If you are ready to shake the cobwebs off and set off on an epic road trip adventure through majestic mountains and desert landscapes to one of the liveliest entertainment capitals of the world, then the road trip from Denver to Las Vegas is exactly what you need!
The 750-mile road trip from Denver to Las Vegas will take 11 hours to drive. Notable stops are Moab, Rocky Mountains, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, Grand Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Valley of Fire State Park.
To help you with planning your road trip on this amazing drive from Denver to Las Vegas, check out our suggestions below for some inspiration on the route and things to do along the way.
How to drive from Denver to Las Vegas
The map below shows two great route options for your Denver to Las Vegas road trip. Click on the star icons for headline details, and scroll down for more information below.
* Always remember that drive times can be impacted by traffic, closures, weather and other conditions. It's best to double-check while planning and before starting out on your trip.
|17 hours 25 minutes
How far is Las Vegas from Denver and how long will the road trip take?
The direct drive from Denver to Las Vegas will take you 11 hours of nonstop driving to cover 750 miles. However, given that there are so many amazing national parks and places to visit between these two cities, we recommend taking a more scenic route.
The Moab Route is just that - and will take you 12 hours to drive without accounting for any stops, spanning 810 miles. This doesn't take any extra detours you might make into account.
There is another alternative; the equally scenic Albuquerque Route via Grand Canyon is 1,115 miles long and will take 17 hours and 25 minutes to drive without stops.
If you want to make a real road trip out of it, we suggest taking at least 5-6 days each way to drive from Denver to Las Vegas and back. You'll see some great options for overnight stops and things to do below.
Best road trip route from Denver to Las Vegas
The best route on a Denver to Las Vegas road trip will depend on how much time you have and which of the amazing landmarks you'd like to visit on the way.
The Moab Route, as its name implies, will take you to Moab, a town famed for its proximity to some of Utah's most spectacular landscapes, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
This route is an adventure through red rock vistas and dramatic desert landscapes. After Moab, you'll head to Zion National Park, another jewel in Utah's crown, known for its incredible canyons and hiking trails. This route is ideal if you are seeking outdoor adventures and breathtaking natural scenery.
The Albuquerque Route will take you on a more culturally rich journey through the Southwest. From Denver, you'll travel to Taos, New Mexico, a town known for its historic adobe buildings and vibrant arts scene.
Next, you'll visit Santa Fe, with its unique blend of Native American and Spanish colonial history. Albuquerque, your next stop, offers a mix of modern city life and ancient traditions. Before reaching Las Vegas, you'll visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona, one of the world's most awe-inspiring natural wonders.
If you are visiting Rocky Mountain National Park on the way, keep in mind that the national park uses a timed entry permit system. Please check the national park's website to see if you need to make a reservation before your visit.
Other national parks on each route might require reservations, too, so it is always a good idea to check their official websites before you visit.
Whether you're flying into Denver or you simply don't have a vehicle in the city, renting a car for your road trip is something you'll want to take care of ASAP.
For an easy-to-compare view of rental options for your road trip from Denver to Las Vegas, take a look at our partner site, RentalCars.com.
Hop on Interstate 70 (I-70) right out of Denver headed west towards the Rocky Mountains. As you make your way through the jagged mountain tops and forests, you'll pass through the famous Vail resort, White River National Forest and Glenwood Springs before coming down to Grand Junction.
Staying on the same I-70, you'll begin passing by one stunning red rock area after another - Colorado National Monument and McInnis Canyons before you take a short detour to Moab on US-191. From here, you can visit the stunning Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
After your visit, hop back on the interstate and keep heading west to Salina. Soon you will switch to I-15, which will take you southwest to Parowan and Cedar City. Take some time to visit Dixie National Forest and the world-famous Zion National Park.
Make a stop at Cedar Breaks National Monument soon after you pass the turning for the Valley of Fire State Park. Soon, you will arrive at your destination in Las Vegas.
Head out of Denver on I-25, driving through Colorado Springs and past the Garden of the Gods. Past Walsenburg, switch to US-160. Soon you can make a detour to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
If not making a detour, head south on CO-159 and head to Taos. After visiting the famous pueblo here, continue heading south to visit Santa Fe and Albuquerque, a charming city located on the legendary Route 66.
At this point, you will switch to I-40 and follow this interstate west to reach Flagstaff. You can base yourself in this city as you explore the amazing Grand Canyon National Park and continue onto the last leg of your road trip.
Switching onto US-93 past Kingman, you will get to visit Hoover Dam and Lake Mead before you arrive at the Sin City.
Best places to stop between Denver and Las Vegas
If you're looking to break up the journey and stay somewhere overnight instead of driving all day, there are a few amazing options along the way from Denver to Las Vegas. You can combine stopovers with things to do and unforgettable sights as well - you can find these further down.
