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Driving from LA to Las Vegas

London UK
Level Contributor
174 posts
24 reviews
Driving from LA to Las Vegas

What is the best route from LA (we will be in Bev Hills) to Las Vegas and how long will it take to drive there going average speed? I also wondered if there was anywhere you could recommend to stop that was nice for a snack/drink. I intend to fill up on gas (petrol) before we leave. We will be driving down on a Saturday late breakfast and returning to LA on a Wednesday if that makes any difference traffic wise. Thanks again for all your help.0

San Diego...
Level Contributor
2,225 posts
36 reviews
1. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

The standard and shortest route is east on I-10, then north on the I-15 to Las Vegas. As discussed elsewhere on this forum, most consider this trip fairly boring and recommend flying (see in particular low fares at www.southwest.com). I tend to concur as you don't really need a car in Las Vegas.

Regarding a place to stop, the halfway point where many stop is the town of Barstow which has a number of fast food and other restaurants that you can't miss. This post from a local recommends the Idle Spur Steakhouse and the outlet mall there


Newbury Park...
Level Contributor
3,359 posts
43 reviews
2. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

Many locals find the drive boring, but many tourist love the desert. If you do not hit traffic it should take you 5 hours or so (many will tell you 4 but those days are almost gone). Also, the 15 freeway is having construction done on it so you will want to check for closure prior to your trip. Baker is also where many stop - the world's tallest thermometer is there as is the mad greek restaurant with wonderful milkshakes. We drive it more than we fly it. It is an easy drive. I would leave early Wednesday morning returning to LA to miss any traffic in the city.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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32,065 posts
45 reviews
3. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

I just had to do that drive and it took much longer than expected because of that construction mentioned above. There are many places to stop to eat, and you'll have to fill your tank full of gas along the way - one tank won't do it. You'll see places along the way - but it's almost all fast food.

Driving on a weekday means making sure you don't hit LA traffic, also. Leave by noon.

Windsor UK
Level Contributor
1,328 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

From a tourist point of view the drive through the desert is very difference to anything here and as you have already been told Barstow and Baker are the normal stopping places, we stop at both one in each direction.Another place you can stop is Primm for some shopping Primm is maybe a hour's drive outside Las Vegas.

Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
916 posts
217 reviews
5. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

Calico is a ghost town between LA and LV and is worth seeing if you have time.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
4,109 posts
35 reviews
6. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

I'd much rather fly from Los Angeles ($50)...then rent a car in Las Vegas for some nice drives out to the desert, canyons, lakes etc. If it happens on a holiday weekend, Sat could be a 7 hour drive to Las Vegas...there are lots of breakdowns along the road, accidents etc, why bother? Even non-holiday weekends in Feb Mar April, the road shuts down around the 215/15 interchange, slow long detour , horrible.

Topanga, California
Level Contributor
1,769 posts
26 reviews
7. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

You're from London? You definitely want to drive!

Here's the route from Beverly Hills:

Take one of the Canyons north to the Ventura Freeway. Head east on the Ventura Freeway. At the start, the Ventura Freeway will be US 101, then it will become CA SR 134.

Ventura Freeway ends at the Foothill Freeway (I-210). Go east on the Foothill Freeway (it will change into CA SR 210) and take that to I-15 north...which will take you all the way to Las Vegas.

If you're leaving after breakfast, stop at the Mad Greek in Baker for lunch. Excellent food. Great atmosphere. Incredible strawberry shakes.

If you need bathroom stops or snacks, there are plenty of places in Victorville and Barstow.

You've picked good days as far as traffic goes, and it does matter. Fridays and Sundays are to be avoided!

Now, if you're the adventurous type that likes to see more than the motorway, I have a suggestion on the way back.

Go through Pahrump (NV) and Shoshone (CA) on the way back (see maps.google.com for details). Plan for lunch at the Crowbar Cafe and Saloon in Shoshone. You'll be going near (but not in) Death Valley, so it's pretty scenic. You'll rejoin I-15 at Baker. I think it's a detour well worth taking.

London UK
Level Contributor
174 posts
24 reviews
8. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

Thanks to everyone especially theBU. I have driven in CA before - did SF, Monteray then straight to Palm Springs and then back to LA on last visit. Messed up and can you believe went inland and did not drive down coast from Monteray to Palm Springs so this time want to get it all correct. I am bringing my mum whois elderly and it will be a nightmare trying to get through security at the airport and then back again. Easier to pack up and drive. We will take it in stages, bring some CDs for the car and use the air conditioning and hope for the best. Will take up your suggestions theBU for the trip there and back. THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP.

Kettering, United...
Level Contributor
521 posts
265 reviews
9. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

I did this journey last year and loved it, yes its desert bt its different to what Brits are used to. my advice is set off early and stop for breakfast in Victorville, avoid Barstow, the ghost town is ok, worth an hour or two. Lots of people reccomnd the ice cream in Baker!

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
10. Re: Driving from LA to Las Vegas

Hi Starbuck

If you follow FromTheBu's advice re Pahrump, don't miss Death Valley. Even for a couple of hours. Most amazing place.