Grand Canyon To Los Angeles Road Trip: The 10 Best Stops

road trip: 10 best stops

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Embark on an unforgettable adventure with a road trip from Grand Canyon to Los Angeles. This iconic journey offers breathtaking scenery, diverse landscapes, and exciting pit stops along the way. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a memorable travel experience, this road trip has something for everyone.

The route options for the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles road trip are varied, allowing you to choose the path that best suits your preferences. One popular route takes you through the scenic Mojave Desert, offering stunning views of the arid landscape and unique rock formations. Another option is to travel through the historic Route 66, where you can explore charming towns and iconic landmarks.

Covering a distance of approximately 400 miles, the road trip from Grand Canyon to Los Angeles can be completed in around 7-8 hours, depending on traffic conditions and stops along the way. Be sure to plan your journey accordingly to make the most of your time and enjoy the sights and attractions en route.

Top stops for road trippers on this journey include the vibrant city of Las Vegas, where you can try your luck at the casinos and catch a world-class show. The quirky town of Barstow is another must-visit destination, known for its Route 66 Museum and unique roadside attractions. Don’t miss the chance to explore the stunning Joshua Tree National Park, with its otherworldly landscapes and diverse flora and fauna.

While traffic can be heavy at times, especially near major cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles road trip offers a truly unforgettable travel experience. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to create lasting memories on this epic journey through the American Southwest.

Hoover Dam

Essential Information

– Route options: Accessible from Grand Canyon to Los Angeles via US-93.
– Opening hours: Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
– Fee: $10 per vehicle.
– Visit duration: 1-2 hours.
– Ideal for: History buffs, engineering enthusiasts, and families.

Why is it a must stop

Hoover Dam stands as a monumental feat of engineering that beckons road trippers to marvel at its sheer magnitude and historical significance. As you approach this iconic structure, the first thing that captures your attention is the breathtaking view of the Colorado River snaking through the rugged terrain. The dam itself, a concrete colossus, offers a glimpse into the ingenuity of human craftsmanship.

Visitors can embark on a guided tour to delve deeper into the history and mechanics behind the dam’s construction. Learn about the laborious efforts that went into taming the mighty Colorado River and witness the inner workings of the hydroelectric power plant. The interactive exhibits provide a fascinating insight into the dam’s role in shaping the region’s landscape and powering nearby communities.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, the observation deck offers panoramic views of Lake Mead and the surrounding desert landscape. Capture stunning photos against the backdrop of the arid terrain and the shimmering waters below. The dam’s Art Deco design and intricate details make for a captivating sight, blending seamlessly with the rugged beauty of the desert environment.

Whether you’re a history buff intrigued by the Great Depression-era construction or an engineering enthusiast fascinated by the mechanics of hydroelectric power, Hoover Dam offers a captivating stop on your road trip itinerary. Soak in the grandeur of this iconic structure and appreciate the blend of human innovation and natural beauty that defines the American Southwest.

Las Vegas

Essential Information

– Route Options: From Grand Canyon to Los Angeles
– Opening Hours: 24/7
– Fee: Varies based on activities
– Visit Duration: 1-3 days
– Ideal for: Entertainment seekers, nightlife enthusiasts

Why is it a must stop

Las Vegas, known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, is a must-stop on your road trip for its vibrant atmosphere and endless entertainment options. From world-class casinos and extravagant shows to gourmet dining and thrilling nightlife, Las Vegas offers a unique experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on any traveler.

Start your visit by exploring the iconic Las Vegas Strip, where you can marvel at the dazzling lights and impressive architecture of the city’s most famous hotels and casinos. Take a stroll through the bustling streets and soak in the lively energy that permeates the air.

For those seeking a bit of adventure, Las Vegas is also home to a variety of adrenaline-pumping activities. Test your luck at the slot machines, catch a mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil show, or take a helicopter tour over the glittering city skyline for a bird’s eye view of the action below.

