Las Vegas has some of the best entertainment options in the world. There are also tons of Instagram-worthy urbanscapes and can’t-miss sights. But if you want to enjoy something beyond the casinos, resorts, fancy meals, and the hustle of the city, you’re in for a treat. Within easy driving distance, you’ll find a wide variety of breathtaking destinations. Let’s explore eight winter road trips from Las Vegas you should explore this season.
8 Las Vegas Winter Road Trips You’ll Love
1. Antelope Canyon
Approximately 280 miles away from Las Vegas lies Antelope Canyon, one of the most spectacular winter road trip destinations. Here you’ll find two slot canyons that deliver a one-of-a-kind physical and visual experience.
There are two levels to this canyon. The upper is on the ground level, and the lower is through a narrow passageway about 50 feet below ground. As you enter, you’ll be welcomed by views of glorious twisty sandstones. You’ll also be amazed by the stunning plays of light against the sandstones, sculpted by rushing water and desert storms.
Note that this can only be toured with authorized guides. Be sure to plan ahead and book your tour to get the full immersion of this magnificent rock formation spot.
Driving time from Las Vegas: 4.5 hours
2. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is a winter road trip destination you can’t miss. This 56-square mile park is made up of a large collection of unique hoodoos (pillars of rocks shaped by erosion).
This park has several canyons, the most famous of which is Bryce Amphitheater. It’s located about 8,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level, so be sure to bring extra layers with you.
There are three other vantage points you’ll want to check out: Inspiration Point, Sunrise Point, and Sunset Point. If you want a close look at the hoodoos, pack up your hiking gear and explore the trails throughout the park.
Pro Tip: Bryce Canyon is right on the way to most of the main sights in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Zion National Park (more on these below). If you have time, you might want to combine them into a single road trip.
Driving Time from Las Vegas: 4 hours
3. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Spanning across nearly 1.87 million acres of the country’s public lands in southern Utah, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a winter road trip that’s a must on your list.
The Monument is a diverse geologic treasure with arches, monoliths, natural bridges, and slot canyons. As the name suggests, it boasts a spectacular grand staircase of cliffs and terraces and the wonders of the Escalante River Canyons.
Hike through the Zebra Slot Canyon, a narrow path with striped rocks. A word of caution, though: It can get tough with the narrow gaps and neck-deep water. Then there’s the Devil’s Garden, which overlooks large rock hoodoos standing in the middle of the desert.
Driving time from Las Vegas: 3.5 hours
4. Joshua Tree National Park
Named after special trees that look like a standing person with arms stretched upwards, Joshua Tree National Park is one for the books when it comes to winter road trips.
In the park, you’ll be treated to activities like camping, hiking, and rock climbing. You can also trek through the rugged rocks while enjoying the marvelous Joshua trees. At night, you get to stargaze in much more clarity given the lack of light.
If you’re more into guided tours, the Keys Ranch Tour teaches you the history of the Keys Family and how they lived in the Mojave Desert.
Driving time from Las Vegas: 3.5 hours
5. Southern California
Hop in your car, start driving southwest on Interstate 15, and head to Southern California.
On this winter road trip, you can start off by checking out the LA scene — Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame, Sunset Strip, and Rodeo Boulevard in Beverly Hills. SoCal also offers a lot of odd roadside attractions along the way.
Don’t miss out on coastal stops like Santa Monica, Venice Beach, El Matador, and Malibu. A few minutes inland, you’ll also find spectacular hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, which overlook the Pacific Ocean.
If you are with kids (or kids at heart), a day out at Universal Studios in Hollywood and Disneyland in Anaheim are both amazing.
Driving time from Las Vegas: 4 hours
6. Mt. Charleston
While this winter road trip is quick and easy, it makes you feel like you’re a world away from Las Vegas. Mt. Charleston is the highest peak in the Spring Mountains, located in the northwest area of Sin City. It’s an oasis of cold springs, evergreen wilderness, and fresh mountain air.
Mt. Charleston offers a variety of activities for outdoor lovers and Mother Nature advocates. Here you have options to go camping, hiking, horseback riding, skiing, or walking. There are also picnic spots and viewing trails that you can enjoy. Don’t forget to snap breathtaking shots from Charleston Peak or see abundant Bristlecone pines in the trails.
Besides skiing and snowboarding, Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort allows you to enjoy archery, axe-throwing, and disc golf. Don’t miss the chair-lift rides where you can soak up the views of Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Driving time from Las Vegas: 1 hour
7. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is a popular winter road trip destination because it’s surrounded by mountains on three sides and a lake on the other.
Although less than half of the city’s population is Mormon, it’s worth visiting Temple Square. The Mormon Temple is the grandest in the world, and you can see it on Temple Square with the Reflecting Pool in front. Then you’ll find the Mormon Tabernacle, the Temple Annex, and the Assembly Hall.
You also have to drop by the ski resorts near the city. Up Interstate 80, you’ll find Deer Valley and Park City. Smaller resorts like Alta Ski Area and Snowbird up the Little Cottonwood Valley are also amazing. (Plus, you get to enjoy the scenic Wasatch Range along the way.)
Driving time from Las Vegas: 6 hours
8. Zion National Park
In southwestern Utah, you’ll find Zion National Park, one of the grandest national parks in the country that’s perfect for your winter road trip.
At its heart is the majestic Zion Canyon that’s embraced with forest greens and hundreds of species of animals and birds.
There is also a range of trails you can embark on. The trails to Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, and Canyon Overlook are reasonably easy. If you’re more experienced, the Narrows is a 16-mile hike that passes through a narrow canyon and wading cold river. And for expert hikers, try the 2.5-mile steep climb to the breathtaking Angel’s Landing.
Driving time from Las Vegas: 2.5 hours
While there are many things to do in Las Vegas during winter, it’s a great starting point to jumpstart a road trip journey. And if you’re looking for a change of pace, fresher scenery, or simply a quick getaway this season, these eight winter road trips should be part of your itinerary.
Las Vegas and its surroundings have a whole lot to offer. Are you looking to call the city your home? Contact The Brendan King Group and we can help you make it happen.
For more road trip destinations from Las Vegas, check out this blog.