If you’ve ever considered exploring the Southwest region of the United States by car, a great trip option would be a Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Drive. This route will provide you with plenty of opportunities to see amazing mountainous landscapes, visit some of the most spectacular state parks in the country, and learn about the history and development of this unique area.
With plenty of great stops along the way from one city to the other, a Las Vegas to Salt Lake City road trip is sure to be a one-of-a-kind adventure you’ll never forget!
Planning a Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Road Trip
The drive from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City is very straightforward, as you’ll be travelling along I-15 North for the entire journey, only exiting to make any of the stops that you’re interested in. While the terrain on the drive can seem a bit remote, there are plenty of towns and rest stops along the I-15 frequently, so you won’t have to worry about stocking up on food or gas.
Generally speaking, you’ll never have to drive further than an hour maximum to the nearest place to make a stop, so you’ll definitely find this drive to be a relatively easy one.
If planning on renting a car for this drive, you’ll find a number of options by browsing Rentalcars.com which aggregates the best deals across all major car hire companies. Alternatively, if you prefer to hire a campervan or RV, you’ll find a huge selection of options on Outdoorsy which is one of the best places online to hire a motorhome.
How Far is Las Vegas to Salt Lake City?
The distance from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City is about 420 miles, which means that if you were going to drive straight there without making any stops, the Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive time would be just a little over six hours.
However, I would definitely recommend taking your time with this drive in order to make the most out of it and stop at some of the incredible places in between the two cities.
Plan on splitting it up over two or three days – more if you love camping, hiking and rock climbing – and read on for a list of some of the best stops on a drive from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City!
Best Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Drive Stops
Las Vegas, Nevada
You’ll begin your trip in Las Vegas, Nevada, the infamous city unlike any other in the world. Definitely plan on spending a day or two exploring Vegas. There is so much to do in this completely unique city, you’ll easily find many exciting things to experience during your stay. See an incredible live show, do some world-class shopping, relax at beautiful swimming pools, or check out the vibrant nightlife in the clubs or casinos.
Regardless of where you choose to stay in Vegas, make sure you spend some time exploring the strip and walking through some of the hotels and casinos-the extravagant architecture and décor you’ll see in some of these building is truly mind-boggling!
After you’ve had your fair share of Vegas, make sure you get a good night of sleep before embarking on the drive from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City.
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
The first stop from Vegas that is definitely worth checking out is Valley of Fire State Park, just about an hour and a half down the I-15 North and the Valley Of Fire Highway, respectively.
This state park is home to a stunning collection of red rock formations and many relatively easy hikes that are well suited to a wide range of fitness levels. Spend a few hours exploring the Valley of Fire, starting with a drive down the main road, Mouse’s Tank Road, that will take you past many of the main rock formations.
Stop at some of the popular formations along the road to take a few photos and explore, or embark on one of the short hikes in the park, such as the popular Rainbow Vista or White Domes Hike, both of which are about a mile roundtrip and provide incredible views of the impressive red rock formations that are the namesake of this popular park.
Brigham Young Winter Home, Utah
From Valley of Fire, get right back on the I-15 North and drive for about an hour and forty-five minutes until you reach the town of St. George, Utah, right by the Arizona/ Utah border.
A notable stop in this town, particularly since our final destination is Salt Lake City, is the Brigham Young Winter Home, a historic residence and current museum. Brigham Young was a Mormon religious leader, as well as an important figure in the development of Utah as a state, as he not only founded Salt Lake City but also served as the state’s first governor.
Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, Young’s Winter Home in St. George is the perfect first stop in Utah, as this museum will provide some context on the history of the state and the influence of religion on the development of Salt Lake City. In addition, the house is beautiful, and admission is free!
Zion National Park, Utah
The next stop on this Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive is an absolute must-see. Zion, Utah’s first National Park, is home to an absolutely stunning collection of red rock cliffs, divided by the Virgin River. The landscape of Zion National Park is nothing short of spectacular- a visit to this park will make you feel as if you’ve landed on a completely different planet!
