I’ve had the pleasure of road-tripping around the American Southwest six times now and cannot get enough of it. The red hues of the canyons, the unique rock formations, and the ideal weather when its cold everywhere else, has me coming back over and over. Here are some of the Best Road Trips from Las Vegas that I’ve done. These can be done as single destinations spots, but I did these in one road trip.
- The Route:
- The Best Road Trips from Las Vegas:
- 1. Snow Canyon, Utah
- 2. Zion National Park, Utah
- 3. Yant Flat, Utah
- 4. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
- 5. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
- 6. Lone Rock, Utah
- 7. Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
- Other Nearby Road Trips from Las Vegas:
- Shop my Gear: Road Trips from Las Vegas Outfits/Camera Gear
- Southwest Road Trip YouTube Video:
- Conclusion: Road Trips from Las Vegas
If you choose to do these destinations in one road trip, here is the route that I took. Flying into Las Vegas is always a great option, as it is cheaper than most airports. And Las Vegas is very close to SO many destinations. I have rented SUV’s and built out vans to travel in for these southwest trips.
Vehicle Recommendation: for this road trip, most spots do not require any special clearance or vehicle capabilities – except for Yant Flat. I recommend at least an AWD vehicle with SUV clearance.
I will also be listing several other detailed road trip itineraries that can be based out of Las Vegas at the bottom of this post.
The Best Road Trips from Las Vegas:
1. Snow Canyon, Utah
Despite the name, it does not snow here. Snow Canyon has over 16 miles of hiking, biking and climbing! And the camping there is some of the best I have ever experienced at a State Park.
Views to Expect: Lava flows mixed with sandstone cliffs and vibrant oranges and reds. And I never thought I’d see a petrified sand dune until visiting here!
Snow Canyon State Park is truly an underrated gem that I highly recommend checking out on your next Utah Trip.
Hike Required: 1.2 miles round trip, 216 ft elevation gain
Favorite View: Petrified Dunes Trail
Distance from Las Vegas: 2 hours
2. Zion National Park, Utah
The scale alone of this place is absolutely wild and it feels so Jurassic. Even if you only have time to drive through part of this park, it will give you a sense of the scale and beauty of this place. You could easily spend one day here or a whole week.
Views to Expect: Beautiful layered sandstone, towering red cliffs, emerald pools and rivers!
This is the most visited National Park in Utah, and for good reason. Read my guide to know the best times to go and what sights to see.
Favorite View: Canyon Overlook Trail
Hiking Required: 1 mile roundtrip, 187 ft elevation gain
Distance from Las Vegas: 2.5 hours
3. Yant Flat, Utah
Yant Flat, also known as the Candy Cliffs is short hike with high reward and definitely a lesser known area than the popular Utah National Parks nearby like Zion National Park. This is maybe the most “hidden gem” location of all of the road trips from Las Vegas.
Views to Expect: Swirls of orange and white sandstone makes it apparent why it was named ‘Candy Cliffs’. As well as many different textures and layers of rock in unique formations.
The road to get there does turn into a dirt/sand road with some areas where higher clearance is helpful. This depends on the weather conditions of course. Read more about this hike on my full guide linked below.
Hike Required: 3.4 miles, 337 ft elevation gain to main view point
Distance from Las Vegas: 2 hours and 45 minutes
4. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
There’s a reason this place is the most instagrammed spot in Arizona. An easy walk to an impressive view of the bend in the Colorado river with an impressive rock formation! This place is beautiful rain or shine and is an easy add on to any adventure.
Views to Expect: Expansive overlook of the horseshoe shaped bend in the Colorado River. There is an impressive rock formation that protrudes from the canyon.
Hike Required: 1.5 miles
Distance from Las Vegas: 4.5 hours
5. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
A stunning sandstone slot canyon in the Navajo Nation. This slot canyon has incredible textures, angles, and movement of light. You must be accompanied by a Navajo Guide to visit. It gets crowded, but it is truly a beautiful experience.
Views to Expect: the guides are great about letting you get photos of the incredible narrow passage of red-orange stone. The light will change depending on the time of day you go, but I truly think it’s beautiful any time of day.
Distance from Las Vegas: 4.5 hours
Book in Advance!
6. Lone Rock, Utah
Lone Rock in Utah is In Lake Powell in Glen Canyon Recreation Area on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Land. There is camping that looks out at the solitary rock that scales over 250 feet. And depending on the season and rainfall, there can be water surrounding the rock. People often camp here and paddle board this area!
Views to Expect: A scenic monolithic rock protruding from Lake Powell in a very scenic lakeside camping area.
Distance from Las Vegas: 4 hours, 20 minutes
7. Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Valley of Fire State Park is a Road Trips from Vegas MUST. It absolutely lives up to the dreamy photos you’ve probably seen already of this place on social media. The Valley of Fire Hikes absolutely blew me away with the views of miles and miles of red sandstone rock, interesting rock formations and incredibly scenic hiking and camping. All still with WAY less crowds than the Utah Big 5 National Parks.
Views to Expect: Swirling sandstone patterns and unique red and orange rock formations and canyons.
Favorite Hike: Fire Wave Trail
Distance from Las Vegas: 1 hour
My biggest regret is not spending more time here! The campground was incredibly scenic (and is first come first served). Find out all the hikes, views and camping information in my guide:
Other Nearby Road Trips from Las Vegas:
This itinerary was one I did in March with some friends. It includes some of the best of the California desert destinations as well as some underrated gems along the way to the Grand Canyon and Sedona!
This itinerary is heavy on the California hot springs and packed full of incredible photo locations!
One of my first road trips to the Southwest was pretty spontaneous when our permits to Havasupai got cancelled due to flash floods. This itinerary really made me fall in love with the desert.
Shop my Gear: Road Trips from Las Vegas Outfits/Camera Gear
Southwest Road Trip YouTube Video:
Conclusion: Road Trips from Las Vegas
The American Southwest clearly has endless places to adventure. It keeps pulling me back time and time again as soon as the weather in the PNW starts to turn dark. A quick summary of this road trip:
- Snow Canyon, Utah
- Zion National Park
- Yant Flat
- Horseshoe Bend
- Antelope Canyon
- Lone Rock
- Valley of Fire
Let me know in the comments if you’re saving this for your next Southwest Road Trip!!
Share and Save for Later