When it comes to dining, Las Vegas boasts a culinary scene that caters to every palate. Indulge in gourmet meals prepared by world-renowned chefs or grab a quick bite at one of the many food courts scattered throughout the city.

As the sun sets, Las Vegas truly comes alive with its vibrant nightlife scene. Dance the night away at one of the trendy nightclubs, sip cocktails at a rooftop bar overlooking the city, or try your luck at a late-night poker game.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a foodie, or a party animal, Las Vegas has something for everyone, making it a must-stop destination on your road trip itinerary.

Joshua Tree National Park

Essential Information

– Route options: Take the I-40 E from Grand Canyon to the CA-62 W towards the park.
– Opening hours: Joshua Tree National Park is open 24 hours a day, year-round.
– Fee: $30 per vehicle for a 7-day pass.
– Visit duration: A day trip is sufficient, but overnight camping is also popular.
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, rock climbers, and photographers.

Why is it a must stop

Joshua Tree National Park is a must-stop on your road trip for its unique landscape and outdoor activities. The park is renowned for its iconic Joshua trees, rugged rock formations, and stunning desert scenery. Visitors can enjoy hiking through the various trails, rock climbing on the granite formations, stargazing under the clear night sky, and capturing breathtaking sunsets.

One of the top attractions in the park is Keys View, offering panoramic vistas of the Coachella Valley and Salton Sea. For those seeking adventure, Hidden Valley provides a picturesque setting for rock climbing and bouldering. Barker Dam Trail is perfect for a leisurely hike, showcasing ancient petroglyphs and wildlife sightings.

Don’t miss the Cholla Cactus Garden, a unique landscape filled with teddybear cholla cacti that glow in the golden hour light. If you’re a photography enthusiast, the park offers endless opportunities to capture the beauty of the desert landscape, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Whether you’re looking to reconnect with nature, explore the desert wilderness, or simply unwind amidst stunning surroundings, Joshua Tree National Park is a destination that promises a memorable road trip experience.

Route 66

Essential Information

– Route Options: Multiple routes available, including historic Route 66 alignment.
– Opening Hours: Open 24/7, year-round.
– Fee: No entrance fee, but budget for gas, food, and accommodation.
– Visit Duration: Recommended 1-2 weeks for a leisurely road trip.
– Ideal For: Road trip enthusiasts, history buffs, and adventure seekers.

Why is it a must stop

Route 66, also known as the Mother Road, holds a special place in American history and culture. As you embark on this iconic road trip from the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles, you’ll be transported back in time to the golden era of American highways.

One of the main attractions of Route 66 is the opportunity to visit quirky roadside attractions that have become synonymous with the road trip experience. From the famous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, where vintage Cadillacs are half-buried in the ground, to the historic Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, where you can sleep in a teepee-shaped room, there’s no shortage of unique stops along the way.

For those seeking a taste of nostalgia, diners like the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas, offer classic American fare and a glimpse into the past. Don’t forget to try a slice of homemade pie or a hearty burger while soaking in the retro ambiance.

History buffs will appreciate the chance to explore preserved sections of the original Route 66, including the iconic Route 66 Museum in Barstow, California. Learn about the road’s significance in connecting the Midwest to the West Coast and its role in shaping American culture.

As you drive through the diverse landscapes of the Southwest, from the deserts of Arizona to the coastal beauty of California, you’ll witness the changing scenery that has inspired countless artists and writers. Be sure to capture the stunning sunsets and vast open skies that stretch endlessly along the horizon.

Route 66 is not just a road trip; it’s a journey through time and Americana. So pack your bags, hit the open road, and experience the magic of the Mother Road for yourself.


Essential Information

– Route Options: Take the scenic route via AZ-89A for breathtaking views.
– Opening Hours: Most attractions are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
– Fee: Some attractions may have entrance fees, while others are free.
– Visit Duration: Plan for at least a day to explore the main attractions.
– Ideal For: Nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and photography enthusiasts.

