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Phoenix to Las Vegas by car

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Phoenix to Las Vegas by car

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This article is an itinerary.

Driving in the Painted Desert near Wupatki

A meandering drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas, stopping at attractions including Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam.


It's only 300 miles from Phoenix to Vegas, and the distance between the two along the shortest line could easily be covered in a day. However, the number of sights and the sheer variety of scenery along and around this route is simply staggering, and a leisurely drive gives an excellent introduction to America's Southwest.


There very well could be high winds and unpredictable flash flooding. Also if travelling during the day in the summer bring lots of water just in case and check your air conditioning before leaving town.

Get in[edit]

Both Phoenix and Las Vegas are major transport hubs accessible by plane from all over the United States. Cars can easily be rented at either, and you can usually negotiate a free drop-off at the other end.


Day 1: Phoenix to Flagstaff[edit]

Red Rock Hills, near Sedona

~140 miles

  • Explore Phoenix in the morning
  • I-17 north to the Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon exit
  • West onto SR 179 to Sedona and the Red Rock Hills
  • Scenic but white-knuckled SR 89a to Flagstaff
  • Overnight at Flagstaff

Flagstaff has a better range of accommodation and nightlife, but if you want to drive a little more today and a little less tomorrow, consider continuing on to Sunset Crater and Wupatki and overnighting at Cameron or Tuba City instead.

Day 2: Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon via Monument Valley[edit]

Sunset Crater

~350 miles

  • Route 89 north
  • Detour to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument (open from 9 AM in winter, 8 AM in summer)
  • East to Route 160, stop at Tuba City
  • North at Kayenta onto Route 163 and Monument Valley
  • Backtrack along Route 163, 160, 89 to Cameron
  • West on AZ-64 to Grand Canyon in time for sunset at Desert View (East Rim)
  • Overnight at Grand Canyon Village or Tusayan

Day 3: Grand Canyon[edit]

0 miles — park your car and walk!

  • Full day for exploring the Canyon (or two days if you're planning to hike it)
  • Overnight at Tusayan or Williams

Day 4: Grand Canyon to Las Vegas[edit]

277 miles

Stay safe[edit]

Much of the route is in desert areas where summer heat can be fearsome and gas stations are few and far between. Take plenty of water, and fill up your tank before heading off the Interstates.

Get out[edit]

This is a usable itinerary. It explains how to get there and touches on all the major points along the way. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!