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  1. Default Best route from LA to Las Vegas?

    Hi all,

    In June me and a freind will be visiting the US from the UK. Part of the trip will be driving from LA to Vegas, I was just wondering if anyone could recommend the best route, we're ideally looking for good scenery and an interesting drive. We've previously been told to take to I-15 as it's the most direct route (taking roughly 4 - 5 hours); however we're worried that taking the interstate may be a bit dull? Would it be possible to drive through the Mojave desert? Any recommendations would be highly appreciated.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    There is no such thing as dull around here ;-)

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums.

    Taking a detour across Mohave NP is certainly an option as would be Death valley if it isn't included elsewhere in your itinerary by heading up past Palmdale on SR 14 and US 395 to Olancha and across DV on 190 and to Vegas on 160 from Pahrump. It would be a long day and I am presuming you want to travel same day with no overnight stop.

    If stopping is an alternative then sharing more of your itinerary would help with recommendations.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the speedy response!
    What we plan to do is start in LA, spending a few days there, then drive to Vegas, then finally ending up in San Fran.
    Death Valley is a must see for us, but looking at google maps it seems like the best time to go there would be on the trip from LV to SF.
    The route you mention sounds really interesting! i'm guessing this would be a more scenic route than the I-15?

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

    Default You're right.

    If you are heading for SF you can take that route across Death valley on the way but head to Lone Pine and up the 395 and across the Sierra's on 120 [Tioga pass] into Yosemite.
    This will be subject to the Tioga pass being open at your time of travel but if it is I hope you have a little time to stay in or around Yosemite as it is majestic.

    You can see the previous opening times in this thread which has opened in May for the last 4 years.
    The Mojave will be a nice detour for you on the way to Vegas.

  5. #5

    Default Nothing wrong with the scenery along I-15

    A year and a half ago I first traveled from LV to the LA area and as it was the culmination of a long cross country trip, I-15 was our route.

    I was very surprised and pleased to see the mountainous scenery between about Barstow, CA and Las Vegas, NV. I somehow thought it would be dull, flat desert all the way, and was I ever wrong!

    Last edited by Foy; 03-24-2009 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Moved Vegas back to NV, where the gambling laws are more favorable

  6. Default

    That's good to know, i'm thinking more and more about taking the i-15, I can always explore places along the way like Barstow, and from what i can see it runs directly through the Mojave national preserve, so a little diversion there may be in order :-) thanks
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-24-2009 at 10:34 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Death Valley and Yosemite would be better seen on the way from LV to SF. What you could do from LA to LV is this -

    Take I-10 out to Joshua Tree NM and tour it. Then head up through 29 Palms and take Amboy Rd up to Amboy, then old 66 toward Needles, get on I-40. Then take US-95 to LV.

  8. #8


    Much agreeing with glc. Especially if you're not from around here, Joshua Tree is worth the visit and it's a good example of what people want a desert to look like. Also, you'd be passing very close to the Hoover Dam, which is worth visiting (not sure if the tour's worthwhile any more though).

    The 15 -- maybe I'm just jaded from having driven it a dozen or so times, but it seems pretty barren to me. If I could drive with my eyes closed for those 3.5 to 8 hours (depending on traffic), I'd consider it.

    Also, just in case you haven't considered days-of-week, probably avoid driving from LA to Vegas on a Friday -- that's where the 6+ hour drives come into play.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Hoover Dam would be a nice short day trip from Vegas.

  10. Default

    The trip out to Joshua tree sounds brilliant, and route 66 is something which I've always wanted to do; however I put this route on google maps and it estimates a journey duration of around 7 hours, without any stop (I will be departing from west LA).
    This shouldn't be too much of a problem other than I have to do the trip from LA to LV in one day, so it might feel a bit rushed.
    Has anyone else done it all in a day?

    P.s I will be departing LA on a Monday.

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