Road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

Road Trip from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park

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For the ultimate American West adventure, consider a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. In less than a week, you can see some of the most incredible natural wonders in the country and the entertainment mecca of Sin City.

Grand Canyon, drive from las vegas to grand canyon

Road Trip from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park

Visiting the Grand Canyon is something that you should do at least once. Its grandeur is almost unbelievable, and this famous landmark is just a few hours from Vegas. So, if you rent a car in Las Vegas, you can drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon and see some iconic places along the way.

In this guide, I’ll share my recommended route summary and travel tips. You’ll also see how far the Grand Canyon is from Las Vegas and my downloadable map. Plus, some of our favorite places in the country are near the Grand Canyon, so keep reading to see our road trip itinerary!

Also, check our guide on the best road trips from Las Vegas if you want more ideas.

The Ultimate Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip

Check out the best route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon and how much time you’ll need for your trip.

Route Summary

Las Vegas → Boulder City → Hoover Dam & Lake Mead → Grand Canyon West Rim → Route 66: Kingman to Seligman → Grand Canyon South Rim (National Park) → Grand Canyon East Rim (National Park)  → Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend → Vermilion Cliffs National Monument → Grand Canyon North Rim (National Park) → Zion National Park → Valley of Fire State Park → Las Vegas

Time recommended

If you’re wondering how long the drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon takes, it depends. To visit all four rims of the Grand Canyon, we recommend 6 days.

However, if you have less time, you can skip some stops or go straight to the West Rim (the closest section to Las Vegas). In fact, many Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas do this, even if the West Rim isn’t within the National Park limits.

Best stops from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon by car

Below, you can find the best places to stop between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Read a bit about each stop and decide which ones you want to visit during your road trip.

Boulder City

About 45 minutes from the Strip, Boulder City is one of the first stops between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. This historic city originally housed the construction crew that worked on the Hoover Dam. Today, it offers dining, shopping, and tourist attractions like the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum, the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, and the Alan Bible Botanical Garden.

Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

While you’re in Boulder City, you must visit the Hoover Dam. As one of the most impressive and historical places near Las Vegas, I recommend it for any road trip.

Hoover Dam tours, visiting Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

You can learn more about this landmark at the Hoover Dam Visitor Center. There are also great lookouts, like the Hoover Dam Bridge, where you can capture amazing photos.

Moreover, the dam’s construction led to the creation of Lake Mead, a large reservoir with swimming beaches, water sports, and campsites. They’re scattered throughout the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Grand Canyon West Rim

For this road trip, I recommend driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim. This rim is closest to Vegas and is just 118 miles away. It’s technically not part of the Grand Canyon National Park but managed by the Hualapai tribe instead.

Grand Canyon West Rim, driving distance from las vegas to grand canyon

Grand Canyon West Rim

While you’ll have to pay an extra fee to access the West Rim, it’s worth it for the views. This is also where you can find the Skywalk, a floating glass walkway that hangs over the canyon’s edge.

Route 66: Kingman to Seligman

Our Las Vegas – Grand Canyon road trip itinerary takes you along Route 66, specifically the 87-mile stretch between Kingman and Seligman, Arizona.

Approaching Kingman, you’ll find attractions like the Historic Route 66 Museum, the Mohave Museum, and the old Kingman Railroad Station. Seligman is an old railroad town known today as the “Birthplace of Historic Route 66.” Between these two charming villages, you’ll pass through smaller communities like Peach Springs, which serves as the Hualapai Tribe headquarters. 

Grand Canyon South Rim National Park

The driving distance from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim is much longer than the West Rim. However, I really recommend including it in your road trip from Las Vegas if you have the time. This is the most beautiful (and popular) section within Grand Canyon National Park.

grand canyon from las vegas road trip

Grand Canyon South Rim National Park

At the South Rim or Grand Canyon Village, you’ll find hotels, shops, and restaurants. From here, you can take a free shuttle to the most popular viewpoints in the park, including Yavapai Point, Mather Point, Yaki Point, Maricopa Point, Mohave Point, and Pima Point. The extrenuos South Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Trail take you to the bottom of the canyon, and the Rim Trail is good for families and those with less time.

Grand Canyon East Rim National Park

Continue your drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon East Rim. This area is part of the South Rim, but it’s less crowded. If you travel along Desert View Drive, you can get pristine canyon views from Navajo Point, Lipan Point, Moran Point, and Grandview Point.