Why is it a must stop

Sedona, a gem in the heart of Arizona, beckons road trippers with its stunning red rock formations and diverse outdoor activities. Start your day with a hike at Bell Rock, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. For a unique experience, embark on a Jeep tour through the rugged terrain, discovering hidden gems along the way.

Indulge in a leisurely stroll through Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, where you can admire local artwork and shop for souvenirs. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the vibrant hues of a Sedona sunset at Airport Mesa or Cathedral Rock, perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy moments.

For a spiritual retreat, visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a striking architectural marvel built into the red rocks. Unwind with a yoga session amidst nature or opt for a rejuvenating spa treatment at one of the many wellness centers in town.

Sedona’s culinary scene is a delightful fusion of flavors, with numerous cafes and restaurants offering farm-to-table dishes and Southwestern cuisine. Treat your taste buds to a meal with a view at one of the restaurants overlooking the red rocks.

Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or artistic inspiration, Sedona promises a memorable stop on your road trip from the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles. Plan your visit to this enchanting destination and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that defines Sedona.

Mojave National Preserve

Essential Information

– Route Options: I-40 E from Grand Canyon to I-15 S towards Los Angeles
– Opening Hours: 24/7
– Fee: $15 per vehicle
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full day
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, photographers

Why is it a must stop

Embark on a road trip adventure through the Mojave National Preserve, a captivating desert landscape that offers a unique blend of natural wonders and outdoor activities. As you traverse through this vast expanse of rugged terrain, be prepared to witness stunning vistas, diverse flora, and intriguing wildlife.

One of the main attractions in the preserve is the iconic Kelso Dunes, where you can hike up the sandy slopes and be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding desert. The Joshua Tree forests provide a picturesque backdrop for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike, offering a glimpse into the beauty of the Mojave Desert.

For those seeking a bit of history, a visit to the historic Kelso Depot is a must. This former train station now serves as a visitor center, providing insights into the area’s rich railroad heritage and cultural significance.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the preserve, offering a chance to spot desert wildlife such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, and various bird species. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, there’s a trail for every level of adventurer.

As the sun sets over the desert landscape, the Mojave National Preserve transforms into a magical oasis of colors, making it the perfect spot for a memorable evening picnic or stargazing session. So, make sure to include this hidden gem in your road trip itinerary and experience the raw beauty of the Mojave Desert firsthand.

Death Valley National Park

Essential Information

– Route Options: From Grand Canyon to Los Angeles
– Opening Hours: 24/7
– Fee: $30 per vehicle
– Visit Duration: 1-2 days
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, photographers, road trippers

Why is it a must stop

As you journey from the majestic Grand Canyon to the bustling city of Los Angeles, a stop at Death Valley National Park is a must for any road trip enthusiast. This unique desert landscape offers a range of activities that will captivate travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty.

One of the main attractions in Death Valley is the mesmerizing Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. Visitors can walk out onto the vast salt flats and marvel at the expansive views of the surrounding mountains. The Devil’s Golf Course is another intriguing spot, with its rugged salt formations creating a surreal and otherworldly landscape.

For those looking to add a bit of history to their road trip, a visit to the Harmony Borax Works provides insight into the area’s mining past. The ruins of this former borax mining operation offer a glimpse into the harsh conditions faced by early settlers in the region.

Nature lovers will appreciate the diverse flora and fauna that call Death Valley home. From the iconic Joshua trees to the vibrant wildflowers that bloom in the spring, there is no shortage of natural beauty to admire. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as bighorn sheep and coyotes as you explore the park.

For the adventurous traveler, Death Valley offers opportunities for hiking, off-roading, and stargazing. The park’s rugged terrain and dark skies make it an ideal destination for those seeking a taste of the wild west.

So, as you make your way from the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles, be sure to include a stop at Death Valley National Park in your itinerary. With its unique landscapes, rich history, and endless opportunities for exploration, this desert oasis is a road trip destination not to be missed.

