How to Travel From ​San Francisco​ to ​Las Vegas​ by Bus, Car, and Plane

san francisco to las vegas travel time

From San Francisco, Las Vegas is about 600 miles away and can easily be reached hopping on a plane or traveling by bus or car. There's no direct train service between cities, but travelers in search of a fun road trip have the option of taking a few scenic detours.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From San Francisco to Las Vegas?

It's a slow way to Las Vegas by bus, but operators like FlixBus and Greyhound typically offer fares for as low as $34 to $45. The shortest possible bus trip will still take you about 12 hours. Some trips could even take as long as 14 to 18 hours, so either way you're in for an overnight ride. On the plus side, this will save you some money on one night's accommodation because you can sleep on the bus. Factoring in the cost of gas and daily parking fees once you get to Las Vegas, a bus ticket is much cheaper than driving. If you get lucky, you may be able to find a one-way flight to Las Vegas for a comparable rate, but this is usually an exception to the norm.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From San Francisco to Las Vegas?

Flying is by far the fastest way to get to Las Vegas from San Francisco, with the shortest direct flights taking just 1 hour, 30 minutes. Compare this with the long hours you'd spend on the road and there is no competition. Generally, you can get a one-way ticket to Vegas for around $100 or less, but be careful not to book a route that requires a connection. This could add unnecessary hours of travel time to your trip. Airlines that fly direct flights between San Francisco and Las Vegas include Frontier, Alaska, United, and Southwest. Typically, Frontier and Southwest have the cheapest flights.

When comparing flights between airports, make sure you're checking all three of the Bay Area's airports : San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), and San Jose International Airport (SJC).

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

You have several options for a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas . The fastest route is 570 miles and takes about 9 hours with no stops. This route is the least likely to experience winter road closures, but there's not a lot to see along the way. From San Francisco, you'll drive east to take I-80 and I-580, and then go south on I-5. About halfway through the trip, you'll get onto Highway 58 so you can get onto I-15 east, which will take you directly to Las Vegas.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Las Vegas?

With summer temperatures frequently exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), you won't find too many people visiting this desert city between the months of June and August. Wintertime is actually considered high season because this is when travelers from around the U.S. typically come to escape the colder temperatures in other parts of the country. Hotels are usually booked up and tickets for shows like Cirque du Soleil and the Blue Man Group may sell out if you don't book early enough. For the best weather and the least amount of crowds, a visit during the spring or fall months is ideal.

What's the Most Scenic Route to Las Vegas?

The scenic route to Las Vegas will add a few hours to your trip, but it's a lot more entertaining and you can see some beautiful landscapes along the way. Your choices are to veer north to Lake Tahoe , which will add about three hours of driving to your trip, or go through Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks , which will add about four to six hours of driving to your trip. If you're taking the scenic route, you may consider camping overnight or booking a nearby hotel , so you have more time to enjoy the nature you're going out of your way for. This will also help break up the long drive.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

The Las Vegas Strip , where you'll find all the big casinos and the city's main action, is just eight miles from McCarran International Airport (LAS). It's a short ride-share or cab ride, but if you want to save a couple of bucks you can take one of the many airport shuttles, the cheapest of which costs about $8.

You could also make use of the public bus system , which will bring you to the Strip. A single ride costs $6, but if you plan on using public transit throughout your stay in Vegas, you might consider purchasing a 3-day pass for $20.

What Is There to Do in Las Vegas?

You don't have to be the gambling type to have a good time in Las Vegas. The city offers plenty to entertain travelers of all kinds, from headlining shows of world-class performers to beat-pumping nightclubs and family-friendly attractions like the thrill rides at Stratosphere Tower. Not to mention, Vegas is home to some over-the-top restaurants that are used to dishing out gourmet meals for the high-rolling crowd. And whether you're down on your luck or adhering to a strict budget, it's pretty easy to come across free entertainment just by strolling through the hotels and casinos.

San Francisco is around 600 miles northwest of Las Vegas and can easily be reached hopping on a plane or traveling by bus or car.

The fastest driving route from Las Vegas to San Francisco is 570 miles and takes about nine hours with no stops. From San Francisco, you'll drive east to take I-80 and I-580 and then go south on I-5. About halfway through the trip, you'll get onto Highway 58 so you can get onto I-15 east, which will take you directly to Las Vegas.

Flying is by far the fastest way to get to Las Vegas from San Francisco, with the shortest direct flights taking just 90 minutes.

Airlines that fly direct flights between San Francisco and Las Vegas include Frontier, Alaska, United, and Southwest. Typically, Frontier and Southwest have the cheapest flights.

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San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive Itineraries (2024 Guide)

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  • Last Updated: February 4, 2024

Looking for incredible things to see and do on a San Francisco to Las Vegas drive? Here’s our ultimate San Fran to Las Vegas road trip itinerary.

San Francisco and Las Vegas are two of the most prominent cities in the Western USA.

With vast open roads, stunning national parks, and plenty of cool landmarks around California and Nevada, the best way to travel between San Francisco and Las Vegas is a good old-fashioned road trip!

Though it’s a quick and easy flight between the two cities, taking the scenic route with a rental car or campervan is an amazing way to explore California’s natural wonders.

We’re going to provide two different San Francisco to Las Vegas drive itineraries, both with epic scenery and unique attractions.

Both itineraries will begin in San Francisco with a visit out to Yosemite National Park following shortly after. The Sierra Nevada Mountains run through Western California, so from Yosemite, you’ll have to pick driving down the eastern or the western side of the mountains.

It’s not easy to crisscross across the massive peaks of the Sierra Nevadas. So we’ll list two different road trip routes that cover each side of the mountain range.

Of course, you can alter these itineraries however you want. But these two itineraries are designed to make your San Francisco to Las Vegas drive as seamless as possible!

