8 Amazing Stops on a Seattle to Las Vegas Road Trip

seattle to las vegas road trip
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With Vegas only being a 2.5-hour flight away from Seattle, most people tend to hop on a plane and get there quickly. I’ve been to Sin City over a dozen times at this point because it’s such a quick getaway and a complete change of scenery. That said, you know I love road trips, so I thought, what if I did a Seattle to Las Vegas road trip instead of flying?

I’ll be honest – this is much longer, but you get to pass through so many amazing cities and four different states. It’s also just a fun way to get there, because how many people can say they’ve done the drive from Seattle to Las Vegas? I put a mix of areas here, including national parks, forests, big cities, and beautiful hiking areas.

You’ll want to plan ahead for this trip, which is why I have an entire section just for my personal tips, detailed explanations of each stop, and a sample itinerary including where to stay for each day. Get your notepad out and let’s dive in so you can start planning your road trip from Seattle to Las Vegas!

Tips for a Seattle to Las Vegas Road Trip

las vegas sign

Before getting revved up and ready to hit the road, there are some essential bits of information you’ll need to know before heading out. So, what do you need to know about the drive from Seattle to Las Vegas?

First up, your destination – Las Vegas. It hardly needs any introduction, but the drive is as much fun as what awaits you when it comes to a road trip to the Neon City. Visually speaking, it’s a tour of some of the country’s most enticing natural spectacles and beloved attractions.

What else should you expect? I’m glad you asked because I’ve pulled together the best tips, pinpointed top-tier attractions, and curated an itinerary in this guide.

If Las Vegas isn’t your vibe, why not check out this epic road trip from Seattle to Los Angeles?

How Far is the Drive From Seattle to Las Vegas?

Heading for Las Vegas from Seattle offers much variety when deciding which route to take. 

Although each has numerous unique highlights, if you want one that delivers a relatively low drive time, lower mileage, and attractions galore, head the Salt Lake City way.

As for the distance you’re facing on this trek, from Seattle to Las Vegas, you’ll cross 1,264 miles. This route offers endless potential for epic detours and side trips but will increase your driving distance. 

Planning a trip to Big Sur? Here’s a full breakdown of the best stops along a Los Angeles to Big Sur road trip. 

How Long is the Drive From Seattle to Las Vegas?

How long you ultimately take to reach Las Vegas depends on your chosen route. Sure, you can hunker down and drive the Salt Lake City route in one go, but it’s not ideal, and you’ll miss so much of what makes this road trip so memorable.

Considering normal traffic conditions, you can complete this road trip in 17 hours and 45 minutes. Remember that road conditions, such as weather changes and traffic volumes, can slow you down. On the other hand, if you’re not afraid to hit the road running, your travel time can be shorter.

When is the Best Time to Head to Las Vegas From Seattle?

Let’s kick things off with the obvious – Las Vegas is The Entertainment Capital of the World for a reason. As there’s never really a wrong time to head for the city, what each season brings along the way is a major consideration for your trip.

Springtime (March to May) is by far the preferred time to venture out to Las Vegas, thanks to the season bringing out an extra remarkable beauty to the drive’s natural attractions. Alternatively, choose fall (September to November) if you’re after excellent driving conditions with cool daytime temperatures when going on a Las Vegas road trip from Seattle.

Heading to Las Vegas during the summer (June to August) is also on the table, but as you inch closer to the Neon City, you should expect temperatures above 100℉. If you’re going to be outdoors, staying hydrated and taking advantage of the air-conditioned indoor attractions along the way are essential.

A winter (December to February) road trip from Seattle to Las Vegas is a great choice to see the snowy, dreamlike landscapes of the northern parts of the route. However, monitoring road conditions is crucial if you’re set on a winter excursion, as passes may close due to snow or ice.

Seattle to Las Vegas Map

8 Top Attractions on a Seattle to Las Vegas Road Trip

All technicalities aside, the trip from Seattle to Las Vegas is nothing short of amazing, and you can place all your bets on having a treasure trove of attractions along the way. Expect an expanding collection of natural marvels, charming towns, bustling cityscapes, and a kaleidoscope of local cultures.

1. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

mount rainier

Ready to go? The first heavy-hitter attraction on your trip sits just an hour and 45 minutes from Seattle, along I-5 S and WA-7 S. After leaving the city, you should reach Mount Rainier National Park after 90 miles.

This massive, distinct, and picturesque national park spans 263,000 acres, surrounding the highest peak in Washington. As an active volcano, Mount Rainier is renowned as the most glaciated peak outside of Alaska, and the valleys around it include a total of five majestic rivers.

It’s a nature lover’s paradise where you’re guaranteed astounding views around every corner, and for those looking for a hike (or two), there are 158 trails to choose from. My personal favorites are Skyline Loop, Bench and Snow Lakes, and Naches Peak Loop.

Another fun trip is driving from Seattle to Yellowstone National Park.

2. Hood River, Oregon

hood river ski

Next up, the road leads you to Hood River as you drive I-5 S and I-84 E, crossing 189 miles. This stretch will take you just over three hours to complete, unless you choose to spend some time in Portland as you head for the city.

Even though it’s small, this atmospheric town packs a big punch, and its perch along the Columbia River Gorge, close to Mount Hood, adds to its allure. While I love going here in the summer, I’ve been to Mount Hood multiple times during the winter because they have several different places to ski.

You can try your hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing, and even if you’re a beginner, there are several schools in the area to up your skill. Alternatively, venture out on the Fruit Loop, a 35-mile scenic drive. Some stops worthy of your time include the Kiyokawa Family Orchards and the Marchesi Vineyards.

Just outside of the city, you’ll find a whopping 36 wineries, making Hood River a contender to be Oregon’s wine capital. No matter which you choose, expect laid-back vibes, mountain views, and divine blends. Visit the Wy’East Winery, the Phelps Creek Vineyard, or the AniChe Cellars. I also love going to Full Sail Brewing to try their beer flight.

3. Boise, Idaho

boise idaho

Leaving Hood River, you’ll get onto I-84 E to your next pit stop – Boise, Idaho. Now, this stretch of road does cover 368 miles, so it’s a bit of a drive but very much worth it. Expect a drive time of about 5 hours and 20 minutes.

With the Boise Mountains acting as a backdrop, Boise will surprise you with what it offers. It often goes overlooked, but there are many jaw-dropping nature hikes, captivating museums, and a thriving arts scene.

Along the streets of Downtown Boise lie the city’s cultural, culinary, and retail hub, and you can visit attractions such as the Basque Center or the Boise Art Museum here. If you appreciate nature, head to the Idaho Botanical Garden to admire its 12 themed gardens.

Hungry? I discovered Boise Fry Company on my last trip there and was pleasantly surprised. You’ll have a variety of French fries and dipping sauces to choose from that are so good!

Be sure to venture out into the Boise River Greenbelt on your Seattle to Las Vegas road trip, where a glorious 25 miles of gorgeous parkways and trails await. This is also where you’ll find a series of parks honoring each civic leader of Boise — including baseball fields, picnic areas, and wildlife viewing platforms.

Coming from California? Here’s how to do a San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip.

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

downtown Salt Lake City

Leaving Boise, you’re in for another long drive as you make your way to Salt Lake City, Utah, via I-84 E. You’ll be covering nearly 340 miles, and considering traffic conditions, you can complete it in four hours and 40 minutes.

Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, has a reputation for delivering epic adventures, and that it does. There’s something for everyone, brimming with gourmet restaurants, hidden speakeasies, salt flats, double-feature drive-ins, and an attractive ski scene.

Check out the Utah Olympic Park, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. It now offers both summer and winter activities, including bobsledding and ziplining. Spend time outdoors at the Great Salt Lake Marina, the Bonneville Salt Flats, Grandeur Peak, or the Sundance Mountain Resort.

