Autumn view of a vineyard in Napa Valley, part of the image is framed by a tree in the foregound
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Road trip from Las Vegas to Napa Valley

Published by Dianne Titos on December 6 2023

A drive from the bright lights and non-stop action of Sin City to the peaceful, vine-covered hills of Napa Valley is a journey from one world to another. On this road trip from Las Vegas to Napa Valley, you will get to visit world-famous national parks, beautiful lakes and charming coastal towns.

The 645-mile road trip from Las Vegas to Napa Vallet will take 11 hours and 30 minutes to drive. You can visit Death Valley National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Big Sur and San Francisco en route.

This unforgettable drive from Las Vegas to Napa Valley will be full of culture, history, adventure, and plenty of beauty around every turn. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, top highlights, best places to stay, and the best seasons to make this journey.

How far is Napa Valley from Las Vegas, and how long will the road trip take?

Comparison of road trip routes between Las Vegas and Napa Valley
RouteDistanceDriving Time
Yosemite Route645 miles11 hours and 30 minutes
Los Angeles Route840 miles14 hours and 10 minutes

The Yosemite Route from Las Vegas to Napa Valley covers a distance of 645 miles and takes approximately 11 hours and 30 minutes to complete.

Alternatively, the Los Angeles Route spans 840 miles and requires about 14 hours and 10 minutes of driving without accounting for any detours you might want to make.

Both routes are full of breathtaking sights and unique stops, making them perfect for an extended road trip of 4-5 days.

Hot-air balloons above a vineyard in Napa Valley, California, USA
From soaring in the skies in a hot-air balloon to relaxing on a terrace at a vineyard with a glass of Zinfandel in hand, Napa Valley has something for everyone.
Francesco Carucci/Shutterstock.com

Best road trip route from Las Vegas to Napa Valley

When planning a road trip from Las Vegas to Napa Valley, choosing between dramatic desert landscapes and mountainous terrains or stunning coastal views and famous cities will be tough. Which one you choose will depend on what experiences you want the most.

The Yosemite Route takes you through the heart of nature. You'll drive through the rugged canyons of Death Valley National Park and experience the soaring temperatures that make the area so unique.

The route also takes you through the breathtaking Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes. As you drive, snow-capped mountains line your path, inviting you to hike, ski, and explore.

This route is not just about natural beauty. It also gives you a glimpse into the historic Wild West before you reach the famous wine country of Napa Valley.

Please keep in mind that this route uses the Tioga Pass Entrance to enter Yosemite National Park, which is closed during winter. If you are traveling during this season, you will have to make a detour and use another entrance instead.

On the other hand, the Los Angeles Route is a celebration of California's coastal beauty and urban charm. Starting with the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert, this route will take you through iconic cities like Los Angeles, Pismo Beach, and San Francisco.

You'll also get to visit one of the most famous coastlines in the world, Big Sur. This postcard-worthy highlight is like nowhere else on Earth.

As your journey hugs the Pacific coastline, you'll see constant, breathtaking ocean views. This route is perfect if you love sunny skies, hundreds of vineyards, and the picturesque countryside of California's coastal wine regions.

How to drive from Las Vegas to Napa Valley

The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Las Vegas and Napa Valley. Keep reading for detailed descriptions of both routes, where to stay on either, and the best things to do on the way.

Yosemite Route

Starting your journey from Las Vegas on US-95 past Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. From there, west and drive through the heart of Death Valley National Park, where the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes present an otherworldly experience.

Continue north towards Lone Pine, where the Museum of Western Film History awaits you. Next, you will drive north through the scenic Inyo National Forest to reach the alpine paradise of Mammoth Lakes.

As you journey further, the serene Mono Lake and the majestic Yosemite National Park unfold ahead, offering breathtaking views and outdoor activities in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You will use the Tioga Pass Entrance to drive into the park.

After exploring Yosemite, head towards South Lake Tahoe, a gem nestled on the border of California and Nevada. After your visit, your next stop will be Placerville. This small town is home to the historic Gold Bug Park & Mine, giving a peek into California's Gold Rush era.

As you approach Sacramento on US-50 West, take some time to visit the California State Railroad Museum and the charming Old Sacramento area.

