Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Road Trip
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- Las Vegas, NV
- Overton, NV
- St. George, UT
- Parowan Gap Petroglyphs, UT
- Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, UT
- Thanksgiving Point, UT
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Roadside assistance
- Quick route
- Scenic route
- Cheap insurance
A straight shot on I-15N, the Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive will take six hours to complete—if you drive nonstop. You will also cross time zones, from Pacific Time into Mountain Time! This route is full of scenic desert views and plenty of great places to eat and explore.
If you’re short on time, you can easily complete the Las Vegas to Salt Lake City road trip in a single day. However, if you have a little more time, you will discover that southern Utah offers some surprisingly satisfying stops. Sure, the side roads can be a little rocky, but hey! You’ve got roadside assistance membership so you’re free to adventure, right?
Jerry has created a list of the best stops on this route, from hikes and museums to ghost towns and coffee shops. So make sure your car insurance is up to date and let’s go!
Start in—Las Vegas, NV
Sin City has a bit of a bad rap for being glitzy and overpriced. But there are a lot of things here that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Plus, you can find plenty of wholesome activities in Las Vegas if you’d rather not spend all your time gambling under fluorescent lighting.
Eat here: In the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, head to Greenberg’s Deli. You can get authentic pastrami sandwiches, matzah ball soup, and even classic egg creams. Moon Palace is another great choice. It’s run by David Chang and you can get delectable bites for good prices.
Look at this: Don’t leave without visiting the Fountains of Bellagio! Make sure you time your visit to a fountain show, if possible. Fremont Street at night is a great place to revel in the neon signs, but keep in mind that it’s a pedestrian-only area.
Try this: Our two favorite museums in Vegas are The Mob Museum ($29.99 entrance fee) and the Neon Museum ($20 entrance fee). And for a classic Vegas experience, be sure to drive the Strip from Mandalay Bay Hotel to Treasure Island Hotel when all the signs are lit up.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Stop in—Overton, NV
An hour into your road trip, you’ll arrive in the Moapa area. If you want to take a stunning hike or learn more about ancient indigenous civilizations in America, take the exit toward Overton. There’s not much to do in town, but it serves as the gateway to incredible outdoor activities.
Eat here: You won’t find many satisfying food options in Overton, so you’re better off stopping in Moapa just off I-15 before you head south. Go to the Muddy River Bar and Grill for a filling plate.
Look at this: If you’d prefer a low-key (and low elevation) adventure, then head to the St. Thomas Ghost town 30 minutes south of Overton. It does add an hour or two to your route and the road quality isn’t very good, but this is a unique opportunity to see an 1800s era ghost town up close. You can also go to the Lost City Museum-Archaeology to view exhibits on the Anasazi artwork salvaged from the flood.
Try this: Head to Valley of Fire State Park for hiking options. We like Rainbow Vista and the White Domes Hike.
Valley of Fire State Park
Key Takeaway The desert hides some pretty spectacular attractions, if you know where to look.
Stop in—St. George, UT
Once you’re back on I-15N, it’s a little over an hour to reach St. George in Utah. This area is rich in both Mormon and indigenous history. You can also squeeze in a picture-perfect Utah hike in Sand Hollow if you’re willing to venture 30 minutes off-piste.
Eat here: The Cliffside Restaurant is a good option in town for “New American” eats, and they have a lovely terrace. For a more casual affair, go to 700 Degree Artisan Pizza for a flavorful slice.
Look at this: The Brigham Young Winter Home is on the edge of town, and you can explore the 19th-century restored furnishings and learn more about the Mormon settler Brigham Young. Tours are free! The Tabernacle and the Temple Visitors’ Center are interesting, too.
Try this: Get a dose of nature without leaving town at the Red Hills Desert Garden, which contains 5 acres of gorgeous desert plants. Sand Hollow State Park is 30 minutes out of town but we highly recommend the detour. Bright blue water and rolling red hills are guaranteed to astound.
St. George, Utah
Stop in—Parowan Gap Petroglyphs, UT
Just one more hour north and you can take the exit for UT-130N to reach the historically significant Parowan Gap Petroglyphs. Prepare to be gobsmacked by this indigenous artwork.
Eat here: After your encounter with the cliffs, continue east on Gap Road toward Parowan proper. We recommend Mountain Bistro for high-quality Chinese food in a restaurant setting, but there are plenty of fast food joints if you prefer a quick bite.
Look at this: The petroglyphs are visible if you take a .2 mile trail in and back. It’s never been easier to see ancient indigenous art, and it’s well worth the detour.
Try this: If it’s too hot (or cold) and you want to stay in the car, keep driving another three hours until you reach the Nebo Loop Road closer to Provo. This is a 38-mile scenic drive described as a “photographer’s dream.”
