If you have some time to spare and you feel like trying your luck at the Entertainment Capital of the World, consider going on a road trip from San Diego to Las Vegas. Even if you don"t win big, the drive there will take you past some of the most amazing landscapes in the United States.

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The desert road trip from San Diego to Las Vegas can be done in 5 hours. Consider extending it by checking out Palm Springs and Mojave National Preserve, then visit the iconic Death Valley and the breathtaking Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

There"s plenty along this route you"ll want to pay attention to, so read until the very end to make sure you"re ready for a trip from San Diego to Las Vegas.

How far is Las Vegas from San Diego and how long will the road trip take

The road trip from San Diego to Las Vegas covers about 330 miles and can be done in 5 hours if you take the quickest possible route. Even with breaks, you could definitely make the trip in a single day, but you"d be better off making longer stops to check out everything the Mojave Desert has to offer.

RouteDistanceDriving Time
Fastest Route (via I-15)330 miles5 hours
Scenic Route (via SR 60 through Moreno Valley)463 miles8 hours 40 minutes

At the cost of adding just one hour to your drive, you can make your trip much more scenic by driving along Joshua Tree National Park and cutting right through the Mojave National Preserve.

This detour is an especially good choice if you plan on splitting the trip up into several days as it passes right by Palm Springs. The I-15 route, while quicker, is quite lacking in terms of major cities, so your overnight options would be much more limited.

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Witness the beauty of the 8-acre dancing fountain along the Las Vegas Strip on your visit to Las Vegas, NevadaYou could do a road trip from San Diego to Las Vegas any time of year, but bear in mind that driving through the Mojave Desert in the summer might not be pleasant, even less so if you take the longer route through Mojave National Preserve.

Because of the heat, mid-summer is probably the closest thing Las Vegas has to an off-season – summer temperatures are guaranteed to be at least in the 90s, but very frequently exceed 100 degrees. Since you"ll constantly be exploring and walking from one casino or restaurant to another, a summer visit might push you to your limits, and not in a good way.

Although snow isn"t too prevalent in the Mojave Desert and southern Nevada (not in large quantities, anyway), it"s not unheard of for black ice to cover the roads here. By process of elimination, this would make spring and fall the best time to go on a road trip from San Diego to Las Vegas.


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