Table of Contents

How long is a San Francisco to Las Vegas drive?

San francisco, yosemite national park, road trip itinerary #1 – eastern side of the sierra nevadas, mammoth lakes, sequoia national park, death valley national park, red rock canyon, road trip itinerary #2 – western side of the sierra nevadas, kings canyon national park, sequoia national forest, bakersfield, calico ghost town, mojave national preserve, seven magic mountains, wrapping up.

The most direct route for a San Francisco to Las Vegas drive is about 570 miles and takes 9-10 hours. However, this driving time doesn’t include any stops or detours.

It’s definitely worth taking the scenic route for your Las Vegas road trip!

You really can’t visit Northern California without seeing the magnificent Yosemite National Park, and there are plenty of other destinations worth visiting like Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Kings Canyon, Tioga Pass, and the Mojave Desert.

So if you’re willing to spread your journey out into a few days or more, you can really see some incredible sights on the scenic route.

Our first itinerary goes from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park and down the eastern side of the mountains toward Las Vegas. This is about 620 miles and 12.5 hours of driving time without stops.

The second itinerary travels along the western side of the mountains. This is about 750 miles and 15 hours of driving time without stops.

Both San Francisco to Las Vegas road trips can be modified to fit your time frame. You’ll really want to spend at least a few days in Yosemite, and you could easily stretch the drive out into a week or more. But it’s up to you!

San Francisco

San Francisco To Las Vegas Drive Itineraries

Let’s dive into these two incredible San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip itineraries!

Both road trips begin in San Francisco and then head to the world-famous Yosemite National Park. From Yosemite, you can choose to drive down the eastern or the western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as you make your way to Las Vegas.

If you plan to head further south, check out our list of the best things to do in Southern California !

Before you hit the road, you’ll definitely want to spend at least 3 days enjoying San Francisco. This captivating city offers a blend of history, culture, and innovation.

Known for its picturesque setting, the city is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, creating a stunning backdrop of rolling hills and iconic landmarks.

The Golden Gate Bridge, an engineering marvel, stands tall as an emblem of the city, connecting San Francisco to Marin County and offering breathtaking views. A boat cruise over to the famous Alcatraz Island and former prison is also a top attraction.

San Francisco’s eclectic neighborhoods each possess their own unique charm, from the bohemian vibes of the Mission District to the upscale boutiques and tech giants in SoMa (South of Market).

Renowned for its progressive values, San Francisco has been at the forefront of social movements and technological advancements, making it a hub of creativity and change.

San Francisco also offers amazing places to eat, from upscale restaurants to cozy food trucks. Travelers can explore world-class museums, such as the de Young Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, or wander through the iconic streets of Chinatown and North Beach.

For nature enthusiasts, nearby attractions like Muir Woods National Monument and the wine country of Napa Valley offer an escape to natural beauty. With its blend of rich history, forward-thinking mindset, and stunning surroundings, San Francisco continues to inspire and captivate residents and visitors alike, making it a city like no other.

Find more inspiration with our ultimate 3 Day San Francisco Itinerary !

  • Distance from San Francisco: 200 miles
  • Driving Time: 3.5 hours

After exploring San Francisco, drive a few hours east of the city towards one of the USA’s most famous national parks.

Yosemite National Park , located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, is a breathtaking testament to the wonders of nature. Encompassing nearly 1,200 square miles of awe-inspiring beauty, the park is renowned for its towering granite cliffs, majestic waterfalls, and pristine wilderness.

The park’s diverse ecosystems provide a haven for a wide array of wildlife, including black bears, mule deer, and rare bird species.

Visitors can embark on countless hiking trails, enjoy scenic drives, and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the great outdoors. Yosemite’s timeless beauty and serenity will undoubtedly leave a mark on you as you pass through.

Iconic landmarks such as Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls draw adventurers and nature enthusiasts from all over the world. There are so many cool things to see and do, most of them centered around the Yosemite Valley.

If you make an effort to visit Yosemite National Park, it’s worth staying for at least a few days to really soak it all in. You can always get a self-guided audio driving tour if you’re not sure where to go as well!

From Yosemite Valley, you can decide whether you’re going to road trip down the eastern or western side of the Sierra Nevadas, as it can be difficult to drive through them. If you’re going east, we recommend taking the scenic mountain pass known as Tioga Pass, located in the eastern part of Yosemite National Park.

Situated at an elevation of over 9,900 feet (3,018 meters), Tioga Pass is one of the highest highway passes in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The pass provides a breathtaking and picturesque drive through a rugged landscape of alpine meadows, glacially-carved valleys, and snow-capped peaks.

Tioga Pass offers access to some of the park’s most iconic attractions, including Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake, and Olmsted Point. The journey along Tioga Pass is an unforgettable experience, so it’s definitely worth taking if you’re choosing to head east!

Yosemite National Park

Here is your first road trip itinerary route that takes you from Yosemite National Park, through the Tioga Pass, and out onto the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas.

You’ll continue exploring the most beautiful areas on this side of the mountains, before heading southeast towards Las Vegas .

  • Distance from Yosemite: 40 miles
  • Driving Time: 45 minutes

Once you leave the Tioga Pass and exit the eastern side of Yosemite National Park, continue east towards Mammoth Lakes. If you’re driving in the warmer months, take the gorgeous, 16-mile June Lake Loop route on your way to Mammoth Lakes.

Once you arrive in Mammoth Lakes after driving the June Lake Loop, you’ll find that the area offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year.

In winter, Mammoth Mountain becomes a world-class ski destination with abundant snowfall and a vast network of ski trails catering to all levels of expertise.

As the snow melts and summer arrives, the landscape transforms into a haven for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and camping.

The shimmering lakes, such as Lake Mary and Convict Lake, invite visitors to relax by their shores or embark on paddling adventures. Mammoth Lakes also serves as a gateway to the nearby Devil’s Postpile National Monument and the Ansel Adams Wilderness , providing further opportunities to explore and connect with nature.

