rock formations in a rocky valley

Las Vegas to Monument Valley: 14 of the Best Stops for an Epic Road Trip

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Planning a trip from Las Vegas to Monument Valley? I have the most epic stops for you to add to your Southwest road trip!

I never took myself for much of a desert person but man do I love it! There’s just something about it that keeps drawing me back.

The canyons and cacti glow orange with every sunrise and sunset. Hidden gems tucked down miles and miles of sandy and rutted roads. You could honestly spend a lifetime constantly discovering new places.

So keep reading- because below I have mapped out all the best stops for you while driving from Las Vegas to Monument Valley! contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these Amazon links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I believe in. Read my disclaimer for more information.

Planning your trip? Use my favorite resources!

Accommodation – to find the best deals on hotels.
FlightsSkyscanner to look for the best prices and deals on flights.
Rental carsDiscoverCars to shop around at multiple car rental agencies.
Travel insurance Safety Wing; keep your trips insured to protect yourself while traveling.
Tours/experiences – Viator or Get Your Guide are excellent sources for tours.

🗺 Driving Stops from Las Vegas to Monument Valley Map

🕰 How Long Does it Take to Drive from Las Vegas to Monument Valley?

It takes 6 hours and 15 minutes to drive directly from Las Vegas to Monument Valley.

The route directly passes through the towns of St. George, Kanab, and Page. But there are many detours you can make along the route to make this a road trip of a lifetime!

🚘 14 Best Stops on a Las Vegas to Monument Valley Road Trip

Below I have a list of all the best stops between these two Southwest staples.

Have 3-5 days? Pick from Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, Zion, Bryce, Kanab, and/or the best spots in Page along the way.

Have 5-7 days & want to stay South? Add on Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and/or Flagstaff

Have 5-7 days & want to stay North? Add on Escalante and/or Capitol Reef.

Check out the best hotels in Las Vegas before you start your road trip.

1. Valley of Fire State Park

This underrated Nevada State Park was relatively off the radar up until a few years ago. I highly recommend a short visit to this gem on your way out of the Las Vegas area. It is a one hour drive Northeast of the city.

You can easily spend just one morning or evening here seeing the major sights on your way from Vegas to Monument Valley. Find a downloadable map of the park here!

  • Elephant Rock: Just a short 0.3 mile hike to quite an amazing rock formation that resembles an elephant trunk. Nature is so fun right?! This is near the East entrance.
  • The Beehives: Right inside the park by the West entrance. Again aptly named, these are rock formations that resemble very large beehives. This area deserves a stop and walk around.
  • Mouse Tank Road Viewpoint: One of the most popular ‘Instagram’ spots in Valley of Fire, though I kinda hate that term haha. But I have to be honest I myself have gotten the perfectly posed photo, no shame! Get the picture perfect location here from Google Maps. There is a rock to climb on from the small parking area that makes for a great photo.
  • Pink Canyon: This is a short but sweet colorful and pastel narrow canyon. The trail is near the Fire Wave, but this is the specific location.
  • The Fire Wave: This is a must do in the park in my opinion. The wave like rock formation is really unique and makes for one of the best photo ops in the park. The trail to the fire wave is relatively easy at 1.5 miles round trip with 150 feet of elevation gain. Catching this at sunrise or sunset will afford you the best lighting for the red rocks to glow!

🏨 Check out these best hotels near Valley of Fire if you’re looking to spend the night. Camping is also available in Valley of Fire State Park.

road through the valley of fire nevada united states
Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada from Mouse Tank Road

2. Lake Mead

Lake Mead is located just outside of Las Vegas and is the largest U.S. water reservoir, right on the border of Arizona and Nevada. There are amazing outdoor opportunities around Lake Mead, on both land and water. 