Or how about some indoor skydiving? If you’ve never been, a session at iFly Utah will give you a genuine sense of what it’s like to fall through the sky. Maybe you’re a movie buff. If so, head for the Redwood Drive-In Movie Theatre, which has been showing double features since 1948.

5. Park City, Utah

park city utah

After all the heavy driving, your next destination is only 43 minutes from Salt Lake City. Heading out from Salt Lake, you’ll cover 34 miles via I-80 E, eventually arriving in Park City.

Even though it’s often left in the shadow of Salt Lake, Park City is a standout place for winter adventures and is popular for its many ski slopes. If you’re here during the winter season, go to either Deer Valley Resort or Park City Mountain Resort for the best skiing opportunities.

Aside from that, there’s plenty to do in the city, from glass blowing at Red Flower Studios to craft beer tastings at Offset Bier and dinner at Pine Cone Ridge. For more curated experiences, try your hand at Escape Room Park City, or treat yourself to a wine tasting at Old Town Cellars.

6. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Following Park City, you’re in for a long stretch again as you head to Capitol Reef National Park, which sits 219 miles from the city. You’ll follow I-15 S and UT-24 E and arrive at Capitol Reef after three hours and 40 minutes.

Capitol Reef is a vast natural reserve, a paradise playground for hiking, camping, and spending time beneath the Utah sun. Courtesy of the park’s amazing rock formations, the product of the Waterpocket Fold, catching a sunrise or sunset is its most popular activity. For the best spots, head to Sunset Point or Goosenecks Overlook.

But gazing at its landscapes is just one of the park’s drawing cards. Throughout, you’ll find some exceptional hiking trails like these:

  • Hickman Bridge – A moderate 1.8-mile out-and-back hike leading to a natural stone bridge.
  • Cohab Canyon – Tackle this 3.4-mile out-and-back moderately tricky hike to see one of the canyon’s deepest fissures.
  • Grand Wash – This easy 4.4-mile out-and-back trek is easy to do in two hours for a more laidback hike.

The Petroglyph Panel at Capitol Reef is another location where you can see petroglyphs that the indigenous Hisatsinom/Wee Noonts people left behind. Stargazers should consider a night in the park to see the sky light up, giving reason to the park’s Dark Sky Park status.

Looking for other national park road trips? Check out my itineraries for a San Francisco to Joshua Tree road trip, Los Angeles to Sequoia National Park road trip, or a San Francisco to Yosemite road trip.

7. St. George, Utah

st george utah

Your next destination is the vibrant city of St. George, Utah. As you leave Capitol Reef, head along I-15 S for 209 miles, arriving in the town after three hours and 25 minutes. What should you expect, though?

Well, beyond its wonderfully mild climate, St. George boasts picturesque surroundings and numerous historic sites. First up is Pioneer Park, a 52-acre rocky spectacle with popular spots like Dixie Rock and the St. George Narrows.

Aside from the epic landscapes within Pioneer Park, you can head out to the Red Cliffs Recreation Area for even more near-otherwordly cliff formations. For the more adventurous out there, visit Moe’s Valley Bouldering and explore its various climbs. 

Art lovers can visit the Kayenta Art Village — a small community of art galleries and studios with theatres, art festivals, and eateries. Or, check out the schedule at the Tuacahn Amphitheater for grand performances set against the backdrop of red rock formations.

Because you all know I’m a huge national park lover, I highly recommend that you visit Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon while you’re there. Zion is only an hour away, while Bryce Canyon is two hours, but they’re both worth it. While Zion is small, I loved my time there several years ago, getting off at all the stops and doing short hikes.

8. Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

valley of fire

Finally, the last stop before you hit Vegas is the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. As you leave St. George, you’ll follow I-15 S for 89 miles until you reach the park after about an hour and 30 minutes.

Spanning more than 40,000 acres, the park is home to numerous red Aztec sandstone formations, petrified trees, and Native American petroglyphs. Inside the park, your first priority should be a scenic drive along the White Domes Road (or Mouse’s Tank Road on Google Maps).

