The most direct way from Phoenix to Vegas is to somehow get to US-60 on the West side of town (could be a chore during rush hour), take that out to Wickenburg. From there, US-93 will take you up to I-40. I think that drive is very scenic, you go through large stretches of Joshua Trees, cross a river at some point, with mountain views all around. Others don't care for that leg and say it is boring. I-40 to Kingman is about 30 min, a pretty basic ride, then you re-join US-93, which will take you up over the Hoover Dam, and into Nevada. Depending on traffic (especially over the dam), it would take about 5-6 hours.
An alternate way would be to take I-17 North, or even 89/89A north. 89/89A from Prescott, through Jerome, Cottonwood, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, to Flagstaff is one of the most scenic drives I have ever been on. From Flagstaff, you can then take I-40 to Kingman, and continue on US-93. I've never done this part nonstop, but I'd estimate the I-17 part would add 2 hours to the trip above, 89/89A at least another hour, probably more. But if you are on 89A, you really don't want to rush, you'll want to stop, enjoy the views, maybe do short hikes, etc.
I just made this drive again this past weekend. As a Phoenix area native, I've traveled all over AZ and the West. The Phoenix to Vegas drive is nothing to get excited about, but then, I always take the US-93 route, as it is much faster than I-17/I-40 route.
If you're looking for enjoyable scenery, I-17 with a stop through Sedona and Flagstaff is the way to go. I agree that this drive is one of the best in AZ. You might enjoy some of the nostalgic feel of historic route 66 as you head west and approach Kingman. Hoover Dam is interesting for first-timers.
Thank you so much for your suggestions!!! We will be in LV for 8 nights so we're not in a rush to get there. Adding 2 hours onto the trip for a more scenic/interesting route is definitely worth the consideration. Tonight my husband and I will review your suggestions and decide.
Thank you for all the time you took preparing your comments and recommendations! I was "ready to go" with the mapquest directions. Your suggestions are outstanding!
Let me throw a "curveball" into the mix now. Maybe I should have mentioned this to begin with. When we leave Las Vegas, we're driving to the South Rim and staying one night. Later the following afternoon, we'll drive back to Phoenix from the South Rim and stay one night.
I was thinking about this:
To LV: Arrive in Phoenix. Take US-93 route to Las Vegas.
After LV: We're going to the South Rim for one night. Leave the South Rim and get on I-40E near Williams. Visit Flagstaff. Somewhere around Flagstaff, get on I-17S. Go through Sedona and end at Phoenix.
Does the return trip from the South Rim to Phoenix that I've outlined above "cover" all the great scenery??
Please advise!! How long would the return trip from the South Rim to Phoenix take on the route I've described? Just driving time, no sightseeing....I'll adjust the schedule for sightseeing later.
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