As we previously tested, California has some of the best road trips in the world, especially along the West Coast. But if you’re from SoCal, the average drive time between LA to Vegas is a little over 4 hours, making it the ideal drive for those looking for a little excitement. Known as the city of neon lights and outlandish personalities, it’s no wonder why millions worldwide make the flight, ride, and drive to the glimmering spectacle that is Las Vegas. However, since many believe that the long stretch of road between LA and Vegas is full of desolate deserts with little to see, the drive becomes a race and not the adventure it should be. The many striking landscapes and wow-worthy attractions in between make it an epic road trip that few get to experience.
Mike Will (@m.visuals), a visual storyteller, proved this during a recent collaboration in which he captured the best roads and attractions during an LA to Vegas road trip with a one-way car rental from Sixt. Armed with a luxurious Ford Mustang convertible car rental, Mike took an unforgettable road trip through the dunes and lava tubes of the Mohave Desert to the Valley of Fire. Once again, Los Angeles proved to be the ideal starting point for this road trip. So, if you’re up for an adventure and need help planning an epic road trip to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, continue reading below.
Los Angeles to Las Vegas Road Trip Route:
|Driving Time||7 Hours and 33 Minutes|
Stop 1: The End of Route 66
Ironically, this road trip begins at the end of Route 66, where the Main Street of America meets the ocean. This legendary American highway is a cross-country route that begins in Chicago, Illinois and ends in Santa Monica, California. It’s one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway system. The fact that it ends at the Santa Monica Pier symbolizes how only the ocean can stand in its way. Though many today consider this route to be the quintessential American road trip, it played a large role in history. Particularly during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, during which severe dust storms and drought drove people from the Plain states to California. This makes the Pacific destination even more symbolic. There’s more to say about this famous East-to-West migration path, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Stop 2: Desert Vibes at the Mojave National Reserve
The next stop on the agenda was the Kelso Dunes at the Mojave National Reserve. This big pile of sand is the largest of its kind. Its dunes cover 45 square miles of land and rise as high as 650 feet above the desert floor. People come from all over to hike up the crests to take in fantastic views. To hear the sand sing, it’s best to visit when the climate is at its driest. Then, a booming sound rises beneath your feet to create a unique rumble known as “singing sand” as you climb. There are no entrance fees, so be sure to make a pitstop for a unique experience in the sand.
Sixt Tip: Kelso Dunes were insane but a tough hike at 9am with the heat! Go there for the sunrise if you can!
Stop 3: Journey Through the Lava Caves
As you can see, the Mojave Desert Lava Tube is both a crazy natural phenomenon and a photographer’s dream. This hidden gem is almost magical, especially if you capture a beam of sunlight as it cascades through the lava tube ceiling. The drive to the trailhead is about a five-mile dirt road drive and located on Aiken Mine Road. From there, you’ll be walking over volcanic rocks for about a quarter of a mile until you reach a small sign that signals the tube’s entrance.
Sixt Tip: Mojave Desert Lava Tubes are out of this world, literally one of the coolest things to ever seen!
Stop 4: Las Vegas Strip
What more is there to say about this infamous city that you don’t already know. Although Sin City is known as a gambling hotspot, there’s plenty of opportunity for more innocent fun. There’s adventure around every corner, from rollercoasters and ziplines, to zoos and museums. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a Sin City veteran, the bright lights of this glamorous city guarantee an exciting experience each time. If you plan to stay longer than overnight, it makes sense to rent a car, especially since many hotels, casinos, and shopping centers on the strip offer free parking. Please note that places aren’t as close as they seem, hence why driving is the easiest way to get around.
Stop 5: Welcome to the Valley of Fire
The Valley of Fire State Park is so nice, it’s no wonder we’ve mentioned it before. It’s located 58 miles Northeast of the Las Vegas Strip and covers 46,000 acres of land, making it Nevada’s largest and oldest state park. The red sandstone formations appear on fire under the sun’s rays and has colors so intense, it’s no wonder it’s a photographer’s paradise. It’s opened daily from dawn ‘til dusk, with 24-hour access to the campgrounds. Entrance is $10.00 per vehicle and camping is $20.00 per night, plus another $10 for sites with utility hook ups. This is truly Mother Nature at her finest, and a great place to meditate, hike, camp, or simply revel in the splendor of one of the grandest landscapes.
Sixt Tip: This is my favorite spot of the road trip! Thanks again to @sixtusa for making it happen!
As you can see, there’s beauty to be discovered on the long stretch of road while on an LA and Vegas road trip. It can be an opportunity to do some extensive hiking and camping; there’s nothing more magical than seeing the sun set against the horizon. Or you can simply make quick stops and find a sense peace in the desolate landscape of the desert. Next time you’re thinking of making the trek from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, be sure to take advantage of our one way rental deals: