Los Angeles to Salt Lake City drive

Los Angeles to Salt Lake City Drive: 21 Best Stops to Make & Things to See

Going on Los Angeles to Salt Lake City drive can be one of the most adventurous road trips in the Western USA. Although not many people know about it. They just quickly drive from LA to Las Vegas and then from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City not having an idea how much lies on this stretch of the road.

In reality, there are tons of things to do and see. Incredible heritage sites, beautiful state parks, conservation areas, unique eateries and museums, ghost towns, hidden waterfalls, hot springs, and fantastic weather await you there.

This part of America has surprises and charms. If you are planning to go on a Southern California Utah road trip, then why not turn a most popular drive between these two destinations into an adventure.

Below, I am sharing a list of the best (in my opinion) stops on Salt Lake City to Los Angeles (or vise versa) drive. During my 3.5 years in LA, I have been to many places in that area and went on many getaways. And this list consists only of the most interesting sites.

In fact, while I was working on this article, I got so nostalgic that it made me want to buy a ticket and fly to the US, hop in a car, and go explore more of the country! Oh, one day I will. But for now, enjoy this post and have fun road-tripping! 

Note: If you don’t have your own car or come from out of state to go on LA to Salt Lake City road trip, you’d need to hire a vehicle. Besides LAX airport, I advise you to check cars at Burbank airport. Sometimes, it offers a better fleet and better prices. The best rental company to rent a car is DiscoverCars.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you).

What to Know Before Going On a Los Angeles to Salt Lake City Drive

Los Angeles to Salt Lake City Drive

Drive from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City is a long one. You could easily split it into two other road trips such as Los Angeles to Las Vegas drive and Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive.

If you are visiting this area for the first time, I’d highly recommend you devote at least a day or even two to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. These two cities deserve separate trips and shouldn’t be visited in a hurry for a few hours. On purpose, I haven’t included them on this list. 

Also, keep in mind that some long stretches of the road are part of the desert. And for many miles, you may not be able to see any gas station or grocery store. Stock up on snacks and get gas whenever you are in a city, especially if you plan to detour from the main road to drive to parks or ghost towns (which are on this list too).

I would also suggest planning this trip in such a way that you could spend a night(s) in one of the smaller cities (that I mention below). You’ll find many extravagant unique hotels on this drive in some truly magical spots. 

How Long Is Los Angeles to Salt Lake City Distance?

The driving distance from Los Angeles to Salt Lake in Utah is approximately 700 miles (1125 km). There is pretty much one highway (I-15) that connects these two cities and the entire drive takes between 10-11 hours. The exact driving time will depend on which part of LA you are coming from. 

Without making any stops, it is possible to get from one destination to another in one day (I’ve done it once). But to be honest, it’s pretty challenging. Especially considering the fact that often there is traffic in all major cities you will be passing through. Plus, there is really quite a lot to see en route. So you may want to stop at least in some areas. And if you do, obviously it will take much more time and you’d need to find a place to spend the night.

So, if you want to take it slowly and see everything listed in this post, it’s best to have at least three full days (two nights) and leave early each morning. 

When to Go on LA to Salt Lake City Road Trip

Before I get into all of the stops on the Los Angeles to Salt Lake road trip, I’d like to mention a few words about the best time when to go on this drive. I drove this stretch of the road four times in total every season of the year. And in my experience, any season is really good for this road trip.

However, depending on when exactly you go, the scenery is going to differ. Also, some activities may be unreachable in the winter or too hot to do in summer.

For example, that stretch of the road between Los Angeles and Las Vegas in winter is usually very windy but from June to September it is very hot. Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive in summer is also hot. Especially that part which is in Nevada and Southern Utah. But from December to February, a distance between St George and Salt Lake sees snow.

Personally, if I am to return and drive the entire LA to Salt Lake distance again, I’d go in spring (April-May) or fall (September-October). The weather is more predictable, crowds are fewer, it is a good time to go on short hikes nearby, and enjoy pleasant temperatures. 

If you go on this road trip in winter, do not forget a warm coat and proper shoes. And if you go in summer, make sure to pack sunscreen, plenty of water, and a hat. 

What to See Along the Way – Los Angeles to Salt Lake City Drive Stops

I wanted to include all the stops that we made and personally liked. We have visited them over the course of five trips, including drives from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. To be honest, if you plan to make all these stops, be ready to have a long road trip or hop from one place to another with the speed of the light. 

Visiting most of these places may take a lot of time. Thus plan accordingly and skip those places that are of no interest. 

And as mentioned above, I do not include Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City on this list. Just certain activities and sightseeing spots in or around them. Also, almost all the stops I added here are located along the I-15 freeway. Getting to them requires slight detours. I do not include anything too far when you need to venture further off the main stretch. 

Amazing Stops On a Los Angeles to Las Vegas Drive

1. Mormon Rocks Interpretive Trail

After you leave Los Angeles, why not make a quick stop and stretch your legs on an easy 1-mile long trail that brings you through a beautiful landscape of unique and huge rock formations. But more than that, it tells the history of Mormons in Southern California.

It can be a great first stop on the road trip from LA to Salt Lake City to go on a good morning hike to get fresh air, learn a few interesting facts, take nice photos and see native Southern California flora. If you have any breakfast packed with you, it can be also a romantic spot where to enjoy a meal. 

Mormon Rocks area will not take much time. 30-60 minutes will be enough to go on a hike, see the rocks and learn about the Cajon Pass and the development of California.

Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trip
In winter, this hike looks like this

2. California Route 66 Museum

The first place I put on a list of Los Angeles to Salt Lake City road trip is California Route 66 Museum in Victorville. This museum, as you have probably guessed, is dedicated to a famous historic highway Route 66. It is not a very big venture but it has engaging and interesting exhibits.

Anyone who is fascinated to see a collection of Route 66 artifacts about Mother Road will find it here. Some popular items in the collection of the museum are the first Santa Monica “End of the Trail” booth, 1917 Model T Ford, local telephone equipment, and old radios (like old car transistor radio). 

Admission is $2 per person or $5 for a family up to 7. But donations are welcome to help it continue to work.

California route 66 museum

3. Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch

For this stop, I recommend making a little detour and driving a short stretch of actual Route 66. Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is located on it. 

This ranch is basically a field (or maybe forest?) of bottle trees made by a guy whose name was Elmer. All he needed was a welding machine and 10 years of his life to create this unique project with hundreds of bottles, street signs, and some junk. 

If you take a closer look, you will make a discovery – there is not a single similar “tree” here. They all look very different. These compositions, generally speaking, are real works of so-called readymade art. The bottles are not put on the “branches” but are selected individually for each composition. The top has a crown with a thematic rarity such as a wheel, a rifle, or a sign. In general, the “forest” is also a light-color-sound installation where the bottles shimmer in the sun with all the colors of the rainbow, and the whole space is ringing and buzzing from the wind.

Yes, it is a very cool spot to check out on Los Angeles to Salt Lake City road trip. It is creative, artistic, and undoubtedly unique. The gate to enter the ranch on some occasions can be closed but visitors can walk around the fence and see everything.  

Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trip

4. Molly Brown’s Country Cafe

If you are getting hungry, now can be a good time for a meal. In the high desert of Southern California along the famous route 66, you can pop into Molly Brown’s Country Cafe to enjoy the finest country food. This cafe prides itself on the high quality of food and good prices. This is why for many years in a row they earn the title of ‘best breakfast’ in the area. 

The cafe has four locations, including one in Hesperia and Victorville that you drive through earlier. But a roadhouse in Helendale along route 66 has its own character and atmosphere with the perfect service and hospitality. Check more reviews here.

5. Route 66 Sign

The route 66 sign can be found on many stretches of the historic highway 66 in different states. But if you want to see it in California, you’ll find it on Los Angeles to Las Vegas drive between Helendale and Lenwood right after Molly Brown’s Country Cafe. The approximate location is here.

There is really nothing to do near the sign but many people will want to stop and take some photos. The road is empty for the most part and the steppe view makes it look like you are in the middle of nowhere, yet in a historic area. 

6. Desert Discovery Center

Desert Discovery Center is a very interesting place to visit on a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas or from LA to Salt Lake City. It is basically an interactive museum that provides information on the natural history of the Mojave Desert and people from this area. 

