Denver To Las Vegas Road Trip – In June we were lucky enough to embark on another Escape campervan road trip vacation. I think it’s safe to say that campervan road trips are our favorite way to vacation. As if it couldn’t get any better, we doubled down on the craziness and went on a group trip with two of our best friends. So what happens when you stuff 4 grown adults into a van and hit the road? Friends, read on and find out! (*Spoiler alert – we’re already planning the next one. And the next one. And the next one…long live the gang!)
This time we started from Las Vegas. After an adventurous super trip, groceries and refueling, and a burrito, we got out of hiding and headed out for a week long adventure!
Denver To Las Vegas Road Trip
This time our trip took us from the hot, dry, and exotic landscapes of southern Utah to the mountains (and altitude) of Colorado. From the harrowing heights of Angel’s Landing to the rushing waters of Zion Straits; from the otherworldly hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and Moab Arches to the still-snow-capped peaks and Colorado’s strong craft beers—we survived And had the time of a lifetime! Let us review our trip together:
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Day 1 – Friday, June 9, 2017 – Las Vegas camper pickup and transfer to Zion National Park (Watchmen’s Campground)
Day 2 – Saturday, June 10 – Zion – Subway Hike. The bottom-up route, in and out along the creek, is rewarded with stunning views. Thank goodness there was so much water to cool us down.
Day 3 – Sunday June 11th – Zion – Angel’s Landing (hold on to the chains for dear life. Only a few panic attacks) and the Channel (the water was cold. And moving. Thankfully I didn’t fall Today in Zion National Park it seems like everyone is out front. The Narrows is very popular – you won’t find solitude), Zion Brewery (craft beer, views of the stars)
Day 4 – Monday, June 12 – Bryce Canyon (Sunset Campground) – Navajo/Queen’s Garden/Hide and Seek Hiking Loop. Those hoodoos are another story! We may have been on Mars. I am not sure. Realize that you are at a much higher altitude here. This could explain the cold temperatures and constant feeling of being out of breath.
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Day 5 – Tuesday, June 13 – Drive from Bryce Canyon to Dead Horse Point State Park (Moab) (approximately 5 hours on scenic Route 12). Hiking Rim Trail at Dead Horse State Park. Learn about the park’s lore. declares Cowboy Bastard. Exclaim “This is where Thelma and Louise drove off the cliff!” for the 78th time.
Day 6 – Wednesday, June 14 – Plan some Arches hikes (found out there was construction going on so the route you planned was closed. It’s an exquisite Arch!), Moab Swimming Hole (so awesome!), Moab Beer Factory (Nachos and Stout) Bottle/can only. Utah drinking laws are very confusing)
Day 7 – Thursday, June 15 – Heading to Colorado! Make a pit stop in Fruita and head to Prospector Campground in Dillon. Sit at a picnic table and gaze at Dillon Reservoir in the mountains. A quick hike along the reservoir. Outer Range Brewing in Frisco offers beer and food. There are mountain views everywhere. Decided we would never leave. Buy a tank of oxygen at Walmart.
Day 8 – Friday, June 16 – Breckenridge Hike (Lake Mohawk Trail). Mountain goat! Old mining ruins! Mountain lake! high! Dizziness! (Realize you left your oxygen tank in the car. Anyway, turn around at 12, 000 feet due to snow). The Mill near downtown Breckenridge. Realized the view from the parking lot was better than anywhere in our home. Finish up with beers and appetizers, then head to Broken Compass Brewery for another drink before heading back to #campgroundviews
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Day 9 – Saturday, June 17 – Drive from Dillon to Denver. Pulling the van in, kicking and screaming. Head to the airport for the journey home, laughing all the way and reflecting on the week.
Stay tuned for more details on the trails, campsites, and routes we take! We loved every bit of this trip and I hope this inspires some of you to get out and explore too.
Adventure & Travel Charity Rides Connecticut Craft Beer Riding Gear Reviews Gravel Rides Hiking & Camping Maine National Parks New England New Hampshire New Hampshire 4000ft Pan-Volkswagen Challenge Summit Race Report Rasputissa Road Trip Itinerary Road Trip Running Snowshoeing Trail Racing Trail Running Uncategorized Utah Van Life VT 50 Winter Hiking Yosemite Zion If you’re ready to shake off the cobwebs and embark on an epic road trip adventure through the majestic mountains and desert landscapes to one of the hottest entertainment capitals in the world, then a road trip from Denver to Las Vegas is just what you need!
The 750-mile road trip from Denver to Las Vegas would be an 11-hour drive. Notable attractions include Moab, the Rockies, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, the Grand Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Valley of Fire State Parks.
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To help you plan your road trip, check out the sections below for some inspiration on routes and things to do along the way.
The road trip from Denver to Las Vegas is approximately 750 miles, which would give you 11 hours of pure road driving time without taking into account any breaks or stops.
If you’re leaving from Denver during rush hour and you happen to live on the other side of town, you can easily add an hour, so even if you plan to leave in the morning, we’re talking about a very long day if you plan to get there in one day , you need to drive.
Even assuming you limit gas, restrooms, and a short lunch break to 2 stops, you’ll need at least 12 hours and 30 minutes to complete the journey.
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The road trip from Denver to Las Vegas is scenic, so take your time to enjoy the scenery.
If you want to take a true road trip, we recommend driving from Denver to Las Vegas and back, which takes at least 2 days each way. Below you’ll see some great options for overnight stays and activities.
There’s a great route between Denver and Las Vegas that’s not only the fastest way to get from one city to the other, it’s also incredibly scenic.
Unless you want to take a detour to see other sights along the way, you’ll want to follow this route through the Rocky Mountains and through the Utah desert.
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You’ll visit Utah’s beautiful national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches) as well as the worthy Grand Canyon National Park.
If you plan to visit any national parks or other scenic detours along the way, you’ll want to add at least a day to allow time to get there and explore.
If you visit Rocky Mountain National Park on your way, remember that the national park operates a timed-entry permit system. Please check the national park’s website before visiting to see if reservations are required.
From Denver, take Interstate 70 west toward the Rockies. As you travel through jagged mountaintops and forests, you’ll pass the famous Vail Resort, White River National Forest, and Glenwood Hot Springs before arriving in Grand Junction.
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Driving along the same Interstate 70, you’ll begin passing one stunning red rock area after another – Colorado National Monument, McInnis Canyons, and Arches National Park in quick succession – before arriving at Fish Lake in the heart of Utah national forest.
From there, head south on Interstate 15, passing near Zion National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument before passing through Valley of Fire State Park. Arrive at the Las Vegas Strip shortly after the turn at Fire State Park.
If you want to take a break from your trip and stay overnight somewhere instead of driving all day, there are some amazing options along the way. You can combine your stopovers with activities and unforgettable attractions – you’ll find these below.
If you want to make a stopover, your best option is to head to Moab, just across the Utah state line. Moab is a picturesque town and the perfect place to explore Canyonlands and Arches National Parks—two beautiful parks with red rock formations and stunning hiking trails.
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While there are some great options, we think the best hotel in Moab is the Red Cliffs Lodge. About a 25-minute drive from Moab, it sits on the banks of the Colorado River and is surrounded by (as the name suggests) stunning red cliffs.
The setting is stunning,
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