After your scenic drive, make your way to the Fire Wave – a stunning sandstone rock formation resembling an ocean wave in hues of red and orange. The 1.5-mile out-and-back hike is relatively easy and doable in an hour.

Looking for an equally long drive? Go on a road trip from Seattle to San Diego.

The Only 6-Day Seattle to Las Vegas Road Trip Itinerary You’ll Ever Need

las vegas night

Okay, time to plan your Seattle to Las Vegas road trip with a 6-day itinerary that’ll make sure you don’t miss out on anything without the fear of rushing. 

Day 1: Seattle to Hood River

Travel Distance: 3 hours and 33 minutes (228 miles)

Leaving Seattle, you’ll drive along I-5 S until you arrive in Hood River. Along the way, spend time exploring Mount Rainier National Park, and once you arrive, head to the Hood River Waterfront Park for some water sports.

Where to Stay: Book your stay at the Best Western Plus, a lovely 4-star property that sits right on the banks of the Columbia River. Standout features include a private beach area, an indoor spa, and the on-site Riverside restaurant.

Day 2: Hood River to Boise

Travel Distance: 5 hours and 45 minutes (368 miles)

Get an early start on your Seattle to Vegas road trip and head out via I-84 E. Considering the extended drive time, leave Hood River early in the morning to ensure you have some time to explore Boise. Pay a visit to Downtown Boise’s restaurants, galleries, and shops, or head out on the Boise River Greenbelt Drive.

Where to Stay: Grab a room at Home2 Suites By Hilton. Situated in downtown Boise, this modern 3-star hotel offers value for money and convenience with its central location. Rooms feature standard mod-cons such as air-conditioning, private bathrooms, and complimentary WiFi.

Day 3: Boise to Salt Lake City

Travel Distance: 4 hours and 57 minutes (339 miles)

Get an early start to day three as you leave Boise and head for Salt Lake City along I-84 E. You’ll arrive in the city in the middle of the day, giving you enough time to explore some of its attractions, such as the Utah Olympic Park and iFly Utah.

Where to Stay: Spend a night at the Grand America Hotel. This 5-star standout delivers an excellent location close to various attractions. While on-site, you can unwind at the full-service spa or indulge in delicious food at the Garden Cafe.

Day 4: Salt Lake City to Capitol Reef

Travel Distance: 3 hours and 25 minutes (218 miles)

On your fourth morning, leave Salt Lake City and make your way to Capitol Reef National Park on I-15 S and UT-24 E. You’ll arrive with enough time to venture out on an exciting hike and catch the sunset at Sunset Point.

Where to Stay: Book a room at the Capitol Reef Resort in Torrey, just outside the park. Aside from its perfect location, the resort offers spacious guest rooms, benefiting from mountain and garden views.

Day 5: Capitol Reef to St. George

Travel Distance: 3 hours and 22 minutes (209 miles)

Ready for another early morning? Depart Capitol Reef and head for St. George on I-15 S, arriving in the city after 209 miles. With enough time left in the day, visit Pioneer Park or go out and discover the Red Cliffs Recreation Area.

Where to Stay: The Red Mountain Resort is an excellent 4-star property at the base of Snow Canyon State Park. On offer are gorgeous rooms with stunning views of the mountains within the park. While on-site, you’ll also find organized activities, a full-service spa, and a restaurant.

Day 6: St. George to Las Vegas

Travel Distance: 1 hour and 47 minutes (120 miles)

The final day of this itinerary sees you leaving St. George and heading to Vegas. Luckily, this is a short trip so you can opt for a mid-morning start. Arriving in Las Vegas, you’ll have a limitless number of attractions to see, but take time and visit the Las Vegas Sphere.

Where to Stay: Harrah’s Las Vegas is an exceptional 3-star hotel and casino outside the city center. It’s ideal as a base when exploring the Vegas attractions, while on-site, the Fulton Street Food Hall is a culinary adventure.

Which of these Seattle to Las Vegas road trip stops are you most excited to visit?

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