Night view of Las Vegas with neon-lit buildings and the Bellagio Fountain in focus
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Road Trip from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas

Updated by Dianne Titos on February 28 2024

There is no other place in the world like Sin City, home to glamorous entertainment, world-class dining, and unique desert beauty. The road trip from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas is an adventure through beautiful landscapes, iconic national parks, historic cities and some of the quirkiest roadside stops.

The 1,400-mile road trip from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas will take 21 hours and 10 minutes to drive. You can visit Amarillo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Gallup, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon National Park, Wichita Falls, Roswell, Las Cruces, Tucson, Phoenix.

This drive from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas will be full of adventure around every corner. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, top highlights along the way, best places to stay, and the best seasons to travel.

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

Comparison of road trip routes between Oklahoma City and Las Vegas
RouteDistanceDriving Time
Grand Canyon Route1,285 miles19 hours 30 minutes
Phoenix Route1,400 miles21 hours 10 minutes

The Grand Canyon Route on a road trip from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas takes around 19 hours and 30 minutes to complete, spanning approximately 1,285 miles.

Alternatively, the Phoenix Route, covering around 1,400 miles and taking about 21 hours and 10 minutes, offers a different kind of landscape and experience.

Both routes could be completed in a few days, but given the rich array of sights and experiences along the way, we recommend taking 5-6 days.

Famous Las Vegas sign on bright sunny day
From Michelin-starred restaurants to star-studded shows and casinos that never seem to sleep, Las Vegas has it all!
Elnur/Shutterstock.com

Best road trip route from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas

While both the Grand Canyon Route and the Phoenix Route offer captivating experiences, the best option for you will depend on what you'd like to visit and experience on the way.

The Grand Canyon Route, starting from Oklahoma City, takes you through the rich cultural and historical landscape of New Mexico, with stops in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

This route also follows sections of the iconic Route 66, with museums like the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum and is also dotted natural wonders like Petrified Forest National Park.

The highlight, undoubtedly, is Grand Canyon National Park. This wonder of the world is like nowhere else on earth and has plenty of activities like hiking, horseback riding, or even helicopter sightseeing.

On the other hand, the Phoenix Route takes you through charming Arizona cities like Phoenix and Tucson, as well as southern New Mexico's beloved cities like Roswell (of the alien fame!) and Las Cruces. Each destination has a unique blend of history and attractions.

As you journey through Arizona, the Coronado and Tonto National Forests offer breathtaking natural vistas, from mountainous landscapes to deserts. Then, Tucson and Phoenix, where Mexican-American culture, sunny skies, and nightlife create a blend of natural beauty and modern charm.

How to drive from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas

The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Oklahoma City 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.

Grand Canyon Route

Start the Grand Canyon Route by heading west on Interstate 40 (I-40). Your first stop will be Clinton, where you can explore the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum.

Continue west to Amarillo, Texas, home to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, and then journey to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, a natural wonder offering stunning vistas and outdoor activities.

Moving on, drive north to visit Santa Fe. Don't miss the artistic hub of Canyon Road, lined with galleries and sculptures. Nearby in Bernalillo, the Coronado Historic Site offers glimpses into ancient Puebloan culture.

From Santa Fe, head south to Albuquerque, your next stop. Here, you can visit the Sandia Peak Tramway and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

Venturing into Arizona, admire the Petrified Forest National Park's ancient landscapes. Arriving in Flagstaff, check out the Lowell Observatory, a gateway to the stars. Then, drive to one of the famous natural landmarks in the country, the Grand Canyon.

After your visit to this awe-inspiring national park, you will keep heading west into Nevada and you will reach your glitzy destination of Las Vegas past Hoover Dam.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA with a Colorado River view and boats from Nankoweap Delta on a sunny day.
Get ready to be amazed by the views and maybe capture that award-winning photo at the Grand Canyon.
Nate Loper/Shutterstock.com

Phoenix Route

Start your journey on the Phoenix Route from Oklahoma City, initially heading southwest on I-44 towards Wichita Falls. Continue west on US-82 to Lubbock and then proceed to Roswell, New Mexico, on US-380.

