Hoover Dam, Historic Route 66, Grand Canyon Skywalk, Northern Arizona

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada

The Las Vegas Area Travel Guide is a resource for Las Vegas visitors who wish to sample the Southwest’s great scenery and outdoor recreation. All destinations within the guide are no more than five hours’ drive from Las Vegas.

Included are sites and attractions close to Las Vegas, such as:

  • Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Valley of Fire, and Red Rock Canyon,
  • Arizona locales including Grand Canyon, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and Historic Route 66,
  • Utah locales including Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park,
  • and California locales including Death Valley National Park and Mojave National Preserve.

Details include descriptions and links to many references. Las Vegas Strip hotels and resorts and notable Las Vegas attractions also are included.

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Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park, Hoover Dam, Route 66, Grand Canyon Skywalk

One of the most popular outdoor destinations for Las Vegas visitors is the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, an easy five-hour drive. En route, you can tour Hoover Dam and drive an outstanding segment of Historic Route 66 from Kingman to Seligman, Arizona. Other outstanding attractions can be reached with short side trips.

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Hoover Dam

View of Hoover Dam from Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

All Las Vegas visitors touring Northern Arizona will drive past spectacular Hoover Dam, located about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The new Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge connecting Arizona and Nevada is now open. The 2,000-foot long bridge crosses Black Canyon just south of the dam, 900 feet above the Colorado River. Highway US-93 previously crossed the top of the dam into Arizona. The new bridge greatly alleviates traffic congestion around the dam and offers spectacular views. However you cannot see off the bridge from your vehicle! Follow signs into the dam complex where there is a short trail up to the bridge’s pedestrian walkway from a signed parking area.

The new Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge connecting Arizona and Nevada.

The dam’s visitor center/museum offers an Exhibit Gallery featuring the history of the dam and the natural history of the area, Theater One with an informational film, and an observation deck with a panoramic view of the dam. A self-guided tour into the heart of the dam via elevator is available. There are also street-level displays. Visit time: up to a few hours. Location: US-93, about 45 minutes drive from the Strip. Distance from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam is 33 miles.

Grand Canyon West – Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Hualapai Nation offers a variety of recreational opportunities at Grand Canyon West (off of US-93 – take well-marked road about 20 miles south of Hoover Dam – about 50 miles and 1 hour each way) and Peach Springs (on Route 66). Their feature attraction is the recently opened Grand Canyon Skywalk (at Grand Canyon West), a unique horseshoe-shaped structure which extends 70 feet beyond the edge of the Grand Canyon. Its glass-bottomed pathway allows visitors an opportunity to peer thousands of feet straight down into the Grand Canyon for a very unique perspective. Other activities include helicopter tours, Colorado River raft trips, Indian village, cookouts, etc. Air and ground transport to and from Las Vegas available in all-inclusive tours.

Peach Springs is the starting point for the one-day white water raft trip in the Grand Canyon as well as the the Diamond Creek Road, the only auto access to the bottom of Grand Canyon. A permit is required to drive the Diamond Creek Road which is marginally drivable by passenger cars. It is a little rough at the bottom – inquire locally about road conditions. There is a motel, restaurant, and visitor center (in the motel) at Peach Springs.

Grand Canyon National Park, Sedona/Oak Creek, and Northern Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Interstate-40 provides quick and easy access to the great travel destinations of northern Arizona. These include the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, the historic towns of Prescott, Jerome, and Flagstaff, plus much more. Distance from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon – South Rim, is 275 miles, about a five-hour drive. (US-93 south to Kingman, AZ; I-40 east to Williams, AZ; AZ-64 north to South Rim) Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon are about the same distance. An overnight stay is recommended for either destination at minimum.

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Historic Route 66 – Kingman to Seligman

Arizona’s Route 66 between Kingman and Seligman is the longest remaining stretches of the historic highway. Here is a chance to see a few of the remaining businesses and places that still exist from the old days. Visit time: a few hours; more if you take a tour. Directions from Las Vegas to Kingman: Take I-215/I-515/US-93 south. About 105 miles, 2 hours. Kingman to Seligman is about 87 miles and 90 minutes on Route 66.

Some of the highlights going west to east:

  • Kingman – The Route 66 strip features many of the historic restaurants and motels with their flashy neon signs. The historic (built in 1907) Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center downtown features the Route 66 Museum.
  • Hackberry – The Hackberry General Store is loaded with antiques and roadside memorabilia. Offers snacks and souvenirs.
  • Valentine – Features Keepers of the Wild Nature Park, a sanctuary for rescued exotic animals.
  • Peach Springs – Headquarters of the Hualapai Nation. The Hualapai nation offers recreational opportunities in the western end of the Grand Canyon and has a resort (motel, restaurant, visitor center) here, about 45 miles east of Kingman. Their feature attraction is the recently opened Grand Canyon Skywalk (see below). Peach Springs is the starting point for a popular one-day white water raft trip in the Grand Canyon as well as the the Diamond Creek Road, the only auto access to the bottom of Grand Canyon.
  • Grand Canyon Caverns – Spectacular caverns accessed by guided tour. The long-time attraction also has a motel, restaurant, and campground. The new Cavern Suite at the bottom of the caverns is available to guests.
  • Seligman – Features the Route 66 Gift Shop and Visitor Center (Delgadillo’s Barbershop), Historic Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-in, Seligman Sundries, and Coppercart Restaurant.

The Old West Town of Oatman – Route 66 West of Kingman

Oatman Hotel built in 1902

The town of Oatman started as a gold-mining camp in 1915. After the gold ran out, it served travelers on Route 66 and became a backwater after the freeways were built. Today, visitors can still visit the largely authentic town and sample a bit of the old west as well as a piece of Route 66. The are several old-fashioned hotels including the Oatman Hotel (a favorite of Clark Gable) and various craft and other retail shops. Tame mules wander the main street, and can be fed by visitors. There are daily staged gunfights and other events.

From Kingman, take I-40 west one exit, then go west on Route 66 about 30 miles. En route, stop at the Cool Springs gift shop and museum. The owner beautifully restored the ruins of an antique gas station into perfect condition. The winding but highly scenic road through the Black Mountains into Oatman is slow and tedious with hairpin curves.

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