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  1. #1

    Default How to get to Vegas / LA to Vegas Road Trip - Suggestions?


    This is our plan for a way to get to Vegas.

    LA -> Grand Canyon -> Monument Valley -> Bryce Canyon -> Vegas.

    We'll be flying into LA at about 1PM sometime in early december.

    We plan to sleep the night there next to the airport to try and somewhat recover from the 17 hour flight.

    We'll head back to the airport in the morning and pick up a car. We've looked at cars from and got a nice SUV for a great price with no oneway fee!

    First Day - LA to Grand Canyon

    Driving time : 8 hours +

    I would assume we'd leave LA on the Friday lunchtime (at the latest) and head to the Grand Canyon. Looking at the maps ( see end of post ) it seems like an 8 hour drive, so we'd arrive at 7-8pm and book in at Bright Angel @ Grand Canyon

    Second Day - Grand Canyon to Monument Valley

    Driving time : 4 hours.

    We'd check out of Bright Angel around 10am i'd assume and look around the Grand Canyon.

    From Grand Canyon to Monument Valley is about 3 1/2 hours so if we left Grand Canyon at about 4pm we'd get to Monument Valley at 7-8pm and book in at Gouldings Lodge @ Monument Valley

    This would give us 5-6 hours at the Grand Canyon.

    Third Day - Monument Valley to Bryce Canyon

    Driving time : 6 hours.

    We'd check out of Gouldings Lodge around 10am i'd assume and look around Monument Valley.

    From Monument Valley to Bryce Canyon is about 6 hours so if we left Monument Valley at about 1pm we'd get to Bryce Canyon at 7pm and check in at Rubys Inn @ Bryce Canyon

    This would give us 3 hours at Monument Valley.

    Fourth Day - Bryce Canyon to Vegas

    Driving time : 5 hours

    We'd check out of Rubys Inn around 10am i'd assume and look around Bryce Canyon.

    From Bryce Canyon to Vegas (we'll go through the Valley of Fire ) is about 5 hours so if we left Bryce Canyon at 3pm we'd get to Vegas at 8pm.

    This would give us 5 hours at Bryce Canyon.

    FYI the rest of our trip is :

    Fifth Day to Tenth Day - Bellagio - Get married by Elvis somewhere in those 5 days.
    Tenth Day to Fifteenth Day - THEhotel @ Mandalay Bay
    Fifteenth Day - Vegas -> Portugal
    Sixteenth Day to Twenty Third Day - Portugal, Porto
    Twenty Fourth Day - Portugal -> LA
    Twenty Fifth Day - Lost in time space continuum.
    Twenty Sixth Day - Australia - Back home.

    Map Directions ->,13.19458&z=7

    Concerns :

    Is there too much driving in that amount of time ? If it were YOU, would you stay an extra night at the grand canyon. You could then get a whole day in, then leave for Monument Valley early-ish the next morning. Or would two nights be better spent at Monument Valley or Bryce Canyon ?

    23 hours driving time over 4 days :(

    Any input appreciated !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi Mike,

    What a great trip you are planning there, and congratulations on your forthcoming wedding.

    If it were ME I would definitely take that first leg a little slower.

    Another day at the GC won't go astray, there is just so much to see. I think you will be arriving too late for the IMAX, but if you possibly can, go see the IMAX show of the GC. It adds so much to the experience of appreciating what you are looking at. Pictures just do not do that place justice. You have to see it, feel it to really appreciate this greatest of wonders of the natural world.

    You're not leaving yourself much time to actually check out the many wonders along the way. In reality, the drive will take longer than you think, there are so many photo opportunities along the way... especially in Monument Valley.

    Not only the GC, but also Bryce deserves more time than you are allowing, although, having said that, I am not familiar with it in winter. And don't overlook Zion, on your way to LV. That deserves a day as well.

    Don't delude yourself, my first time out of LA took from before midday to somewhere around 4pm. It seemed to go forever... never ending! It is nothing like Canberra - not the road system... not the traffic! And if you have not done it before, it takes a little extra concentration driving on the wrong side of the road.

    Remember those times which are quoted in the mapping programs do not make allowance for newcomers to the environment who have just come off a 17 hour flight.

    Two other thoughts, check out to see how many national parks you will be visiting... it may pay you to get the National Parks Pass which is amazing value.

    The other is, if you are a member of NRMA, take your membership with you. There is a reciprical arrangement between the AAA and the Australian automobile clubs, giving you access to free tourist information and maps. The office in LA I have found particularly helpful.

    Lifey's tuppence worth

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