Here, the International UFO Museum and Research Center presents a unique experience, taking you into the mysteries of the infamous 1947 UFO incident. Next, head to Capitan on US-70, home to the Smokey Bear Historical Park, dedicated to the famous firefighting bear.

Your route then takes you through the stunning landscapes of the Lincoln National Forest, followed by a visit to the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo.

From here, you can make a short detour to one of New Mexico's natural wonders, White Sands National Park, accessible via US-70, offering a surreal landscape of white gypsum dunes.

Continuing west, you'll reach Las Cruces. Then, travel on I-10 to the Chiricahua National Monument and then to the Coronado National Forest. Soon, you'll arrive in Tucson. Take time to see the Tucson Botanical Gardens and Saguaro National Park.

From Tucson, head northwest on I-10 to Phoenix. In Phoenix, don't miss the Phoenix Art Museum. Finally, continue on US-93 from Phoenix, journeying through the heart of the Sonoran Desert before arriving in Las Vegas.

Saguaro National Park, Arizona, USA with the sun setting amongst the cactus and other desert plants in the foreground.
We highly recommend visiting Saguaro National Park during sunset if you are traveling to Tucson on the Phoenix Route.
Michael Andrew Just/Shutterstock.com

Best places to stop between Oklahoma City and Las Vegas

On a road trip from Las Vegas and Oklahoma City, you will have many places to make a stop and explore. To make sure you see as much as you can and stay rested for your drive, we recommend staying in one of the iconic cities below.

A historic stroll in the heart of Santa Fe

Santa Fe, a city that blends history and art, is an ideal overnight stop on the Grand Canyon Route, located approximately 8 hours into the drive. As the halfway point, Santa Fe features unique Pueblo Revival architecture, a culturally rich downtown area, and deep historical roots.

A must-visit in Santa Fe is the Santa Fe Plaza, the heart of the city, where history meets the modern day in a bustling square surrounded by historic buildings, galleries, and shops.

Market Scene in Santa Fe New Mexico with colorful clothes and rugs hung up
Santa Fe is a vibrant city that encapsulates the soul of New Mexico with its brilliant colors and flavors.
Nelson Sirlin/Shutterstock.com

Another cultural treasure is the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, offering an extensive collection of Native American art and artifacts.

For your stay, we recommend the luxurious Hacienda & Spa, just a stone's throw from downtown Santa Fe. The hotel's beautiful guest rooms are adorned with Native American art and you can admire the beautiful decor in style after enjoying the evening wine and cheese reception.

After a long drive, you can relax at the fantastic outdoor gym or treat yourself to a spa treatment. Make sure to try the hotel's restaurant during your stay as well and sample some of the local cuisine. The hotel also serves delicious breakfasts, the perfect day to fuel up for the day!

Nearby, just about 150 yards from the hotel, is SITE Santa Fe, a contemporary art space known for its innovative exhibitions. Similarly close is El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, offering a look into local culture and history.

READ MORE - Click here for great hotel options

Take in the mountain views in Ruidoso

Ruidoso, nestled in the scenic mountains of New Mexico, presents itself as an ideal halfway stop on the Phoenix Route, approximately 9 hours and 10 minutes into the drive.

This charming holiday destination is perfect for year-round adventures, from skiing in the winter to engaging in outdoor activities and exploring nearby natural wonders like Lincoln National Forest and White Sands National Park, an otherworldly landscape to admire.

Snowy mountains with sporadic trees and a road going through
If you are traveling to Ruidoso in winter, pack your ski gear and get ready to hit the slopes in Ski Apache ski resort.
Kyle A/Shutterstock.com

Whether you are visiting Ruidoso in winter, summer or anything in between, the Ski Apache Gondola will give you especially stunning mountain views and exciting skiing opportunities, so make sure to hop on and bring your camera with you!

For your stay, Shadow Mountain Lodge and Cabins offers a cozy, rustic, and comfortable experience. Guests love the lodge for its charming rooms that blend rustic aesthetics with a serene, natural atmosphere.

Each room features a living area with a fireplace, a well-equipped kitchen, and a flat-screen cable TV, ensuring a homely and relaxing stay. Guests also have access to barbeque facilities and complimentary parking.

Just around two miles from the lodge, the Ruidoso Lookout Tower provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, perfect for a scenic excursion. Equally close is the Noisy Water Winery, a renowned local winery offering a delightful tasting experience.