The museum is small but well designed. It has the second biggest meteorite found in the United States and live exhibit with desert tortoises. The outdoor pond and trail around the building are nice for observing wildlife. The location is a bit hard to spot but it is very close to I-15 freeway. 15-20 min quick stop here will be enough to learn something new, walk around, and see what to do around in nearby desert and parks.

Visiting this center is free of charge but you can support them by buying drinks and snacks that have very good prices.

Los Angeles to Las Vegas drive

7. Liberty Sculpture Park

Liberty Sculpture Park, right by the I-15 freeway, is another stop to make on the way to Las Vegas from Los Angeles. It is a unique one of its type space to visit with sculptures dedicated to protesters of the ’89 Democracy Movement that began on April 15 in Beijing. 

The owner of the park Weiming Chen, a Chinese sculpture artist, did a fantastic job building up this park. He dedicated a large part of his past few years to creating such a huge art project in a desert.

Admissions are free and everyone is welcome. Entry to the park is on Yermo road about half a mile off the road. While I get that visiting such a place is not everyone’s cup of tea, the majority will still appreciate it and love the message.

Los Angeles to Salt Lake City road trip

8. Calico Ghost Town

Ghost towns are very common throughout California but Calico, between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, is more than a ghost town. It is like a mini amusement park showcasing the history from 1881. And it’s a great place to visit for tourists who want to see something unique to America but also entertaining.

Previously, this town was famous for the extraction of large quantities of sulfur and silver. The territory of the settlement had about 22 saloons and more than 1000 people lived there. It had its own little Chinatown and even a tiny red-light district. Although after the fall in the value of silver around the world, residents had a difficult time. Most of them had to leave in 1907 turning Calico into a ghost town on the map.

However, this town didn’t stay empty for a long time. Walter Knott, famous for being a founder of Knott’s Berry Farm, purchased the abandoned territory and turned it into a tourist attraction, opening various museums, offering excursions and workshops. Visitors can take part in a large number of small workshops for processing wood and other materials and with the help of staff they can see saloons and houses of residents during that era when the city was prosperous. Mines are open for visits as well as the entire territory which is big enough to explore all day long.

We visited Calico twice, once on a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and another time when showing my mom who came to visit. The first time, it took us 8 hours to tour everything because there was really that much.

If you plan to include this stop to your Southern California road trip itinerary, I’ll say you’d need at least 2 hours in Calico. But that’s the very minimum of time needed to get acquainted with it.

Calico is located slightly off the highway I-15 after you pass Barstow and will take less than 10 minutes to detour. If on the way back, you’d like to stop for a meal, there is another historic diner Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner

LA to Utah road trip

Calico ghost town
The territory of Calico is really big and has a lot of activities. You could easily spend there one long day!

Calico ghost town California

9. Zzyzx Mineral Springs/Soda Springs

The next stop is actually a slight bit of a detour from the typical route. However, this historic spot can offer a few adventurous moments to lovers of abandoned places. 

When you drive along the I-15 highway throughout the desert, you’ll come across an unusual road sign pointing to a settlement with a strange name “Zzyzx”. The road leading to it is 7 kilometers and is partly paved and partly dirt road. It leads to an abandoned old sanatorium built in 1940s by a self-proclaimed minister and charlatan Curtis Howe Springer. Zzyzx also has another name – Soda Springs because of the presence of a natural source of mineral water. 

When Springer built his sanatorium, he made it a little oasis in the middle of the desert that he advertised as a retreat center for curing all possible diseases. It worked for almost 30 years, attracting wealthy people from all over America who believed the lies of a swindler. In 1974 the land was reclaimed by the government and the center closed. 

Today, the site is operated by California State University as a center for desert studies, archaeological research, and studies of the arid climate. Most of the concrete buildings are still standing, but they have been converted into research facilities. The artificial lake is now one of the few remaining places of the promise of endangered species of Tui Chub fish in Mojave.

