When you fly into Las Vegas you get a bird’s eye view of the American Southwest. You look across the desert and you can imagine yourself out there, lost, looking for direction. Take it easy, that rental car of yours probably has a GPS system and the highways are pretty easy to find. So if you feel like you want to see America, Las Vegas is the perfect place to base your adventurous journey.
You’ll check into your posh hotel and then embark on a few days of exploring.
Grab a map, some energy bars and plenty of water because with so many National Parks to see you will find it hard to pick just one.
The wide open spaces of the Southwest are best described in the images that can be captured in and around Monument Valley. The dessert opens up like an ocean of sandstone with tiny ships dotted along the horizon. The towers look like sailboats with a full sail and a timeless existence set against the deep blue of the sky above and the ever-changing reds of the earth they sit on. The tapestry that is this desert landscape deserves more attention but so few tourists make their way onto those highways from places like Las Vegas and Phoenix and Colorado.
That is good news for you, so get in a car and explore the spaces outside of Las Vegas.
More Road Trips From Las Vegas
Four Corners Monument and Monument Valley from Las Vegas
454 miles – 7 hours of driving
Driving directions via Google maps
Wow! You will not stop saying it. You’ll look across the desert and see these towers, these monuments and you’ll be impressed. Stop along the highway and pick up some sand and let it run through your fingers. It’s so red, it’s soft in some spots like fine sand and grainy in other places like gravel. The area is fascinating because of the geology but you’ll meet the Navajo people and then the culture of the valley really draws you in.
How is the drive from Las Vegas to Four Corners Monument and Monument Valley?
This would seem like a long drive to see some rocks, but the truth is if you combine it with a stop at Mesa Verde or a roundabout return to the Grand Canyon you can easily appreciate the extra time in the car. I’m a rock guy so this area and especially Monument Valley at dusk is on my top ten lists of places I have been able to visit.
If you can find a campsite in the area try sleeping under the stars before you head back to Las Vegas. The late afternoon sun makes for a dramatic shift to darkness and the sunrise is an explosion of colors that only the southwestern desert can deliver.
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