A trip from Denver to Las Vegas might seem like a strange idea. It’s a long road, you’ll have to cross mountains and deserts, and there are many flights that take more than 2 hours.
But if you’re travelling to Las Vegas from Denver, there’s probably an adventure waiting for you, and nothing offers more adventure than an epic journey through some of America’s greatest landscapes.
The trip from Denver to Las Vegas takes a day or two if you want to relax. It takes about 11 hours without detours, but you will discover amazing landscapes and places to stop along the way.
To help you plan your trip, the following sections contain some suggestions for your itinerary and what you can do along the way.
How far is it from Las Vegas to Denver and how long does it take to get there?
The journey from Denver to Las Vegas is approximately 750 miles and requires 11 hours of clean driving time before considering a break or stop.
If you leave Denver during rush hour and live in the wrong neighborhood, you can easily add an hour from the top. So even if you plan to leave in the morning, we’re talking about a very long day’s driving if you plan to arrive in one day.
Even if you take two refueling sessions and a short lunch break, it takes at least 12 hours and 30 minutes to get there. So if you leave at 7 a.m., you don’t get to Vegas until you’re in time for a late dinner.
The road from Denver to Las Vegas is incredibly beautiful, so take your time and enjoy the view.
The most important thing is to know which way the road is going if you just drive the kilometres without estimating your surroundings. If the delivery there is only important to you, you can take a flight – it will be faster and cheaper.
If you want to make a real road trip out of it, I drove at least two days back and forth from Denver to Las Vegas and back. Below you will find a number of interesting options for nightly stops and activities. If you plan to visit one of the national parks or make other scenic detours, you should add at least one day to each park to give you time to get there and explore the sites.
Best route from Denver to Las Vegas
There is an excellent route between Denver and Las Vegas, which is not only the quickest way to get from one city to another, but is also incredibly beautiful.
If you don’t want to make a special detour to see other sites along the way, follow this route through the Rocky Mountains and the deserts of Utah.
Directions from Denver to Las Vegas
From Denver, take the I-70 west to the Rocky Mountains. Walk through mountain peaks and rugged forests to the famous Vale Resort, White River National Forest and Glenwood Springs, then descend to Grand Junction.
Stop on the same I-70 and you’ll pass one breathtaking red cliff after another – Colorado National Monument, Mackinnis Gorge and Archie National Park succeed each other before reaching Fishlake National Forest in the heart of Utah.
From here, take the I-15 south along Zion National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument before arriving on the Strip just past the exit to Fire Valley National Park.
Best ports of call between Denver and Las Vegas
If you want to interrupt your trip and spend the night instead of driving all day, there are some very good possibilities. You can combine the stops with business and great attractions – these are listed below.
Night post in Moab, Utah.
If you want to stop halfway, it is best to cross the state border from Utah directly to Moab. Moab is a beautiful city in the most beautiful location, but it’s also a great place to explore Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, two incredibly picturesque parks with red rock formations and great hiking trails.
There are some good options, but I think the best hotel in Moab is the Red Cliffs Lodge. It is about 25 minutes from Moab, directly on the Colorado River, surrounded by breathtaking red rocks (as the name suggests).
Red Cliffs Lodge is a breathtaking area near Moab, Utah.
© Red Cliffs Lodge
The installation is breathtaking, rustic and quiet, and above all the price is only slightly higher than the mileage of a chain of mills in Moab itself.
If you’re feeling particularly well, the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa is about as luxurious as the hotels. Just minutes from the Colorado River, the charm radiates. You have a beautiful view, unique rooms with beautiful wooden furniture and full of tranquillity, but it costs a lot of money – you pay much more for this privilege than in any other hotel in the area.
Stay in Vale, Colorado
Vale’s only two hours from Denver. So it’s not the best stop if you want to split your trip into two equal parts, but if you want to be a little early after work and end the trip the next day, or if you come back from Las Vegas and don’t want to cover the whole distance in one train, then Vale is a great place to stay.
Vale is one of the most famous ski resorts in the United States and attracts people from all over the country and abroad in the winter, but it is also an ideal place to stay in the summer.
Enjoy breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, enjoy outdoor activities all year round – Vail is on the I-70, so you don’t have to make a detour or spend time on the road.
Hotels in Vail are usually quite expensive, but the Sonnenalp is a hotel for those who want to enjoy a rustic stay in the mountains at a reasonable price. You have the special atmosphere of a family hotel and you are in the middle of the Vail, which is ideal if you only stay for a short time at the bus stop.
If you want to stay in the Rocky Mountains, Vale is an excellent option.
Radomir Rezny / Shutterstock.com
Places of interest on the Denver to Las Vegas Highway
The best part about driving from Denver to Las Vegas is that there are lots of great places to stop on the way – you can stop at different places along the way and you can easily spend up to 10 days or 2 weeks exploring the places along the way.
I could always talk about different sites and things to do, here is my best attempt to shorten the to-do list between Denver and Las Vegas:
- Rocky Mountains – endless gorges, snowy peaks, hiking trails and fresh air
- White River National Forest – as above, but with extensive areas of pure game
- Hanging Lake – Just before arriving in Glenwood Springs, a breathtaking view – the perfect lake in the mountains.
- Glenwood Springs – world famous hot spring area
- Grand Mesa Stage Highway – passes south of the I-70 and is a route for those who love winding roads with beautiful scenery.
- Palissade – yes, Colorado has a pretty good wine country and is on the road from Denver to Vegas!
- Arches National Park is one of the most impressive national parks with its red cliffs and unique arch formations.
- Canyonlands National Park is a larger park that needs more bypass space with long hiking trails.
- Mystical Monroe Hot Springs – Super hot natural springs in an incredible environment
- Bryce Canyon National Park – huge rocky, humanoid amphitheatres at high altitude
- Zion National Park – My favourite national park in the country with some of the best views of the valleys.
- Grand escalier Escalante – a huge area full of wildlife and endless opportunities to explore.
- Grand Canyon is another detour, but you don’t have much time to go to the North Rim and visit the Rock of Vermillion National Monument.
- Valley of Fire State Park – near Las Vegas and a great place to see the layers of colored sandstone.
As I said before, you can easily spend 3 weeks on this trip and still not see all the incredible sights along the way!
Arches National Park in Utah is a great place to stop on a road trip to Las Vegas.
Best time to travel from Denver to Las Vegas
You can make a trip from Denver to Las Vegas any time of the year. After all, most Vegas attractions are indoors, and the weather is always there when you want to see plants.
However, if you plan to spend the night in a number of national parks along the way, keep in mind that the warm deserts of Utah can be quite cold and uncomfortable in winter. So if you want to hike along the way and explore the red rocks, the best time to do so is from April to October.
If you’re travelling in winter, you can take the opportunity to drive over the Rocky Mountains and ski along the way. Vale’s on I-70 and Aspen’s only a few minutes away.
When planning a trip, you should bring water, food and blankets in your car. If you decide to make a small detour and break, you may find yourself in a place where there is no reception in your cell and where it is very hot or very cold. It is known that southern Utah is the last part of the United States to be explored and mapped, and much of it is still far away.
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