Zzyzx mineral springs ghost town
Another ghost town… with an artificial lake

10. The World’s Tallest Thermometer

After exploring Zzyzx (if you detour there), you’ll be driving through the small town of Baker that has a giant temperature attraction by the main road Baker Blvd. This attraction is the World’s Tallest Thermometer that displays the real temperature of the air. The thermometer was built with concrete to stand strong and withhold gusts of desert winds. It is 134 feet tall (41 meters) which reflects the highest recorded temperature of 134 degrees (57 Celsius).

This attraction is easily noticeable from the highway but it is cool to visit in person on a hot day when the temperature is high. Inside the thermometer, you’ll find some artifacts displaying the history and portraits of Willis and Barbara Herron who created such an attraction. Outside is a picnic area and a gift shop.

While there is really nothing to do there, this thermometer is a fun little place to visit, take photos, relax, take a break from driving, and shop in a convenience store around the base of the landmark. 

Does my content help you plan your trip? If yes, I’ll appreciate a cup of coffee from you, so I could produce more free guides and itineraries!

11. Seven Magic Mountains 

Getting back on a freeway, the next stop on this road trip is a large public artwork Seven Magic Mountain that is made of stacked stones painted in bright colors. Stones are not natural rock formations, so there is no scientific or historical reason behind them. It’s just an art exhibit to attract tourists on the way from Las Vegas to LA. Since this art installation is located right by I-15, it also serves as a cool spot to recharge and stretch your legs from driving.

As with a few other stops on this list, Seven Magic Mountains is not anything extraordinary, so do not have your expectations high. It is a place to look at, take photos, and read a few fun facts on a sign nearby.

drive to salt lake city
If you will be driving from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City for the first time, the scenery is going to stir up your mind. You don’t even need to turn anywhere to take scenic photos. The gorgeous landscape is everywhere.
Seven magic mountain
Seven magic mountains, Nevada

12. Fremont Street 

If I had to pick only one place where to stop in Las Vegas on a road trip from Los Angeles to Utah, I’d probably go to Fremont Street. Las Vegas definitely is a grand city that requires a few days of time and there is definitely a ton of things to do.

If you are visiting Vegas for the first time, you should plan on spending at least two days in this city and staying in one of the hotels on the Strip. But for a quick stop, if just passing through, why not stop at an incredible entertainment and gaming destination – Fremont Street. 

It is a walking street in the downtown area with a history spanning over a hundred years. This street was the first one in the sin city when it was just building up and it is close to some incredible photo spots. It is also in close proximity to the strip with unique experiences like ziplining or famous Vegas buffets.

This is a place where you’ll find cheap drinks, street performers, some great shops, and a constant party vibe. There are ten casinos and hotels here. Unlike the longer and more glamorous southern lane, Fremont Street is walkable and has shade. A four-piece dome provides shade during the day, while a dazzling light and sound show illuminates the road at night.

Even if you decide to stay overnight to continue your journey the following morning, Fremont Street offers the average daily cost of hotel rooms at $65 per night, not like new resorts on the Strip where prices start at $125 per night.

Fremont street
Fremont street

Best Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Drive Stops

13. Valley of Fire State Park

After you are back on the road again after spending some time in Las Vegas, it’s time to head to one of Nevada’s best state Parks – the Valley of Fire. It is located only 80 km north of Las Vegas but surprisingly, tourists rarely come here. However, this is a true gem in Nevada state!

The Valley of Fire is like a vibrant palette that is very unique in its nature and very difficult to find anywhere else in the world. Over the course of thousands of years, wind and water sculpted the landscape here into a masterpiece of haunting beauty. And Anasazi artists etched mysterious petroglyphs on smooth cliffs.

There are many interpretive trails that lead visitors past raspy red rocks and allow them to get to know the kingdom of stone better. If you have time, embark on one of the hikes in the park and explore all the beauty from the trail. Otherwise, if not having much time, just drive down the Valley of Fire highway which goes in a loop around the park and opens up views of the main rock formations.

North toward Overton, the Lost City Museum holds remnants of the long-vanished Anasazi civilization and talks about the history of this region.

Valley of fire state park
Valley of fire before the sunset, particularly beautiful!
Valley of fire, Nevada
On our trip, we even met two cowboys on a trail, whoop

14. St George

Just north of Valley of Fire state park lies one of Utah’s most gorgeous cities St George. Having a favorable climate, it has relatively warm winters. Being surrounded by gorgeous nature, it offers ample hiking and walking trails. But besides that, there is a rich restaurant scene, a charming downtown with museums and lots of culture, historical buildings, and even dinosaur tracks.