In addition to its natural attractions, Mammoth Lakes offers a charming mountain town atmosphere with a variety of shops, restaurants, and cultural events. The town’s village area features cozy lodges , inviting cafes, and a vibrant après-ski scene where visitors can unwind and indulge after a day of adventure.

Throughout the year, Mammoth Lakes hosts various festivals and events, celebrating everything from music and arts to outdoor sports and local cuisine.

Whether seeking an adrenaline-pumping escapade on the slopes or a serene retreat surrounded by nature’s beauty, Mammoth Lakes provides an enchanting escape and a memorable experience for all who venture into its breathtaking wilderness.

  • Distance from Mammoth Lakes: 99 miles
  • Driving Time: 2.5 hours

The next stop on your San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip is Lone Pine. Nestled against the towering peaks of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, the town serves as a gateway to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the United States.

One of the town’s main attractions is the proximity to the stunning Alabama Hills, a unique geological formation known for its majestic rock formations and stunning landscapes.

Alabama Hills has been a popular filming location for numerous Hollywood movies and offers endless opportunities for hiking, photography, and stargazing.

There are also numerous hiking trails and camping spots not too far from the town center. The town itself exudes a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, with charming cafes, local boutiques, and historic buildings that reflect the area’s rich Western heritage.

Whether seeking outdoor adventures, checking out Alabama Hills, or simply basking in the tranquility of nature, Lone Pine offers a memorable destination for travelers seeking a true escape into the wonders of the Sierra Nevada.

Alabama Hills

  • Distance from Lone Pine: 10 miles
  • Driving Time: 30 minutes

Sequoia National Park is another one of California’s best national parks. It’s huge, so the driving distance from Lone Pine to the park will depend on where you plan to arrive!

The 10-mile distance mentioned above accounts for traveling from Lone Pine to Mount Whitney , the tallest mountain in the continental US! This is a super popular hiking destination in California, so many travelers may want this to be their first stop in Sequoia National Park.

Other fun things to do in the park include hiking, camping, birdwatching, and checking out the massive trees!

Sequoia National Park is renowned for its massive sequoia trees, including the General Sherman Tree, which stands as the world’s largest tree by volume. These towering giants, some of which are over 2,000 years old, create an awe-inspiring atmosphere that leaves visitors humbled and in awe of nature’s grandeur.

Beyond the majestic sequoias, Sequoia National Park encompasses a range of ecosystems, from rugged mountain peaks to lush meadows and cascading waterfalls.

The park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an extensive network of hiking trails, rock climbing opportunities, and scenic drives, including the famous Generals Highway, which winds its way through the heart of the park.

It’s undoubtedly one of the best places to stop while traveling from San Francisco to Las Vegas.

Looking to explore more of the Golden State? Check out our perfect 10-Day California Road Trip Itinerary !

  • Distance from Sequoia National Park (eastern side): 108 miles
  • Driving Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Another highlight on the drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas is Death Valley National Park, a land of extremes and superlatives.

Covering over 3.4 million acres, Death Valley is the largest national park in the contiguous United States and boasts a diverse and mesmerizing landscape.

From the vast salt flats of the Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, to the towering sand dunes of Mesquite Flat, the park showcases nature’s impressive sculpting skills. Zabriskie Point is a famous viewpoint in Death Valley National Park where colorful and eroded rock formations create a surreal and otherworldly landscape.

Death Valley is renowned for its extreme temperatures, with some of the hottest recorded temperatures on the planet, making it a true desert wonder. Despite its harsh environment, the park is home to a surprising array of plant and animal species that have adapted to the challenging conditions, adding to its ecological significance.

The park’s geological formations are equally captivating, with colorful canyons, rugged mountains, and unique rock formations like the Racetrack Playa, where mysterious moving rocks leave trails in the dry lakebed.

Visitors can also explore the historic sites of Death Valley, including remnants of old mining operations and ghost towns that tell stories of the area’s past.

Stargazing is a highlight in Death Valley due to its Dark Sky status, offering an unforgettable celestial experience. Get yourself a self-guided driving tour if you need a bit of guidance while exploring the park!

It’s also worth spending a few days in Death Valley National Park so you can stay overnight, stargaze, and soak it all in. There are some awesome hotels right in the park, or you could try camping in the wilderness!

  • Distance from Death Valley National Park: 120 miles
  • Driving Time: 2 hours

Before you arrive in Las Vegas, stop at Red Rock Canyon which is located just west of the city. The canyon is characterized by its vibrant red sandstone formations, sculpted by millions of years of geological processes.

With its numerous hiking trails , visitors can explore the rugged terrain, discover hidden caves, and marvel at the colorful rock formations. The Calico Tanks trail is a popular choice, leading hikers to natural water pockets and panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip from a distance.

Beyond hiking, Red Rock Canyon provides opportunities for rock climbing, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. The area is home to diverse plant and animal species, including bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, and various bird species.

The visitor center offers educational exhibits on the region’s geology, ecology, and cultural history, providing valuable insights into the area’s natural wonders.

If you’d rather just head right to Las Vegas without stopping, consider booking a 4X4 tour of Red Rock Canyon so you can still experience the wonders of this incredible place!

Red Rock Canyon

  • Distance from Red Rock Canyon: 20 miles

Finally, you’ve made it to Las Vegas!

Also called “Sin City”, Las Vegas is synonymous with excitement, extravagance, and non-stop entertainment. Famous for its vibrant nightlife, world-class casinos, and dazzling neon lights, Las Vegas is a playground for adults seeking an unforgettable experience.

The iconic Las Vegas Strip is lined with opulent resorts, each showcasing its unique theme, offering everything from grandiose shows and concerts to luxurious dining experiences.

