Only a few drives can be as unforgettable as one that starts in one of the most famous national parks in the world and ends in one of the most iconic American cities. The road trip from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas is one for the books, dotted with beautiful cities, vast desert views and even more national parks in between!
The 600-mile road trip from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas will take 9 hours and 40 minutes to drive. Highlights are Flagstaff, Sedona, Red Rock Scenic Byway, Phoenix, Mojave National Preserve, Zion National Park, Valley of Fire State Park and Hoover Dam.
This amazing drive from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas will keep you on your toes with its beauty and excitement the entire way. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, top highlights, the best places to stop, and the best seasons to make the drive.
How far is Las Vegas from the Grand Canyon, and how long will the road trip take?
|Zion National Park Route||350 miles||7 hours|
|Phoenix Route||600 miles||9 hours and 40 minutes|
The Phoenix Route from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas spans a distance of 600 miles and will take approximately 9 hours and 40 minutes without any detours.
Alternatively, the shorter Zion National Park Route is shorter, covering 350 miles with a drive time of around 7 hours.
Both routes offer unique landscapes and attractions. Although you could technically complete both routes in a day or two, we recommend taking 4-5 days.
Best road trip route from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
While both the Phoenix and Zion National Park Routes offer a journey through stunning landscapes, they will give you unique experiences.
The Phoenix Route will take you through a blend of urban excitement and natural beauty. It starts with Flagstaff, known for its picturesque landscapes, skiing opportunities, and incredible stargazing. From here, you will get to visit Sedona and drive on the iconic Red Rock Scenic Byway.
The route then leads to Phoenix, a bustling city celebrated for its nightlife, art galleries, and luxurious resorts. Along the way, you'll also visit Mojave National Preserve, showcasing deserts, canyons, and Joshua trees.
This path also includes historic sites such as Montezuma Castle National Monument and the Arizona Lake Havasu Museum of History, offering a look into the region's past.
The Zion National Park Route is also a haven for nature lovers. The journey highlights Zion National Park, a Utah gem with its dramatic red rock canyons and lush riverbanks.
The route is peppered with captivating natural sites like Valley of Fire State Park, Antelope Canyon, Moqui Cave, and the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, all offering stunning red rock formations and canyons.
Additionally, this route provides opportunities for refreshing swims in many swimming holes, lakes, and rivers so you can cool off during your drive.
However, it's important to note that the North Rim entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park, the starting point of this route, is closed during winter, meaning you'll have to use the South Rim as an alternative starting point.
How to drive from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Grand Canyon 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.
Starting in the beautiful Grand Canyon, head south on AZ-64 and merge onto Interstate 40 (I-40) East. From here, you'll drive east to Flagstaff. After this beautiful city, head south to Sedona, a city famous for its red rock formations and natural scenery.
From here, continue south through Sedona and enjoy a stunning drive on the Red Rock Scenic Byway. You will soon reach Phoenix. Here, you can experience big city charm and Native American history.
Then, hop on I-10 to New Hope. Take a turn north and drive along the rural desert highways to Lake Havasu. After enjoying the lakeside paradise of Havasu Lake and Lake Havasu City, take a detour northwest to the Mojave National Preserve.
Here, you can enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the desert before getting back on route and driving north on US-95 to Las Vegas.
Zion National Park Route
Starting from the Grand Canyon, head north on AZ-67 through the rural mountains and high deserts. Soon, you'll arrive in Kanab, a popular retreat for Native American culture and art. From here, continue north to Springdale.
From Springdale, make a detour to the stunning and world-famous Zion National Park and even Dixie National Forest if you have extra time.
After enjoying Zion National Park, head back on route and merge onto I-15. Continue driving until you merge onto NV-169 south to the Valley of Fire State Park.
Continue on after experiencing one of Nevada's most striking natural highlights towards the Hoover Dam. A visit to this engineering marvel is a must. From here, you're only a short drive away from your destination of Las Vegas
Best places to stop between Grand Canyon and Las Vegas
There are so many wonderful destinations to explore on your way from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. To help you plan your ultimate drive, we've listed our top destinations to stay the night in below.
A luxurious stay in Phoenix
Phoenix, nestled at about the halfway point of the Phoenix Route, makes for an ideal overnight stop, approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes into your journey. This city is bathed in year-round sunshine and has a blend of beautiful desert landscapes, bustling city center, and world-class resorts.
While in the city, you will find many places to explore. The Desert Botanical Garden offers an immersive experience in the native flora of the region. For art aficionados, the Phoenix Art Museum showcases a vast collection of art across various genres and periods.