St George should be far more than just a stop on a drive to Utah. Because it is also the best city where to stay on a road trip from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. It is a calm, peaceful destination that has soothing nature in its backyard. And if you want to extend your trip, you can always use this city as a base for trips to Zion National Park or Snow Canyon State Park. 

Los Angeles to Salt Lake City drive
Before we reached St George, we drove by one very beautiful canyon (not far from the Arizona Utah border). I highly recommend you stop there as well!
Salt Lake city to Las Vegas
The location is approximately here near the Virgin River Canyon Campground. Very impressive! 

St George’s accommodation options are perfect for that unique getaway you have been dreaming of. Quirky hotels like Inn on the Cliff and The Inn at Entrada can help to have a romantic time. And their pools with jaw-dropping views will definitely make the most Instagram-worthy photos.

Among some of the things to do in St George are to go hiking at Sand Hollows State Park and Pioneer Park or Red Cliffs Recreation area with a magical Yant Flat hiking path.

Also, don’t miss Brigham Young Winter House (the winter home of the president of the Mormon Church), Town Square Park, Children’s Museum, and Little Black Mountain Petroglyphs

St George Utah
St George from above. We arrived in the evening just for the sunset. Took these photos near the Cliffside restaurant on S Tech Ridge drive.

Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive

15. Kolob View Point

Kolob viewpoint is a gorgeous area of Zion National Park located by I-15 that sees a small percentage of visitors. It is still a part of Zion that you need to drive to through the main highway.

Many people don’t know that and just stick to the park. However, the Kolob View scenic drive offers the same types of views that you have to hike to in Zion (like the famous Angels Landing hike, for example). And it can be an incredible stop on the Las Vegas to Salt Lake City drive if you don’t plan on visiting Zion National Park.

To reach Kolob View Point, just exit on E Kolob Canyon Road near the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center and drive 5 miles before you reach a parking lot. If you have time, make sure to park your car and hike a 1-mile round trip trail to a scenic Timber Creek Overlook. From there, you get stunning views of the canyon cliffsides. And on a nice sunny day, you can even see the northern edge of the Grand Canyon!

If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to stop to hike, still do not miss this stop. It is just a mini drive from the freeway that takes only 15 minutes on a round trip. It is incredibly beautiful, peaceful and quiet. In fact, so quiet that you can hear your own heartbeat.

For the best colors of the mountains, it is better to come here in the late afternoon or early evening. There are also two more trails here but they are longer and lead into the canyons. 

The parking lot is always empty and even on Saturday or Sunday morning, it is not a problem to find a place to park and enjoy the views without lines or traffic. 

Las Vegas to Salt Lake City road trip
At the beginning of E Kolob Canyon road near the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center. You drive for a little bit and get views like these:
Los Angeles to Salt Lake city drive
Picnic time with Zion National Park in the background… But we are not even in Zion, just by Interstate 15. 

16. Kanarraville Falls

Kanarraville Falls is another stop not to miss if you have plenty of time and want to experience an adventurous hike. However, there are a few important things to know before you go. 

Kanarraville Falls is a natural attraction with hiking trails that go partially in the water. To hike them, you need to get a permit that will allow you to hike. And second, make sure to bring water shoes or be ready for cold feet. In the summer the water temperature is lower than 4o degrees (4C) what can be refreshing for some and too cold for others. 

The hike is not very physically demanding. It takes between 3-4 hours to hike it (and return) with stops for photos and snacks. And it is truly one of the most adventurous hikes in Utah and the entire US! There are sweeping landscapes on all sides, river crossings, a trail through canyons, and waterfalls in the end (that you can climb). If you have time and love adventure, don’t miss this hike! But do not forget to apply for a permit with at least a month of time in advance. Find out more about the tickets and hike here.

Kanarraville falls, Utah
On the way to the falls…
Los Angeles to Salt Lake City road trip stops
In my humble opinion, it is one of the most beautiful hikes in the US!

