Amazing Las Vegas To Zion National Park Drive (2024 Guide)

See the highlights of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah on this incredible Las Vegas to Zion National Park drive itinerary!

One of the best things to do while visiting the western USA is to drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park.

Las Vegas in itself is one of the world’s most iconic cities. And not far away lies Zion National Park, an oasis of raw, rugged, desert beauty.

A road trip between the two epic locations is a great way to explore, sightsee, and immerse yourself in the culture and landscapes of the USA.

Here is our ultimate guide to planning a Las Vegas to Zion National Park drive! We’ll include all the best places to stop along the way, as well as recommendations for extending your trip to nearby destinations like the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Park.

From touring the top Las Vegas attractions, to swimming in the Emerald Pools in Zion National Park, to visiting the most amazing historic landmarks and natural wonders in between, this road trip has to be on everyone’s USA bucket list.

Check out more national Utah national parks with our Ultimate 10-Day Utah Road Trip Itinerary!

Planning your Las Vegas to Zion National Park road trip

Traveling from Las Vegas to Zion National Park takes you through some of the USA’s most incredible landscapes. You’ll pass stunning state parks and national parks, as well as historic landmarks and scenic views.

You’ll want to plan your drive well in advance to ensure everything is organized and you can just enjoy yourself on the road!

Las Vegas is the best place to start because it’s a massive city with lots of amenities. Fly into Las Vegas airport and spend a few days here before your Zion road trip so you can get a rental car and explore the city. Las Vegas has so many accommodation and car rental options so you should have no trouble starting your road trip here.

You may also want to consider what time of year you’re planning the Las Vegas to Zion National Park road trip. Summer in this part of the desert can get extremely hot, and winter can have snow and ice up in the mountains.

Spring and autumn have the most pleasant temperatures so you may want to do your road trip at this time. But you can drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park any time of year! Just plan your adventure in advance and check local weather alerts so you can stay prepared.

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

How long is the road trip?

If you drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park on the most direct route with no stops, it’s only about 150 miles which takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to drive. So it’s a quick and easy journey from the city to the national park.

But the route passes by several amazing places in Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. So our road trip itinerary includes the best attractions along the way. This extends the road trip to about 215 miles, which is 4 hours of driving time.

Depending on how much time you want to spend at each stop, you could extend the road trip into a full day. You could even extend the drive into 1 or 2 days and camp at some of the locations on the way.

But it’s a pretty short journey so you shouldn’t need more than a few days unless you really want to take your time.

Read next: 25 Best Things To Do In Arizona

Can you do a day trip from Las Vegas to Zion National Park?

You can explore Zion National Park from Las Vegas in one day! Though it’s much better to make it a weekend trip at least.

There is so much to do in Zion National Park that you would really want at least a few days to explore the natural wonders here. Even if you completed the Las Vegas to Zion drive with no stops along the way, that’s still almost 5 hours of driving which is a lot for one day. Then you would be rushing to explore the national park.

So definitely leave yourself at least 1 or 2 full days of exploring in Zion National Park. Then you can make the road trip an adventure on its own and take your time on the drive.

There are also guided day trips available for those who want to visit Zion National Park from Las Vegas without driving themselves. Book a combined journey with Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park, or opt for a small group adventure that focuses on the highlights of Zion National Park.

Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a gorgeous place to explore.

Does this road trip include the Grand Canyon?

This Las Vegas to Zion National Park road trip does not include the Grand Canyon. It is slightly out of the way, but can easily be added to your adventures.

The most convenient way to visit Grand Canyon National Park would be before or after you drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park.

If you’re travelling from Las Vegas to Zion and then back to Las Vegas, you can take the long way back and go from Zion to the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas.

Or, you can skip all the attractions in this road trip itinerary and just go straight from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon to Zion National Park. Either way, this journey is around 520 miles, or 8.5 hours of driving.

If you have an extra day or two, it’s definitely worth trying to see the Grand Canyon! It’s one of North America’s most impressive natural wonders. Whether you want to hit the hiking trails, camp in the wilderness, or just drive from viewpoint to viewpoint, the Grand Canyon never disappoints.

There are lots of guided trips from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon as well. As one of the most famous national parks in the USA, the Grand Canyon is massive and it can be hard to plan your itinerary. Having a local guide is super helpful for those who want to make the most of their time in this vast area.

Las Vegas to Zion National Park Drive Itinerary

Now let’s dive into the ultimate Las Vegas to Zion National Park drive itinerary! Whether you’re taking one day or a few days to complete this drive, here are the best things to do and places to stop along the way.

Feel free to add or subtract any locations and modify the itinerary to suit your schedule and preferences!

Las Vegas Sign
Get ready for an epic road trip itinerary departing from Las Vegas!

Las Vegas

Before you drive to Zion National Park, definitely take a few days to enjoy Las Vegas. There are so many amazing things to do in Las Vegas!

Visitors can stroll along the famous Las Vegas Strip, marveling at its dazzling lights and iconic landmarks such as the Bellagio Fountains and the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. Get a picture of the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, or indulge in gourmet dining experiences at renowned restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs.