Key Takeaway Before the Mormons settled in this area, indigenous peoples lived here—and you can see the evidence for yourself in Parowan.
Stop in—Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, UT
This will take you 40 minutes east off your route, but it’s well worth it if you packed a swimsuit. You won’t have to retrace your steps, since you can take I-70 N from here.
Eat here: Bullies Drive-In is a good option, or you can find more options in Richfield (the town over). Don’t expect many options besides fast food here.
Look at this: The major attraction here is the hot springs. You can visit them at Red Hill Hot Springs or Mystic Hot Springs. Get ready to experience stunning mineral springs against a backdrop of rusted orange drip-carved rock.
Try this: Hot springs—need we say more? Make a reservation in advance but don’t feel obliged to get in, as this stopover is good for a steamy dip or just a steamy photo.
Mystic Hot Springs, Monroe
MORE: Road trip essentials
Stop in—Thanksgiving Point, UT
Your Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive is nearly complete! This is a wonderful stopover halfway between Provo and Salt Lake City, directly off the highway. It’s a nonprofit complex with a working farm, shops, and museum—the perfect place for a quick cuppa and a stroll so you can arrive refreshed.
Eat here: Head to the Brick Canvas Cafe for something healthy, or hit Lovers Donuts Bagels & Coffee for something decidedly not healthy.
Look at this: The complex is very walkable, and it’s worth poking your head into Holdman Studios and Glass Art Institute for a quick gander. You can even blow your own glass if you have time!
Try this: We recommend the Butterfly Biosphere and the Museum of Ancient Life. You can also grab some farm-fresh goods for backseat snacking.
Thanksgiving Point, Utah
Key Takeaway It’s worth making one last stop just before you arrive at your final destination so you can arrive refreshed.
Arrive in—Salt Lake City, UT
Outsiders know Salt Lake as the central hub of Mormon life, but insiders know that Salt Lake offers so much more. Hot in summer and snowy in winter, Utah has world-class outdoor recreational activities, vibrant communities of artists, and a food scene that is good enough for Tan France.
Sleep here: For a luxury rest, head to the Kimpton Hotel Monaco with a prime location. The city also has great Airbnbs if you want to cut costs and enjoy a backyard experience instead.
Eat here: The Red Iguana is a Mexican restaurant beloved by locals—so beloved that you should expect long lines. For brunch, try Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade. You really can’t go wrong eating here. In fact, when it comes to innovative food, Salt Lake City is the new Portland (you heard it here first!).
Look at this: Liberty Park hosts the farmer’s market but it’s beautiful on off-days, too. You can walk by the famous Mormon Temple downtown, but only adherents are allowed inside. The Bonneville Salt Flats are 1 ½ hours outside town but definitely worth a trip.
Try this: The Clarke Planetarium is popular among visitors, especially with kids. Head to the artsy Sugar House neighborhood to browse boutiques, and then take a hike above the Avenues to get a stunning view of the city (we recommend sunrise or sunset).
Why you need roadside assistance
Rocky cliffs, winding roads, and dusty hot days—this route is particularly vulnerable to breakdowns and mishaps.
Jerry’s roadside assistance membership is only $6.99 and includes towing coverage, fuel delivery, lockout assistance, and jumpstarts, plus so much more. Why wouldn’t you get peace of mind if it costs the same price as an overpriced gas station candy bar?
The fast way back
I-15 is the fastest route, so retrace your steps if time is of the essence on your return trip.
The scenic way back
Want a more scenic route? We recommend branching off east to the I-89 after Provo, which gives you access to more hikes and a different landscape. If you prefer the emptiness of the desert, then head west and take US-50W and then US-93S. It adds two hours to your total time.
Key Takeaway All adventurers need a sidekick—Jerry’s roadside assistance program is the perfect Louise to your Thelma.
Finding cheap car insurance
Cheap often means poor quality, but that’s not always the case! For example, take cheap car insurance with Jerry.
Most people are overpaying for their coverage. Jerry helps people uncover savings on their car insurance by comparing quotes and handling annoying paperwork—the average user saves $879 on their premium.
In addition to a sense of adventure, road trips require car insurance. But there’s no need to overpay! Wouldn’t you rather get the same coverage for a lower price, and get some extra cash back in your pocket to explore odd roadside attractions on your next road trip? Jerry can help.
“Saved me $500 a year, and it was all done through the app.” - Jerry User
How long is the drive to Utah from Vegas?
Nonstop, your drive will take six hours to complete. With a few stopovers for hiking and eating, you could comfortably make the trip in eight to 10 hours.
What is the best car for a road trip?
It depends on your itinerary. For off-roading, you’ll need a car with AWD and other special affordances. Of course, you can also rent a road trip car to make some memories. But as long as your car is well-maintained and you have car insurance, you don’t need to get another vehicle.
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