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  1. Default Driving from Kansas City to Las Vegas

    We are planning a road trip from Olathe, KS to Las Vegas...we should have 2 to 3 days to travel...trying to decide what to do on the way. Planning on the Royal Gorge and Grand Canyon, but wanted to see if there were any other suggestions. After our dance competition in Vegas we are heading to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone for 10 days.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Bare Minimum Needed

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It's a full two and a half days by the fastest route possible between Olathe and Las Vegas, so if you only "have 2 to 3 days to travel", then you don't have time for either Royal Gorge or the Grand Canyon, both of which are considerably off the direct route and require quite a bit of time to see properly. You'd be better off, if that's all the time you have by planning on taking three full days and making quick stops at one or two of the parks that are closer to your route (I-70/I-15) such as Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, or Zion National Park. If you only have two days, you simply don't have time to complete the trip safely even with no stops. With three days you'll still have a problem if the weather turns against you. Remember, your primary goal should always be to complete the trip alive and well, and only when that goal is accounted for should you look to add entertainment.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default already too much

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    On the most direct route, KC to Vegas is 1300 miles. That's farther than we recommend for a 2 day drive because of safety concerns. If you take a full 3 days, you still hardly have time for anything, but you could probably squeeze in a stop at the Grand Canyon.

    If you include the Grand Canyon, you're up to a 1500 mile drive. If you treat the rest of the drive like a speed run - sticking to the Interstates and driving about 600 miles a day, roughly the limit that professional drivers are allowed to cover in a day - that would only give you a half day to explore this amazing, and huge, National Park.

    Adding the Royal Gorge on top of that wouldn't add much in terms of miles, but it would mean that you'd be spending much more time driving on 2 lane roads, and at that point, all you'd have time to do is quickly stop at the Gorge and Grand Canyon, quickly take 1 picture, and get back in the car. The Royal Gorge is also a huge tourist trap that I personally wouldn't recommend going to, based on my experience there, but that's far secondary to the fact that you just don't have time for it with your current plan.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If I may make a couple of different suggestions -- this is a summer trip, right? so weather should not be an issue. Olathe to KC is, as said above, about 1350 miles. I am almost completely in agreement with Michael's suggestions. Here's what you can do:

    Day 1 - take I-70 from Olathe to the western side of Denver, stay overnight.

    Day 2 - Continue drive on I-70 to Moab, UT (354 miles). Spend the rest of that day seeing Arches National Park. Overnight at Moab. (Get reservations!)

    Day 3 - On the way out, stop at Dead Horse Point State Park (about 10 miles off US-191), then head back up to I-70. It's about 460 miles from Moab to Las Vegas.

    If you are returning after your dance competition, plan 4 days and you can come back via Grand Canyon.


  5. #5

    Default Do sight seeing on the way home

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post

    Day 3 - On the way out, stop at Dead Horse Point State Park (about 10 miles off US-191), then head back up to I-70. It's about 460 miles from Moab to Las Vegas.

    I'm going to disagree with Donna and agree with Michael here. (Sorry Donna) It is a 45 mile round-trip off 191 to Dead Horse Point SP, so that is out. And you need the 3 days just to get to Las Vegas, so I wouldn't plan on any sight seeing except the beautiful scenery on I-70 and I-15 from Denver all the way to your destination.

    On the other end, you say you have 10 days to see Grand Teton and Yellowstone, so you should maybe concentrate on them. And I have a guide for you, too. I am currently publishing a Road Trip Field Report on a trip my wife and I made in June that took in six national parks including Grand Teton and Yellowstone. You might want to read that and then see how it fits into your plans from Las Vegas back to Olathe. I think you'll find a lot of convergence, since we went up past KC on the way over.

    From LV to SLC is a minimum 8 hour drive, so don't plan too much along there, but the following day, route yourself via Garden City by Bear Lake and then up US89 through Afton to Jackson or Driggs. That is a real scenic route for you. You will then have 5 days to see both parks and another 3 days to get home to Olathe. That can be done very nicely.


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