World-class entertainment is a hallmark of Las Vegas, with an abundance of shows ranging from Cirque du Soleil performances to star-studded concerts and comedy acts. For those seeking thrills, Las Vegas offers high-stakes gambling in its luxurious casinos, as well as exhilarating attractions like the High Roller observation wheel and the SkyJump at the Stratosphere Tower.

3 days is a great amount of time to enjoy Las Vegas without feeling rushed. When you’ve had enough of the world’s “Entertainment Capital”, you can embark on your Las Vegas to Zion National Park drive!

Check out our Ultimate 3 Days in Las Vegas Itinerary to get ideas for your stay.

Where to stay in Las Vegas

Before you drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park, choose from some of these top-rated accommodations in the city.

Budget – Mardi Gras Hotel and Casino

Mardi Gras Hotel and Casino is a surprisingly affordable 3-star hotel in Las Vegas. This modest hotel has a sun terrace, a garden with an outdoor seating area, a year-round outdoor pool, and a casino so you can enjoy Las Vegas on a budget!

Mid Range – Tuscany Suites and Casino

For a little bit more luxury during your stay in Las Vegas, opt for a fancier hotel like the Tuscany Suites and Casino. The resort has amenities to suit all types of travelers, including family rooms for those traveling with children and a business area for those on work trips. There is also a sauna for those who want to relax and a nightclub for those who want to party.

Luxury – The Bellagio

You can’t stay anywhere more iconic than the Bellagio in Las Vegas! This 5-star resort is right in the heart of the city with all the best attractions nearby. It also boasts some of the best amenities and suites in the city.

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park, located in the Mojave Desert of Nevada, is a mesmerizing landscape renowned for its vibrant red sandstone formations. The unique rocks shine brightly in the sunlight, which gives the state park its name.

It’s just under an hour from Las Vegas to Valley of Fire State Park, and it’s right on the way to Zion National Park. So it’s a convenient and worthwhile stop on your adventure!

Spanning over 40,000 acres, Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. The area is rich with geological and historical significance and is home to some incredible natural sculptures.

The iconic Elephant Rock, the fiery hues of the Fire Wave, and the Atlatl Rock which is adorned with ancient petroglyphs, are all worth seeing.

Valley of Fire State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers, offering numerous hiking trails that range from easy walks to more strenuous hikes. The Rainbow Vista and White Domes trails are particularly popular, showcasing the park’s vivid colors and intricate rock formations.

Spend a few hours or days exploring this incredible park and checking out the unique scenery full of petrified trees and stunning desert vistas. Valley of Fire State Park also offers excellent facilities, including campgrounds and picnic areas, making it an ideal destination for both day trips and extended stays.

Fire Wave Valley Of Fire
The Fire Wave is one of the coolest spots in the park.

Virgin River Gorge

From Valley of Fire State Park, it’s just over an hour to Virgin River Gorge. This location is also right on the way from Las Vegas to Zion National Park! You’ll cross the Nevada border and enter the northwest corner of Arizona.

It’s an incredibly scenic drive to Virgin River Gorge, with the towering, sedimentary walls of the gorge rising steeply on either side of the winding river.

Once you arrive at Virgin River Gorge, there are lots of fun activities here as it’s a hidden gem in the American Southwest. One of the best things to do is hike the scenic trails that wind through the gorge, including Hidden Canyon Loop, the Cedar Pocket Wash trail, the Sullivan Canyon trail, and the short easy walk to the viewpoint from the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area.

For rock climbing aficionados, the gorge presents challenging cliffs and boulders that provide a thrilling experience amid the dramatic landscapes.

Wildlife watching is another rewarding activity, as the gorge is home to a variety of species including bighorn sheep, deer, and numerous bird species that thrive in the beautiful area. Once you’ve seen the best of the gorge, continue on your journey to Zion National Park!

Explore more of the area with these 8 Incredible Day Trips From Las Vegas.

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

Next on your scenic drive to Zion National Park is the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Located just north of the highway, this conservation area spans over 45,000 acres and is part of the larger Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.

The protected area maintains some of Utah’s most pristine scenery, so it’s worth admiring the views here on your way to Zion National Park.

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area has lots of incredible hiking trails where you can immerse yourself in the beauty, serenity, wildlife, and history. Popular trails such as the Red Reef Trail and the Babylon Arch Trail provide access to breathtaking vistas, slot canyons, and unique rock formations.

Mountain biking and horseback riding are also fun things to do here and allow for a more adventurous exploration of the area. Adventure seekers can also head into Snow Canyon State Park in the Red Cliffs area for more hiking, horseback riding, and gorgeous scenery.

Visitors are drawn to the Red Cliffs not only for its natural beauty but also for its significant archaeological sites, including ancient petroglyphs and remnants of early Native American cultures that offer a window into the region’s storied past.

Those interested in history can also check out the nearby St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site, home to an impressive array of well-preserved dinosaur tracks and fossils from the Early Jurassic period. Visitors to the discovery site can explore a state-of-the-art museum that showcases these remarkable finds as well as cool exhibits.

See more of Utah with these 21 Day Trips From Salt Lake City, Utah!