Beyond the glitz and glamour, the city also boasts a diverse range of attractions, including high-end shopping, art galleries, and exhilarating outdoor adventures.

After completing the epic road trip from San Francisco, make sure you cherish every moment in the famous city of Las Vegas!

Read next: The 21 Best Things To Do In Las Vegas, Nevada

Now let’s dive into an alternative driving route from San Francisco to Las Vegas. This road trip also goes from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, but then you’ll exit via the western side of the park.

This allows you to travel down the western side of the Sierra Nevadas. Though this route is a bit longer in terms of driving time, it offers a different array of scenery and attractions.

But you can of course combine our two road trip routes to create your own perfect itinerary. These are just suggestions about the easiest ways to get from San Francisco to Las Vegas with a bit of excellent scenery thrown in!

  • Distance from Yosemite: 111 miles

So for this road trip itinerary, leave Yosemite National Park via the western side of the mountains where you entered. Then head south to Kings Canyon National Park!

As one of the least-visited national parks in the United States, Kings Canyon offers a sense of solitude and serenity amidst its stunning vistas.

The park’s centerpiece is the Kings Canyon itself, a deep and steep-sided gorge that rivals the Grand Canyon in depth, making it one of the deepest canyons in North America.

The towering granite cliffs, pristine alpine lakes, and lush meadows add to the park’s allure, providing lots of opportunities for hiking, backpacking, and exploring the high country.

Kings Canyon is also known for its remarkable groves of giant sequoia trees, some of the largest living organisms on the planet. The General Grant Grove features the General Grant Tree, famously designated the Nation’s Christmas Tree, and the Redwood Mountain Grove is home to the Boole Tree, one of the largest sequoias by volume.

Visitors can also marvel at the roaring Kings River, which carves its way through the canyon, offering striking views and cascading waterfalls, including the magnificent Grizzly Falls.

With its abundant natural wonders and relatively untouched wilderness, Kings Canyon National Park remains a hidden gem, inviting explorers and nature enthusiasts to discover the untamed beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

  • Distance from Kings Canyon National Park: 25 miles

Sequoia National Forest, located in the southern Sierra Nevadas, is a vast and diverse forest known for its towering sequoia trees and stunning alpine landscapes.

Although separate from Sequoia National Park, the forest shares the same region and offers a unique and equally captivating experience.

The Giant Sequoia groves within the forest, such as the Alder Creek Grove and the Freeman Creek Grove, house some of the largest and oldest living trees on earth, including the famous Stagg Tree. Visitors can explore these ancient giants through hiking trails and enjoy scenic drives that wind through the forest’s breathtaking terrain.

Beyond the sequoias, Sequoia National Forest offers a range of outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, and horseback riding, amidst its scenic lakes and rivers. The forest is a haven for nature enthusiasts, with diverse wildlife and plant species that thrive in its various ecosystems.

The Kern River Canyon, a rugged and picturesque area within the forest, is a popular destination for whitewater rafting and rock climbing. For those seeking a quieter and less crowded alternative to the nearby national park, Sequoia National Forest provides a serene and enchanting escape into the wonders of nature.

Sequoia National Forest

  • Distance from Sequoia National Forest: 111 miles

After a scenic drive through the Sequoia’s, continue on your San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip. Your next stop is Bakersfield , a vibrant city situated in the southern part of California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Known for its rich agricultural heritage, Bakersfield is often referred to as the “Breadbasket of the World” due to its significant contributions to the nation’s food production. The city’s warm and sunny climate, coupled with fertile farmlands, has made it a hub for growing crops like almonds, grapes, and citrus fruits.

Beyond its agricultural roots, Bakersfield offers a diverse and lively community, with a thriving arts and music scene, historic landmarks, and a range of outdoor activities.

Whether savoring the local cuisine, enjoying cultural events, or exploring the natural beauty of the surrounding landscapes, Bakersfield welcomes visitors and residents alike with its unique blend of tradition and modernity.

While Bakersfield isn’t one of the top destinations in California, it’s right on the way as you drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas. So it’s a convenient place to stop and there are lots of affordable hotels here.

  • Distance from Bakersfield: 140 miles

Next on your road trip through Southern California towards Las Vegas is Calico Ghost Town . Located in the Mojave Desert, this is a fascinating living museum that takes visitors back in time to the era of the Wild West.

Once a bustling silver mining town in the late 1800s, Calico is now preserved as a well-maintained historic attraction, offering a glimpse into the rugged and adventurous days of the past.

Strolling through the dusty streets of the historic town, visitors can explore original and restored buildings, such as the schoolhouse, saloon, and blacksmith shop, all decorated with period-appropriate furnishings and artifacts.

Engaging live performances and reenactments bring the town’s colorful history to life, providing an immersive experience of what life was like during the height of the silver rush.

With its unique blend of history, entertainment, and scenic desert surroundings, Calico Ghost Town continues to charm and captivate both history enthusiasts and curious travelers seeking a taste of the Old West.

If you’re traveling around more of Western USA, here is our ideal Las Vegas to Los Angeles road trip guide !

  • Distance from Calico Ghost Town: 55 miles
  • Driving Time: 1 hour

The next stop on this San Francisco to Las Vegas drive is Mojave National Preserve . Covering over 1.6 million acres, the preserve encompasses a variety of desert environments, including sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and vast expanses of desert wilderness.

Visitors to Mojave National Preserve can explore the stunning Kelso Dunes, where the shifting sands create a mesmerizing sight, or hike through the rugged terrain to discover hidden oases and ancient lava tubes. The preserve is also home to an array of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, and desert tortoises, adding to its ecological significance.

Mojave National Preserve provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities, such as camping, stargazing, and backcountry exploration. The preserve’s vastness and relatively low visitation rates offer a sense of solitude and connection with nature, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a remote and unspoiled desert experience.

