Road Trip to Vegas: Chicago to Las Vegas

Couple Doing Chicago to Las Vegas Drive

Las Vegas Road Trip Series

When taking a road trip to Vegas, the drive is part of the fun. If your journey starts in Chicago, driving to Las Vegas is a great way to experience the beauty of the Midwest before arriving in the desert, all while making memories with your friends and family. A Chicago to Las Vegas drive is a trip that everyone should experience.

Pack your bags, rally the troops, and fill the tank, because we have all the road trip recommendations to embark on the best Chicago to Las Vegas drive.


The Logistics: Route, Drive Time & Traffic

Taking a Chicago to Las Vegas drive is perfectly suited for a 2- or 3-day road trip, depending on your how long you want to drive each day and if you take your time at road trip stops. The I-80 W and I-70 W are the main roads you’ll be driving on, taking you 1,745 miles through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, a bit of Arizona, and Nevada. With ideal traffic and weather conditions, the road trip takes approximately 25 hours to complete.

If possible, avoid starting the Chicago to Las Vegas drive on Thursday through Sunday, the most popular driving days. Instead, leave on less-popular driving days such as Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday when traffic tends to be lighter than the hustle and bustle of weekend driving. Allow for longer drive times if you plan on traveling to the city for Las Vegas events or during the holidays. No matter where you’re driving from or which day of the week, the traffic is sure to pick up closer to the city.


Chicago to Las Vegas Road Trip Stops


Chicago to Las Vegas Road Trip Stops


Iowa 80 Trucking Museum | 1,566 Miles to Vegas

On your Chicago to Vegas drive, you are sure to see plenty of trucks on the road. Learn the history of those trucks by visiting this trucking museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of antique trucks and trucking artifacts.


Living History Farms | 1,407 Miles to Vegas

Living History Farms is a 500-acre open-air museum dedicated to demonstrating the past 300 years of Iowa’s agricultural history – from the Ioway Indian farms to horse-powered farms and the development of Walnut Hill.


Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium | 1,282 Miles to Vegas

Right after crossing into Nebraska from Iowa, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is one of the world’s best zoos. With a top conservation program, visiting this road trip stop is fun for you while helping save animals.


SAC Aerospace Museum | 1,254 Miles to Vegas

The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum is a museum featuring aircraft and nuclear missiles used by the United States Air Force. Make a stop to see which of the many fun events and educational exhibits the museum puts on.


Railsplitter Covered Wagon | 1,210 Miles to Vegas

While this pit stop Chicago to Las Vegas drive might not be that engaging, it’s a classic road trip stop. The Railsplitter is recognized as the world’s largest covered wagon and features a giant Abraham Lincoln reading a law book.


The Archway | 1,104 Miles to Vegas

The Archway, also known as the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, is a landmark spanning the I-80 that educates visitors about the role of the Platte River Valley and Nebraska in the development of the United States.


Argo Gold Mill & Tunnel | 716 Miles to Vegas

Work on the Argo Tunnel first began in 1893 and reached Central City 17 years later in 1910. Get out of the car and into a tunnel to take a tour of this property and the rich (pun intended) history of the gold mining that took place in Colorado.


Georgetown Loop Railroad | 705 Miles to Vegas

If you’re starting to get tired of being in a car for your Chicago to Vegas drive, break it up with another mode of transportation. Take a train ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad to see some history and beautiful scenery.


Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park | 592 Miles to Vegas

After tunnel tours and train rides, you probably weren’t expecting much more adventure. Make a stop at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for thrills like the Alpine Coaster, Giant Canyon Swing, and Soaring Eagle Zip Ride.


Dinosaur Journey Museum | 495 Miles to Vegas

Robotic dinosaurs and a paleontology lab are fun ways to stretch your legs as you get closer to Vegas. With over 15,000 fossil specimens, an earthquake simulator, and a quarry site, this hands-on museum is fun for everyone.

Some say life isn’t only about the destination, it’s about the journey. If you’re planning your next trip to Las Vegas, consider hitting the road and making an adventure out of it.