The Best Route to Vegas
Las Vegas is a touchstone for many desert residents looking for adventure, entertainment or, to visit family and friends.
As such, The Desert Insider found it appropriate to give people thinking of visiting Vegas a great way to make the 4 hour drive to the strip from the Coachella Valley a fun adventure.
Planing Your Visit
When planning to drive to Las Vegas no matter which route you take you will need to plan for at least 4 hours to get to the strip. There are really 3 ways to get to Las Vegas from East Coachella Valley. These 3 routes all take nearly the same amount of time to travel (within 20 minutes of each other).
So What is the Route to Vegas?
Of the 3 routes outlined on the map the fastest, most scenic and least stressful drive passes through Twentynine Palms via Highway 62. This route will lead from the Interstate 10 past Joshua Tree National Park and through the Mojave National Preserve.
Once you reach the 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway) and start to make your way up towards Joshua Tree you will make your way past Morongo Valley to Yucca Valley where there is the opportunity to visit a piece of Hollywood history at Pioneertown. This interesting stop may well be worth the extra 15- 20 minutes of drive time it adds to the trip for the opportunity to experience a mock gun fight, grab a bite to eat or see the location where Annie Oakley (1957) was filmed. This little stop is the perfect break for small children to get out of the car and stretch. If you are not traveling with small children be sure to visit the world famous Pappy & Harriet’s. This rustic venue is a hub for the music scene and has hosted everyone from local bands to Sir Paul McCartney with live performances almost daily (plan to wait up to 2 hours to if you plan to eat here – it is very popular).
The next major stop along the 62 is Joshua Tree. A quaint small city located in the high desert is the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park. Famous for beautiful vistas, a unique biodiversity and majestic hiking trails. This national treasure is sure to delight the outdoorsy types and nature lovers alike!
Still following highway 62 you will reach Twentynine Palms home of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. This base is closed to the public and serves as a barraks and training ground for US Marine Corps. This town has plenty of hotels if you plan to make a two-day road trip on your way to Vegas.
Don’t Miss the Turn!
Approximately 5½ miles past Twentynine Palms you will need to make a left turn on Goldwin Road. This turn could be easy to miss and is located just on the otherside of the Twentynine Palms Airport. You will drive on Goldwin Road for about 7 ½ miles until you turn right on Amboy Road. Amboy Road will then take you up all the way to National Hills Highway (HWY 66). Travel on this road until Kelbaker Road where you make a left turn to go north on this scenic road.
Mojave National Preserve
Kelbaker Road will lead you right into the heart of the Mojave National Preserve where this scenic journey is really a driver’s delight. Take in the beautiful desert vistas and feel happy you are not fighting traffic on a major highway. While driving in the preserve you will need to make a right turn onto Kelso Cima Road. Kelso Cima Road will turn into Morning Star Mine Road. From Morning Star Mine Road turn left on Ivanpah Road then left on Nipton Road, which will take you to the Interstate 15 (I-15).
Once on the I-15, there is one more possible stop to consider. If you enjoy shopping, or a thrilling ride on a roller-coaster, then a stop in Primm might be right up your alley. Located right on the I-15 on the Nevada border this stop has one of the country’s tallest roller coasters located at Buffalo Bill’s Casino. There is also a massive mall aptly named ‘Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas’. As a primer to Las Vegas proper, Primm is a fun and exciting stop near the end of a long drive. After a taste of indulgence in Primm, take the I-15 all the way to the Las Vegas strip.
Here I Come Vegas!
Your journey is complete and you have managed to avoid most the major highways. You saved time, gas, took in some amazing desert landscapes and possibly had an adventure along the way! Now all that is left is to explore all that Vegas has to offer, by no means a small task! Good luck and happy journeys, and be sure to make your next trip to Vegas a great one!
Follow I-10 W and CA-62 E to Godwin Rd in San Bernardino County
1 h 15 min (69.1 mi)
Head west on I-10 W
Take exit 117 for CA-62 toward 29 Palms/Yucca Valley
Continue onto CA-62 E/29 Palms Hwy
Continue straight onto CA-62 E
Follow Amboy Rd to National Trails Hwy in Amboy
41 min (41.8 mi)
Turn left onto Godwin Rd
Turn right onto Amboy Rd
Turn right onto National Trails Hwy
7 min (6.6 mi)
Get on I-15 N from Kelbaker Rd, Kelso Cima Rd and Morning Star Mine Rd
1 h 14 min (74.7 mi)
Turn left onto Kelbaker Rd
Turn right onto Kelso Cima Rd
Continue onto Morning Star Mine Rd
Turn left onto Ivanpah Rd
Turn left onto Nipton Rd
Turn right onto the Interstate 15 N ramp
Follow I-15 N to N Las Vegas Blvd in Las Vegas. Take exit 75A from I-515 S/US-93 S/US-95 S
45 min (53.4 mi)
Merge onto I-15 N
Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 42B to merge onto I-515 S/US-93 S/US-95 S toward Phoenix/Downtown LV
Take exit 75A for Las Vegas Blvd toward Cashman Center
Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Downtown LV and merge onto N Las Vegas Blvd
Drive to N Las Vegas Blvd
3 min (0.4 mi)
Merge onto N Las Vegas Blvd
Make a U-turn at Fremont St/Fremont Street Experience
Continue straight to stay on N Las Vegas Blvd