If you live in Arizona, you’re lucky enough to live driving distance to Las Vegas. Whether you want to save money on flights, enjoy driving through the desert, or just prefer road trips, traveling from Phoenix to Las Vegas by car is a fun way to get your trip started. Traveling from one desert city to another may seem like a barren, sandy drive, but the Phoenix to Las Vegas drive is filled with historic sites, natural desert views, and interesting towns.
Pack your bags, gather the group, and fill the tank, because we have all the recommendations to have the best Phoenix to Las Vegas road trip!
Depending on which route you’d like to take while driving to Vegas from Phoenix, expect to spend nearly five hours on the road. Without factoring in traffic, driving on the US-93 N is the shortest and more popular drive, with a drivetime of about 4 hours and 45 minutes over the course of 297 miles. On this route, scenery is mainly a desert landscape, with historic towns, natural springs, and trails along the way.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to experience more of the Arizona landscape, roadtrippers can add iconic spots such as the red rocks of Sedona and the natural wonder that is the Grand Canyon by taking the I-17 N. By adding a stop in Sedona, you can expect your drive time to increase to 6.5 hours, and adding a stop to the Grand Canyon will clock you in at nearly 10.5 hours. This road trip is a wonderful one to take if you are planning on stretching it over the course of a few days so you can enjoy every bit of nature.
As with most road trips, the weekends are the most popular, and therefore most heavily trafficked, days to drive. Bake in some extra drive time if you plan on traveling during the holidays or when there are big Las Vegas events, as you may see your hours on the road start to climb. If possible, try to leave on a less-popular day – Monday through Wednesday will probably be the quickest option if speed is what you’re aiming for.
Tucked away in the Sonoran Desert is the abandoned settlement of Vulture City. The Vulture Mine was once Arizona’s most successful gold mine from 1863 to 1942, and is now a popular spot to take tours and learn of Arizona’s history.
Experience life in the Old West at the Western Museum in Wickenburg. This museum gives you a look into Old Western culture, from contemporary Western art exhibits to musical features to Western portrait photography.
A Nothing, AZ town sign reads, “The staunch citizens of Nothing are full of Hope, Faith, and Believe in the work ethic. Thru-the-years-these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing.”
One of the best places to stop and eat lunch is Alpacas of the Southwest, a fully-operating alpaca ranch in Kingman, Arizona. Whether you’re just stopping by to say hi or arrange for a tour, these friendly alpacas are a unique pit stop.
Originally established in 1937 to be a Santa-themed town in the middle of the desert, Santa Claus, Arizona was a North Pole oasis in the Southwest. Now a ghost-of-Christmas-past town, this road trip stop is still a captivating and unique one.
In 1966, fine arts student Roy Purcell decided to take a break from school to become a miner. During this time, he painted 2000 square feet of murals called “The Journey”, a beautiful artistic break from the monotonous desert drive.
Consisting of 27 miles of tunnels and 15 mines, the town of White Hills was a flourishing silver mining town from 1892 to 1898. Now a ghost town with few remaining structures, it is still an interesting look into Arizona’s past.
Closed during the summer months due to heat, the Gold Strike Hot Springs are a wonderful stop for hiking roadtrippers. If you don’t mind working up a sweat on the last stretch of your Phoenix to Las Vegas drive, make a stop here.
The Hoover Dam is an iconic Nevada landmark, being one of the founding events in Las Vegas history. Take a stop at the Hoover Dam Lookout and see one of the most fascinating views of Lake Mead. Be prepared for some traffic, though!
Another defining moment in Las Vegas history was the establishment of the railroad. Visit the Nevada State Railroad Museum, and explore the history of Nevada transportation or take a ride on the excursion train.
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.