Before reaching Napa Valley, don't miss the Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield, a sweet end to this diverse and scenic route.

Majestic Upper Falls in Yosemite National Park, California, with lush green trees in the foreground and blue skies
Beautiful Yosemite National Park is a bucket-list-worthy destination and we recommend putting aside several days to spend here if you choose this route.
Mike Ver Sprill/Shutterstock.com

Los Angeles Route

Starting from Las Vegas, make your first stop at the colorful Seven Magic Mountains, a vibrant art installation contrasting the Nevada landscape.

Then, continue through the vast Mojave Desert on Interstate 15 (I-15) West. You'll see panoramic views of mountain ranges and sand dunes.

Drive west on I-210 towards Los Angeles, where iconic landmarks await, including the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Universal Studios Hollywood.

From Los Angeles, travel up the coast on US-101, following the same path as parts of the famous Pacific Coast Highway, then to Santa Barbara, known for its stunning beaches and Mediterranean-style architecture.

Further north, Pismo Beach will welcome you with its serene coastal vibe. Continuing along the coast, you'll reach Monterey, home to the historic Cannery Row. Don't miss the Point Sur Lighthouse before taking an adventurous detour south to Big Sur.

Head back north en route and drive to Santa Cruz. This city offers a quintessential California beach experience before you arrive in the San Francisco Bay Area. From here, you will soon reach Napa Valley.

Pismo Beach pier, California, USA with a surfer in the sea and the boardwalk in the foreground.
Los Angeles Route will take you through some of the most beautiful coastal sceneries in California, including through beautiful Pismo Beach.
Gabriele Maltinti/Shutterstock.com

Best places to stop between Las Vegas and Napa Valley

With so much fun and excitement on a drive from Las Vegas to Napa Valley, you'll want to stay at one of our amazing destinations below to break the trip up. This way you can stay well-rested and ready to take on the rest of the drive.

An outdoor lover's paradise in Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes is the perfect stopover on the Yosemite Route, situated approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes into your drive. This charming town, nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

In winter, Mammoth Lakes transforms into a ski haven, while summer months are perfect for hiking, fishing, and exploring the nearby lakes, all set against a breathtaking mountainous backdrop.

Two gondolas ascending a snowy slope on a sunny day
Mammoth Lakes is a year-round destination with skiing opportunities in winter and amazing hiking opportunities for the rest of the year.
Cavan-Images/Shutterstock.com

Two of the area's most captivating attractions are Rainbow Falls and the Devils Postpile National Monument. The falls offer a picturesque setting, perfect for photography and picnicking, while the monument showcases unique geological formations.

For a beautiful place to stay, we recommend The Westin Monache Resort, a beautiful hotel offering stunning mountain views. It combines luxurious comfort with a rustic charm and is conveniently located near both the ski resort and the center of Mammoth Lakes.

You'll be greeted with a welcome drink upon arrival, setting the tone for a relaxing stay. The hotel boasts a heated outdoor pool and two hot tubs, ensuring your relaxation amidst the alpine scenery.

Nearby, the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, just a 15-minute drive from the hotel, offers a range of winter sports and activities. Additionally, the Mammoth Gondola, only a 10-minute drive away, has some of the best aerial views of the area.

A star-studded break in glamorous Los Angeles

Los Angeles, the iconic City of Angels, is a perfect stopover on the Los Angeles Route, approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes into your journey.

This fun-loving city is not only the heart of the American film and entertainment industry but also offers stunning beaches, famous museums, and natural attractions surrounding it. It's also famous for its street food and world-famous fine dining.

Griffith Observatory lit up at sunset with view of sky scrapers in the distance
Take a break from celebrity spotting and enjoy a different kind of star gazing at the Griffith Observatory during your stay in Los Angeles.
f11photo/Shutterstock.com

The main draw of Los Angeles lies in its blend of glitz, glamor, and diverse attractions. From the exhilarating Universal Studios to the Griffith Observatory, there's something for everyone.

Don't miss the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which boasts 2700 stars, each commemorating a legend of the entertainment industry. Also, no visit to LA will be complete without walking on the Santa Monica Pier.