17. Parowan Gap Petroglyphs

One of the most mysterious and sacred places in Southern Utah is a site of Native American rock carvings on rock formations that is called the Parowan Gap. It’s worth taking the time to stop on the way from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, especially since it’s only a short drive from the freeway. 

The passage, the Parowan Gap, was a path frequently traveled by the ancestors of the Southern Paiute and Hopi People. During their trips, some stopped to chisel images into the rock and leave them for us to question.

Today, petroglyphs of the Parowan Gap form a beautiful collection that anyone who is in the area can see. While we may never find out what these symbols mean, they tell the story of people who roamed this land centuries ago. And it’s definitely something fascinating to take a look at. Boards with information next to petroglyphs help interpret what the carvings say. There are easy walking trails around it, bathrooms, a parking lot, and easy access.

You can make a quick stop here to view Native American history and then also one mile east from the Gap near Little Salt Lake glimpse dinosaur tracks.    

on a drive between LA and Salt Lake

18. Meadow Hot Springs

This next place makes an excellent stop between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City for anyone who’d like to relax in a pool of hot water in the desert after an intensive hike or extended driving. But there is one thing that can ruin the experience here – people. Based on some recent reviews, some people who visit the area, litter and are disrespectful to others. Please, don’t be one of them. Obey posted signs, take all your trash with you, drop a donation and be considerate of other visitors.

Based on the fact of how popular this spot is, it’s better to come in the morning and avoid weekends altogether. Winter is probably the best season to soak in pools since crowds are fewer and water temperature is very pleasant. The temperatures hover at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38C). 

Utah country
On the way to hot springs. The scenery is changing again!
road trip in Utah
One time we stopped for a night in Fillmore. Checked in late when it was dark outside but in the morning, we woke up to this view. Red rocks changed to mountains with snowy peaks. 

19. Nebo Loop Road

This stop is not really a stop but more of a detour from the freeway and scenic drive through the Uinta National Forest. If you have plenty of time and energy after so many stops, I suggest you continue a journey on this road. Even if you decide to skip it, I highly recommend returning on another day or possibly on a returning trip from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas. It’s such a gorgeous drive!

The loop starts near the town of Nephi and makes its way through scenic overlooks, trails, campgrounds, and rest stops. There are plenty of spots where to stop but the drive is a fascinating activity on its own. The best season to go is probably autumn with all the colors and fresh air. In winter, the road is closed. In summer, it is a perfect destination to get away from the summer heat of the valley. 

If you are taking it really slowly, check out hiking trails to see Payson Lakes and Devil’s Kitchen.

Salt Lake City to Los Angeles

road trip in Utah

20. Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple

After you are done driving the Nebo Loop Road, don’t return on a highway just yet. Turn right on parkway 198 and go towards Spanish Fork. About a few miles north, on the left side of the road, you’ll have a chance to visit an unusual gem in Utah.

That gem is one of my favorite places in the entire US where I got a chance to volunteer for one month and learn about sustainable living. And this place is called Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple – a piece of India in the middle of the Mormon state.

This temple is more than a shrine. It has an animal sanctuary with llamas, peacocks, macaws (that talk!), Japanese koi, and Zebu cows. There is an inside gift shop, a vegetarian buffet (with Indian food), bathrooms, and a temple for prayers and ceremonies. You are welcome to come to walk around the beautiful well-preserved territory, feed the llamas (bring cut apples or baby carrots), try the food, visit the worship area, and see Indian art. If there is a swami in the temple, he may be able to read your palm (if you are into that).

This temple is an incredible spiritual sight on the outskirts of Salt Lake City. You’ll have no regrets about visiting, just positive emotions and harmony of being there.

Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Utah
Can you tell this is in Utah? It is! On the way from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas

Krishna temple in Spanish Fork, Utah

road trip between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City
A bit of India in Utah state

21. Utah Lake

One more stop that I recommend you to visit on Los Angeles to Salt Lake City drive is a majestic Utah Lake. As with the other two previously mentioned places, you can always return here later if staying in Salt Lake for a few days. While there are not really any extraordinary things to do here, it can be an active stop before you reach your final destination.