  • Kayak Emerald Bay: One of the best unique things to do on Lake Mead is to kayak to Emerald Bay. This bay gets its name due to the emerald green color of the water in the full sun! It gets its bright green color from the algae resting on the bottom which reflects off of the sun down in the canyon.
  • Arizona Hot Springs: During the months of September- May you can hike 7 miles to Arizona Hot Springs, a popular and scenic primitive hot spring near the banks of Lake Mead. You’ll also get views of Lake Mead on the trail. Soaking in hot springs makes for the perfect activity for a winter road trip!
  • Gold Strike Hot Springs: Gold Strike hot springs is a smaller primitive hot spring also with an amazing Lake Mead view while you soak.
  • Get out on the water: Rent a boat or jet ski to have some fun out on the water. And you can’t miss a stop at the Hoover Dam!

🏨 Check out these best hotels near Lake Mead if you’re looking to spend the night.

lake mead on colorado river
Lake Mead in Nevada

3. Zion National Park

Zion National Park is located in Southwestern Utah, a little over 2 hours from Las Vegas International Airport. Zion also makes for one of the best weekend trips from Vegas!

While it may be small, this park is so diverse and you can easily spend a few days exploring all the best parts and hiking the infamous trails of The Narrows and Angels Landing.

With just one day, pick one or two easy to moderate day hikes and make the scenic drive through the park via the Zion- Mt Carmel Tunnel. Find a downloadable map of the park here!

  • Hike The Narrows: Walk through a slot canyon in the Virgin River. Moderate difficulty due to the fact you walk through the river the entire time. You can walk as far as you’d like- so it could be anywhere from 2-10 miles round trip. No permits are needed.
  • Hike Angels Landing: Permits are needed, apply for a lottery on a 3 month rolling basis or try your luck one day before. Hard difficulty, this is not for those afraid of heights as there are steep drop offs with climbing. 4.5 miles round trip with 1,600 ft elevation gain.
  • Observation Point Hike: Just outside the park in East Zion. Fantastic views of Zion canyon, even overlook Angel’s Landing! Moderate difficulty. 7 miles round trip with 700 ft elevation gain. A great alternative to Angel’s Landing if you don’t like heights or couldn’t get permits. Read more about this hike on my post here!
  • The Watchman trail: Great for sunset. Moderate difficulty. 3 miles round trip with 635 ft elevation gain.
  • The Canyon Overlook Trail: The perfect short trail located in the Eastern side of the park.

🏨 Check out these best hotels near Zion if you’re looking to spend the night.

brown rocky mountain under blue sky
View from the Canyon Overlook trail in Zion National Park

4. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is a 1 ½ hour drive from Zion. Bryce is a truly unique park, full of orange ‘Hoodoos’.

These hoodoos are rocks that have formed over thousands of years from erosion and are in the shape of spires. Spending one half or one full day is a good amount of time to see all the best sights. Find maps of the park here!

  • Watch the sunrise: Walk around the rim right by the main parking area of the park, or set up your tripod to watch the sunrise at the aptly named Sunrise Point! Sunrise is the best lighting all day since the hoodoos absolutely glow!
  • Hike the Navajo & Queens Gardens Loop: Walk down into the hoodoos themselves and take a picture of yourself for scale! Moderate difficulty. 3 miles round trip with 650 ft elevation gain.
  • Hike the Fairyland Loop Trail: A longer walk into the hoodoos to experience more of the park. Moderate difficulty. 7.8 miles round trip with 1,550 ft elevation gain. 

🏨 Check out these best hotels near Bryce if you’re spending the night.

bryce canyon with sandy rocks in national park of usa
Bryce Canyon National Park

5. Escalante, Utah

The small adventure town of Escalante, Utah is located just one hour from Bryce Canyon National Park. There are plentiful outdoor and hiking opportunities here and places to go glamping if you’re into that!

  • Hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls: A waterfall in the desert- yup you heard that right. And a beautiful one at that. Moderate difficulty. 6.7 miles round trip with 850 ft elevation gain.
  • Hike to Zebra Slot Canyon: Truly unique and stunning slot canyon. It’s a narrow one though and getting through some parts are difficult; I wouldn’t go alone. Moderate difficulty. 6.5 miles roundtrip with 450 ft elevation gain.
  • Coyote Gulch backpacking trip: Hike to the incredible Jacob Hamblin Arch and camp down in Coyote Gulch. Most accessible trail head is at Hurricane Wash. Pick up a permit at the Escalante Visitor Center and pack out all waste. ~20 miles round trip with minimal elevation gain/loss. Involves multiple stream crossings and trail finding at times.
  • Reflection Canyon backpacking trip: You’ll need high clearance and at least AWD to get to this trail head. It’s a very difficult hike but worth it. There are no water sources along the route and trail finding is needed. The hike is 15 miles round trip with 1,500 ft elevation gain. Read more details about this trail on my post here!

🏨 Check out these best hotels near Escalante if you’re spending the night.

waterfall against red rock in Utah
Lower Calf Creek Falls in Escalante, Utah

6. Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is located 2 hours away from either Bryce Canyon or Escalante. This national park is filled with colorful sandstone cliffs, arches, towers, domes, and canyons.

A half to full day in Capitol Reef is sufficient for taking a scenic drive, seeing the petroglyphs, and taking a hike or two. If you want to visit the Temple of the Sun and Moon, allow yourself an extra day. Find a downloadable map of the park here!

  • Hike to Hickman Bridge: Beautiful hike where you can walk under a huge arch. Moderate difficulty. 1.7 miles round trip with 415 ft elevation gain.
  • Hike to Cassidy Arch: A hike where the journey is just as beautiful as the destination! The hike to Cassidy Arch takes you through Capitol Reef’s red rock country and to a huge arch you can walk over. The scale here is truly epic. Moderate difficulty. 3.1 miles round trip with 650 ft elevation gain.
  • Drive to the Temple of the Sun & Moon: I visited this part of the park on my third time in Capitol Reef and my only regret is that I hadn’t seen it sooner! It is stunning here and something you will not see in any other part of the park. AWD, high clearance is recommended for this drive due to sandy and rocky/rutted parts of the road. Expect the 35-mile drive to take about 2 hours one way; access the road off of Highway 24 near Hanksville.

🏨 Check out these top rated hotels near Capitol Reef if you’re spending the night.

Temple of the Sun & Moon
asphalt road across the canyon valley
Scenic drive through Capitol Reef

7. Kanab, Utah

Kanab, Utah makes for the perfect spot to spend a few extra days if you have the time on your road trip from Las Vegas to Monument Valley and like off-roading adventures!

There are quite a few epic places you can reach from Kanab, but for some of them, you have to have a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle.

When I went to these places I had rented a Jeep via Turo in St. George on my epic Arizona Utah road trip. There are some Jeep rental agencies near Kanab, but these can get expensive. You also have to be comfortable driving in deep sand. Taking a guided tour is a great alternative to renting a vehicle!

  • Peek-a-boo Slot Canyon: 4×4, high clearance needed. Or take this tour from Kanab. A beautiful and unique slot canyon 40 minutes from town. This is a short hike just under one mile round trip. Remember to check the weather frequently prior to hiking in a slot canyon and never hike when it is supposed to rain for safety!
  • The Great Chamber aka Cutler Point: 4×4, high clearance needed. This massive arch feels like a true work of art by nature. The hike to it after the drive is pretty steep and sandy but short. This is a great tour option that combines both Peek-a-boo and The Great Chamber!
  • White Pocket: 4×4, high clearance needed. This is for those who want epic views like The Wave but can’t snag permits. White Pocket looks like you’ve seriously been transported to Mars, it’s such an incredible place. Sunset and sunrise really highlight the colors here. Take this tour from Kanab if you can’t drive the gnarly long road.
  • Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon: This is an absolutely amazing slot canyon, it’s actually one of the longest in the world! The trail also features petroglyphs and some rock formations that resemble The Wave. The entire trail is 12 miles long but you don’t have to walk the entire length of the slot canyon. The road is accessible by most cars in dry conditions.
  • The Wave: You must have a permit to visit The Wave, that are pretty competitive to win. There is a lottery drawing for them that you can apply for at but it is worth seeing once in your life! Once you have scored your permits, the hike to this magnificent area is 6.7 miles round trip with 1200 feet of elevation gain.

