Driving from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas
You'll find plenty of unique country to explore between the stunning beauty of Salt Lake City and the excitement of Las Vegas. If you're interested in a road trip that will take you to one-of-a-kind cities and unforgettable national forests and parks, load up your rental car and discover some of the best attractions from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas.
Drive time from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas: approximately 6 hours
Distance from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas: approximately 421 miles
Best car for this road trip: Full-Size SUV
1. Salt Lake City
As the capital and most populated city in Utah, Salt Lake City is a booming area that offers plenty to see and do. Before you leave on your road trip, take some time to enjoy the beauty of the area. Spanning 110 acres, Sugar House Park is often considered one of the best parks in the area. The park has a winding 1.3-mile road that's ideal for walking or biking and provides amazing views of the surrounding mountains. You can also enjoy volleyball courts, a basketball court, playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball fields, and picnic pavilions.
Another popular attraction in Salt Lake City worth exploring is Red Butte Garden. Operated by the University of Utah, this botanical garden covers over 100 acres and offers 5 miles of hiking trails. Popular areas of the garden include the fragrance garden, floral walk, pear arbors, herb garden, and four seasons garden. You can also head to the water pavilion garden to view the waterfall, or you can check out the natural area for even more hiking trails.
Once you've had your fun in Salt Lake City, it's time to begin your road trip to Las Vegas. Start by heading south on Interstate 15 for about 45 miles and around 46 minutes to reach Provo. Known as the home to Brigham Young University, Provo is also the third-largest city in Utah.
If you're interested in exploring some museums, Provo is the city for you. At the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, you can view a variety of exhibits about natural history. As you walk through the museum, you'll learn more about common animals found in Utah, discover the importance of plants, view freshwater and marine ecosystems, and more.
You can also check out the Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Here you'll discover a variety of drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and other art installations. In addition to the rotating exhibits, the permanent collection also contains art pieces from several popular artists, including Rembrandt, Minerva Teichert, Norman Rockwell, and Carl Bloch.
3. Fishlake National Forest
After Provo, it's time to explore the natural environment outside of Utah's cities. Continue driving south on Interstate 15 for around two hours and 15 minutes and 124 miles to reach Fishlake National Forest. Named after Fish Lake, which is the largest natural freshwater mountain lake in Utah, the forest covers 1.5 million acres and includes four districts. No matter what nature-related activity you're interested in, you're sure to find it at Fishlake National Forest.
This forest boasts 20 hiking trails with spectacular views of meadows, mountains, and streams. If you prefer biking, you'll find opportunities for both road cycling and mountain biking. If you want to see the beauty of the area from the comfort of your vehicle, you can also head out on one of the scenic drives. The Fishlake Scenic Byway is a 13-mile trip that offers a great chance to view wildlife and the changing terrain.
4. Zion National Park
While driving through Utah, you won't want to miss the opportunity to see Zion National Park, which is just over three hours and approximately 177 miles south of Fishlake National Forest. To get there, continue heading south on Interstate 15.
Zion is Utah's first national park. One of the most stunning features of the park is the 15-mile-long Zion Canyon. The best way to view the canyon is on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. From April to October, the drive is closed to private vehicles. However, the park offers shuttle buses during these months so that you can still experience the breathtaking scenery.
Another excellent way to see the park is on one of the hiking trails. You'll find a variety of trails that offer incredible views around the park. For something easy, consider the Archeology Trail, which is a 0.4-mile roundtrip trail that takes you to the outlines of several prehistoric buildings. If you're interested in a challenge, the Hidden Canyon Trail is a strenuous 2.4-mile roundtrip journey that takes you along the cliff face to the mouth of a narrow canyon.
5. Las Vegas
After seeing the beauty of Zion National Park, pack up the car and head to the lively city of Las Vegas. Get back on Interstate 15 and travel south for about two hours and 40 minutes and 160 miles.
Although Vegas is known for its gambling, that's not the only enjoyable thing to do. For something different, check out the Pinball Hall of Fame. This fun museum is dedicated to the classic pinball machine. The 10,000-square-foot facility has the world's largest collection of pinball machines. Even better, every machine you see is available for play.
For some great thrills, try the Big Apple Coaster and Arcade at New York-New York Hotel and Casino. This roller coaster offers a 180-degree twist and dive maneuver for some heart-pounding fun.
When you're ready for a memorable road trip that includes everything from the scenic vistas in Utah to all the entertainment of Las Vegas, get in your rental car and head out on this incredible journey.
Salt Lake City to Las Vegas FAQs
What should I do in Salt Lake City?
There are many fun things to do in Salt Lake City, including:
- - Utah Museum of Fine Arts, full of ancient Egyptian and Greek artifacts, Italian Renaissance paintings, and more.
- - Hogle Zoo, which was built in 1931 and is home to more than 800 animals.
- - Hatch Family Chocolates, serving homemade ice cream and other desserts.
Check out visitutah.com for more fun attractions.
How long does it take to drive through Zion?
If you opt to view Zion from your rental car, it should take around an hour and a half to make the 54-mile drive. Keep in mind, you can only tour Zion Canyon in your own vehicle from December through February. If you are not going to be there during that time, a great alternative is to drive the Mount Carmel Highway.
What is Vegas known for?
Las Vegas is known for its lively nightlife. Tourists can choose from a miriad of casinos, live performances, high-end shops, and restaurants to explore. If you want to step away from the city, Vegas is also surrounded by beautiful desert landscape.