Mojave National Preserve offers an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Mojave Desert, whether you’re reveling in the stark beauty of the desert landscape or marveling at the starry night skies.

Mojave Desert

  • Distance from Mojave National Preserve: 42 miles

After experiencing the Mojave Desert, your road trip will curve north towards Nevada so you can make your way to Las Vegas. But another worthwhile stop lies just south of Las Vegas!

The Seven Magic Mountains is a striking and whimsical art installation that has become an iconic, Instagram-worthy destination.

Created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, the installation consists of seven towering and brightly colored limestone boulders stacked on top of each other, standing up to 30 feet tall. The vibrant hues of the rocks, ranging from neon pinks and yellows to deep blues and greens, create a surreal and eye-catching contrast against the stark desert landscape.

The installation serves as a playful and thought-provoking commentary on the relationship between nature and human intervention, as well as a symbol of the merging of the natural and artificial worlds.

So before you finish up your San Francisco to Las Vegas drive, stop here and snap a few photos!

Read next: The Ultimate 3 Days In Las Vegas Itinerary

  • Distance from Seven Magic Mountains: 26 miles

From the Seven Magic Mountains, it’s only a 30-minute drive to Las Vegas! You are now free to return your rental car and indulge in all the wonders and cool attractions offered by the famous city.

Whether you chose to drive the eastern route or the western route, or you mixed and matched the attractions on both road trip, any San Francisco to Las Vegas drive is sure to be stunning.

Try some of our favorite day trips from Las Vegas if you have some extra time in Sin City!

Las Vegas

So there are plenty of amazing things to see on your San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip! From Yosemite, Sequoia, Death Valley, and Kings Canyon national parks, to the unique towns and cultural stops in between, it’s an incredibly scenic route to take.

If you’re looking to explore more of the western USA by road, you’re in luck. This corner of North America is packed with beautiful drives!

Drive further north to California gems like Lake Tahoe , or complete a gorgeous loop drive around Northern California . Or head to the coast and road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway or down to Los Angeles .

Once you get down to Las Vegas in the desert, you can head east to the Grand Canyon or continue to explore Arizona in places like Sedona and Phoenix .

Or take on more of the iconic national parks in nearby locations like Utah . The options for exploration are endless!

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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Travel time from San Francisco to Las Vegas

How long does it really take to fly from San Francisco to Las Vegas? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach Las Vegas, you need to include time at the airports. Eventually, you'll be able to customize this itinerary to select other nearby airports and choose your preferred airline.

Thursday, 7:42 am :  start in San Francisco drive for about 33 minutes most airlines recommend you get to the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight, so arrive by 9:10 am at the latest

8:45 am :  get your boarding pass and go through TSA security allow enough time for long security lines during busy travel seasons or holidays, and prepare for the wait time

9:45 am :  arrive at the gate once you're ready to board, you can get something to eat in the airport or just relax near the gate

10:15 am :  prepare for boarding check your boarding pass for your group number or listen to the gate agent as they announce boarding, some airlines require you to be in the boarding area 10-15 minutes before departure or risk losing your seat

10:30 am :  board United Air Lines Inc. flight you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

11:01 am :  so this is your actual departure time it takes the plane an average of 18 minutes to taxi to the runway

11:19 am :  wheels up! take-off from SFO fly for about 1 hour in the air

12:22 pm (local time) :   McCarran International (LAS) Las Vegas is the same time as San Francisco taxi on the runway for an average of 8 minutes to the gate

12:30 pm (local time) :  arrive at the gate at LAS deboard the plane, and claim any baggage if you're renting a car, check if you need to take a shuttle to car rental agency, otherwise you can ride in a cab, limo, or Uber for about 19 minutes to your destination

12:49 pm (local time) :  arrive in Las Vegas

Total travel time: 5 hours

How far is Las Vegas from San Francisco? Here's the quick answer if you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line.

Flight distance: 418 miles or 672 km

Flight time: 1 hour, 6 minutes

Compare this to a whole day of commercial travel with the airports and waiting in line for security, which ends up taking a total of 5 hours, 7 minutes .

Flying private is roughly 5.1x faster , and saves you about 4 hours in your total travel time.

Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.

This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. The flight itinerary at the top of the page takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time .

  • Harry Reid International Airport
  • Boulder City Municipal Airport

Looking at flights on United Air Lines Inc. from SFO to LAS, here's a breakdown of the number of flights available each day:

Based on these statistical results, we chose Thursday for the flight itinerary above.

The most common route is SFO to LAS, so that's what we used in the sample itinerary. However, you may want to explore travel alternatives, you could try one of these routes:

  • SFO to LAS San Francisco International to McCarran International
  • OAK to LAS Metropolitan Oakland International to McCarran International
  • SJC to LAS Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International to McCarran International

We picked United Air Lines Inc. for your main flight, but there are other airlines that you should check if you're looking for the cheapest flight, or you need a different schedule. Check the websites of these airlines:

  • United Air Lines Inc. (UA)
  • Virgin America (VX)
  • Southwest Airlines Co. (WN)
  • JetBlue Airways (B6)
  • SkyWest Airlines Inc. (OO)
  • Frontier Airlines Inc. (F9)

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Las Vegas . If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out Bellagio Hotel . A great place to eat might be Giada . Trippy members can suggest things to do in Las Vegas like Downtown Container Park . Check out some of the questions people have asked about Las Vegas like What other fun day trips are there to do in Las Vegas? Click the button below to explore Las Vegas in detail.

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line. But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse flight itinerary to fly from Las Vegas to San Francisco , or go to the main page to calculate other flight times .

You can also compare the travel time if you were to drive instead. Get the full itinerary for a San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip . Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from San Francisco to Las Vegas?

If you happen to know San Francisco, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about San Francisco!