🏨 Check out these top rated hotels near Kanab, Utah if you’re spending the night.

The Great Chamber
photo of a girl standing on a rock at sunrise in white pocket
White Pocket

8. Lake Powell

Lake Powell is truly one of my favorite spots in the Southwest. Lake Powell is located right on the outskirts of the town of Page, AZ.

The blue-green waters of the lake just look so magical next to the orange and yellow canyon walls. I could easily spend a week on a houseboat just exploring all of the hidden arches, slot canyons, and beaches tucked away on its shores!

  • Kayak to Lower Antelope Canyon: Take a guided kayak tour and paddle to the entrance of Lower Antelope Canyon. There is a portion of this canyon you can access via Lake Powell and is not on Navajo land. This will take half a day and is best to do Spring-Fall.
  • Rent a boat for the day: A boat day on Lake Powell in the warmer months is really spectacular. Gaze up at the canyon walls as you cruise by and go out away from the crowds. Renting a boat gets pricey, so visiting in the spring and fall months is better for those on a budget.
  • Camp at Lone Rock Beach: Right on the shores of Lake Powell you’ll find the large expanse that is Lone Rock Beach. There is plenty of room to spread out, and it makes for great stargazing at night. There are no real ‘sites’ and it is first come first serve.

🏨 Check out these top rated hotels in Page, Arizona if you’re planning on spending the night near Lake Powell.

Left: View from Lone Rock Beach. Right: Renting a boat on Lake Powell for the day.

9. Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is a must stop on your way from Las Vegas to Monument Valley. The trail head is located close to the town of Page, AZ.

There is an established parking lot and trail, and you must pay a 10$ entrance fee. The hike is easy- moderate and 1.5 miles round trip with 150 feet of elevation gain.

This is the famous overlook of the Colorado River where the canyon looks like a horseshoe! Go during sunrise for the least crowds.

🏨 Check out these top rated hotels in Page, Arizona if you’re planning on spending the night near Horseshoe Bend.

awesome view of glen canyon national recreation area
Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona

10. Antelope Canyon

Another stop on this road trip that is located near Page, AZ! A walk in either Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon on Navajo land is an experience not to be missed.

I’ve been to many, many slot canyons, but.. truly none measure up to the beauty that is Antelope Canyon. The canyon is really a work of art, looking like it was hand sculpted instead of the effects of thousands of years of erosion doing its job.

You’ll need timed reservations for both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. The canyon is located on the Navajo reservation and can only be visited with a Navajo guide, so there is no way to enter by yourself.

🏨 Check out these top rated hotels in Page, Arizona if you’re planning on spending the night near Antelope Canyon.

antelope canyon
Lady in the Wind in Lower Antelope Canyon

11. Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon is a hidden gem in Arizona, located an hour’s drive from Page. Marble Canyon also has Lee’s Ferry, which is where many will start their epic journey to raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon!

But there is more to do in Marble Canyon and Lee’s Ferry than embarking on a multi day rafting trip.

  • Visit Lee’s Ferry: Dip your feet into the Colorado River after the extremely scenic drive down to Lee’s Ferry from Marble Canyon.
  • Take a photo from the Navajo Bridge: Get the best view of Marble Canyon and the Colorado River from Navajo Bridge. There is a visitor center here to learn more about the area, and there are usually some storefronts set up to sell handcrafted Navajo jewelry and art.
  • Kayak Horseshoe Bend: A really fun day or overnight adventure, visit Horseshoe Bend from the other perspective! You take a backhaul ferry upstream, usually 7-15 miles, and can kayak back in one day, or camp overnight. Book your trip here. I did this as a one night camping trip and it was one of my favorite things I’ve done in the Southwest.
  • Hike the Cathedral Wash trail: The Cathedral Wash hike involves some route finding and scrambling, so it is considered hard. The canyon opens up at the end to the Colorado River, so it is worth it!

