Las Vegas to Grand Canyon: From City Lights to Canyon Sights

Split screen of Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

Explore the incredible beauty of the southwestern United States on an unforgettable road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon! As you leave the city lights, you’ll experience the stark beauty and vast landscapes of the American Southwest.

The over-the-top excesses of Las Vegas and the impressive natural beauty of one of the world’s deepest canyons — could two experiences be more different? And, in a way, that’s part of the charm of road tripping from Sin City to the Grand Canyon.

Just a few hours from the smoke-filled casinos and dazzling lights of Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon stretches across the Arizona landscape. As you gaze at its detailed, colorful landscape, you can almost hear the whispered stories, millions of years old, in each layer of its vast depths. Its overwhelming size evokes a sense of awe unlike any other. 

So, why embark on a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon? This adventure offers the chance to witness the diverse beauty of the American Southwest as you cruise through vast deserts, past historic landmarks, and across state lines — it’s almost as breathtaking as the route from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, with its spectacular views and diverse landscapes.

This scenic drive is a popular route for good reason, appealing to everyone from families seeking adventure to couples on a romantic getaway. As you navigate through some of the most beautiful parts of Arizona and Nevada, the route offers stunning views of desert landscapes, towering red-rock formations, iconic neon signs, and an array of unique cultural experiences. Whether you’re drawn by the allure of the Grand Canyon or just want to cross the experience off your bucket list, this journey through the American Southwest is as breathtaking as it is unforgettable.

Las vegas to grand canyon road trip.


Have You Driven from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon?

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A man and woman in a car looking at a road map on a phone.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Planning Your Route

When planning a trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, there are several options depending on your time and what you want to see. Choosing the best route depends on your interests, budget, and time. Each alternative offers unique views and experiences, so select the one that appeals most to you. It will take a few hours, so you may want to play some fun road trip games while you drive.

Direct from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim National Park

Driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim is the most direct route, clocking in at about four hours each way. The drive takes you through the scenic Mojave Desert, past the Hoover Dam, around Lake Mead, and through the Kaibab National Forest. Once you reach the South Rim, make a beeline for the visitor center. Here, you can get your national park passport stamped, pick up a Junior Ranger book for any children in your group, and get an overview of this natural wonder before admiring the breathtaking views of the scenic canyon.

Viator - Hoover Dam Tour

Explore Hoover Dam from multiple angles in a small group tour.

  • Walk across the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
  • View the dam from below with a guided Powerplant tour
  • Includes unlimited snacks, drinks, and bottled water
  • Reserve now and pay later
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)
Check Availability
South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

The typical drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim is from Route 93 North to Route 40 East. You can also take Route 15 North to Route 40 East. Both routes will take you through stunning desert landscapes and allow you to see unique attractions. You should bring your favorite road trip snacks, plenty of water, and other road trip essentials. Before leaving, it is also a good idea to check the weather and road conditions — especially in winter —  to ensure a safe and comfortable trip.

Ali Garland of Travel Made Simple made this trip part of a more extensive Southwest USA road trip. She shared, “The Southwest has so many amazing national parks, but it’s nice to break it up with a few days in a city. Vegas is an excellent choice.”

Viator - Helicopter Flight Over Grand Canyon
  • A 45-minute helicopter flight from the Grand Canyon's South Rim to the North Rim
  • See the world's largest ponderosa pines in Kaibab National Forest and the mighty Colorado River
  • Snap photos of the Painted Desert, Desert View Watchtower, Marble Canyon, and Point Imperial before your return flight takes you through the dramatic backdrop of the Dragon Corridor
Check Availability

Short Route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim

It’s about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon’s West Rim via US Highway 93 South and Pierce Ferry Road. This area offers stunning canyon views from the Skywalk, a 10-foot-wide, horseshoe-shaped glass bridge and a glass-bottomed observation deck that extends 70 feet over the rim of the Grand Canyon. If you are brave enough to look down, you’ll see incredible views of the canyon floor. It’s like getting an aerial view without a helicopter ride!