For your stay, we recommend the luxurious Royal Palms Resort and Spa, a part of Hyatt, which exudes the charm of a Spanish villa. This luxurious resort, nestled between central Phoenix and Scottsdale, serves as an oasis amidst the desert.
The resort features beautifully designed rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a heated pool, and a wellness center. The property is adorned with enchanting gardens and courtyards, and a stroll here is the perfect break from a day of exploration.
Nearby, the iconic Camelback Mountain and its trails are just about a mile from the hotel, offering a great opportunity for hiking and enjoying panoramic views of Phoenix.
For art enthusiasts, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, located about four miles away, is a treasure trove of modern and contemporary art.
Stunning views at your doorstep in Springdale
Springdale, located just 2 hours and 45 minutes into your journey on the Zion National Park Route, is an ideal stopover for immersing yourself in the natural wonders of Zion National Park and its surroundings.
Known as a "base camp" for Zion National Park explorers, Springdale offers direct access to iconic attractions such as the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and the Emerald Pools Trailhead. These locations provide breathtaking views and serene hiking experiences like something from a movie.
Additionally, Springdale is a cultural hub with an array of art galleries, unique shops, and diverse restaurants catering to all tastes.
For your stay in Springdale, we recommend Flanigan's Resort and Spa, a serene retreat located just outside Zion National Park. This resort is set in a picturesque garden environment, offering you beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes.
The rooms at Flanigan's are not only neat and comfortable but also feature terraces or balconies for a more intimate connection with nature. You'll enjoy a range of amenities, including a refreshing pool, an excellent restaurant, and yoga courses.
A notable advantage of staying at Flanigan's is its proximity to key locations. The resort is conveniently within short distance of both Zion National Park and the town of Springdale, offering easy access to free buses that shuttle visitors to the park.
Near the resort, you can visit the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, located just about 600 yards away, offering information and resources for exploring the park. The Zion Human History Museum is only 1.5 miles from the hotel.
Where to stay when you reach Las Vegas
Las Vegas, the final destination of your journey, is not just famous for its dazzling entertainment and gambling scene. This city also has an array of fabulous museums, art galleries, and architectural marvels.
When in Las Vegas, visiting the iconic Las Vegas Strip is a must, showcasing the city's non-stop nightlife and entertainment options. For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a must-see destination with stunning landscapes and plenty of wildlife.
Nestled just a 10-minute walk from the Las Vegas Strip, Marriott's Grand Chateau is a luxurious, non-gaming, non-smoking hotel that offers a peaceful retreat amidst the city's excitement. The hotel features spacious, quiet, and comfortable rooms, with some offering splendid city views.
One of the highlights is the outdoor pool, perfect for a relaxing dip. Also, the Sky Bar on the roof offers an unforgettable experience with drinks and panoramic sunset views of the Strip.
For dining, Marriott's Grand Chateau has several food and beverage venues, including a convenient pool bar and a grill, catering to a variety of tastes. This hotel's location and amenities make it an ideal choice for those looking to enjoy the best of Las Vegas while also having a quiet and luxurious place to retreat to.
Things to see on a road trip from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
There are endless highlights along both routes for you to experience. To help you plan the ultimate drive, we've included our top highlights below.
- Lowell Observatory - This historic observatory is famous for discovering Pluto and offers educational programs and telescope viewing, set against the backdrop of Flagstaff's clear skies.
- Sedona - Known for its stunning red rock formations and vibrant arts community, Sedona is a haven for nature lovers and spiritual seekers alike.
- Red Rock Scenic Byway - This byway offers breathtaking views of Sedona's red rocks, providing a scenic drive through one of Arizona's most picturesque landscapes.
- Montezuma Castle National Monument - This well-preserved cliff dwelling offers a glimpse into the lives of the Sinagua people who inhabited the area over 800 years ago.
- Clear Creek Vineyard & Winery - Located near Camp Verde, this vineyard and winery offer tastings and tours, showcasing local Arizona wine production.
- Agua Fria National Monument - This monument features significant cultural and historical sites with over 450 distinct Native American structures and petroglyphs, set in a diverse desert ecosystem.
- Lake Pleasant Regional Park - A popular spot for boating, fishing, and camping, this park offers recreational activities amidst the scenic beauty of a large desert reservoir.
- Phoenix Art Museum - This museum boasts a vast collection of art spanning from the Renaissance to the present, making it a cultural centerpiece in Phoenix.
- Skyline Regional Park - Nestled in the Buckeye Hills, this park offers a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, and camping, with stunning desert landscapes.