🏨 Check out the top rated hotels in Marble Canyon if you want to spend the night. I have personally stayed at Lee’s Ferry Lodge and would definitely recommend it!

Kayaking on the Colorado River around Horseshoe Bend

12. Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon makes for an excellent stop on your Las Vegas to Monument Valley road trip. The easiest and most accessible entrance will be the South Rim which is open year round.

You can spend just a day in the Grand Canyon if you’re just passing through. But if you can spend the night, be sure to catch a sunrise or sunset and stay up late to do some stargazing, as it is a designated Dark Sky Park.

  • Go on a day hike below the rim: The South Kaibab trail to Cedar Ridge or the 1.5 mile Resthouse via the Bright Angel trail both make excellent day hikes. Hike in the early morning or evening hours to avoid heat, and always carry extra water with you. 
  • Go up the Desert View Watchtower: Climb the steps at this iconic 70 foot watchtower, built in 1932, to get great views of the canyon. It is open for visitors 8am to 6pm daily. Tickets are first come first serve and free to the public.
  • See all the most scenic viewpoints on Desert View Drive: Enjoy this 23 mile scenic road through the park and see the best views from Mather Point, Yavapai Point, Yaki Point, Moran Point and much more

🏨 Check out this list of the best hotels near the Grand Canyon if you can spend the night near this infamous national park!

grand canyon under blue and white cloudy sky
Grand Canyon National Park

Check out my post on a Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon Road Trip!

13. Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff is a cute small city in the midst of acres of pine trees. It is located 1 1/2 hours South from the Grand Canyon.

Flagstaff sits at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, a mountain range that includes Humphreys Peak- Arizona’s highest point. If you’re searching for a mountain ski town dotted with breweries, add Flag to your list!

  • Climb Humphreys Peak: This is a challenging 10.7 mile round trip hike with 3,400 ft of elevation gain. See of the trail a map with recent conditions here. Plan on spending most of a day doing this hike. It is extra spectacular during the fall!
  • See fall colors: Go to Flagstaff during early October to experience the Aspen trees turning golden. Hike the Inner Basin trail and take the scenic gondola ride at the Arizona Snowbowl to see all the glowing trees from above.
  • Go to a local cafe or brewery: Flagstaff has a nice downtown strip, with many local restaurants, cafes, shops, and breweries. Go to the Lumberyard Brewery and enjoy a drink outside facing the high peaks.

🏨 Check out these best hotels in Flagstaff if you plan to stay a night!

view from the flagstaff gondola overlooking changing aspen trees from above
View from the scenic gondola ride in Flagstaff in October

14. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is a picturesque town a one hour drive South from Flagstaff in the middle of Arizona’s red rock country.

There are plentiful hiking and outdoor opportunities here, or you could relax and enjoy the views from downtown or at a luxurious resort. 

  • Go on a hike: Some of the best day hikes in Sedona are: Keyhole Cave, Merry Go Round Rock, Subway Cave via Boynton Canyon, Fay Canyon, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Devil’s Bridge, and Doe Mountain.
  • Watch the sunset: Anywhere in Sedona is going to be amazing for sunset, but Red Rock Crossing is a great viewpoint for low effort.
  • Go on an adventurous off roading tour: If hiking isn’t your thing- try a Pink Jeep tour to see the sights of Sedona’s backcountry.
  • Feel the energy vortexes: Sedona is also known for its vortexes, or areas of supposedly high energy that can cause emotional and spiritual feelings in people. Some like to do meditation or yoga while at these vortexes since it is so calming. Some of the main vortex areas are: Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon.

