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  1. Default Fort Worth, TX to Las Vegas, NV Late April / early May; Two Adults 29 y/o.

    Hi! My boyfriend and I are going to take a road trip from Fort Worth, Tx (Where we live) to Las Vegas. We have 7-9 days for this trip and we plan on driving to Vegas & flying back (to save time). Things I know we want to see and do are as follows:

    Start in Fort Worth;
    Area 51 (Roswell, NM);
    Tucson, AZ (I have a friend there);
    Grand Canyon National Park & Lake Havasu;
    Vegas / Zion National Park

    We've both never been to any of these places! We like hiking, cacti, parks/wildlife/monuments/history/aliens, great scenery, drinks, food, etc. Any other ideas of things to see and/do on our way to Vegas would be greatly appreciated!


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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First, it should be mentioned that one way car rentals are typically very expensive and it actually might be cheaper to fly to Vegas or Phoenix, do a loop, and then fly home. Being that the majority of things you want to see and do are in that general area, that might work out better for you anyway. Keep in mind that going to Vegas via Roswell, Tucson, the Grand Canyon, and Zion is a solid 1800 miles, and you're looking at about 4 days on the road just to cover the miles, before you factor in time to stop and explore.

    You should probably also grab a map and touch up a bit on your geography. Area 51 is in Nevada, not near Roswell, and Lake Havasu is about 250 miles from the Grand Canyon, so they don't group together very well. I think if you try to actually map out what you want to do, you might find that some things won't work very well together, but you might also discover some things that would be right on your way, that would be a good fit.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the info! Although, I'm not confused on the geography part. Just thinking of two different things I'd like to see: (UFO Museum/Roswell, NM) and Area 51 (NV). Because I want to see Roswell, NM, I don't think a loop from Vegas will do the trick. I've mapped it out, and although I'm no cartographer (only a mere attorney), I think it will be doable in 9 days.

    (Fort Worth - Roswell, NM --> 7hrs 15 minutes)
    (Roswell, NM to Tucson, AZ --> 7 hrs 15 minutes)
    (Tucson, AZ - Sedona - Grand Canyon --> 5 hrs 45 minutes)
    (Grand Canyon to Las Vegas --> 4 hrs 15 minutes ; if decide to throw in Lake Havasu + 1.5 hours)

    I was just hoping to get some advice on anything else to see along the way. Thanks again!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-14-2017 at 02:24 PM. Reason: removed quote of entire previous post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If Roswell is a top priority, then you are right that a loop probably won't work - in your initial post you wrote that you wanted to see "Area 51 (Roswell)," which made it appear that you were planning to visit Roswell because you wanted to see Area 51.

    Again, however, the larger point is that I was recommending a loop is because it could likely be a lot less expensive than a one-way car rental. Have you investigated the cost? A quick look shows it will cost you about $1000 just to rent a car in Fort Worth and drop it in Vegas a week later, where renting a car for a week from Vegas would cost you about $200.

    If you do drive the whole way, keep in mind, online mapping programs are quite optimistic and your actually travel times will usually be about 20% more. None of the drives you listed would be a problem, but most of them wouldn't leave much extra time to do any exploring on that same day. Between Dallas and Roswell you could consider detouring to Carlsbad Caverns. White Sands is right between Roswell and Tucson, and Saguaro NP is right outside of Tucson.

    If you were thinking of visiting Zion (and Area 51 for that matter) it would probably make more sense to go from the Grand Canyon to Zion (perhaps via Lake Powell) and then Vegas, although there again it would depend upon if Havasu is a priority for you, or just a place you wanted to stop along the way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Addition by Subtraction

    I find that it's often true that in order to make an entire vacation or trip most worthwhile, I'll have to drop one or two things that I really wanted to do, or change the basic structure of the trip itself. I think you're looking at a case where both of those things are true. As Michael has pointed out, doing a one-way car rental will prove both costly and time consuming. If you were to fly round-trip to Las Vegas and do a 'local' car rental there, I think you'd end up saving money overall. You'd certainly have more time to spend seeing things you actually want to see by not having t spend two days to get into the area.

    High on the list of things to drop from your itinerary that would also make this trip more worthwhile would be "Area 51". While there actually is such a place, you won't be able to get anywhere near it, not even close enough to see it from afar, without getting yourselves arrested for trespassing on the highly restricted military reservations that surround it. You could, presumably, drive out the 'Extraterrestrial Highway' (NV-375) to Rachel NV and the Little A'le'Inn, but that would be a 200 mile drive through featureless desert to stop at what is little more than a tourist diner and gift shop. Also, as Michael noted, this is nowhere near Roswell NM which is itself just another tourist trap.

    If you do a simple round-trip flight to Las Vegas, take a local car rental, and skip 'Area 51' - then you could have yourselves a great six day loop trip out of Vegas that included everything else on your wish list plus Bryce Canyon National Park, several national monuments (Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, and Wupatki) in the Flagstaff area, Oak Creek Canyon and Slide Rock State Park, Saguaro National Park outside Tucson, as well as other natural and Native American sites.


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