Flight search

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  • Premium economy

Cheap flights from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Good to know, when is the cheapest time to fly, popular airports near san francisco.

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) San Francisco 18 min 17 km
  • San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport (OAK) Oakland 26 min 18 km
  • San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) San Jose 50 min 62 km
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF) Sacramento 1 hr 33 min 125 km

Popular airports near Las Vegas

  • Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) Las Vegas 18 min 10 km
  • St. George Regional Airport (SGU) (SGU) St. George 1 hr 54 min 174 km
  • Ontario International Airport (ONT) Ontario 3 hr 33 min 324 km
  • Boulder City Municipal Airport (BLD) Boulder City 27 min 35 km

Frequently asked questions about flying from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Search more flights, popular trips from san francisco.

These suggestions are based on the cheapest fares to popular destinations in the next six months.

Prices include required taxes + fees for 1 adult. Optional charges and bag fees may apply.

  • Tokyo RUB 66,218 Aug 29 — Sep 2 Nonstop 10 hr 50 min ZIPAIR Tokyo
  • Vancouver RUB 7,928 Sep 5 — Sep 9 Nonstop 2 hr 25 min Flair Airlines
  • Los Angeles RUB 6,520 Aug 17 — Aug 19 Nonstop 1 hr 29 min Frontier
  • Chicago RUB 12,327 Aug 24 — Aug 26 Nonstop 4 hr 11 min Frontier

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Your San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive: 4 Routes With Scenic Stops

If you are embarking upon a San Francisco to Las Vegas drive, the most direct route is 8.5 hours of mind-numbing interstate and asphalt. But the direct way isn’t always the best way. If you’re willing to leave really early, or add on some days, you can break up your drive with some cool stops that explore California’s natural wonders and singular historical sites.

We are nothing if not helpful here at California Crossings, so we have options for you. This guide will give you four different routing ideas which will get you from San Francisco to Las Vegas…eventually. They each have very different stops, and each has its own special season, but they all offer spectacular scenery. In fact, some of these routes make our list of California’s most scenic drives , which you should definitely check out for future road trips.

Of course, you can also reverse any of these itineraries and drive from Las Vegas to San Francisco. Better yet, do a round trip and choose different routing in each direction so that you can maximize what you see along the way.

San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive Routes- city skylines

(This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase, I’ll make a small commission.)

Prepare For Your San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive

If you need a rental car, find your best pricing by comparing all of the different rental car providers on .

In addition to topping up your fluids and checking your tires, you may also want to bring a  roadside safely kit  which includes things like a warning triangle, jumper cables and the like. These kits also make a thoughtful, if tragically practical, Christmas or birthday gift. You should also pack a  plug-in cooler , which uses your car’s 12 volt plug to keep lunch items and drinks cold.

You’ll encounter both California State Parks and National Parks on these SF to Vegas driving itineraries. So, look into getting the annual California State Parks Poppy Pass (which is $125 and good at almost all CA state parks). But California also has 11 other discounted passes, so use our guide to  find a park pass  that is right for you.

You should also look into a National Parks  annual pass  ($80). In addition to the parks, it also works in National Forest fee areas and usually allows you to score a discount on campgrounds.

san francisco to las vegas travel time

Google Maps is fine and all but sometimes an old school map is better for finding backroads and byways. We love the Benchmark California Road Atlas . It has a lot of detail, showing state parks and campsites as well as both paved and dirt roads.

Mohave National Reserve Kelso Dunes

#1: The Fastest SF to Las Vegas Route

  • Active Drive Time : 8.5 hours
  • Miles : 619
  • When to Go : Anytime, but it’s hot in the summer.
  • # of Stops : 3

Routing & Stops

San Francisco south on Highway 101 to south Highway I-5 >> Cut over to Highway 43 south to Colonel Allensworth State Park >> south on Highways 99 and 58 through Tehachapi >> East I-40 to Barstow/Calico >> Kelbaker Road through the Mohave Reserve and Kelso Dunes >> East on I-15 to Las Vegas

Taking I-5 and I-15 may be the fastest way to drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas, but it doesn’t have to be boring. If you are willing to get up really early, you can make a few stops and still have time to get into Vegas for a nightcap. The following stops are either right on the route or a slight detour.

Visit Colonel Allensworth State Park in the Central Valley. This little known historic town was a social experiment developed in 1917 by Allensworth, who was a well respected African American civil war veteran. His vision was to develop a town specifically for African Americans where they would seek economic prosperity and control their destinies. The park shows an interesting side of California history and you can cover it in an hour.

Your next stop is Calico Ghost Town in Barstow. This kitschy attraction makes our list of favorite ghost towns in California and it has a series of oldy-timey western buildings, a mining site and old rail cars.

Detour south a bit and spend some time in the Mohave National Reserve . This is an off-the-radar spot just southwest of Barstow. Drive south-to-north through the reserve and be sure to take a detour to hike the Kelso Dunes .

Read More : Get the full downlow on all CA parks with our complete California State Parks list (with map).

California scenic road in Kings Canyon National Park.. rocky canyon wall

#2: SF to Las Vegas Through the Sequoias

  • Active Drive Time : 11.5 hours
  • Miles : 670
  • When to Go : Late spring through late fall
  • # of Stops : 4

San Francisco south on Highway 101 to south Highway 99 >> Highway 180 east from Fresno into Kings Canyon National Park >> General’s Highway south through Sequoia National Park >> Highway 65 and 58 through Tehachapi and Barstow >> east I-15 to Las Vegas .

Sequoia National Park is famous for their giant Sequoia trees and Kings Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America. The park planners for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks very thoughtfully planned a scenic route connecting the two parks. The Generals Highway covers the best-of Sequoia National Park and Highway 180 covers the best-of Kings Canyon.

