Road trips like the ones from Los Angeles to San Francisco, or California to Las Vegas have been done time and time again. While trips like those certainly have their own kind of excitement, there are many road trips throughout the United States that are relatively untouched by casual road trippers. One of such ‘off the beaten path’ road trips is the journey from Los Angeles California, to Arches National Park, Utah. This trip may seem daunting at first, but with our help, you could find yourself in some of the most stunning locations the American west has to offer.
One of the first locations you should stop by on your way east is the Mojave Desert. While it may not seem like much at first, this gorgeous landscape can offer some stunning sunset displays, and is perfect for a spring of early summer camping trip. If you’re really looking to experience a landscape that feels far removed from California, we definitely recommend you check out the Kelso Dunes. The Kelso Dune Field is known as the largest field of sand deposits in the Mojave Desert, and can offer some truly stunning landscape views.
If you’re looking for a nice break from the drive, we recommend you check out Primm Valley Resorts off the 15 freeway. This place is impossible to miss on your way east, as it sits almost directly on the Nevada California state line. Primm offers up a kind of old Las Vegas charm that's unfortunately been lost on the strip in more recent years. From a rollercoaster casino to a truly varied outlet mall, Primm is a perfect rest stop on your way out east.
Las Vegas has something for just about everyone, and it is a spot that truly speaks for itself. If you’re looking for a classic night out in Vegas, you need go no further than the Vegas strip where luxury hotel resorts meets the glitzy charm of the Vegas gambling circuit. If you’re looking for a more classic Vegas feel, head down to Freemont street, where they still hold onto a lot of that old Vegas nostalgia. In many ways this is the last and only big city on your trip out east, so we recommend you enjoy it while it's there.
Red Rock Canyon
After a long night out on the Vegas strip, we recommend you take a short drive from the city to Red Rock Canyon. Located approximately 30 minutes from the Vegas Strip, this nature preserve offers incredible views of massive crimson rock faces. The nature preserve is littered with gorgeous trails that are bound to satisfy even seasoned hikers. If you’re into rock climbing, Red Rock Canyon has plenty of options for you whether you are a beginner or a expert. Or, if your just looking to pass through, there is a scenic loop that you can take around the preserve that showcases its beauty.
Goldstrike Hot Springs
On your way out east, we highly recommend you visit Goldstrike Hot Springs. Noted as one of the best natural hot springs in Nevada, this spot is not to be missed. However, it's important to note that the trail leading to Goldstrike is not for the faint of heart. Known as a rugged hiking, climbing, and bouldering trail, novice trail hikers are recommended to be cautious in visiting the springs. However, once you make it there you will be rewarded with a secluded natural hot spring far removed from the bustle of the everyday tourist.
While this road trip prides itself on ‘off-the-beaten-path’ stopping points, it's pretty hard to pass up the beauty of the Grand Canyon. From the stunning Havasu Falls to breathtaking sunsets on the North Rim, the Grand Canyon may feel like a tourist trap, but it has good reason to be. Fortunately, there are a number of locations along the canyon that are worth checking out that may be relatively clear of crowds. Even if you cannot stay long, we recommend that you make an effort to detour to at least some part of the Grand Canyon as it is a once in a lifetime view.
Zion National Park
After the Grand Canyon it's just a straight shot up to Utah, and the first stop near the Arizona, Utah Border is Zion National Park. Considered one of the most gorgeous national parks in the United States, Zion offers visitors a stunning view of red-toned cliff faces which overlook a fertile green valley and the winding Virgin River. Zion has plenty of challenges for hikers of all skill levels, from the relatively easy Emerald Pools trail to the vertigo-inducing trail up to Angels Landing. Even if you can only pass through the park, we recommend you at least check out the Narrows, which offers stunning views of the Virgin River as it carves through looming red rock cliffs.
Dixie National Forest
Leaving Zion, it's a relatively short drive over to Dixie National Forest. The Dixie National Forest is home to stunning sites like the famous Bryce Canyon National Park, which offers views of towering spires or hoodoos, and a natural amphitheater carved out of gorgeous red rock. Cedar Breaks National Monument is also located in Dixie National Forest. Compact, yet truly stunning, this scenic nature preserve features mind-boggling rock formations, as well as plenty of hiking and camping.
Capitol Reef National Park
Located not too far from Arches — in the direct center of the state of Utah — is Capitol Reef National Park. This spot is something of a prelude to the stunning sights offered at your end destination. With famous sights like The Hickman Bridge, and traveler favorites like Burr Trail, Capitol Reef National Park offers plenty of sights and activities worth checking out. Capitol Reef National Park is also home to the strange Freemont Petroglyphs which were carved into the rock by the ancestral Puebloan people centuries ago.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a location that can quite honestly speak for itself. If you are a fan of stunning natural architecture, Arches is one of the only places in the world where such intricate natural rock formations are put to such a scale. Many travelers recommend that everyone who visits Arches should wake up early and experience an Arches sunrise through one of these mind-blowing rock formations. From stunning sights like the Delicate Arch, the Double Arch, and the Landscape Arch, there is definitely more than enough to see at this park. Arches is also a hiker’s and off-roader’s paradise, as there is plenty to see and do while you are in the park grounds.
While the journey to Arches may have been long, it is definitely well-worth the trip.