Sure, you could fly to Las Vegas from Dallas in 3 hours, but what’s the fun in that? No pit stops, no opportunities to go outside and see the natural beauty of the desert, and no delicious snacks from local restaurants. If you’re planning a trip to Vegas from Dallas, make your next vacation out a road trip. While this trip is a long one, it allows you to explore two additional states while on the journey. If you’ve ever road tripped through Texas before, you know it can be an endless horizon of sand, but we promise that the sights you’ll see in New Mexico, Arizona, and finally in Las Vegas are worth it!
Pack your bags, rally the troops, and fill the tank, because we have all the road trip recommendations to have the best Dallas to Las Vegas drive.
The drive to Las Vegas from Dallas is a long one, most likely requiring you to take an overnight stay or two about halfway in New Mexico and potentially in Arizona. You will mainly drive on the US-287 N and I-40 W to get to Vegas from the Lone Star State. This road trip to Vegas will take you 1225 miles through the Southwest, and takes approximately 18 hours to complete if factors like traffic and weather are ideal. Keep in mind that stops, traffic, and overnight stays easily turn this into a 3-day road trip. Be prepared for long stretches of desert scenery on this drive – it is a long and direct shot through the mountains, canyons, and sand.
If possible, leave on less-popular driving days like Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to avoid heavy traffic getting into Las Vegas. Because weekends are the most popular for road trips, factor in extra drive time for situations such as traffic jams. Allow for longer drive times if you plan on traveling during the holidays or when there are big Las Vegas events. No matter where you’re driving from or which day of the week, the traffic is sure to pick up closer to the city.
Located on the Concho River, San Angelo is one of the largest cities in West Texas. This city is a great way to break up your drive through Texas and has some fun places to visit like the Fort Concho Museum and the Concho River Walk.
The part of Route 66 that passes through Texas is filled with unique design and interesting sights. Keep an eye out for the U-Drop Inn, the Leaning Water Tower of Groom, Bug Ranch, Downtown Amarillo, and the famous Cadillac Ranch!
While it’s a bit of a drive off of the direct route to Vegas, Roswell is a must-see for those fascinated by sci-fi. Home of the Roswell UFO incident, stop by the International UFO Museum and Research Center for an out of this world pit stop.
Another Dallas to Las Vegas road trip pit stop that slightly strays from the straight path is Jemez Springs. This serene spot features hot springs to relax in. Or, if you’d like to see some history, make a visit to the pueblo at the Jemez Historic Site.
After so much driving, it’s advised to stop for the night. Rest in Albuquerque, where you can wake up to explore the area. From the Petroglyph National Monument to hot air balloons to the Sandia Peak Tramway, there’s a lot to see and do.
If you need a breath of fresh air on your drive, make a stop at Bluewater Lake State Park. You probably won’t want to take advantage of its fishing spots, you can stretch your legs for a walk by the water while taking in the great views.
This national park is situated in Arizona in an area with large deposits of petrified wood. When exploring, keep your eye out for fossils from the Triassic era. Part of the Painted Desert can be seen in the Petrified Forest Park, as well.
If you’re feeling like you need a break, make like the Eagles and take it easy on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Aside from the Eagles nostalgia, make sure to visit the awe-inspiring, nearly mile-long Meteor Crater just outside of the town!
One of Arizona’s most beautiful cities is a true pleasure to visit on your drive. Whether shopping in the quaint town, hitting the slopes in the winter or visiting the Wupatki National Monument, there’s something for everyone in Flagstaff!
In the home stretch of your Dallas to Las Vegas drive is the beautiful Hoover Dam right as you enter the Nevada state lines. Traffic often gets congested here, but with that beautiful view of the Colorado River, it’s worth it!
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.