If you space embarking ~ above a san Francisco to ras Vegas drive, the most straight route is 8.5 hours of mind-numbing interstate and asphalt. Yet the direct way isn’t constantly the finest way. If you’re ready to leave really early, or include on part days, you deserve to break up her drive with some cool stops that explore California’s organic wonders and also singular historic sites.

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We space nothing if not valuable here in ~ California Crossings, so us have options for you. This overview will provide you four various routing ideas which will gain you from san Francisco to las Vegas…eventually. They every have really different stops, and also each has its own special season, but they all sell spectacular scenery. In fact, few of these courses make our list of California’s many scenic drives, which girlfriend should certainly check out for future road trips.

Of course, friend can likewise reverse any kind of of this itineraries and drive from las Vegas to mountain Francisco. Much better yet, carry out a ring trip and choose different routing in every direction so the you can maximize what you watch along the way.


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Prepare for Your mountain Francisco to ras Vegas Drive

If you need a rental car, discover your best pricing by comparing all of the different rental auto providers onRentalcars.com.

In enhancement to topping up her fluids and also checking her tires, girlfriend may likewise want to carry aroadside for sure kitwhich has things prefer a warning triangle, jumper cables and the like. This kits also make a thoughtful, if tragically practical, Christmas or birthday gift. Friend should likewise pack aplug-in cooler, which provides your car’s 12 volt plug to store lunch items and also drinks cold.

You’ll encounter both California State Parks and also National Parks on this SF to vegas driving itineraries. So, watch into getting the annual California State Parks Poppy happen (which is $125 and an excellent at virtually all CA state parks). However California likewise has 11 various other discounted passes, so usage our guide tofind a park passthat is ideal for you.

You should also look right into a nationwide Parksannual pass($80). In enhancement to the parks, it also works in National woodland fee areas and also usually enables you to score a discount on campgrounds.


Google Maps is fine and all however sometimes one old school map is far better for finding backroads and also byways. We love the Benchmark California road Atlas. It has actually a lot of detail, showing state parks and campsites and both paved and also dirt roads.

The Kelso Dunes in the Mohave nationwide Reserve.

#1: The more quickly SF to ras Vegas Route

Active journey Time: 8.5 hoursMiles: 619When to Go: Anytime, however it’s hot in the summer.# that Stops: 3

Routing & Stops

San Francisco southern on Highway 101 to southern Highway I-5 >> cut over to Highway 43 south to Colonel Allensworth State Park >> south on Highways 99 and also 58 with Tehachapi >> east I-40 to Barstow/Calico >> Kelbaker road through the Mohave Reserve and also Kelso Dunes >> eastern on I-15 to Las Vegas

Taking I-5 and I-15 might be the fastest means to drive from mountain Francisco to ras Vegas, yet it doesn’t need to be boring. If you space willing to get up yes, really early, you can make a couple of stops and still have time to get into vegas for a nightcap. The complying with stops space either appropriate on the path or a slim detour.

Visit Colonel Allensworth State Park in the central Valley. This small known historic town to be a society experiment emerged in 1917 by Allensworth, who was a fine respected afri American civil battle veteran. His vision to be to construct a town specifically for african Americans where they would seek economic prosperity and control their destinies. The park shows an amazing side of California history and you deserve to cover it in one hour.

Your following stop is Calico Ghost Town in Barstow. This kitschy attraction makes our perform of favorite ghost communities in California and it has actually a series of oldy-timey west buildings, a mining site and old rail cars.

Detour south a bit and spend part time in the Mohave national Reserve. This is one off-the-radar spot just southwest the Barstow. Drive south-to-north through the reserve and also be certain to take a detour come hike the Kelso Dunes.

Read More: get the full downlow ~ above all CA parks through this finish California State Parks list.

Kings Canyon national Park.

#2: SF to ras Vegas through the Sequoias

Active journey Time: 11.5 hoursMiles: 670When come Go: late spring through late fall# the Stops: 4

Routing & Stops

San Francisco southern on Highway 101 to southern Highway 99 >> Highway 180 east from Fresno into Kings Canyon national Park >> General’s Highway southern through Sequoia nationwide Park >> Highway 65 and also 58 v Tehachapi and Barstow >> east I-15 come Las Vegas.

Sequoia nationwide Park is renowned for their large Sequoia trees and also Kings Canyon is the deepest canyon in phibìc America. The park planners because that Sequoia and Kings Canyon national Parks an extremely thoughtfully to plan a scenic course connecting the two parks. The Generals Highway consists the best-of Sequoia national Park and also Highway 180 consist of the best-of emperors Canyon.

You could simply bomb with the General’s Highway and also do a quick scenic tour of Sequoia national Park. But— there are loads of look-outs, hikes and also redwood groves to explore. Drive the queens Canyon road to Zumwalt meadow because that a hike. Then double back come the General’s Highway and also enter Sequoia nationwide Park. Be certain to protect against at the General grant tree, which is among the oldest living tree in the world. Then get in part views at Morro Rock.