From the Desert View lookout, you can see the Colorado River and an Indian watchtower. The East Rim is also home to the Tusayan Ruins & Museum.

Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

Another benefit of traveling from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by car is that you can add a stop at Antelope Canyon. Your jaw will drop the moment you see the smooth, snaking walls and brilliant pinks and whites. Here, you can take a tour through the Lower or Upper Canyon and see the famous light beams.

Antelope Canyon, driving from vegas to grand canyon

Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

While you’re there, you should also visit Horseshoe Bend, a 984-foot precipice overlooking the Colorado River.

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Along the border of Utah and Arizona, near Page, you can see the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. You can follow the highway along the base of the cliffs and take in the magnitude of this geological wonder.

One part of the monument, White Pocket, is one of the best places to visit in Utah, especially for photographers, but there are many others, such as the Coyote Buttes (you will need to win a lottery if you want to visit the world-famous Wave), the Toadstool Hoodoos, and Buckskin Gulch

Grand Canyon North Rim National Park

As you make your way out of the Vermilion Cliffs, you’ll enter the Grand Canyon North Rim. It’s less crowded but also less accessible and only open from mid-May to mid-October. Even so, it offers beautiful lookouts like Bright Angel Point and Cape Royal.

Zion National Park

Less than three hours from the North Rim is Zion National Park. Cross back into Utah and explore this vast area full of hikes, overlooks, and impressive rock formations. We have a complete guide to visiting Zion to help you choose which sights to see.

Zion National Park, driving distance from las vegas to grand canyon south rim

Zion National Park

Valley of Fire State Park

As you circle back to Las Vegas, make a stop at the Valley of Fire. This gorgeous state park is a unique landscape of fiery sandstone structures, scenic hiking trails, and colorful vistas. It’s truly the icing on the cake for this Las Vegas – Grand Canyon road trip!

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip itinerary

Now that you know about the best things to do between the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, here is a breakdown of what to do for each day on this 6-day itinerary!

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip itinerary

130 miles and 2 hrs, 30 mins

As you embark on your Las Vegas road trip to the Grand Canyon, make your first pitstop in Boulder City. It’s less than an hour from Vegas, and it’s home to the famous Hoover Dam.

It’s worth seeing this engineering marvel up close, either from the viewpoint at the Visitor Center or from the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. As you take in the amazing vista, you’ll see Lake Mead, the massive reservoir created by the dam.

You can also visit the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where you’ll find beaches, marinas, and watersports. Get some fresh air before jumping back in the car and continuing to the Grand Canyon West Rim, where you’ll spend the night.

230 miles and 4 hrs, 5 mins

Wake up early to make the most of your day at the Grand Canyon West Rim. If you really want to do something memorable, take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour and see the canyon from above. We loved the flight we took, which landed at the bottom of the canyon, but there are other options, as you can see in our guide.

Besides a heli-tour, you can explore the West Rim’s hiking trails and overlooks. At Eagle Point, you can see the authentic Native American community of the Hualapai tribe. Meanwhile, Guano Point has one of the most impressive panoramic views in the park. You may also like the Skywalk, a glass bridge that hangs over the edge of the West Rim.

After spending the day here, it’s time to hit the road again. For this Vegas road trip to the Grand Canyon, I recommend taking Route 66 from Kingman to Seligman. Along this historic highway, you’ll see fun roadside attractions and pass through the Hualapai tribe headquarters of Peach Springs. Once you arrive at the South Rim, you can stay in Grand Canyon Village or a nearby hotel.

155 miles and 3 hrs

Day 3 begins at the South Rim, also known as Grand Canyon Village. This is the most popular part of the national park, thanks to its stunning lookouts and hiking trails. It’s also where most of the hotels and tourist facilities are located.

Most of the top viewpoints are at the South Rim, so take your time to explore. Yavapai Point, Yaki Point, Maricopa Point, and Hopi Point are just a few ideas. The South Rim is also where the famous Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails begin.

While you’re visiting this area, take some time to explore the East Rim, too. You can travel along the scenic Desert View Drive and see less-crowded lookouts like Navajo Point, Lipan Point, Moran Point, and Grandview Point.

Later, it’s time to travel to Horseshoe Bend, an imposing meander on the Colorado River. This horseshoe-shaped landmass is especially beautiful at sunset when the sun descends into the horizon. The attraction is in Page, Arizona, where you’ll spend the night.