- El Dorado Hot Springs - Located in Tonopah, these natural hot springs provide a serene and relaxing oasis in the midst of the Arizona desert.
- Rovey's Rock - This geological landmark near Quartzsite is known for its unique rock formations and is a popular spot for hiking and photography.
- Lake Havasu Museum of History & Havasu Rocks - This museum in Lake Havasu City showcases the history of the area, including its transformation from desert to a thriving community.
- Havasu National Wildlife Refuge - A sanctuary for numerous species of birds and wildlife, this refuge offers opportunities for birdwatching, fishing, and enjoying the tranquil Colorado River environment.
- Mojave National Preserve - This vast area features canyons, mountains, mesas, and an extensive Joshua tree forest, making it a diverse landscape for exploration and recreation.
- Dead Mountains Wilderness Area - Located near the Mojave National Preserve, this wilderness area is known for its rugged terrain, diverse wildlife, and opportunities for hiking and solitude.
Zion National Park Route
- Antelope Canyon - This world-famous slot canyon in Page, Arizona, is known for its wave-like structure and the light beams that shine down into the openings of the canyon, creating a surreal and photogenic environment.
- Lone Rock Beach - A picturesque beach on Lake Powell offering camping, swimming, and boating with a stunning backdrop of sandstone cliffs.
- Toadstool Hoodoos - These unique rock formations near Kanab resemble toadstools and provide a surreal landscape for hiking and photography.
- Little Hollywood Movie Museum - Located in Kanab, this museum showcases the area's history as a filming location for classic western movies and TV shows.
- Moqui Cave - A natural history museum near Kanab, featuring Native American artifacts, fossils, and a collection of fluorescent minerals.
- Maynard Dixon Legacy Museum - This museum in Mount Carmel honors the life and work of American artist Maynard Dixon, known for his Western-themed paintings.
- Zion National Park - A renowned national park in Utah, offering stunning landscapes of red rock canyons, emerald pools, and diverse wildlife.
- Kolob Canyons - Part of Zion National Park, these lesser-visited canyons offer strikingly beautiful red rock scenery and hiking trails.
- Red Cliffs National Conservation Area - This conservation area near St. George showcases scenic red sandstone cliffs and provides opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site - A museum in St. George displaying an extensive collection of dinosaur tracks and fossils, offering insights into the prehistoric world.
- Virgin River Gorge - A picturesque section of I-15, where the highway cuts through a deep canyon carved by the Virgin River, offering dramatic desert scenery.
- Little Jamaica Natural Swimming Hole - A hidden oasis near Mesquite, Nevada, featuring a small waterfall and a refreshing natural pool.
- Lost City Museum - Located in Overton, this museum showcases the history and artifacts of the ancient Ancestral Puebloans who once inhabited the Moapa Valley.
- Valley of Fire State Park - Known for its bright red Aztec sandstone formations, this park offers a unique desert landscape for hiking and photography.
- Hoover Dam - A marvel of engineering, this dam on the Colorado River provides hydroelectric power and is a significant historical landmark between Arizona and Nevada.
Best time to go on a road trip from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
You can travel from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas any time of the year. However, the experience can vary significantly depending on the season you choose to travel.
Spring in Las Vegas is lovely, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to high 70s Fahrenheit. This season is perfect for exploring outdoor attractions like the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Events like the Las Vegas Helldorado Days in May can add an extra flair to your trip. On top of the spring events, you'll get the chance to see the beautiful desert wildflowers bloom.
Arizona, Nevada, and Las Vegas, in particular, experience hot summers, with temperatures often soaring above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. While the city bustles with indoor activities, it's essential to stay hydrated and protected from the sun.
The Flagstaff Folk Festival on the Phoenix Route in June is a cultural highlight we recommend checking out. The Western Legends Heritage & Music Festival in August on the Zion National Park Route is another event you might want to take a look at.
The fall sees temperatures in Las Vegas cool to a comfortable range of 70s to 80s Fahrenheit. The Life is Beautiful Festival in September is a major attraction. The Zion National Park Route is home to the Page Lake Powell Hot Air Balloon Regatta in November.
Winters are mild in Las Vegas, with temperatures hovering in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit, making it a great time to explore the city's indoor attractions.
However, on the Zion National Park Route, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed, and snowfall can affect driving conditions. If you're taking the Zion National Park Route in winter, you'll have to start your drive from the South Rim.
Winter is the perfect time to enjoy Las Vegas' famous New Year's celebrations. You can also check out the Devour Phoenix event in February. You might even see some snow in Las Vegas once or twice a year.