor adventures in the Tushar Mountains.
- Mount Carmel, Utah - A small community located near the east entrance of Zion National Park, Mount Carmel offers a quieter, scenic base for exploring the park and nearby natural attractions.
- Belly of the Dragon, Utah - An intriguing man-made tunnel near Kanab, Utah, Belly of the Dragon is a short, easy hike that leads through a carved sandstone passage.
- Zion National Park - Renowned for its towering cliffs, narrow canyons, and stunning vistas, Zion National Park offers unparalleled opportunities for hiking and sightseeing.
- Mesquite, Nevada - A small city known for its golf courses, casinos, and close proximity to various national parks, Mesquite is an ideal stopover for relaxation and entertainment.
Lake Tahoe Route
- Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge - This refuge in Idaho is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts, featuring wetland and upland habitats around Lake Lowell.
- Jordan Valley - A small, rustic town in Oregon, Jordan Valley is known for its rich history and stunning natural landscapes, offering a glimpse into the Old West.
- Pillars of Rome - Located in Oregon, these unique clay formations resemble ancient Roman architecture and offer a picturesque landscape that's popular among photographers and nature lovers.
- Humboldt Museum - Situated in Winnemucca, Nevada, this museum showcases local history, including Native American artifacts, mining exhibits, and historical photographs.
- Reno, Nevada - Known as "The Biggest Little City in the World," Reno offers vibrant nightlife, casinos, and cultural attractions, along with proximity to outdoor recreational activities.
- National Automobile Museum - Located in Reno, this museum features a vast collection of vintage cars, showcasing the history of the automobile through meticulously restored vehicles.
- Carson City - Nevada's state capital, Carson City, is steeped in Wild West history, offering historic buildings, museums, and access to nearby outdoor activities.
- Nevada State Museum - This museum in Carson City provides insights into Nevada's natural and cultural history, including a replica ghost town and a large silver collection.
- Lake Tahoe - A stunning alpine lake straddling the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is famous for its clear waters, ski resorts, and year-round outdoor activities.
- South Lake Tahoe - A popular resort city on the southern shores of Lake Tahoe, offering a mix of outdoor recreation, beaches, and a lively entertainment scene.
- Topaz Lake - A picturesque lake located on the California-Nevada border, Topaz Lake is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and camping, with beautiful mountain views.
- Walker Lake, Nevada - A natural lake in western Nevada, Walker Lake offers recreational activities like boating and fishing, set against the backdrop of the scenic Wassuk Range.
- Central Nevada Museum - Located in Tonopah, this museum showcases the region's mining and pioneer history, with exhibits on local Native American culture and the early 20th-century mining boom.
- Tonopah Historic Mining Park - This park preserves the mining history of Tonopah, Nevada, offering tours of historic mines and an insight into the life of early miners.
- Beatty, Nevada - A small town near Death Valley National Park, Beatty offers a blend of history, nature, and access to outdoor adventures in the surrounding desert landscape.
Best time to go on a road trip from Boise to Las Vegas
The road trip from Boise to Las Vegas is one for all seasons. However, the drive will have its own challenges and highlights depending on the season.
In winter, the Zion National Park Route can be enchanting with snow-capped mountains and serene landscapes. Parks like Willard Bay State Park and Zion National Park will usually remain accessible.
However, the high elevations in the American Rockies mean heavy snowfall and challenging driving conditions, so ensure your vehicle is winter-ready.
In Las Vegas, winter temperatures are milder, averaging around 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though it's much warmer, you may see snow in the city from time to time.
Winter is the perfect time to experience holidays like New Year's. Also in winter on the Lake Tahoe Route is the Utah Arts Festival in February and the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Spring and fall are ideal times for these road trips, offering more stable weather conditions and the opportunity to attend unique events. On the Zion National Park Route, you can experience the Death Valley Dark Sky Festival in March or the Reno Air Race in September.
Upon reaching Las Vegas, the weather is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in spring and fall, perfect for outdoor activities and festivals like the Lovers & Friends Fest in May or the iHeartRadio Music Festival in September.
Summer in Las Vegas is hot, with temperatures often soaring above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making indoor activities more appealing.
However, the journey there, especially through the Lake Tahoe Route, is filled with lush landscapes and cooler mountain air, providing a refreshing contrast to the desert heat of Las Vegas.