130 miles and 2 hrs, 30 mins

Horseshoe Bend is a very short drive from Antelope Canyon, so you’ll definitely want to spend some time exploring this spectacular place. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon that boasts vibrant shades of pink, red, and purple, depending on the time of day.

The canyon is on Navajo land, so if you want to walk among the undulating walls, you’ll need to book a tour. The Lower Canyon is typically less crowded and cheaper, while the Upper Canyon offers more photogenic scenery.

Afterward, continue your Vegas – Grand Canyon road trip by driving to Kanab, Utah. There are some cool places to see along the way, although you’ll only have time to explore one, if any, during a 6-day road trip. With more time you want to make sure you check out White Pocket at the Vermilion Cliffs. Other sights on the way include Alstrom Point, Coyote Buttes (where the famous Wave is located), Wahwap Hoodoos, Toadstool Hoodoos, and Buckskin Gulch. Keep in mind that to visit some of these sights you will need a permit or booking or planning well in advance.

180 miles and 3 hrs, 40 mins

The penultimate day of this road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is when you’ll visit the Grand Canyon North Rim. Remember, the North Rim is only open from mid-May to mid-October, and while it has fewer tourists, it also has fewer viewpoints.

That said, there are some pretty overlooks you can check out, like Imperial Point, Cape Royal, Roosevelt Point, and Walhalla Overlook. You can also explore the North Kaibab Trail by descending the canyon and following the path to the South Rim. From there, you can take the Trans-Canyon Shuttle back to the North Rim, but you will need to book around 3 days for doing this and be in very good shape.

When you’re done at the North Rim, drive to Zion National Park, where you can settle in for the night.

190 miles and 3 hrs, 30 mins

As you do the last stretch, first explore Zion National Park, one of the best national parks near Las Vegas. Here, you can get some movement and take in the most majestic scenery.

The Narrows hiking route runs through the Virgin River Gorge, while the Angels Landing Trail takes you to an incredible 360° lookout. The Lower Emerald Pools route is a family-friendly hike that leads to different waterfalls. Zion also has interesting formations like Weeping Rock and Court of the Patriarchs, so be sure to check our article for more ideas!

The last stop on this Las Vegas – Grand Canyon road trip itinerary is the Valley of Fire. You won’t want to miss this National Natural Landmark because not only is it close to Vegas, but it also has dozens of things to see.

For example, among the hikes at Valley of Fire, the Fire Wave is the most popular. You could also check out the Rainbow Vista and Pink Canyon, two other gorgeous attractions. I recommend driving down Mouse’s Tank Road to see the famous petroglyphs and structures like Arch Rock, Elephant Rock, the Beehives, Balanced Rock, and the Seven Sisters.

From the Valley of Fire, you’re less than an hour from Sin City, so once you get to Vegas, crash at one of the top resorts on the Strip. You made it!

How far is the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?

The driving distance from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon depends on which part you visit. You could do a loop to each of the rims, like in this Las Vegas – Grand Canyon road trip itinerary, or you can go directly to one of the rims. Here is the distance and driving time for each option.

It takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim. The total driving distance is 118 miles.

The driving distance from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim is 280 miles. It takes 4 hours and 30 minutes to drive this route.

If you want to take a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon North Rim, it’ll take 4 hours and 30 minutes. The total driving distance is 270 miles.

FAQ – Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip

Here are the answers to some common questions about traveling from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by car.

The drive time to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas ranges from 2.5 hours to 4.5 hours, depending on which rim you visit.

The driving distances from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon are:

  • 118 miles to the West Rim
  • 280 miles to the South Rim
  • 270 miles to the North Rim

My first recommendation is to take a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by car. However, if you don’t want to rent a car in Vegas, you can take one of these Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas.

There are some awesome places to stop between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon:

  • Boulder City, Hoover Dam & Lake Mead
  • Route 66, Kingman & Seligman
  • Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend
  • Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
  • Zion National Park
  • Valley of Fire

I hope you enjoy this Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon road trip itinerary! I also have a map to help you plan your route to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.

This trip is truly a wonderful experience, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. Happy trails!


COFOUNDER & TRAVEL JUNKIE

Hi, I'm Ascen, a globetrotter based in Philadelphia, USA. I enjoy exploring new landscapes and creating in-depth travel guides for Capture the Atlas.

I have felt a special connection with nature and all the inhabitants of the planet since I was a kid. I am passionate about discovering new countries and especially their wildlife, but no matter how many places I visit, I will always belong to the remote beaches of Almería, in Southern Spain.

You can know a little more about me here.

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