From the Springdale Visitor Center, take a shuttle into the park. Driving within the park is restricted, but the shuttles run frequently in and out of the park, so you’ll never have to wait around too long. Within the park there are many different trails and hikes of varying difficulty, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy at this park!
I would highly recommend the Riverside Walk for those with small children or anyone who would prefer a flat, easy walk. This trail is about 2 miles long and begins at the last shuttle stop in the park. The path follows the winding river and provides beautiful views of the towering canyon, making it the perfect option if you just want to stop in Zion for a few hours and take in the natural beauty of the area.
On the other end of the spectrum, true thrill-seekers can embark on the famous Angels Landing hike, a strenuous trek with many steep drop-offs and narrow ledges. This hike is around 5.5 miles round trip with plenty of elevation gain- expect a lot of switchbacks, climbing and even scrambling on all fours when you get to the narrow, rocky top section. The view from the top of Angel’s Landing is spectacular, but it can be very scary if you aren’t an experienced hiker or climber.
Of course, there are a wide variety of hike options that lie somewhere between the easy Riverside stroll and the strenuous Angel’s Landing, so make sure to check out the National Park Service website to find the hike best suited for you! After spending a day in Zion, grab a bite to eat back in Springdale where the shuttle will drop you back off, and hit the road!
Want a unique place to spend the night in Zion? Check out this historic cottage with views of the park!
Parowan Gap, Utah
From Zion, get back on the I-15 for about an hour and a half before reaching the Parowan Gap Petroglyph site, a series of well-preserved Native American rock carvings on the rock face of a pass that connects the Parowan Valley to the Red Hills.
The petroglyphs were discovered by pioneers in 1849 who were exploring the area for settlements, and came across the carvings at the Gap, likely made by ancient Fremont people and their ancestors as they travelled through the area.
Today, you can see the petroglyphs for yourself and try to decipher some of them. Once you get near the gap, you’ll find a parking lot and a marked path that will take you beside the rock face to check out some of the petroglyphs.
In addition to the ancient carvings, you can also see check out some preserved dinosaur tracks just about a mile East from the Gap. If you’re a history buff, a quick stop at the Parowan Gap is definitely worth checking out!
Fillmore Territorial Statehouse Museum, Utah
After stopping to check out the petroglyphs at Parowan Gap, head back on the I-15 North for about an hour and a half until you reach Fillmore, Utah, the original capital city from 1851-1856. Fillmore itself is relatively small, but a great place to stop and check out the Territorial Statehouse Museum.
The statehouse is the oldest governmental building in all of Utah. The museum is worth checking out in order to learn more about the Utah territory in the earliest stages of its development, and it is located in a peaceful park that is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs after being in the car for a while.
Nebo Loop, Utah
The next stop worth making is a detour off the 1-15, just about an hour from Fillmore. The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is a stunning 38-mile road that takes you through the Uinta National Forest and around Mount Nebo, the tallest mountain in the Wasatch Mountain Range.
A drive on this bypass is truly spectacular- the views as you climb higher and higher are stunning, and there are plenty of opportunities to see native wildlife on this remote road. Make sure you have your camera handy and be prepared to pull over to stop and take photos at some of the many lookouts along the road.
Just note, the bypass is closed in the winter, so this stop will only be possible if you’re travelling in the warmer months.
Thanksgiving Point, Utah
From Nebo Loop, head back on the I-15 North for an hour before reaching Thanksgiving Point, located in Lehi, Utah. Thanksgiving Point is a non-profit complex that includes various museums, large sprawling gardens, and a working farm, and it is the perfect place to stop for a few hours and explore, particularly if you are travelling with children.
Make sure you check out The Museum of Natural Curiosity, made up of more than 400 interactive experiences that allow visitors to engage with exhibits in a hands-on and exciting way. After you check out the museums, head to the Butterfly Biosphere, the 40,000 square foot home to thousands of species of butterflies and other interesting insects.
