Distance: 270 miles
Driving Time: 4 hours
If you're driving, the exact route you take between LA to Las Vegas will depend on where you are 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 to Las Vegas.
You might not believe that it snows in the desert, but as recently as 2017, CalTrans was considering closing I-15 near the California-Nevada state line because of snow and ice in the mountain pass. Check road status on California highways between Los Angeles and Las Vegas at the Department of Transportation website, use the CalTrans app, or call 800-427-7623. Enter each highway number separately to get information about road repairs and closures.
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.
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.
Travel Time: Flight time is about 1 hour 10 minutes, but allow 3 hours by the time you get to the airport early and pick up baggage when you arrive.
You may be surprised to find that airfare between Los Angeles and Las Vegas costs only a little more than taking the bus. That's especially true if you shop around and book a month in advance. It may not be much faster when you factor in early arrival at the airport and time spent collecting your baggage, though.
Southwest Airlines flies to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, Burbank, Orange County or Ontario. They often have the cheapest airfare, but don't participate in any of the online travel sites, so you have to check directly with their website, where you can also find hotel and airfare packages that make planning your trip easy.
Bus or Train
Other options for getting from Los Angeles to Las Vegas are limited and more time-consuming than driving or flying. Prices are current as of mid-2011.
- Greyhound takes about 5 to 7 hours.
- Megabus has seats sometimes as cheap as $1 if you reserve well in advance, but it is usually more than that. Their drop-off point is near the airport and close to a local public transit bus stop. The trip takes about 5.5. hours.
- GotoBus takes about 5 hours. Because they offer a variety of locations on different routes, take care of booking a round trip to be sure it takes you back to where you started from.
- Flixbus also offers bus service three times a day. The trip will take about 6 hours. On the LA end, they stop in five locations, including some on the Westside. Stops in Las Vegas include the Strip near Caesar's and downtown Las Vegas. If you travel at midnight or make your reservations a couple of months ahead of time, it’s especially inexpensive.
- Amtrak: Twice a day, Amtrak runs a bus from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. It takes about 6 to 8 hours. To reserve it, select Las Vegas, Bus Service, NV (LVS) as your destination, leaving from Los Angeles, Union Station, CA (LAX).
You can take a luxury shuttle to Las Vegas, too. It's a nicer way to go than the bus options you'll see at the end of this guide and best thought of as a less-stressful alternative to flying.
You can settle down in a 44-passenger shuttle coach with complimentary snacks and beverages, the latest movies to keep you entertained, reclining seats and onboard attendant service.
The shuttle makes one trip per day each way, picking up and drop off in Los Angeles downtown, Hollywood, LAX Airport, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills hotels, and in Las Vegas at the California Hotel and Harrah's. It's primarily designed for city-to-city transport and isn't good for a one-day trip.
To find one, do an online search for "luxury shuttle Los Angeles to Las Vegas" to turn up several companies that offer shuttle service.
There is no commercial train service between these two cities, so it just isn't possible.