How to Travel From Los Angeles to Las Vegas by Bus, Car, and Plane

How to Get From LA to Las Vegas


With just 275 miles of desert between them, it isn't complicated or expensive to travel from the City of Angels to the City of Sin. Many travelers want to take advantage of the relatively short distance between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and there are plenty of options for doing so. Flying is the fastest way at just over an hour of flight time, and low-cost airlines keep prices low. Buses are the cheapest method and the five-hour journey isn't unbearably long. Renting a car and taking a road trip is one of the most popular ways to get to Vegas and gives you the freedom to stop and make detours along the way.

  Time Cost Best For
Flight 1 hour, 10 minutes from $18 Arriving on a time crunch
Bus 5 hours from $15 Traveling on a budget
Car 4 hours 275 miles (434 kilometers) Exploring the area

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Los Angeles to Las Vegas?

Even though average prices for flights and buses are nearly identical, taking the bus from Los Angeles to Las Vegas wins out as the cheapest method for travel between these two cities. Several companies complete the route every single day and competition between them keeps prices down to as low as $24 for a one-way trip. The least expensive companies are usually Megabus or Flixbus, but look into prices on Greyhound as well.

Direct buses can take as little as five hours (with one rest stop) or as long as seven if they make a lot of stops along the way. Each company also drops off in a different part of the city, so it may be beneficial to choose based on where your accommodations are. Flixbus is the only company with a stop on the Strip, while other companies end the journey either in Downtown Las Vegas or near the airport.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Los Angeles to Las Vegas?

You may be surprised to find that airfare between Los Angeles and Las Vegas costs only a little more than taking the bus—sometimes by just a few dollars. That's especially true if you shop around and book a month in advance, as last-minute tickets can jump up in price.

The flight time is just a little over an hour, an easy trip to make even if it's just for a weekend getaway. Of course, once you factor in all of the time it takes to travel to and from the airport, check in, go through security, and wait at your gate, a flight isn't all that faster than driving yourself. But for those who don't want to deal with rental cars, it's a quick and painless option.

Spirit and Southwest are two of the most popular airlines flying from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, but American, Frontier, Delta, United, and American Airlines also offer daily flights. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) typically offers the most options and cheapest deals, but if you're staying outside of the city itself, look into flights at nearby airports such as Burbank, Long Beach, or John Wayne airports.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

By far the most popular way to make the trip between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is by driving. If you're driving, the exact route you take will depend on where you start in the Los Angeles area. Pick the most direct route going east to connect with I-15 (the most commons ones are I-215, I-10, or I-605). Once you get on it, I-15 will take you straight into Las Vegas.

Coming from downtown Los Angeles, the drive is 275 miles and takes about four hours without traffic, although depending on what time you leave Los Angeles it could be much longer. Avoid rush hour to get out of the city with as little stress as possible.

It may seem strange to be worried about road closures due to snow when the entire drive is through the desert, but it is possible. If you're driving in the winter and happen to hit a particularly cold spell, be sure to check road status on California highways between Los Angeles and Las Vegas at the Department of Transportation website. Enter each highway number separately to get information about road repairs and closures.

When's the Best Time to Travel to Las Vegas?

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding the time to visit Las Vegas, the first of which is the weather. Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert and summer temperatures are sweltering. You'll probably spend most of your time in the air-conditioned casinos, anyway, but even short walks outside can feel unbearable when the average daily temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

The second factor to consider is what day of the week to visit. Even though Las Vegas is a city that never really sleeps, it's an especially popular weekend destination for visitors. If you're able to travel in the middle of the week, you'll find the best hotel deals between Tuesday and Thursday.

Lastly, take a look at the Tourism Convention Calendar to see what events are coming up. Las Vegas hosts conferences and conventions all throughout the year, some of which bring in tens of thousands of attendees. You might find sold-out hotel rooms during a mid-week, off-season trip if it coincides with a major event.

What's the Most Scenic Route to Las Vegas?

Part of your journey will follow the path of historic Route 66. You may be in a hurry to get from city to city, but if you've got a bit more time, check out what there is to see. If your automobile contains restless children or if you're a fan of old-fashioned ghost towns, you may want to stop at Calico Ghost Town just east of Barstow for a quick stretch of the legs.

If you don't mind adding an additional hour to the drive, you could also make a detour to Joshua Tree National Park which is just south of Los Angeles. Spend an afternoon marveling at these magnificent trees which only exist in the American Southwest and you can be in Las Vegas by evening to hit the slot machines.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

From McCarren International Airport, there are transportation options abound for reaching your final destination. If you're heading to one of the hotels on South Las Vegas Boulevard—more commonly known as the Strip—the WAX and CX bus lines both leave from the airport and stop on the Strip before continuing to Downtown Las Vegas.

You'll also see a variety of shuttle services when you arrive at the airport, with prices starting at about $8 with direct transfer to your hotel on the Strip. Some hotels even provide their own free shuttles to guests, so check with your accommodations before you arrive.

What Is There to Do in Las Vegas?

They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, and there is always something happening in Vegas. Sin City is, of course, most famous for its vices: gambling, drinking, pool parties, and so forth. The ubiquitous whirring and ringing of the slot machines is a constant and tempting reminder of how anyone can win—or lose—big. Open containers of alcohol aren't an issue in Las Vegas, so grab a cocktail and take a walk down the Strip, enjoying views like the dancing fountains at the Bellagio or the erupting volcano at the Mirage. If you need a break from the opulence, take a day trip to a nearby site such as Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, or the Valley of Fire State Park.