🏨 See the best hotel deals in Sedona, AZ to spend extra time in this gorgeous place. I’ve personally stayed at the Oak Creek Terrace Resort when I was driving from the Grand Canyon to Sedona and had a wonderful stay. It’s a great place to stay, especially if you’re on a tighter budget.

cathedral rock sedona
View of Cathedral Rock from the Crescent Moon Picnic Area

🚙 Ways to get from Las Vegas to Monument Valley

The two main ways to get from Las Vegas to Monument Valley is to either rent a car and make a road trip out of it, or take a tour.

I would personally opt to rent your own car so you can spend as much time as you’d like getting to and from places and customize the trip as much as you’d like.

But I can certainly see the appeal of a guided tour so you don’t have to think about anything and just enjoy the ride!

By Car

Renting a car independently means you get to customize your itinerary and spend as much or as little time in a place as you wish. For most of the places I have mentioned you don’t need a fancy or well equipped car, a sedan will do just fine.

👉 Using Discover Cars you can search through multiple car rental agencies to find the best deal for you!

By Tour

There are quite a few tours that will take you from Las Vegas to Monument Valley and hit lots of great stops along the way. Below I have linked all the best tours to choose from and a short description.

👉 This highly rated tour will take you to Zion and Bryce National Parks on day one, Monument Valley on day two, and end in the Grand Canyon on day three before returning to Vegas.

👉 Similarly, this highly rated tour will take you to Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon National Parks along with Monument Valley and some stops along the famous Route 66.

👉 This highly rated tour will take you to Sedona on day one, Monument Valley and Horseshoe Bend on day two, and Antelope Canyon and Valley of Fire on day three.

👉 If you’re craving even more time in the desert, consider this 7 day tour from Las Vegas to Monument Valley. You’ll stop at Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, AND Grand Canyon National Parks. As well as Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. This is a fantastic adventure!

person wearing beige sweater holding map inside vehicle

❓ Las Vegas to Monument Valley FAQs

More questions about getting from Las Vegas to Monument Valley? Keep reading below so I can help answer ’em!

What is there to see between Vegas and Monument Valley?

There is SO much to see between Las Vegas and Monument Valley. You can make a long weekend out of the drive, or take a few weeks to road trip around Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.

With a multitude of State and National Parks, lakes, rivers, and canyons- there is no shortage of things to do.

But the most popular stops along the route from Vegas to Monument Valley include: Valley of Fire, Zion, Bryce, Kanab, the Grand Canyon, and Page, AZ.

With more time you could hit more places in Utah such as Escalante and Capitol Reef, or go to more stops in Arizona such as Sedona, Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson.

Is Monument Valley worth the money?

Yes, Monument Valley is worth the money. I’ve been to all the major stops in the Southwest and then some, but Monument Valley is pretty special.

The buttes are seemingly larger than life and exactly what you imagine the Wild West to look like. Plus, the sunrises and sunsets are just spectacular and the view from The View hotel makes for a total bucket list stay overnight.

Is it worth driving through Monument Valley?

If you make the trip out ot Monument Valley, you’ve gotta do the 17 mile scenic Valley Drive. It is very much worth it!

👉 Check out this 2 hour Horseback Riding Tour or join an adventurous 4×4 backcountry excursion while you’re there too!

Is one day enough for Monument Valley?

I think one full day in Monument Valley is enough time to spend in Monument Valley!

With just one day- you’ll be able to watch the sunrise, take the 17 mile scenic drive, maybe take a short guided tour mentioned above, and end the day with a spectacular sunset.

landscape of rock formations in a valley
Monument Valley

🌵 Wrap up: Las Vegas to Monument Valley

In conclusion, a trip from Las Vegas to Monument Valley is a journey that offers an unparalleled experience of the American Southwest.

From the bright lights and entertainment of Sin City to the stunning natural beauty of Utah and Arizona’s iconic red rock formations, this road trip promises an adventure like no other.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities or cultural immersion, there’s something for everyone on this scenic drive through some of America’s most beloved destinations.

So pack your bags and hit the open road – it’s time to explore one of the country’s most iconic routes!

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