You could simply bomb through the General’s Highway and do a quick scenic tour of Sequoia National Park. But— there are tons of look-outs, hikes and redwood groves to explore. Drive the Kings Canyon road to Zumwalt meadow for a hike. Then double back to the General’s Highway and enter Sequoia National Park . Be sure to stop at the General Grant tree , which is one of the oldest living trees in the world. Then get in some views at Morro Rock .

You may want to consider slowing it down through this segment and spending the night in Three Rivers . There are a number of motels and inns there.

Dawn in the Alabama Hills Eastern Sierras

#3: SF to Las Vegas via Tioga Pass & Highway 395

  • Active Drive Time : 10.5 hours
  • Miles : 590
  • When to Go : May/June through November
  • # of Stops : 7

San Francisco east on I-205 and Highway 120 to Yosemite >> East over Tioga Pass on Highway 120 to Lee Vining >> South on Highway 395 through Lone Pine >> Highway 190 east through Beatty >> Highway 95 south to Las Vegas .

This isn’t a great routing for the winter, because Tioga Pass is always closed during the snowy months and the road conditions on upper Highway 395 can be tricky. But once Tioga opens (and especially in the fall ), this is a fantastic San Francisco to Las Vegas drive. The mileage on this route is is shorter than your other options and the views are far better. There are so many stops along Highway 395, we’ve written a whole 5 day itinerary for it.

As you drive over Tioga Pass , be sure to slow it down and take advantage of the pull-outs for viewpoints.

Nowhere will you see the majestic operations of nature more clearly revealed beside the frailest, most gentle and peaceful things. John Muir (more quotes here )

You won’t have time to do everything in the Eastern Sierras, but we suggest that you take a few quicker scenic stops and short hikes. Start at eerie Mono Lake , which is landlocked mineral lake with truly funky geologic tufas. Divert from 395 and take the June Lake Loop , which is a scenic drive that covers three lovely alpine lakes. Then stop at Convict Lake for the short 2.5 mile loop trail. The lake is famous for a shoot-out between some escaped convicts and the posse who perused them. But now it’s quite peaceful and it has killer fall color.

Spend the night in Bishop , where you’ll find a wide range of lodging and a lot of food options– we liked the Mountain Rambler Brewery for beer and burgers. In the morning, stop into the Schaat’s Bakkery , because they have amazing breads and sweets. Then visit the Laws Railroad Museum , which is a remarkably realistic replica town that represents this region in the early 1900’s. Once you get down to Lone Pine , take a drive into the Alabama Hills for the 1-mile Mobius Arch trail and some cool red rocks.

This routing will take you through northern Death Valley to Beatty Nevada. In Stovepipe Wells, stop at the Mesquite Dunes , then carry on east to the Rhyolite Ghost Town before getting to Beatty.

California's Red Rock Canyon State Park- Hagen Canyon

#4: SF to Las Vegas via Death Valley

  • Miles : 644
  • When to Go : October through April
  • # of stops : 7

San Francisco south on Highway 101 to south Highways 99 and 58 through Tehachapi >> Highway 14 to Ridgecrest then Trona Road north and east >> Highway 190 east and south to Furnace Creek then Pahrump >> Highway 160 to Las Vegas .

This San Francisco to Las Vegas routing is a perfect a winter drive. It takes advantage of the warm desert weather, which is always the best time to visit Death Valley . Like the Eastern Sierras, there’s also a LOT to do in Death Valley. If you can spare two nights in the park, use our 2-day Death Valley itinerary and our hotel guide to build your trip.

If you only have one night to spare, use our Death Valley-to-Las Vegas day trip guide. It has a quickie tour of the park with several routing options to Las Vegas. If you are planning this drive as a one way car rental from San Francisco, Las Vegas is actually the closest airport to Death Valley .

This routing takes you through Ridgecrest, but before you get there, stop into Red Rock Canyon State Park . The short 1.5 mile Hagen Canyon trail is right off the road and has lovely red rocks of the sort you’d find in Utah. Hit up Ballarat Ghost town , which used to be an old mining supply stop and hang out for creepy Charles Manson. Stop at the Mesquite Dunes before spending the night in either Stovepipe Wells or Furnace Creek .

You should definitely book ahead for any lodging in the park as it’s very limited, or use our camping guide . It’s only 2.5 hours to Las Vegas from Death Valley, so if you get up early, you can see quite a bit of the park. Get up at dawn for Zabriskie Point , then head down to Badwater Basin for the Artists Palette Drive and either the Golden Canyon hike (shorter) or the Sidewinder Canyon hike (longer).

Regardless of which San Francisco to Las Vegas driving route you take, be sure to have fun in Vegas. You can keep on going with the nature theme and visit Red Rocks State Park or go all in with the kitsch and explore vintage downtown Las Vegas . Enjoy your road trip, and in the immortal words of Elvis– ““Viva Las Vegas with your neon flashin’ and your one arm bandits crashin’.”

Happy trails!

Highway 395 road trip fall leaves

More California Road Trip Ideas

  • Explore the whole state by taking these great CA road trip itineraries .
  • Take 5 days to do the SF to LA Pacific Coast Highway drive .
  • Or another 5 day trip from San Francisco to the redwoods in far northern California.
  • Or just do a shorter Big Sur day trip .
  • Take the scenic drive around Lake Tahoe and get advice on the best way to get from San Francisco to Tahoe .

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1 thought on “Your San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive: 4 Routes With Scenic Stops”

Amazing help for planning a tour in California. Was very difficult for me to find suggested route from San Francisco to Las Vegas and here I found 4 options to choose from. Thank you very much. Hanna Orr-Ziv San Diego, CA

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The driving time from San Francisco, California to Las Vegas, Nevada is:

8 hours, 36 minutes.

Average driving speed: 65.9 mph Kilometers per hour: 106.1 km/h This is based on typical traffic conditions for this route.

