A road trip from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City

America is a country best explored by car, with a wide network of highways criss-crossing the country. In common with many other major cities and airports in the US, there are many car rental opportunities in Los Angeles. The city is a popular starting point for many visitors and tourists.

Salt Lake City can be reached from Los Angeles in a single journey of around ten hours or so, on a route taking the driver through the vast Mojave desert, the bright lights of Las Vegas, and then on a climb through a number of state parks and forests. The main attraction on this route is undoubtedly Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world, with resort hotels, casinos, night clubs and bars in abundance. This would be the ideal point to break the trip up, with one or more nights spent at the shows or at the casino tables.

mojave desert

Many visitors will arrive in Los Angeles at the international airport, and taking this as the starting point for the journey, it’s a short hop eastwards on any of a selection of cross-city highways to reach Interstate 15, which runs north-to-south to the east of the city. You might spend some time in Los Angeles, and could take in music, culture and film. Hollywood, now a suburb of Los Angeles, is regarded as the birthplace of the film industry as we know it today, and many of the studios are open to the general public to varying degrees, with tours where you can watch the studio in operation, and also studios which have developed into full theme parks, with rides based on their most popular films and themes. There are LA has museums in abundance, and music to suit all tastes, from classical performances at venues like The Hollywood Bowl and Disney Concert Hall, through to rock, jazz and pop shows in small nightclubs.

los angeles view

Once on the I-15, it’s a straightforward drive of four hours or so to Las Vegas, largely without any major bends in the road, nor any significant gradient, to hold your attention. Thankfully, air-conditioning has been a standard fitment on American cars for many years, and this will ease you on your way. Things liven up as you cross the border into Nevada, with the first hint of what the gambling state has to offer in the form of a cluster of casinos, an amusement park and shopping mall. It’s an ideal point to stretch your legs and spend some money. From here, it’s a resumption of the drive through the desert to reach Las Vegas, and if possible, you should time your trip so that you’re arriving at night, or at least as dusk is falling, as the sight of the city lights appearing out of the desert blackness is something to be seen at least once in a lifetime.

If you’re stopping over in Las Vegas, you’ll find the majority of the resort hotels are on or around the central strip, and relatively easy to find. There are, of course, options to suit all budgets all over the city. Moving on from Las Vegas, and re-joining I-15, the route passes through a number of state parks and forests on its way to Salt Lake City. Many of these have camping grounds, and these would be a fine way to unwind after the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. The I-15 route is, of course, only one possible option, and an alternative, bypassing Las Vegas altogether, is to head north from Los Angeles through Lancaster, and approach Salt Lake City through the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Salt Lake City

 photo credits : mlhradio – slices of light – ron reiring

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