Santa Monica Pier

Essential Information

– Route Options: Easily accessible from the Pacific Coast Highway or Interstate 10.
– Opening Hours: Open daily from morning till late evening.
– Fee: Free admission to the pier, some attractions may have separate fees.
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours.
– Ideal For: Families, couples, and solo travelers.

Why is it a must stop

Santa Monica Pier is a must-stop destination on your road trip for its iconic attractions and vibrant atmosphere. Start your visit by strolling along the wooden planks of the historic pier, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Capture memorable photos with the famous Pacific Park Ferris wheel as your backdrop, a classic symbol of this seaside landmark.

For a taste of nostalgia, step into the vintage arcade filled with retro games and fun prizes. Indulge in classic carnival treats like cotton candy and corn dogs, perfect for satisfying your cravings on the go. Don’t miss the chance to visit the aquarium located at the end of the pier, where you can marvel at colorful marine life and learn about the local underwater ecosystem.

If you’re seeking some thrills, hop on the roller coaster for an exhilarating ride overlooking the ocean or test your skills at the midway games. For a more laid-back experience, relax on the sandy beach adjacent to the pier, ideal for sunbathing and enjoying the coastal breeze.

Whether you’re looking for entertainment, relaxation, or simply a picturesque stop along your road trip, Santa Monica Pier offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all types of travelers. Make sure to include this iconic destination in your itinerary for a memorable and enjoyable experience on the road.


Essential Information

– Route Options: Take the scenic Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) for breathtaking views.
– Opening Hours: Malibu is accessible 24/7, but specific attractions may have varying hours.
– Fee: Some beaches may have parking fees, while others are free to access.
– Visit Duration: Plan for a half-day to a full day to explore Malibu’s attractions.
– Ideal For: Nature lovers, beachgoers, and those seeking a relaxing coastal experience.

Why is it a must stop

Malibu, known for its stunning coastline and celebrity homes, is a must-stop on your road trip for a taste of the quintessential California beach experience. Start your day with a visit to Zuma Beach, where you can soak up the sun, swim in the Pacific Ocean, or try your hand at surfing. For a glimpse into the glamorous side of Malibu, take a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to spot the luxurious beachfront mansions of the rich and famous.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to Point Dume State Beach and Preserve, where you can hike along scenic trails and enjoy panoramic views of the ocean. If you’re a wine connoisseur, make a stop at Malibu Wine Safari for a unique tasting experience among exotic animals.

End your day with a leisurely stroll along the Malibu Pier, where you can watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean and grab a bite to eat at one of the waterfront restaurants. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore nature, or indulge in some wine tasting, Malibu offers a diverse range of activities that make it a must-stop destination on your road trip along the California coast.

Getty Center

Essential Information

– Route Options: Easily accessible from the I-405 freeway in Los Angeles.
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM, closed on Mondays.
– Fee: Admission is free, but parking is $20 per car.
– Visit Duration: Plan for at least 2-3 hours to explore the museum and gardens.
– Ideal For: Art enthusiasts, history buffs, and families looking for a cultural stop.

Why is it a must stop

The Getty Center is a must-stop on your road trip for its world-class art collection, stunning architecture, and panoramic views of Los Angeles. Start your visit by exploring the impressive art galleries housing works by renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt. The museum’s architecture, designed by Richard Meier, is a masterpiece in itself, with its modern design and use of natural light.

After immersing yourself in art, take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens filled with sculptures and fountains. The Central Garden, designed by artist Robert Irwin, is a serene oasis offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling city below. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Pacific Ocean from the Getty Center’s terraces.

For a deeper dive into the museum’s collection, join a guided tour or attend a lecture or performance offered regularly. Families can also enjoy interactive exhibits and activities designed for children of all ages. Before you leave, grab a bite to eat at the museum’s cafe overlooking the garden or pick up a unique souvenir at the gift shop.

Overall, the Getty Center offers a perfect blend of art, architecture, and nature, making it a memorable stop on your road trip through California.

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