Grafton Ghost Town

From the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, it’s about an hour to Grafton Ghost Town. This is your last stop before reaching Zion National Park, as the ghost town is just 20 minutes south of the national park.

Grafton Ghost Town is a well-preserved remnant of a 19th-century Mormon settlement, offering visitors a fascinating glimpse into the region’s pioneer past. Established in 1859, Grafton was initially settled as part of a cotton-growing mission but faced numerous challenges, including flooding and conflicts with local Native American tribes.

Today, it stands as one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the West, with several original buildings still intact, including a schoolhouse, a few homes, and a cemetery that tells the poignant stories of the early settlers.

The town’s picturesque setting, with the towering cliffs of Zion National Park in the background, has also made it a popular filming location for movies such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

History lovers will have a blast observing this living museum before heading into the natural wonders of Zion National Park.

Zion National Park

You’ve arrived in Zion National Park, a breathtaking sanctuary of towering sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons, and diverse ecosystems.

Zion National Park is full of wonders, so try to spend at least a few days here traversing the magnificent landscapes.

A highlight of the park is the awe-inspiring Zion Canyon. Carved by the Virgin River, Zion Canyon showcases some of the best scenery in Utah. Cruise along the Zion Canyon scenic drive or take on the famous Angel’s Landing hike.

Other epic things to do in Zion Canyon include walking along the leisurely Riverside Walk or hiking to the gorgeous and refreshing Emerald Pools. Adventure seekers can also go horseback riding through the mountains or stargazing at nighttime.

Helicopter tours, jeep tours, and UTV tours are also available for those who want a unique perspective of the majestic Zion National Park wonders.

Zion National Park Sign
Welcome to Zion National Park!

Where to stay in Zion National Park

If you’re hoping to spend a few days exploring Zion National Park, there are really nice lodges and hotels right on the outskirts of the park. You can also camp in the national park for a real wilderness experience! Here are your top options.

Budget – Zion National Park Campgrounds

The cheapest accommodation options in Zion National Park are the campgrounds. This is also the only way to stay overnight in the wilderness of the park, as it’s a protected area and there aren’t many modern hotels around.

There are 3 campgrounds in Zion National Park which you can book on the national parks website. You’ll want to reserve campgrounds well in advance because they can book out quickly! You can also enquire about campground availability at the park’s visitor center, but you are guaranteed a spot if you book in advance.

Mid Range – Driftwood Lodge

The Driftwood Lodge is a top-rated and cozy hotel in Springdale, Utah. It’s less than 2 miles from the entrance to Zion National Park, making it a convenient place to stay for exploring the park. You can also book activities like biking, tubing, and horseback riding at the reception desk here for a seamless adventure!

Luxury – Zion Mountain Ranch

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the Wild West with a stay at Zion Mountain Ranch! Located just 5 minutes from the eastern side of Zion National Park, the historic ranch is situated on a pristine mountain meadow with an on-site buffalo preserve.

The rooms have authentic western decor and a large fireplace so you can stay warm. There is also a greenhouse and an on-site restaurant that serves organic cuisine daily. There is no better place to relax at the end of your Las Vegas to Zion National Park road trip!

Have more time for your road trip?

If you have more time and you’re looking for more adventures in the area, here are some ways you can extend the trip and see more of western USA.

Grand Canyon

As mentioned earlier, you can add a visit to Grand Canyon National Park to this adventure.

The Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic natural wonders in the world, is a massive geological formation located in northern Arizona, USA.

Carved by the Colorado River over millions of years, the canyon stretches for hundreds of miles and showcases mindblowing, ancient rock formations that tell the story of Earth’s geological history.

A hummer tour or helicopter tour are both incredible ways to see the beauty of the Grand Canyon, or you can just stop by the Grand Canyon Visitor Center before your trip to ask the experts for advice.

Bryce Canyon National Park

About 1 hour beyond Zion National Park lies Bryce Canyon National Park, another one of Utah’s most impressive national parks.

If you have time, it’s definitely worth checking out both parks while you’re in Utah! Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah is famed for its extraordinary geological rock structures and its vast, remote landscapes.

Stargazing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, and ATV-ing are among the best things to do in this spectacular national park.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is a spectacular sight!


If you have a few days or more to explore Utah after Zion National Park, head about 5.5 hours northeast to check out Moab.

Moab is a vibrant town nestled in the heart of the Colorado Plateau, known for its proximity to some of the most stunning and rugged landscapes in the American Southwest. It serves as a gateway to two iconic national parks: Arches and Canyonlands.

Moab attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the world, offering a plethora of activities such as hiking, mountain biking, off-roading, and river rafting on the Colorado River.

Salt Lake City

Instead of more nature, you can also head north for about 5 hours beyond Zion National Park to Salt Lake City. As the capital of Utah, Salt Lake City is a dynamic urban center known for its rich history, cultural diversity, and stunning natural surroundings.

Nestled between the Wasatch Range and the Great Salt Lake, the city offers a blend of metropolitan amenities and outdoor adventures.

Check out our guide to Salt Lake City for a more detailed list of things to do in this amazing city.

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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