For your stay, consider the highly-rated Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel. This establishment combines history with modern luxury in a convenient downtown location.

Its stunning Moroccan-inspired interior design includes two special suites that hark back to the building's past as a sporting club. The hotel's celebrated rooftop pool and restaurant provide unobstructed city skyline views, creating an unforgettable experience.

You can also enjoy culinary delights at on-site restaurants led by award-winning chefs, and relax in spacious rooms that offer room service for your comfort.

In terms of nearby attractions, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles is just a 10-minute drive away, offering a deep dive into modern artistic endeavors. Similarly, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is also a 10-minute drive from the hotel.

Where to stay when you reach Napa Valley

Napa Valley is celebrated worldwide for its exquisite wine regions and sunny climate, making it a haven for wine lovers and sun-seekers alike.

To truly experience what Napa offers, consider joining a Napa wine-tasting tour, where you can savor some of the finest wines in a picturesque setting.

View through a stone window through to the vineyard, sunny weather with some clouds
With views like this in Napa Valley, you might think you are in France without even changing continents!
Alexey Ulashchick/Shutterstock.com

Another must-visit is the Castello di Amorosa, an authentically styled 13th-century Tuscan castle winery. Don't miss incredible dining opportunities in places such as Morimoto, Zuzu, and La Taberna.

For accommodation, the luxurious Candlelight Inn Napa Valley stands out as the best boutique hotel in the area. Its spacious rooms, outdoor pool, and beautifully landscaped grounds promise a serene and relaxing stay.

Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed with a glass of wine and a slice of pie, embodying the region's warm hospitality. Throughout your stay, you'll enjoy complimentary snacks, perfect for those leisurely days spent exploring or relaxing at the inn.

Each morning, you'll be treated to a delicious three-course breakfast, ensuring a delightful start to your day.

The Candlelight Inn's location also allows easy access to the rest of Napa Valley's attractions, whether you're looking to explore more wineries, indulge in gourmet dining, or simply take in the stunning vineyard landscapes.

Things to see on a road trip from Las Vegas to Napa Valley

There's so much to see and do along each route, you'll want to have a handy list to make planning easier. Below are our top recommendations to help you plan your ultimate adventure.

Yosemite Route

  1. Ghost Town of Rhyolite - An intriguing relic of the gold rush era, this abandoned ghost town near Death Valley offers a haunting glimpse into the past.
  2. Death Valley National Park - Known for its extreme heat and stunning landscapes, this park features salt flats, sand dunes, and unique rock formations.
  3. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes - These accessible dunes provide a classic desert experience with their ever-changing patterns and shapes.
  4. Museum of Western Film History - A tribute to the films shot in the region, showcasing memorabilia and the history of Western cinema.
  5. Mammoth Lakes - A mountain resort town known for its ski areas in winter and hiking trails in summer, set against a backdrop of stunning alpine scenery.
  6. Mono Lake - An ancient saline lake known for its eerie limestone formations called tufas, offering a unique and otherworldly landscape.
  7. Yosemite National Park - Famous for its towering waterfalls, giant sequoias, and diverse wildlife, this park is a jewel in the crown of the U.S. National Park Service.
  8. Sierra Nevada Mountains - A majestic mountain range offering breathtaking vistas, outdoor recreation, and a rich history of the California gold rush.
  9. Lake Tahoe - Straddling California and Nevada, this large freshwater lake is renowned for its clear blue waters and scenic surrounding mountains.
  10. Echo Lake - A picturesque alpine lake offering tranquil beauty and opportunities for hiking, fishing, and boating.
  11. Eldorado National Forest - A forested area with a variety of outdoor activities, from camping to hiking, surrounded by the history of the gold rush.
  12. Gold Bug Park & Mine - A historic gold mine offering tours to experience the mining history of California.
  13. California State Railroad Museum - Located in Sacramento, this museum showcases the history of railroads in California through exhibits and vintage train rides.
  14. Old Sacramento - A historic district in Sacramento with well-preserved buildings from the Gold Rush era, offering shops, restaurants, and a glimpse into the past.
  15. Jelly Belly Factory Tour - A fun and flavorful tour in Fairfield, showcasing the making of Jelly Belly jelly beans and other candies.
Giant Red Jelly Belly Statue jelly bean pointing the way to a museum at the factory location in Fairfield, California
Before you arrive in Napa Valley, pay a visit to the cheerful Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield on Yosemite Route.
ZikG/Shutterstock.com

