- Admire the colors with a hike through Red Rock Canyon
- Watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon
- Hike your way through the Grand Canyon's impressive South Rim
- Discover upclose the unique wavy walls of Antelope Canyon
- Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Las Vegas
|Day 1||Drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas||Las Vegas|
|Day 2||Visit Red Rock Canyon National Reserve||Las Vegas|
|Day 3||Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park||Grand Canyon National Park|
|Day 4||Explore Grand Canyon National Park||Grand Canyon National Park|
|Day 5||From the Grand Canyon to Page, Visit Antelope Canyon||Page, Arizona|
|Day 6||Visit Horseshoe Bend, Drive to Las Vegas||Las Vegas|
|Day 7||Drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles|
Day 1: Drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
It's time to get out of California and explore more of the Southwest. From Los Angeles, hop in your car and make your way east along the I-15 for about 4.5 hours to the city of Las Vegas.
As you arrive at the southern end of the Vegas strip, make a quick stop at the iconic 1950s welcome sign for a must-have photo. Continue on and check in to your accommodation for the afternoon. Home to some of the most famous nightlife in the country, take the rest of the evening to explore Las Vegas at your own speed. From the casinos and hotels on the strip, to live shows and plenty of shopping, there's something here for everyone.
There is no shortage of great dining options in Las Vegas at every price point and style. For a classic experience, head into Scarpetta inside the Cosmopolitan hotel for Italian cuisine overlooking the bright lights of the strip. For something more modest but stylish, try Le Thai for some reasonably priced, great food and a fun atmosphere in a cozy locale.
Day 2: Visit Red Rock Canyon National Reserve
Just 25 miles west of the bustling Las Vegas Strip, you'll find Red Rock Canyon National Reserve. This popular natural area is visited by locals and visitors alike for hiking, biking, rock climbing, and incredibly scenic driving. This drive will allow you to feast your eyes on the unique and beautiful colors of the rock formations. Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and good hiking shoes to make the most of your day. On the way there, stop at The Egg & I to fuel up on a hearty breakfast and order a to-go sandwich for lunch during your hike.
As you enter the reserve, the visitor center is the first stop on the one-way 13-mile loop road through Red Rock Canyon. The entrance fee is $15 per car- while you're there, pick up a map that indicates the 26 different hiking trail options throughout the park. Try the Calico Tanks trail for a moderate option- give yourself about 2 hours to hike and climb through the rock formations and soak in stunning views of the Las Vegas Valley. For more details on the hike, take a look at AllTrails.
As you continue driving along the way one-way loop, be sure to stop at the designated parking spots to explore the surrounding areas. The Reserve can be explored in as little as a couple of hours just driving through, but we suggest making the most of your time there with a hike or two.
When you're ready, exit Red Rock Canyon on the same one-way road and make your way back in the direction of Las Vegas. After working up an appetite, close to the Reserve you'll find the family-friendly favorite, Juan’s Flaming Fajitas and Cantina. Reward your efforts with a late lunch of delicious Mexican food. In the evening, make your way to the Strip to get a glimpse at the sights and sounds Las Vegas is known for.
Day 3: Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park
Today it's time to leave Las Vegas behind and head to one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the country- the Grand Canyon. Settle in for a 4.5-hour drive that traverses 280 miles. About 40 minutes in, you can make a stop at the Hoover Dam. This impressive concrete arch between Arizona and Nevada holds quite a bit of historical importance. You can walk over the dam along the arch bridge and even take a guided tour to learn more about the significance of its construction.
From there, continue along the US-93 S and then the I-40 E for almost 150 miles before stretch your legs in Seligman, and iconic rest stop along Route 66. Grab some lunch at Delgadillo’s Snow Cap for an old-school American diner experience before continuing on the I-40 E. Turn up on AZ-64 N before arriving at the Southern Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
There are two areas you can stay when visiting: Grand Canyon Village or Tusayan. The former is right inside the park and within walking distance to several viewpoints. There are just a few hotels inside Grand Canyon Village, so they fill up fast and can be pricey depending on the season and availability. Tusayan is a town located just a 15-minute drive from the Park and has more hotel and dining options- these tend to be more reasonably priced. With a convenient shuttle bus to take you along the South Rim trail, we recommend staying in Tusayan. The Grand Hotel or the Best Western Premier are both great comfort-style options that work well for families.
After you've checked in, take the rest of the afternoon to venture out to the South Rim Trail and enjoy your first peek at these stunning views of the Grand Canyon. Settle into a viewpoint along the way and watch the sunset over the south rim. Be sure to pass by Mather Point for sweeping views of the stunning canyon. Head back to Tusayan and grab some dinner at Plaza Bonita, a casual dining spot with tasty Mexican cuisine.
Day 4: Explore Grand Canyon National Park
Take the day to explore the epic beauty of the Grand Canyon on one of its hiking trails. With 1.2 million acres of land inside the park, there is plenty to discover during this full day. Take in sweeping views of the canyon's rim on one of two main hikes near the South Rim: Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab Trail.
