Wondering where to stop on the Phoenix to Las Vegas Drive? Here are all the best places to pull over on your Phoenix to Vegas road trip, and what to do there too.
Taking a road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas is the perfect way to see the desert southwest. The journey takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the world, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way.
Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, or just taking in the views, a road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas is unforgettable – with so many amazing things to see and do, it’s no wonder this region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Follow this guide to the best road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas and you’ll see all the greatest things to do. So, buckle up, and let’s get started on planning your epic journey!
How to plan a Phoenix to Las Vegas drive?
You can take a few different routes when planning your road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas. The most direct route would be to drive straight down I-15, passing through the stunning Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park on the way. However, if you’re looking for something more scenic, consider taking the less travelled path and exploring some of the lesser-known desert highways.
If you plan on taking an RV with you on your road trip, then there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure that your rental company allows for the type of vehicle you want to take. Additionally, some areas along the route may require extra permits or fees if you’re driving an RV. Finally, make sure you are aware of any weight or length restrictions that may be in place on certain roads in order to keep your journey safe and comfortable.
You can also hire a rental car to make your trip easier and more comfortable. This is especially useful if you’re only traveling with a few people, as it allows you to drive straight through without having to stop for overnight stays in hotels or campsites. Renting a car is often the most cost-effective way of getting around, so be sure to compare rates before making your final decision.
Or, think about auto shipping to get your car of choice to its destination. There are plenty of options for how to complete this Phoenix to Las Vegas drive.
What is the distance from Phoenix to Las Vegas?
Along with the US-93 N route, the total distance from Phoenix to Las Vegas is roughly 300 miles. The direct drive time takes about 5 hours. If you were to drive non-stop, it would take you just under 5 hours to reach your destination. However, the journey will most likely take closer to 6 hours with gas and food stops. Nevertheless, this is still a relatively short road trip and one that can easily be completed in a day. So if you’re ever feeling the need to get away from it all and soak up some sin-city fun, remember that Phoenix is less than a tank of gas away.
Las Vegas to Phoenix driving time: 5 hours straight
Where to stop on a Phoenix to Las Vegas road trip?
When planning your road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas, there are plenty of places you can stop and explore along the way. A few of the must-see attractions include:
12 Phoenix to Las Vegas drive stops
Before you hit the road and drive from Phoenix to Vegas, you definitely have to spend some time in Phoenix. The capital city of Arizona, it’s a sprawling metropolitan with plenty to see and do.
Of course, outdoorsy activities are expected. Camelback Mountain, South Mountain Park and Preserve, and the Desert Botanical Garden top the list. To see more than the typical desert cacti and native plants, the Japanese Friendship Garden makes for a pretty stroll.
Other entertainment includes high-end spa resorts and Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, as well as posh shops at Scottsdale Fashion Square.
For a taste of history and culture, visit Phoenix Art Museum, Heard Museum, and Musical Instrument Museum. Families will enjoy OdySea Aquarium, Phoenix Zoo, and Papago Park as well.
2. Old Town Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ, is a great place to stop on a Phoenix to Las Vegas road trip!
There are plenty of things to do in Old Town Scottsdale, from shopping and dining to art galleries and museums. Plus, the weather is usually nice, so you can enjoy being outdoors. If you’re looking for something active to do, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails in the area. Or, if you’d prefer to relax, you can enjoy a scenic drive or take a dip in one of the many pools or spas in Scottsdale.
No matter what you’re looking for, Scottsdale is a great place to make a pit stop on your way to Vegas!
Prescott, Arizona, is an ideal place to make a stop on your way from Phoenix to Las Vegas. This charming city offers plenty of activities for all types of travellers.
You can explore the historic downtown area, which features numerous restaurants and shops. Prescott is also home to some great outdoor attractions like hikes and horseback rides in the nearby national forests. Plus, this smaller city offers plenty of lodging options if you need a place to stay for the night.
With its charming atmosphere and a wide variety of activities, Prescott is an excellent option for anyone who wants to take a break from their long drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas.
Payson, Arizona, is an ideal place to take a break from your long Phoenix to Las Vegas drive.
This small town offers plenty of outdoor activities like fishing and horseback riding, plus you can explore the nearby Tonto Natural Bridge, State Park. Payson also has plenty of places to eat and shop, so it’s a great spot for refueling during your journey. Furthermore, you can find plenty of lodging options if you need a place to rest for the night on your Phoenix to Vegas drive.
5. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is great for stretching your legs and exploring on your Las Vegas to Phoenix Drive. This stunning park boasts a natural limestone bridge and several trails for hikers of all levels. Many visitors choose to picnic at the state park or admire the beauty of nature surrounding them. Furthermore, if you’re looking for bird-watching opportunities, you will be satisfied here.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is an excellent place to take a break from the road and explore before continuing on your journey.
If you want to drive Phoenix to Las Vegas, this is a great spot.
9. Sedona Verde Valley
Verde Valley is a great spot to explore on your way from Phoenix to Las Vegas. This area of Arizona offers plenty of activities for all types of travellers. You can visit the Montezuma Castle National Monument or take a hot air balloon ride for an unforgettable experience on the Phoenix to Las Vegas Drive.
There are also several wineries in the region where you can sample some of Arizona’s best wines. Verde Valley is home to a few rivers and stunning red rock formations. If you’re looking for an adventure-filled break from your drive, Verde Valley should definitely be on your list. Check out all the best things to do in Sedona while you’re there, too.
6. Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument is a great spot for anyone interested in learning about Native American cultures. Located approximately two and a half hours from Phoenix, this national monument offers visitors the chance to explore an ancient cliff dwelling that was occupied by the Sinagua people between 600 and 1425 A.D.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the castle, which includes interpretive signs that explain the history and culture. Plus, you can also explore several trails in the area for more adventurous visitors. Montezuma Castle National Monument is an excellent opportunity to take a break from your Phoenix to Las Vegas drive while learning something new.
7. Slide Rock State Park
If you’re looking for a unique experience, Slide Rock State Park is the perfect spot. Located in Sedona, Arizona, the park is known for its natural red rock formations and its cold, clear Oak Creek. This state park features a natural water slide that wraps around an old apple orchard. Visitors can take a dip in the cool waters of Oak Creek or simply relax on the beach and watch as others enjoy the thrilling ride down the slide.
Plus, you can also explore the numerous trails in the area and take in the breathtaking views of the red rock formations. Slide Rock State Park is an exciting way to take a break from your drive while enjoying some fun in the sun. And, of course, Slide Rock State Park’s signature activity: sliding the smooth rocks into the creek below. The park is open all year round, making it a great place to stop regardless of when you’re taking your road trip.
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Flagstaff is a great spot to stop off on your way on the Phoenix to Las Vegas drive. Located right off I-40, this city is the perfect break between the two cities. There are plenty of things to do here, including exploring the downtown area and its many shops and restaurants.
Additionally, you can take in the stunning views along Historic Route 66 or visit some of Flagstaff’s nearby attractions, such as the Lowell Observatory or Meteor Crater. Plenty of lodging options are available if you’re looking for a place to stay in Flagstaff. Whether you make a full stop in Flagstaff or take a break from your drive, this city has something for everyone.
9. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is the perfect stop for anyone interested in learning about the area’s rich volcanic history.
Located just outside Flagstaff, this national monument offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s volcanic past and provides beautiful views of its unique geography. Visitors can take a self-guided tour along one of Sunset Crater’s trails or join a ranger-led hike.
Plus, there are plenty of picnic spots and interpretive displays located around the park that can help you learn more about the area. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is an exciting way to take a break from your Phoenix to Vegas, drive while exploring some fascinating geological formations.
5. Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam is a must-see on any Phoenix to Las Vegas road trip. Located just outside of Las Vegas, this iconic structure offers amazing views and the opportunity to learn more about its history.
The Hoover Dam is a manmade wonder that was completed in 1935. It holds back the Colorado River and gives Phoenix and Las Vegas power. Visitors can take a tour of the dam, walk across the iconic Hoover Dam bypass bridge, or admire the views from the top. Plus, you can take a tour to explore the inside of the dam or even take a helicopter ride over the lake. If
Hoover Dam is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a fun, educational stop on your way to Las Vegas.
13. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Located in NV 89005, Lake Mead National Recreation Area provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. This massive lake offers visitors endless opportunities for water activities such as boating, fishing, water skiing, and swimming. Plus, there are plenty of hiking trails in the area that provide stunning views of the lake and its surrounding cliffs.
Plenty of campsites are located throughout the recreation area if you’re looking for a place to camp or have a picnic. Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the perfect break from your drive between Phoenix and Las Vegas. Whether you’re looking for some alone time on the lake or an adventurous hike, this recreation area has something for everyone.
3. The Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic natural attractions in the United States. Located just a few hours from Phoenix, this immense canyon is truly breathtaking, and there are numerous ways to explore it.
Visitors can hike or take a mule ride down into the canyon, go whitewater rafting on the Colorado River, or even take a helicopter or hot-air balloon tour for unparalleled views. There are also a number of lookout points along the rim of the canyon, each offering different perspectives of this amazing natural wonder. The Grand Canyon is an unforgettable stop on your road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas.
14. Las Vegas
And you’ve made it! You’re in Vegas.
You have to spend a few nights in Vegas, now that you’ve come all this way. Check out my Vegas tips for first timers for some tried and tested advice.
Have fun, look after yourself, and your friends. Vegas is a crazy place. I’ve been twice though and had a great time – I’d definitely go again!
I stayed at the Vegas Stratosphere which was super cheap, and very fun. There’s so much to do in Vegas, it probably just depends how long your budget lasts to be honest!
And make sure you check out some of these amazing places to stop for a cheap breakfast in Vegas while you’re there.
How about continuing your road trip from Vegas to LA – all the best spots to stop are in that link. Or even Vegas to Yosemite by car right here. If you just fancy going straight, here’s how to get from Vegas to the Grand Canyon by car.
And new to the blog: how to spend your birthday in Vegas.
Phoenix to Las Vegas road trip
A road trip from Las Vegas to Phoenix is a great way to see the American southwest. With so many amazing places to stop, it’s hard to know where to begin. With this road trip guide, you’ll never be bored from Sin City to the Valley of the Sun on your drive. I hope this Phoenix to Las Vegas route helps you to plan your trip.
Have fun, and drive safely!
Saturday 4th of February 2023
What a waste of time reading this was. All the out of the way places that are not on the road one should use to get to Vegas. I guess that since there is nothing but desert to look at between Phoenix and Kingman along 93/I-40 you'd instead take people out of their way and add miles to their trip to Vegas in order to get people to visit these pointless places. I live in Phoenix. FYI, if you're a traveler going to Las Vegas from Phoenix there is nothing imho worth seeing except the Hoover dam.