Admire the red rock scenery in Moab
If you want to stop halfway, your best option is to head for Moab, just across the state line in Utah. Moab is a great town in a beautiful location itself, but it's also the perfect spot from which to explore Canyonlands and Arches National Parks - two unbelievably scenic parks with red rock formations and amazing hiking routes.
Although there are a few good options, we think the best hotel in Moab is the Red Cliffs Lodge. It's about 25 minutes outside Moab, sitting right on the Colorado River and surrounded by stunning red cliffs (as the name suggests).
The setting is stunning, the decor is rustic and calming and best of all, the price is only marginally higher than your run-of-the-mill chain hotels in Moab itself.
For a more luxurious alternative, Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton will surely impress. This stunning hotel is nestled among the red hills that make Moab so famous and is just a short drive from both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
Take in the unique architecture of Santa Fe
Just about 6 hours into your Albuquerque Route, Santa Fe is nestled in the heart of New Mexico, is great place to take a break and enjoy the vibrancy of Southwestern culture. Its historic plazas are lined with age-old adobe buildings and its bustling markets highlight the best of local crafts and flavors.
There is no better place to stay in Santa Fe than the beautiful Inn on the Alameda. The inn's fabulous traditional style, adorned with local art and craft, provides an authentic New Mexico experience, while its modern features ensure all the comforts of home.
Surrounded by gorgeous courtyards and gardens, the Inn on the Alameda offers a peaceful retreat after a day of exploration. And when you're ready to venture out again, you can take advantage of the hotel's free shuttle service to explore local farmers markets and attractions.
A short meander from the hotel will lead you to many of Santa Fe's top sites, including the serene Cathedral Park, the enlightening New Mexico History Museum, and the inspiring Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
Nearby, Thomas Macaione Park offers a tranquil retreat with its lush greenery, providing a perfect spot for relaxation and picnics. The Santa Fe Plaza, the historic heart of the city, is also within easy reach.
Where to stay once you reach Las Vegas
Upon arriving in Las Vegas, immerse yourself in unparalleled luxury at the Wynn Las Vegas. This dream-like hotel, boasting a central location, offers a lavish experience complete with a full-service spa, expansive casino, serene oasis-style pools, and exclusive brand shops.
The dining experience is equally impressive, featuring signature restaurants, extensive buffets, and cozy cafés. Even the pickiest diners will find something they love during their stay here.
For a glimpse into the future of entertainment, the Sphere is a 20-minute walk away, and this technological gem will surely impress anyone! You can also easily visit the famous Ferris wheel, the High Roller, on foot from the hotel, lacked near the Sphere.
If you are in the mood for something different, then the quirky Mob Museum is a short 10 minute drive from Wynn Las Vegas.
Things to see on a road trip from Denver to Las Vegas
We could go on forever talking about the different sights and things to do on either of these amazing routes, so here are our top favorites to make your planning easy:
- Argo Mill and Tunnel - Discover the rich mining history of Colorado at the Argo Mill and Tunnel in Idaho Springs, where visitors can explore one of the largest gold-bearing mills and learn about the gold rush era through guided tours.
- Phoenix Gold Mine, Idaho Springs - Venture into the Phoenix Gold Mine in Idaho Springs, a family-operated mine where guests can explore the underground tunnels, learn about the mining process, and even pan for gold.
- Georgetown Loop Railroad - Ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad, a remarkable feat of engineering, winding through the Rocky Mountains between Georgetown and Silver Plume. This historic railroad offers breathtaking views and a unique journey back in time.
- Loveland Ski Area - Nestled near Georgetown, Loveland Ski Area offers a variety of slopes for all skill levels, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its less crowded runs and spectacular mountain views.
- Betty Ford Alpine Gardens - Located in Vail, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens are the world's highest botanical garden, showcasing an array of alpine flora and fauna in a stunning mountain setting, providing a serene escape for nature lovers.
- Vail - Vail is a premier mountain resort community, renowned for its vast ski slopes, upscale amenities, and vibrant village life, offering outdoor activities year-round from skiing and snowboarding to hiking and cultural festivals.
- Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park - Experience thrill and adventure at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, where visitors can explore stunning caves and enjoy a variety of rides and attractions perched on a mountaintop.
- Palisade, Colorado - Known for its lush vineyards and orchards, Palisade, Colorado, is a haven for wine enthusiasts and foodies, offering tours and tastings that highlight the region's rich agricultural heritage and scenic beauty.
- Arches National Park - Marvel at the natural sandstone arches and vast landscapes of Arches National Park, where thousands of stone arches create a surreal and captivating environment, offering endless opportunities for exploration and photography.