The Bright Angel Trail is the classic route and perfect for beginners, or those just looking to get a taste of hiking in the Grand Canyon. From the trailhead, hikers tend to venture to one of the first two rest stops before heading back, located 1.5 and 3 miles into the trail. These rest stops also have drinking water available, which eases the worry about carrying enough with you. The trail is well used and maintained, and runs alongside the Garden Creek canyon side. While the views are stunning, they are somewhat restricted in comparison with the South Kaibab Trail.
The South Kaibab Trail is a great option for more moderate to advanced hikers. It's a bit shorter in length than the Bright Angel, covering 6.5 miles total, but descends 4,820 feet total making the climb more challenging. As it follows the top of a ridge, the trail offers sweeping views of the canyon, but little shade on hot days. About a mile into the South Kaibab Trail, after a steep descent, you'll find the aptly named Ooh Ahh Point. This makes for a good endpoint for those wishing for a shorter hike on this less frequented trail, about a 1.8-mile loop.
After working up an appetite, head back to Tusayan for lunch. Stop by We Cook Pizza & Pasta for some well-earned carbs to refuel and rest. From here, jump in your car or, in busy summer months, the shuttle, and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the 7-mile stretch along Hermit Road. This drive offers incredible views at an array of lookouts including Powell Point, Mohave Point, and Pima Point. Settle into one to watch the sun go down behind the rocky bluffs before heading back for dinner. We recommend the Arizona Room restaurant, located right in Grand Canyon Village, before heading back to your accommodation for the night.
Day 5: From the Grand Canyon to Page, Visit Antelope Canyon
Set out this morning to visit another impressive canyon. We'd recommend leaving early in the morning in order to get to Antelope Canyon before noon. Midday, the light shines overhead and beams of sunlight transcend the canyon, giving it an ethereal look. After checking out of your accommodation, start the 2.5-hour journey in your car to Page, Arizona. For the first part of this 125-mile journey, you'll head along the Desert View Drive of the South Rim, taking in more breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon.
Check into your accommodation in Page before heading out to explore the nearby Antelope Canyon...but first, coffee! Grab a well earned pick-me-up after your early morning at LP Espresso.
Antelope Canyon is not actually a National Park and belongs to the Navajo Indian Reservation, so tours are required to visit. It's best to book ahead online ahead of time, as you'll have few or no options upon arrival. Tour pricing stays the same across the board, and visits to the Upper and Lower Canyon are about 1.5 hours each regardless of the tour company you choose.
The Upper Antelope Canyon is considered the more picturesque of the two, but for that same reason it has pricier entrance tickets. Pictures you've likely seen of the canyon, with light beams shining through waves of rocks, were probably taken in the Upper Canyon around midday. The Lower Canyon is still beautiful and the more affordable of the two. The Lower Canyon is also wider, more open to natural sunlight, and offers a fun climbing experience, including steep ladders. If you have the time, choose the combo tour that includes visits to both and compare for yourself!
Once back in Page, you've likely worked up an appetite. Grab an early dinner at Big John's Texas BBQ for a local feel and some good eats before heading back to your hotel.
Day 6: Visit Horseshoe Bend, Drive to Las Vegas
Before leaving Page, stop by Horseshoe Bend for a magnificent view. Give yourself about an hour to loop around the 1.5-mile trail and linger at the lookout point. Expect to pay a $10 parking fee and be prepared for a steep climb at the start of the short trail- carrying water is highly recommended. The viewpoint of this infamous curved portion of the Colorado River faces due west, making it a popular spot for sunset viewing as well. Getting there in the morning, however, you will find the spot to be far less crowded and illuminated with natural light, making for an excellent picture and a peaceful experience.
Jump back in your car to start the journey back to Las Vegas. About an hour in to your drive, make a stop in Kanab at Rocking V Cafe for lunch, a local spot with classic American comfort food and vegan-friendly options in an art-filled locale. From there, continue on for another 3 hours on the I-15 S before reaching Las Vegas.
Finish off your trip with a final night in Vegas. Catch the fountain show in front of the Bellagio Hotel, visit Wicked Spoon for a fresh take on classic casino buffet, and grab drinks at the Clique Bar & Lounge to round out your evening.
Day 7: Drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles
Spend the morning discovering anything in Las Vegas you had been hoping to before departing! From casinos to wax museums to indoor amusement parks, there's an endless bounty of entertainment. If you have more time, consider one last day trip to the Valley of Fire State Park, named after its beautiful red sandstone formations.
When you're ready, hop in your car and make the 4-hour journey along the I-15 S back to Los Angeles. Just outside of Barstow, take a moment to visit Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch: a forest of tree-like sculptures made from glass bottles and vintage pieces, a quirky pit stop located right alongside the infamous Route 66. Take a look around this unique, open-air folk art installation to stretch your legs before finishing the last leg of your journey (about 2 hours) into Los Angeles.