Where to stay when you reach Las Vegas

Las Vegas, a city famous for its non-stop nightlife and entertainment, is known for its extravagant casino-hotels, spectacular shows, and as the bustling epicenter of countless weddings.

For a taste of classic Vegas, the Fremont Street Experience offers lights, music, and street performers. Just a short drive away, the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area will give you a stunning natural escape from the city's hustle and bustle.

Neon-lit Las Vegas Boulevard Gateway Arch at night with a sign that reads
Las Vegas will go above and beyond to make all your neon-lit entertainment dreams come true!
brunocoelho/Shutterstock.com

With tens of millions of tourists visiting each year, Las Vegas boasts over 150,000 hotel rooms to accommodate its guests. For a luxurious stay in the heart of the city, Wynn Las Vegas, located on the famous Las Vegas Strip, offers world-class accommodation and services.

The hotel features a full-service spa, a bustling casino, tranquil oasis-style pools, and exclusive brand shops for a truly indulgent experience. Each room is designed with spacious windows, offering panoramic views of the glittering city skyline.

While in Las Vegas, explore the famous nightlife, indulge in gourmet dining experiences, and catch one of the many world-renowned shows. However, seeing that there are 15 restaurants located at the hotel, you might just opt to stay in!

Things to see on a road trip from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas

On your way from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas, you'll find endless sights and destinations worth seeing. To help you plan your ultimate drive, we've included our top highlights below.

Grand Canyon Route

  1. Oklahoma Route 66 Museum - Located in Clinton, this museum offers a nostalgic journey through the history of America's most famous highway, featuring vintage cars, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits.
  2. American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum - Situated in Amarillo, this museum celebrates the history and modern achievements of the American Quarter Horse, showcasing its impact on American culture and equestrian history.
  3. Palo Duro Canyon State Park - Known as the "Grand Canyon of Texas," this park in the Texas Panhandle offers breathtaking canyon views, hiking trails, and rich historical sites.
  4. Mesalands Community College's Dinosaur Museum and Natural Science Laboratory - This unique museum in Tucumcari, New Mexico, features an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils and offers hands-on learning experiences in paleontology.
  5. Blue Hole, Santa Rosa - A stunning natural artesian spring in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, known for its crystal-clear waters and popular among scuba divers and swimmers.
  6. Canyon Road, Santa Fe - A picturesque street in Santa Fe lined with art galleries, boutiques, and historic adobe buildings, reflecting the city's rich artistic heritage.
  7. Coronado Historic Site - Near Albuquerque, this site offers a glimpse into the ancient Puebloan culture with its well-preserved ruins and fascinating interpretive center.
  8. Sandia Peak Tramway - Offering spectacular panoramic views, this aerial tramway in Albuquerque ascends to the crest of the Sandia Mountains, providing access to hiking trails and breathtaking scenery.
  9. Pueblo Cultural Center - Located in Albuquerque, this center celebrates the culture, history, and art of the Puebloan peoples, featuring exhibits, performances, and a traditional Puebloan restaurant.
  10. Laguna Pueblo - A historic Native American pueblo located west of Albuquerque, known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful mission church, and traditional festivals.
  11. Petrified Forest National Park - A unique park in Arizona featuring vast landscapes of colorful petrified wood, offering trails, museums, and a glimpse into prehistoric times.
  12. Sitgreaves National Forest - This expansive forest in Arizona offers a range of outdoor activities in a diverse landscape, from dense pine forests to alpine meadows.
  13. Lowell Observatory - A historic observatory in Flagstaff where Pluto was discovered, offering educational exhibits, star-gazing sessions, and telescope viewing.
  14. Grand Canyon National Park - One of the world's natural wonders, this national park in Arizona features dramatic canyons, breathtaking vistas, and numerous opportunities for hiking, rafting, and exploring.
  15. The Historic Seligman Sundries - A charming, nostalgic stop along Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona, offering memorabilia, souvenirs, and a step back in time to the heyday of the "Mother Road."
Night view of the museum with a light installation of a horse running reflecting on the facade
You can learn more about the world-famous racing champions at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in Amarillo.
Kit Leong/Shutterstock.com

