Five Amazing Las Vegas Road Trips

I believe it was Paris Hilton who said that Vegas gets old after 48 hours. And, it’s true: while off-strip Vegas has its charms, there’s only so long you can wander through strip-lit casinos and nightclubs surrounded by conferenceers. A great solution is to hire a car in Vegas and take a few road trips – because, short or long, the casino capital of the world has you covered.

The Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Hoover Dam

One of the great engineering feats of the 20th century, the Hoover Dam is under an hour’s drive from most parts of Vegas – and, no, you don’t need a helicopter tour to see it. When it was completed in 1935, it was the tallest dam in the world, at 221 metres high: at its maximum, Lake Mead, the reservoir it created, holds over 32 cubic kilometres of water.

View of Death Valley National Park.

Death Valley

Famous as the home of the highest recorded air temperature on earth – the heat peaked at 56.7°C in July 1913 – Death Valley National Park is a little over two hours’ drive from Vegas. It’s an absolute must-visit after the rare rains, when wildflowers spring up as if from nowhere, and, amazingly, it’s home to over 400 species of wildlife.

Red rock canyons and river at Zion National Park.

Zion National Park

A slightly longer road trip from Vegas, but one well worth making, takes you over the Utah border and into Zion National Park, scored by rugged, red rock canyons: do note that it’s one of America’s most popular national parks, so best visited outside weekends. Consider renting a bicycle and taking a trip along its user-friendly tracks.

The Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles

A dream road trip for many Europeans, you can drive Vegas to LA in barely four hours. But it’s better to make a leisurely trip of it, and see spots like Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs and the Outdoor Desert Art Museum. Jetsetter Magazine has a great three-night, four-day itinerary.

Lightening strikes over the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon

An absolute must-visit if you’re not American and in the Vegas area is the Grand Canyon. Yes, it’s a fair old drive – minimum four hours, depending on where you’re trying to reach – but it’s deservedly one of the wonders of the world. Grand Canyon West, which includes the Skywalk glass bridge, is the easiest to reach from Vegas: you’ll want to buy tickets for the Skywalk in advance.


Image credits: Hoover Dam by Mobilus in Mobili, Death Valley National Park by dicau58, Zion National Park by Matt Machin, Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles by Scott Taylor and Lightning in the Canyon courtesy of US Department of the Interior, all on Flickr’s Creative Commons.

1 Response

  1. Victor says:

    Wow, there are more places to see within a drive of Vegas than I originally thought – thanks for laying them out for us!