When taking a road trip to Vegas, the drive is part of the fun. If you are starting your journey in Portland, driving to Las Vegas is a great way to marvel at the fun and quirky sights of the West before arriving in the city of neon lights, all while making memories with your friends and family. Driving from Portland to Las Vegas 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 have the best drive from Portland to Las Vegas.
Taking a Portland to Las Vegas road trip is ideal for a 2-day trip. The US-95 S is the main road you’ll be traveling on to get to Vegas, taking you 970 miles through Oregon and Nevada. With ideal traffic and weather conditions, the road trip takes approximately 16 hours to complete. Because the trip is fairly long, we recommend taking an overnight rest between two 8-hour driving days so you have more time to enjoy all the stops along the way without becoming exhausted. We won’t sugar-coat it: there will be long stretches of driving through nothing, so bring your favorite music and entertainment!
If possible, avoid starting your drive from Portland to Vegas on the popular driving days of Thursday through Sunday, and instead leave on less-popular driving days. Traffic tends to be lighter on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday compared to 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.
There’s nothing like a nice walk to stretch your legs before a long Portland to Las Vegas drive! The Little Zigzag Falls Trail in the Mt. Hood National Forest is great for all skill levels and offers views of a beautiful waterfall at the end.
After taking a walk to Little Zigzag Falls, make your way to the Mt. Hood Skibowl. In the winter, this ski resort is the largest night ski area in the country. Summer months offer activities like ziplines, bike trails, and whitewater rafting.
If learning about American history and airplanes are of any interest to you, making a stop at the Erickson Aircraft Collection is a must. Filled with vintage WWII aircraft, this collection is one of the most impressive in the country.
Need a break and a beer? Go to Ochoco Brewing Company for some pub food and local brews on tap. This is our last stop for 150 miles, so nourish yourself and walk around surrounding Prineville before driving again. Drink responsibly!
About a third of the way into your drive from Portland to Las Vegas you may feel achy from sitting in a car. Have a soak in the Crystal Crane Hot Springs to give your body a chance to relax. Between here and the next stop, take a night to sleep!
A castle in the center of Nevada? Completed in 1897, Stokes Castle was built as a summer home by Anson Phelps Stokes, a wealthy banker and developer. Though Stokes only spent over a month in the castle, it is still an interesting sight to see.
This little town in Central Nevada is certainly not little on personality. Tonopah, Nevada is home to the Central Nevada Museum, the Clown Motel (once named “America’s Scariest Motel”), and the Tonopah Historic Mining Park.
Thought to be the largest outdoor car art exhibit in the country, the International Car Forest of the Last Church features over 40 abandoned cars decorated with different styles and mediums. This Portland to Las Vegas pit stop is a must for some great pictures!
As you near the final 100 miles of your Portland to Las Vegas drive, you’re probably ready for food other than car snacks. Grab some good vibes, great chili, and authentic mining town vibes at Happy Burro Chili & Beer. Please drink responsibly!
Don’t expect your average travel center here. The Area 51 Alien Travel Center is a gas and convenience store stocked with alien memorabilia and souvenirs. A diner can be found in the back, along with an “Alien Cathouse” for those of age.
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.