A view of the Grand Canyon Skywalk with people looking into the canyon.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

The Hualapai Tribe manages the Grand Canyon West Rim, and this area is separate from the Grand Canyon National Park located at the South Rim. There is an admission fee to see the canyon and visit the Skywalk. Booking your tickets in advance is recommended.

“Make a day trip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by visiting the not-often visited West Rim of the canyon, home of the famous Skywalk. This trip is only five hours round-trip! A small portion of the road to the canyon is a dirt road, but well-maintained and suitable for all vehicles,” suggests Kristen Wood of

Summer Route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim

The drive from Las Vegas to the North Rim takes around four to five hours. This part of the Grand Canyon is in a remote area of northern Arizona that gets snow and ice, so it closes in the winter months.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon at sunset.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

This route takes you through some stunning scenery across three states. From Vegas, take I-15 east to St. George, Utah. Then take State Route 9 toward Hurricane, Utah. Shortly after passing through town, take State Route 59 south toward Arizona where the road will change to AZ-389 after you cross the state line. At the park entrance, follow North Rim Parkway for the various lookout points and trails.

Long Drive to Grand Canyon Along Historic Route 66

For those who fancy a dash of nostalgia, driving historic Route 66 from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon offers a scenic and unhurried drive of about five to six hours — but you can counter any backseat inquiries of “Are we there yet?” with these easy road trip hacks and family-friendly audiobooks. This route winds through small towns with old gas stations, historic diners, and a slice of classic Americana. It’s a journey through the heart of American history, surrounded by stunning scenery. 

A stretch of historic Route 66.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Route 66 no longer exists as a continuous highway. However, there are still plenty of sections of the original road that you can explore. And here is a long list of Route 66 quotes that can help you add the perfect caption for your Instagram pics from along the Mother Road. 

Here are some general directions:

  1. From Las Vegas, head south on Route 95 until you reach the town of Oatman.
  2. Take the Oatman Highway towards Kingman.
  3. Continue on Route 66 toward Hackberry. 
  4. From Hackberry, head towards Peach Springs.
  5. Continue towards the Grand Canyon Caverns.
  6. Keep driving towards Seligman, then continue to Williams. A quick stop at Buckskinner Park in Williams is a great way to see a beautiful water view.
  7. From Williams, follow Route 64 north to the Grand Canyon National Park entrance.

While following this route, you’ll see some of the roadside attractions that keep Route 66 famous while enjoying beautiful scenery along the way. It’s a great way to experience a bit of American history and culture on your way to one of the most iconic natural wonders in the world.

The Hoover Dam in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Stops and Sights from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

When you leave the bright lights of Las Vegas and head to the Grand Canyon, you can see a wide range of attractions. Along your scenic route, you will find plenty of opportunities to indulge in local culture and embrace all that nature offers. 

Here are some incredible sights you can see on a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon:

Hoover Dam

Located on the border between Arizona and Nevada, the Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering and a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can tour the dam and learn about its history and significance.

Lake Mead

Just east of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States. It offers plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Route 66

If you’re interested in American history and culture, driving along historic Route 66 is a can’t-miss experience. Explore quaint towns like Kingman, Seligman, and Williams, which preserve their Route 66 heritage with vintage motels, diners, and other roadside attractions.


If you have some extra time, I recommend visiting the town of Sedona. Known for its stunning red rock formations and spiritual energy, Sedona offers visitors a unique and memorable experience.

Two pictures of the grand canyon and the statue of liberty.
Photo Credit: Canva.

Completing the Journey

From the bright neon lights of Las Vegas to the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Grand Canyon, this road trip gives travelers an incredible glimpse into one of America’s most famous landmarks. It’s an epic adventure that everyone should experience at least once.

As you approach the Grand Canyon, the breathtaking view will leave you speechless as its vastness stretches before you. The deep valleys and dramatic rock formations create a sense of tranquility that is hard to beat, making it one to truly remember. And, as the sun slips behind the horizon, a spectacular dark-sky preserve opens before your eyes. The incredible display of stars twinkling from above will take your breath away all over again.

Have You Driven from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon?

What route did you take? What stops did you make along the way? Do you have any additional tips and tricks to pass along? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

Portions of this article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.

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