You may want to consider slowing that down with this segment and spending the night in Three Rivers. There space a number of motels and inns there.

The Alabama Hills.

#3: SF to ras Vegas via Tioga happen & Highway 395

Active journey Time: 10.5 hoursMiles: 590When to Go: May/June through November# the Stops: 7


San Francisco east on I-205 and Highway 120 to Yosemite >> east over Tioga Pass on Highway 120 to Lee Vining >> southern on Highway 395 v Lone Pine >> Highway 190 eastern through Beatty >> Highway 95 south to Las Vegas.

This isn’t a good routing because that the winter, because Tioga happen is constantly closed throughout the snowy months and the road problems on top Highway 395 can be tricky. However once Tioga opens (and particularly in the fall), this is a terrific San Francisco to ras Vegas drive. The mileage on this course is is much shorter than your other choices and the see are much better. There space so numerous stops follow me Highway 395, we’ve written a entirety 5 work itinerary because that it.

As you drive over Tioga Pass, be certain to slow-moving it down and take advantage of the pull-outs because that viewpoints.

Nowhere will certainly you watch the majestic operations of nature more clearly revealed alongside the frailest, many gentle and peaceful things.

John Muir

You won’t have actually time come do whatever in the eastern Sierras, yet we imply that you take a few quicker scenic stops and also short hikes. Start at eerie Mono Lake, i m sorry is landlocked mineral lake v truly funky geologic tufas. Draw away from 395 and also take the June Lake Loop, i m sorry is a scenic drive the covers 3 lovely alpine lakes. Then protect against at Convict Lake for the brief 2.5 mile loop trail. The lake is famous for a shoot-out in between some escaped convicts and the posse that perused them. But now it’s quite peaceful and also it has actually killer loss color.

Spend the night in Bishop, wherein you’ll discover a wide selection of lodging and also a the majority of food options– we favored the Mountain Rambler Brewery for beer and also burgers. In the morning, stop into the Schaat’s Bakkery, since they have actually amazing breads and also sweets. Then visit the Laws rail Museum, which is a remarkably realistic replica city that to represent this an ar in the at an early stage 1900’s. Once you acquire down come Lone Pine, take it a drive right into the Alabama Hills because that the 1-mile Mobius Arch trail and also some cool red rocks.

This routing will certainly take you through northern death Valley come Beatty Nevada. In Stovepipe Wells, stop at the Mesquite Dunes, then lug on east to the Rhyolite Ghost Town before getting come Beatty.

Hagen Canyon in California’s Red rock Canyon State Park.

#4: SF to las Vegas via fatality Valley

Active journey Time: 10.5 hoursMiles: 644When to Go: October through April# that stops: 7

Routing & Stops

San Francisco south on Highway 101 to south Highways 99 and also 58 with Tehachapi >> Highway 14 come Ridgecrest then Trona road north and also east >> Highway 190 east and south come Furnace Creek then Pahrump >> Highway 160 come Las Vegas.

This mountain Francisco to ras Vegas routing is a perfect a winter drive. It takes advantage of the warmth desert weather, i m sorry is always the best time come visit fatality Valley. Choose the east Sierras, there’s also a lot of to execute in fatality Valley. If you deserve to spare 2 nights in the park, use our 2-day death Valley itinerary to build your trip. If girlfriend only have actually one night come spare, use our fatality Valley-to-Las las vegas day trip guide. It has actually a quickie tour of the park with numerous routing choices to ras Vegas. If you room planning this drive together a one means car rental from mountain Francisco, las Vegas is in reality the closestly airport to fatality Valley.

This routing takes you through Ridgecrest, but prior to you gain there, stop into Red rock Canyon State Park. The short 1.5 mile Hagen Canyon trail is appropriate off the road and has beloved red rocks that the type you’d discover in Utah. Hit increase Ballarat Ghost town, which provided to it is in an old mining supply stop and hang the end for creepy Charles Manson. Avoid at the Mesquite Dunes prior to spending the night in one of two people Stovepipe Wells or heater Creek.

You need to definitely publication ahead for any kind of lodging in the park together it’s an extremely limited, or usage our camping guide. It’s only 2.5 hrs to las Vegas from death Valley, for this reason if you obtain up early, you can see rather a little of the park. Acquire up in ~ dawn for Zabriskie Point, climate head down to Badwater Basin for the Artists color pension Drive and also either the Golden Canyon hike (shorter) or the Sidewinder Canyon hike (longer).

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Regardless that which mountain Francisco to las Vegas driving course you take, be sure to have fun in Vegas. You can keep top top going with the nature theme and visit Red Rocks State Park or go all in through the kitsch and also explore vintage downtown ras Vegas. Enjoy your road trip, and also in the immortal native of Elvis– ““Viva las Vegas v your neon flashin’ and also your one eight bandits crashin’.”

Happy trails!

Highway 395 in the Fall.

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