Utah Lake is a gorgeous state park with beach access, a campground, walking trails, and picnic areas. It is an area to enjoy the sights and sounds, the views and fresh air. Once you are near the water, you can’t even tell this is in the vicinity of the city. I have been to this lake a few times during the month of volunteering in Utah. And I always thought the lake area was perfect for meditation and rejuvenation.

I found a lot of similarities between this lake and Lake Champlain in Vermont. It’s quiet, clean and has mindblowing views of the mountains. You’ll definitely love stopping here. Do it for the photos and to appreciate all the beauty!

Utah lake
Utah lake is beautiful on any day and in any weather

Utah lake

Where to Stay on the Los Angeles to Salt Lake Drive

With all of these stops to make on the Los Angeles to Salt Lake City drive, you may want to find a lovely romantic place to spend a night or even a few. If you have time and budget allows, do not drive the entire distance without stopping at least in some places. Turn this road trip into an adventure!

And below I would love to share some of my favorite accommodation options between LA and Utah. I saved them for inspiration a long time ago when we lived in LA. Today they still get stellar reviews and offer the same level of high service. If you haven’t booked anything yet, take a look and get inspired too.

Las Vegas 

The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod – a budget hotel at the northern end of the Strip. It’s perfect for travelers who look to stay on the Strip but without spending much. Rooms are large and clean. There is a pool, own microbrewery, cafe, grill area, and Starbucks. 

Cancun Resort by Diamond Resorts – another option of a cheap hotel in Las Vegas that is quiet and less known among travelers. The highlight here is the lush backyard pool complex with waterfalls, waterslides, and tall palm trees.  

Palms Casino Resort – a laid-back hotel that used to attract celebrities and nightclub fans just in the recent past. Today it boasts slick rooms with sensational views (mainly in the Ivory tower), tasty restaurants, and party options. 

St George 

Abbey Inn – by Tripadvisor, it is the #1 Traveler Ranked hotel in St. George. Situated in a perfect location near Interstate 15, university, temple, restaurants, and downtown. It has a year-round outdoor pool, free breakfast, and moderate rates. 

Las Palmas Resort – large resort in the Green Valley area with lots of pools and on-site activities. It is a great choice for families and anyone else who is looking to spend more time relaxing in the hotel.  

The Advenire – a beautiful luxury option in St George for those looking for a lot of comfort on their road trip to Salt Lake City. Being on the main street, this hotel has chic elegant rooms, an outdoor jacuzzi, on-site dining, and views on all sides. 

Cedar City

Abbey Inn & Suits – Off Interstate 15, this trendy clean hotel makes the perfect base to relax before hitting the road again the following morning. It has some of the best reviews on all aggregators and offers comfortable rooms with breakfast included. And it is a perfect option for budget travelers since prices start at $65 per night. 

Big Yellow Inn – an upscale B&B in a Georgian home with antique decor, homemade breakfast, and old-fashioned charm. This is an excellent place to stay for mid-range travelers or families on a road trip in Utah if you are after Victorian-era homes with modern conveniences. You’ll love the antique vibe, stellar service, and a wonderful selection of unique rooms. 

Are you looking for more inspiration on US travel? See my other posts:

Los Angeles to Palm Springs Road Trip – 8 Amazing Places to Visit 

Columbia River Gorge Road Trip in Oregon

Romantic Weekend Getaways in Kentucky to Go On At Least Once in Your Lifetime

7 Magical Places in the US That Have Snow Year-Round 

Road Tripping in Vermont – Where to Go to Make the Most of the Season 

Los Angeles to Salt Lake City road trip #roadtripusa #californiautahroadtrip #westusa #bestofusa
Los Angeles to Salt Lake City road trip #roadtripusa #californiautahroadtrip #westusa #bestofusa

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  1. Thank you for this amazing information about road tripping from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to Utah. Planning to go early in the New Year and glad to know there is plenty to see, and particularly appreciate the places to stay. Keep up the helpful blogs.

  2. It was great reading your blog. I’m Turkish. And I was planning to travel from losangeles to Salt Lake City. So helpful. Because of winter time now. Which beginning feb. I was scared to driving. But I’m not now. I mean most of the road is secure to drive anyway. Thank you Anya

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