Los Angeles Route

  1. Seven Magic Mountains - An artistic desert installation near Las Vegas, featuring seven towers of brightly colored stacked boulders.
  2. Mojave Desert - A vast and iconic desert landscape known for its unique Joshua trees, rugged mountains, and stark beauty.
  3. California Route 66 Museum - Located in Victorville, this museum celebrates the history and culture of the legendary Route 66 highway.
  4. Griffith Observatory - An iconic observatory offering spectacular views of Los Angeles and the heavens, along with educational exhibits.
  5. Hollywood Walk of Fame - A famous sidewalk in Los Angeles celebrating stars of the entertainment industry with embedded stars.
  6. Universal Studios - A renowned theme park and film studio in Los Angeles, offering rides, shows, and a behind-the-scenes look at movie making.
  7. Gardens of the World - A beautiful botanical garden in Thousand Oaks showcasing various global garden styles and flora.
  8. Santa Barbara - A coastal city known for its Mediterranean-style architecture, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant cultural scene.
  9. Monarch Butterfly Grove - A nature reserve in Pismo Beach where thousands of monarch butterflies migrate to each year.
  10. Cannery Row - A historic waterfront street in Monterey, famous for its association with John Steinbeck and lined with shops and restaurants.
  11. Point Lobos State Natural Preserve - A scenic area near Monterey known for its stunning ocean views, wildlife, and hiking trails.
  12. Point Sur Lighthouse - A historic lighthouse offering guided tours and panoramic views of the Big Sur coastline.
  13. Big Sur - A breathtaking stretch of California's central coast known for its dramatic cliffs, redwood forests, and ocean vistas.
  14. Santa Cruz - A lively beach town famous for its boardwalk, surfing culture, and vibrant arts scene.
  15. San Francisco Bay Area - A region known for its iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, diverse culture, and tech innovation.
  16. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - An amusement park combining wildlife, oceanarium, and thrilling rides for a family-friendly adventure.
Big Sur. Point Sur lighthouse at sunset.
Point Sur Lighthouse is one of our favorite places to visit in the Big Sur area.
Lynn Yeh/Shutterstock.com

Best time to go on a road trip from Las Vegas to Napa Valley

The road trip from Las Vegas to Napa Valley offers an array of experiences, each uniquely shaped by the season of your visit.

If you're traveling on the Yosemite Route in spring, particularly from March to late April, you'll enjoy moderate temperatures in Death Valley and potentially witness a spectacular wildflower bloom. On the Los Angeles Route, spring brings mild weather to the Mojave Desert, ideal for sightseeing.

In Napa Valley, spring ushers in pleasant temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to high 70s Fahrenheit, perfect for outdoor wine tastings. Spring events include the exciting BottleRock Napa Valley in May.

Summer is the peak season for experiencing Napa Valley's lush vineyards in full vigor. Temperatures in Napa often hover in the 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit, offering sunny and warm days ideal for exploring vineyards.

The Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee in July on the Yosemite Route adds a musical touch to your summer journey.

Fall, especially between August and October, is a magical time to visit Napa Valley, aligning with the grape harvest season. The region sees daytime temperatures in the 70s to 80s Fahrenheit, creating a comfortable ambiance for vineyard tours.

The Napa Valley Film Festival in November and the Monterey Jazz Festival in September on the Los Angeles Route are fall highlights not to be missed.

Winter offers a quieter yet equally charming experience in Napa Valley, with temperatures typically in the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit. On the Yosemite Route, the winter months may require reservations to access the park for the unique view of Horsetail Falls.

Also, as noted above, keep in mind that Tioga Pass Entrance closes down for the winter if you are planning to visit Yosemite during this season.

The Lake Tahoe Reggae Fest in February adds a warm vibe to the cold months. Don't miss the Chinese New Year Parade & Festival in San Francisco in February if you're taking the Los Angeles Route.