10 Awesome Stops from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Car

As if the two epic stops bookending this road trip aren’t motivation enough, the drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park is filled with other amazing places you can use to break up the 253 mile distance from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, or 4 and a half hour trip.

Grand Canyon

Don’t simply make your Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip about getting from one bucket list stop to another, instead make the most of the drive by squeezing in a few top Nevada and Arizona photo ops. If you’re renting a car in Las Vegas you might as well make the most of it! 

No idea where to start? Here are the most exciting stops on a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip, according to me. 

Road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon 

Map of the Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip

1. Lake Mead

Exploring Lake Mead

You won’t be far into the Grand Canyon road trip, before you start to see Lake Mead. This lake lies on the Colorado River and is flanked by beautiful mountains. It makes for the perfect photo op (especially with a drone – check laws) and as if by magic there’s the Lake Mead Scenic View, Sunset View or Lake Mead National recreation area set up to make sure you get a snap worth sharing.

All have amazing views and if you’re already feeling like you need a quick refresh, you can take a quick dip in the water. LOOK AT IT! 

2. Hoover Dam

Hop in the car for another 10 minutes and pull up to the Hoover Dam. A big concrete arch on the border of Arizona and Nevada states, it might not sound that interesting but this spot has a load of historical significance and is pretty impressive to see.

hoover dam image

The Hoover Dam is a 700-foot tall, man-made dam that produces hydroelectric power and water. Completed in 1936, it was considered an engineering win at the time, and you can now walk over the damn via the world’s tallest concrete arch bridge. If you want to get a bit more info then you can take a construction tour of the dam and adjoining powerplant.

Bit of a niche audience… 

3. Chloride, Arizona

Say hello to Arizona and a whole lot of history with a stop in the city of Chloride. As the oldest mining town in Arizona, there’s a fair bit of history and some cool things to see here, including the roadside junk art and quirky murals.

Only a few hundred people live in this place, but if you turn up on a reenactment day with mock gunfights, you’ll see a few more and get a real feel for what this town was like in its mining heyday.

4. Kingman, Arizona

Kingman Arizona

Also known for its history as well as the hiking, Kingman is worth parking up to take a look around. Depending on how much time you have on your Grand Canyon trip, you can make this a real educational stop by hitting up the Mohave Museum of History and Arts, the Route 66 Museum and Kingman Railroad Museum.

If you’d prefer an alcoholic education then, granted you’re not the one at the wheel of the rental car, swing by the Cella Winery, Stetson Winery or Desert Diamond Distillery instead.

5. Alpacas of the Southwest

alpacas of the south west

From Kingman you can opt to take the I-40 or Route 66. If you go for the I-40 then 14 miles east you’ll reach a ranch that’s home to 37 alpacas all waiting to be fed, petted and photographed. For $11 per car you can get up close with a tour but be sure to put some dimes aside to purchase the essential souvenir: a pair of alpaca socks. No road trip to the Grand Canyon is complete without them.

6. Keepers of the Wild

If instead of the I-40 you opted for Route 66, then apart from driving on one of the world’s most famous roads, you can surprisingly do a safari. Not quite what you were expecting on your Las Vegas to Grand Canyon drive? Me neither but Keepers of the Wild is a sanctuary for rescue animals and offers tours for $20.

While you might be imagining the usual dogs and cats scenario, instead expect to see tigers, lions, bears and wallabees.

7. Seligman, Arizona

seligman, arizona

Whether you’re driving from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas or the other way around, consider making Seligman, aka the birthplace of Route 66, your next stop.

Throwing you back to the 1950s, Seligman has retained all its otherworldly charm. In fact, if you’ve ever watched the Disney movie Cars, you’ll know exactly what to expect because rumour has it Pixar may have drawn a little inspiration from this place. A dusty desert town, there are only 500 residents so it’s really quiet meaning no queues when you grab a milkshake from the Delgadillo’s Snow Cap drive-in or a buffalo burger from the Roadkill Cafe.

8. Williams, Arizona

road trip grand canyon to las vegas

Before you take a swift turn north for the final stretch on your journey from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon south rim, pull in to the town of Williams. Calling itself the Gateway to the Grand Canyon, it marks the last part of the famous Route 66 and is again another one sending you onto what feels like a movie set, this time to the Wild West. Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum, the Route 66 Zipline or a visit to the Bearizona Wildlife Park are all fun activities to do here.

9. Kaibab National Forest

Kaibab National Forest

If you have a bit of time before you reach the Grand Canyon, stop off at the Kaibab National Forest. Think of the forest as a primer for the breathtaking views you’re about to see in the canyon itself.

The forest is 1.6 million acres of lush greenery making it the perfect spot for a quick hike or picnic. You can also get some great views from the Marble Viewpoint.

10. Tusayan

Tusayan by car

The closest pitstop to make from the Grand Canyon National Park is the town of Tusayan. It sits just by the south rim entrance so is a good alternative for accommodation if everything closer is fully booked. The town itself is quite small and made up of hotels and restaurants and so while it’s not bursting with things to do, it’s a good place to consider parking and then taking the shuttle bus up to the entrance.

And you’ve made it! 

Fun route for travelling from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by car, hey?

Let me know how you get on.  

More on road trips in the USA 

Top Tips for Driving the Pacific Coast Highway

Incredible Stops on an Florida Road Trip

How to Plan an Emerald Coast Road Trip

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29 Cool Things to Do in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

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