- Canyonlands National Park - Explore the dramatic desert landscapes of Canyonlands National Park, with its deep canyons, towering mesas, and stunning vistas, offering a haven for hikers, mountain bikers, and nature enthusiasts.
- Moab Backyard Theater - Enjoy an evening of entertainment at the Moab Backyard Theater, where live performances, music, and magic shows under the stars offer a unique cultural experience in the heart of Moab.
- Giant Soda Cans - Visit the whimsical Giant Soda Cans in Salina, a colorful roadside attraction that adds a splash of fun and nostalgia to the journey through Utah, capturing the imagination of travelers of all ages.
- Dixie National Forest - Spanning across southern Utah, Dixie National Forest offers a diverse landscape of forest, desert, and mountains, providing a playground for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- Zion National Park - Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Zion National Park, with its towering cliffs, narrow canyons, and verdant valleys, offering some of the most scenic hiking and climbing adventures in the United States.
- Valley of Fire State Park - Experience the vibrant red sandstone formations and ancient petroglyphs of Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada's oldest and largest state park, offering a spectacular desert landscape just a short drive from Las Vegas.
- The Broadmoor Seven Falls - Marvel at the breathtaking beauty of The Broadmoor Seven Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls located in a 1,400-foot-wall box canyon, and climb the 224-step staircase to experience spectacular views and access to hiking trails.
- Garden of the Gods - Visit Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs to witness majestic sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak, offering a unique natural landscape for hiking, rock climbing, and photography.
- Cheyenne Mountain State Park - Explore the rugged terrain of Cheyenne Mountain State Park, offering miles of trails for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing against the scenic backdrop of Colorado Springs.
- Walsenburg Mining Museum - Dive into Colorado's rich mining history at the Walsenburg Mining Museum, housed in a historic jail, and explore the exhibits on coal mining and its impact on the region.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Experience the surreal landscape of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, home to the tallest dunes in North America, offering activities such as sand sledding, hiking, and star gazing.
- Francisco Fort Museum - Step back in time at the Francisco Fort Museum in La Veta, the only original fort remaining in Colorado, now a museum showcasing the region's history, culture, and art.
- Taos Pueblo - Visit Taos Pueblo, an ancient Native American community located near Taos, offering a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle and architecture of the Puebloan people.
- Rio Grande Gorge Bridge - Experience the stunning views from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, one of the highest bridges in the United States, spanning the scenic Rio Grande Gorge.
- Georgia O'Keeffe Museum - Explore the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, which is dedicated to the life and art of the iconic American artist, showcasing a comprehensive collection of her works.
- Coronado Historic Site, Bernalillo - Discover the Coronado Historic Site in Bernalillo, where ancient ruins meet history, offering insights into the early Native American and Spanish colonial interactions.
- ABQ BioPark - Enjoy a day at ABQ BioPark in Albuquerque, a unique environmental museum featuring a zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, and Tingley Beach, offering fun and education for all ages.
- Petrified Forest National Park - Marvel at the colorful landscapes and ancient petrified logs of Petrified Forest National Park, offering a fascinating glimpse into the natural history and archeology of the area.
- Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course - Challenge yourself at the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, an outdoor obstacle course set in the beautiful Coconino National Forest, offering fun and adrenaline-pumping activities.
- Grand Canyon National Park - Be awed by the majestic beauty and vast expanse of Grand Canyon National Park, one of the world's natural wonders, offering unparalleled vistas, hiking trails, and rafting experiences.
- Hoover Dam - Visit the iconic Hoover Dam, a marvel of modern engineering, straddling the border between Nevada and Arizona, offering tours that explore the dam's history, construction, and its significance in the American Southwest.
Best time to go on a road trip from Denver to Las Vegas
You can do the road trip from Denver to Las Vegas any time of year. After all, most of the attractions in Vegas are indoors and the weather there holds up whenever you plan to visit.
Having said that, if you're planning to stop in some of the national parks along the way, remember that the hot deserts of Utah can feel quite cold and unpleasant in the winter, so if you want to go on some hikes and explore the red rocks en route, going from April to October is best.
Visiting in spring, you will also get the opportunity to let some steam off at the famous Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas in May.
If you're traveling in the winter, you can take advantage of passing through the Rockies and do some skiing on the way. Vail is right along the interstate and Aspen is only a short detour away.
Keep in mind that the temperatures on this part of the route tend to be between 20-40 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to pack warm clothes.
Summers in Las Vegas tend to be hot with the temperature sometimes reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit and unlike many other touristic places, the peak season for Las Vegas is not summer (it is spring and fall). So you might be able to get deals on the hotel prices if you visit during the warmer months.