Phoenix Route

  1. Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge - Located in southwestern Oklahoma, this refuge offers stunning landscapes, wildlife viewing opportunities, and outdoor recreational activities like hiking and rock climbing.
  2. The World's Littlest Skyscraper - Situated in Wichita Falls, Texas, this quirky four-story building, also known as the Newby-McMahon Building, is a unique architectural landmark with a fascinating history.
  3. The Whiteside Museum of Natural History - In Seymour, Texas, this museum provides insights into the prehistoric world with its extensive collection of fossils and exhibits on paleontology.
  4. National Ranching Heritage Center - Located in Lubbock, Texas, this museum and historical park showcases the rich heritage of ranching in the American West through exhibits, historic structures, and educational programs.
  5. International UFO Museum and Research Center - This Roswell, New Mexico museum delves into the 1947 UFO incident with exhibits on UFO sightings, research, and alien folklore.
  6. Smokey Bear Historical Park - Dedicated to the famous firefighting bear, this park in Capitan, New Mexico, features exhibits on forest fire prevention and Smokey Bear's legacy.
  7. Lincoln National Forest - Spanning across central New Mexico, this national forest offers diverse landscapes, from desert foothills to snow-capped mountains, ideal for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.
  8. New Mexico Museum of Space History - A fascinating museum in Alamogordo, showcasing the history and science of space exploration, with exhibits on astronauts, space missions, and a planetarium.
  9. White Sands National Park - Located in southern New Mexico, this park is famous for its vast dunes of glistening white gypsum sand, offering unique landscapes for hiking, photography, and sledding.
  10. New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum - This interactive museum in Las Cruces celebrates New Mexico's farming and ranching history, featuring live animals, demonstrations, and historical exhibits.
  11. Chiricahua National Monument - A hidden gem in southeastern Arizona, known for its stunning rock formations, hiking trails, and rich biodiversity.
  12. Coronado National Forest - Encompassing parts of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, this forest offers a mix of desert and mountain landscapes, ideal for hiking, bird-watching, and scenic drives.
  13. Tucson Botanical Gardens - A peaceful oasis in Tucson, Arizona, featuring a diverse array of plants, themed gardens, and a butterfly greenhouse.
  14. Saguaro National Park - Surrounding Tucson, this park is renowned for its large saguaro cacti, offering picturesque desert landscapes, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing.
  15. Phoenix Art Museum - Located in Phoenix, Arizona, this museum boasts a vast collection of art spanning various cultures and time periods, along with rotating exhibitions and educational programs.
White nosed Coatimundi sitting on a tree, looking down comfortably
You never know who or what you might run into while hiking at Chiricahua National Monument, like this adorable White-nosed Coatimundi!
Tom Tietz/Shutterstock.com

Best time to go on a road trip from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas

Las Vegas thrives year-round and has good weather and plenty of fun, no matter what the season. However, each season has its own charms and challenges along both routes.

In winter, Las Vegas has mild temperatures, usually hovering around 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for exploring the city's outdoor attractions without the intense heat.

If you're traveling via the Grand Canyon Route during this time, be mindful that the North Rim of the park is closed due to snow, while the South Rim remains accessible. Be mindful of ice and consider snow tires if you want to drive far into the park.

On the Phoenix Route, occasional winter snowfall in areas like Lincoln National Forest might require winter weather precautions, although the sunny landscapes generally provide clear driving conditions.

Spring in Las Vegas sees temperatures ranging from the 70s to 80s Fahrenheit, perfect for attending events like the Great Vegas Festival of Beer in April. If you're on the Phoenix Route this time of year, the Las Cruces International Film Festival in April is a cultural highlight.

Summer in Las Vegas can be hot, with temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This season is ideal for enjoying the city's famous pools. You might even find a beach or two to cool down in the desert!

During the summer, don't miss the exciting Fourth of July celebrations in cities and towns along both routes.

Come fall, the weather in Las Vegas becomes more temperate, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. You'll also get plenty of nice weather along both routes.

This season hosts the Life is Beautiful Festival in September, a celebration of music, art, and food. If you're driving on the Phoenix Route, you can enjoy the Arizona State Fair from September to October.