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Driving from LA to Vegas

2 posts
Driving from LA to Vegas

Hi everyone! Reaching for some help and advise on a drive from LA to Vegas.

We are travelling from LA to Vegas on the 29th of March 2023 and are wanting some help on planning this journey. We would love to touch base on Route 66, have a little drive on here see some signs and road markings however would also love to stop of and see some sights on the way. Can anyone help and recommend a route by any chance?

Thanks in advance!

8 replies to this topic
Tacoma, Washington
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: Driving from LA to Vegas

Route 66 stuff woukd be near Barstow where 15 and 40 meet.

The area around kingman and boatman in arizon along 40 south of vegas has better Route 66 historical sites but going to kingman makes this as a day trip much harder.

At the time of your trip joshua tree and Death Valley nps are worth seeing at this time of year. Joshua tree is north of 10 east of Palm Springs. Death Valley can be done before vegas by going from Barstow NE to ridgecrest to Death Valley.

2 posts
2. Re: Driving from LA to Vegas

Hi Dan, thank you for this! I think it’s definitely that’s going to take a lot of planning.. is there any areas that you would 100% recommend going to? I’ll have to work it all out on a map. Is a lot of it out the way of just doing a standard drive from LA to Vegas?

West Midlands...
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3. Re: Driving from LA to Vegas

Yes, its out of the way, as once you get to Barstow where I-15 splits off to Vegas you would stay on I-40 heading east towards Needles etc.

Are planning on doing this is one day?

Edited: 30 September 2022, 00:11
West Midlands...
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4. Re: Driving from LA to Vegas

If you drove LA to Barstow, to Oatman to Vegas you are looking at about 7-8 hours wheels turning, if you get off the interstate onto Route66, plus any time for stops.

Anaheim, California
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5. Re: Driving from LA to Vegas

This is my usual route to Vegas, because I hate the 15 freeway with the passion of a thousand expiring suns.

I-10 east to near Palm Springs

CA-62 east to Twentynine Palms

Turn left on Adobe Rd. (traffic light in city center)

Go 2 miles and turn right on Amboy Rd.

At the end of the road, turn right on Route 66 (National Trails Hwy).

Pass through Amboy and turn left on Kelbaker Rd.

Go under I-40; turn right on Kelso-Cima Rd.

Kelso-Cima Rd. becomes Morning Star Mine Rd. At end of road, turn left on Ivanpah Rd.

At the end of the road, you have two choices:

A. Turn LEFT on Nipton Rd. and then take I-15 north into Las Vegas, or

B. Turn RIGHT on Nipton Rd., go through Nipton. In Searchlight, turn LEFT on US-95 north. Then take US-95 to I-11 to Las Vegas.

Option A takes you the most direct way and past one of the outlet malls at the state line.

Option B takes you past a desert eco-community, through a Joshua tree forest, and within easy distance of Hoover Dam, if you want to see it.

The route in general takes you past the huge Desert Hills outlet mall in Cabazon, past Joshua Tree National Park, and into a preserved Route 66 outpost in Amboy, and the Mojave National Preserve (though the visitors' center is closed until March 2023).

A couple of things to bear in mind:

1. There is one gas station between Twentynine Palms and Searchlight; it's at Amboy, it's sometimes closed for no real reason, and so it's best to fill up in Twentynine. The only restaurant or restrooms beyond that are at Nipton, and there are limited hours. Your next best bet would be Primm (option A) or Searchlight (option B).

2. While it's not as bad as it was, there's limited mobile phone coverage along this route. There's coverage in Amboy, Nipton, and Searchlight, and varying levels of service the rest of the way; there's absolutely no service in the Mojave National Preserve. Once you get out of line-of-sight of Route 40, that's it until you're within line-of-sight of I-15 near Nipton.

3. If there's rain in the forecast, use the I-15 freeway because flash floods are a real danger along this route during rain. Watch for desert tortoises on the road, particularly if it's recently rained.

4. The road recently re-opened after monsoonal flood damage, so there may be some construction going on; keep your head on a swivel.

Long Beach...
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6. Re: Driving from LA to Vegas

Might want to ask on the California forum too.

Short stretch of route 66 between Victorville and Barstow, Elmers Bottle tree Ranch. Small Route 66 museum in the Barstow train station (which is beautiful and has some history too.). Museum in Victorville too.

Fremont, California
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7. Re: Driving from LA to Vegas

another route:

1) Drive 2 1/2 hours to Palm Springs


2) Drive and see Joshua Tree National Park


3) drive to Parker and drive across on highway 62 to Parker - then drive north to Lake Havasu City


4) Drive to Kingman (and drive part of Route 66) and see the Route 66 Powerhouse Museum


5) Drive Sitgreaves Pass to Oatman to see the wild burros


6) Drive past Hoover Dam as you finish your drive to Las Vegas.

Little Rock...
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8. Re: Driving from LA to Vegas

Depending on where you start in LA, it can be as short a drive as 3.5 hours if you follow I-15… the typical route… Unless it’s a Friday… then all bets are off…

Noting that according to some versions of Rt 66, start in Santa Monica… to Pasadena where it is on Colorado Blvd, then Foothill Blvd to San Bernadino… (Rt 66 changed routes occasionally, so there may be some confusion… particularly in New Mexico when a lame duck Governor rerouted the road away from Santa Fe after he lost his reelection. according to some reports driving the bulldozer.

Alternatly, most people start in Barstow, leaving LA on the dreaded I-15, getting on I-40 in Barstow, (get gas in Barstow) then taking Rt 66 in Daggett… this gets you Bagdad Café and Amboy and “Rt 66” painted on the road. If on this route, Rt 66 disappears at Goff’s, where you can drive north to Vegas on what becomes Hwy 95, skirting Laughlin, and passing through Searchlight (Never ever speed in Searchlight… ever… the speed limit drops to 25 mph and them mean not 26 mph)

Alternatly at Goffs you can get on I-40 to Needles (fuel available) and take historic Rt 66 across the river and up to Oatman, and beyond and pick up Hwy 93 north at Kingman…. This would be a long day but the road through Oatman is spectacular. Kingman has a good Rt 66 museum. (Barstow has a Rt 66 museum too, but I have never found it open….)

TravelerCA’s route will take you out further south, then heading north will let you cross Rt 66 at Amboy, and won’t take you as far east… but it is a possible route to be considered, and on it you are more likely to see desert tortoise… and will drive through a piece of the Mojave Preserve, including the visitor center at Kelso.

You didn’t say if it’s a one way or round trip… but if returning or if you don’t have time for the Rt 66 detours, one trick is to get off i-15 near Baker CA (look at a map) and head through Nipton to Searchlight then North on Hwy 95, picking up I-11 at Railroad Pass in Boulder Coty (or the reverse heading to LA on a Sunday afternoon or Monday) to miss the worst traffic…


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