End your visit at Thanksgiving Point by strolling through the Ashton Gardens, a truly stunning collection of various gardens within-a-garden, including a Rose Garden, an Italian Garden, even a Secret Garden. A visit to Thanksgiving Point is a one of a kind experience and definitely worth a stop on the way to Salt Lake City
Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah
And the final stop on the drive from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City is Sundance Mountain Resort, located half an hour east of Thanksgiving Point. This beautiful resort is worth checking out, particularly if you are a fan of winter sports — the skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding at Sundance are world-class and will make for a great stop for a day before heading into Salt Lake City.
However, if you visit in the summer, or simply aren’t a fan of winter sports, there is still so much else to do at Sundance. The area is surrounded by great hiking and biking trails and is also home to Utah’s longest zipline. After a day on the mountain, relax at one of the highly-rated restaurants on the resort, check out the spa, or enjoy some shopping at the base of the mountain.
Salt Lake City, Utah
From Sundance, get back on the I-15 North for one more hour before reaching our final destination, Salt Lake City! Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah, and you’ll find there are so many options of things to do here.
If you are interested in history and the impact of religion on Utah, check out some of the important Mormon sites, including Temple Square, the Mormon Temple, and the Mormon Tabernacle to learn more about the development of the religion that is based in the state.
Additionally, you can check out the impressive Hogle Zoo, the Utah Museum of Fine Art, Clarke Planetarium, or the sprawling Liberty Park, a natural oasis in the heart of the city. Regardless of how you choose to spend your time, you’ll find Salt Lake City to be a completely unique and interesting place to spend a few days.
Want a unique place to stay in Salt Lake City? Check out this penthouse apartment located downtown!
Where to Stay on the Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Drive
If you plan to make a proper road trip and space out the Vegas to Salt Lake drive over a couple of days, the ideal place to ret for the night would be around St George, Utah within close proximity of Zion National Park. This will give you the time to adequately explore the park while also making a good halfway point to visit the other incredible stops.
If you’re not looking for a traditional hotel stay on this road trip, private rentals can also be a great option anywhere along the drive. There are countless properties available such as this historic cottage in Zion or this penthouse apartment in downtown Salt Lake City! Click here to browse other private rentals!
Where to Stay in St George
St George Inn & Suites — A good mid-range option in St George, this is the perfect base for exploring Zion National Park. They have a number of comfortable rooms available and an excellent swimming pool and jacuzzi to splash around in. Click here to see their availability
Inn On The Cliff — If you’re after something a bit more swanky, then this hotel is a great bet for you. They have a number of clean and comfortable rooms on offer, a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, incredible views over the surrounding nature and a continental breakfast is included in the nightly rate. Click here to see their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more hotels in St George!
Where to Stay in Salt Lake City
Hampton Inn Salt Lake — If you’re looking for the reliability and consistency of a chain hotel in Salt Lake City, then this is a great option for you. They have a range of rooms available, great amenities and facilities and a convenient location for exploring Utah’s capital. Click here to see their availability
Kimpton Hotel Monaco — If you’re keen for a more luxury stay in Salt Lake City, then this is the hotel for you. They have countless luxe rooms available, fantastic amenities, and a restaurant on site. Click here to see their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more hotels in Salt Lake City!
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino — This hotel and casino is a great place for Vegas visitors looking for an affordable place to stay directly on the Strip. They have a great number of clean and comfortable rooms available, countless restaurants, a wonderful swimming pool and breakfast included in the room cost! Click here to see their availability
Bellagio — Arguably one of the most famous Vegas hotels. this is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a bit of luxury to begin your drive to Salt Lake. There are myriad plush rooms available, a casino, and iconic Las Vegas shows on-site. Click here to see their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more hotels in Las Vegas!
As you can see, a Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive is an incredible way to spend a few days exploring the Southwest region of the United States. With so many incredible stops along the way and a wide range of activities that are sure to appeal to many different types of travelers, this is a trip that will be enjoyed by all.
When travelling in the USA, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a travel insurance policy so you’re covered for any unfortunate events! We like WorldNomads and always use them for our trips – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads
Are you planning a Las Vegas to Salt Lake City road trip? What stops would you add this list? Let us know in the comments!