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  1. Default Road Trip From Chapel Hill, NC to Las Vegas - Suggestions, Thoughts, Warnings, Advice

    Hello All, I have just joined this site and am looking for some input on a road trip I am planning for my self and the family as part of my 50th year on this planet. We have been in the US for about 12 years (originally from the UK) and have pretty much maxed out the Eastern part of the country and now are looking for something 'more west'.

    My initial thoughts are to spend 4 or 5 days or so traveling each way and spend a week in LV.

    Looking to head out west and return on different routes if that is possible to get the biggest bang for our buck and to take some day trips (self driven) while in LV.

    So, seeking advice and input on the following:

    1. Route options.
    2. Ideas for places to stay overnight (including lodging options as well as locations) and places to avoid.
    3. Ideas for stop-off points of interest
    4. Ideas for day trips and must see things while in LV.

    I will be traveling with my family 50% over 21 and 50% under so I need to keep that in mind.

    Thanks for any thoughts you all may be willing to share.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default here's the thing

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Chapel Hill to Vegas is 2300 miles, which means you need a bare minimum of 4 days to make this drive each way, and that is at least 10-12 hours on the road, leaving very little time for any extras.

    The shortest route is as straightforward as it can be - I-40 all the way to Arizona, and then cut up to Vegas on US-93. If you wanted to take a different route going back, you could use I-15 to to I-70 and take that across Utah and Colorado to St. Louis, then use I-64 to West Virginia, and I-77 back to NC. The northern more route does add about 100 miles to the trip.

    I-40 goes through cities like Nashville and Memphis, follows much of the path of old Route 66 west of OK City, and is a short drive away from the Grand Canyon (which would be much easier to include on your drive to/from Vegas, then as a daytrip).

    I-15 to I-70 is considered one of the most scenic freeways in the world, as it travels across Utah and Colorado, and is within easy reach of numerous national parks, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Rocky Mountain just to name a few.

    I will say, a week in Vegas with kids might be a bit much. So much of the city is built around activities for those over 21, I think a full week there may end up being frustrating. If I were you, I'd dedicate more time to enjoying the sites and cities along the road, and only do a few days in Vegas. That will really be the only way you can see much anything else on the road anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Allocating days.

    Michael has pretty much laid out what you can expect. If this were me, I would also take some days from LV.

    Grand Canyon deserves at least a full day - try to get in a sunrise and/or sunset over the Canyon. You could do a day trip from Vegas to/through Death Valley - an amazing landscape. A day in Zion - great walks for the whole family. The river walk is a must. A day for Bryce Canyon followed by UT12 - a wonderfully scenic route. A full day for Arches and Canyonlands. And at least a full day in RMNP. That should still leave you at least three days in LV.

    If your route will take you over I-70 either way, be sure to take the detour over Loveland Pass (US6). There is also a beautiful drive from Idaho Springs to Estes Park.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I agree. Other than a trip into Death valley I wouldn't use Vegas as a base for day trips with the time youi have, I would spend more time getting there and home. There are just so many great things to see that you won't have time for as things stand. If you could extend your trip just a little, I would allow at least 8 or 9 days each way and perhaps 3 in Vegas. That would give an overview of the West and I gaurantee you will want to come back for more !!

  5. Default

    Thanks all, for the input. Sounds like I need to do a little rethinking...

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