  • San Francisco to Las Vegas drive
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Map of driving directions from San Francisco, CA to Las Vegas, NV

View a map with driving directions using your preferred map provider: Google Maps , Bing Maps , or MapQuest . You can use to find out how far is it to drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas with full directions.

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Driving time from San Francisco, CA to Las Vegas, NV

How long is the drive from San Francisco, CA to Las Vegas, NV? The total driving time is 8 hours, 36 minutes .

Your trip begins in San Francisco, California. It ends in Las Vegas, Nevada.

If you're planning a road trip, you might be interested in seeing the total driving distance from San Francisco, CA to Las Vegas, NV .

You can also calculate the cost to drive from San Francisco, CA to Las Vegas, NV based on current local gas prices and an estimate of your car's best gas mileage.

Since this is a long drive, you might want to stop halfway and stay overnight in a hotel. You can find the city that is halfway between San Francisco, CA and Las Vegas, NV .

Planning to fly a plane instead? You might be more interested in calculating the flight time from San Francisco, CA to Las Vegas, NV.

Looking for things to do besides hanging out inside a casino when in Las Vegas? Here are 6 things to do: 1.Slotzilla – a 12-story slot-machine inspired zip line. Try the lower “zipline” (77 feet up) or upper “zoomline” (114 feet up). 2.Viva Vision light show at Fremont Street – it is a 1,500 feet long and 90 feet wide video screen suspended 90 feet above Fremont Street’s pedestrian mall. This 6-minute show runs every hour. Be prepared to hear sounds accompanying the lights from 12.5 million energy-efficient LED lamps. 3.Neon Museum – check out the over 150 signs used for special events, weddings, photo shoots and educational programs. Guided tours are available daily. 4.Mob Museum – learn about mob history of America through interactive and engaging exhibits 5.Million Dollar Photo at Binion’s – besides great food and whiskey at the historic Binion’s, you can have your photo taken with Binion’s display of $1 million. 6.Vintage slots at the D, formerly Fitzgerald’s. These days the slot machines no longer use coins but at the D, you can still fill up your buckets with coins. For more things to do visit

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Chef Travel Guide

Drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas: 4 Road Trip Itineraries 2023

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  • There are two route options for the drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas: the scenic route (10 hours, 561 miles via Yosemite) or the direct route (8.5 hours, 570 miles via I-5 and I-15).
  • The notable stops on the scenic route are Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, and Death Valley National Park, while the direct route has fewer interesting stops.
  • The scenic route is not an option in the winter due to the Tioga Pass closure, but Highway 99 is open year-round.

Do you need to drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas? Then this post is written for you.

Planning the itinerary for your San Francisco to Las Vegas drive can be a daunting task, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. 

We decided to make this in-depth guide for your road trip to Las Vegas from San Francisco to help make things easier for you. 

In this post, you will find everything you need to plan your drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas:

  • Direct  and  Scenic  drive options for your road trip
  • Best stops for each route
  • Best places to eat and drink along the way
  • Planning tips and essential packing list

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links meaning if you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. For more info  see our Disclosure Policy

Distance from San Francisco to Las Vegas by car

San Francisco is  570 miles away from Las Vegas via I-5 and I-15, and it would take 8 hours and 45 minutes of driving time to get there. 

You can take other routes, but this direct route is the fastest and most straightforward way of getting there.

San Francisco to Las Vegas Road Trip Itinerary

view of a street lined with buildings

  • Direct Route : 8.5 hours, 570 miles (via I-5 and I-15)
  • Scenic Route : 10 hours, 561 miles (via Yosemite)

There are two routes that we recommend for your San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip. 

The first one is a scenic route filled with amazing views of the mountains, valleys, and lakes around the area. 

The scenic route is 1.5 hours longer than the direct one, but this is the itinerary to do if you want to drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas via Yosemite . 

You’ll be able to stop by lots of pullouts and vista points with breathtaking views, beautiful pristine lakes, and famous national parks and other historical sites.

The second route is the fastest way to get from San Francisco to Las Vegas and is perfect for those who want the least amount of drive time even though it’s not the most scenic.

The direct route is only an 8.5-hour drive to Las Vegas. 

And while it’s not as scenic as the first route, we recommend this for those short on time or traveling during the wintertime , as Tioga Pass closes from November until May. 

We also included other alternative routes for you to consider, with lots of notable stops, including national parks, famous photo spots, museums, and historical sites that anyone of any age will surely enjoy.

Driving from San Francisco to Las Vegas Quick Snapshot

Drive from san francisco to las vegas – scenic route.

  • Drive Time & Distance : 10 hours, 561 miles

If you’re looking for a scenic drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas , this route is about 561 miles long and would take about ten hours of drive time. 

We’ve included 11 of the best stops along this route and the best places to stop for gas, food, and coffee .

In this jam-packed itinerary, you’ll be able to stop by historical sites and the best natural wonders between San Francisco and Las Vegas. 

From iconic national parks and scenic lakes to ghost towns and unique trails, this incredibly scenic route will keep you entertained throughout your trip. 

You’ll be driving through Tioga Pass on this route, where you’ll find many pullouts with fantastic views. 

If you want to drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas via Death Valley , then this is the route to take.

Tioga Pass is closed during winter , and the road conditions can be tough on some parts of Highway 395, so make sure to take the direct route instead.

Best Places to Stop Between San Francisco and Las Vegas – Scenic Route

  • Stops for Gas : Oakdale, Groveland, Lee Vining, Bishop, Lone Pine
  • Stops for Food and Coffee : Groveland, Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Lone Pine, Death Valley

Yosemite National Park 


The first stop on your road trip is Yosemite National Park , one of the best places to visit on your way to Las Vegas. 

Yosemite Valley is a destination in itself where you can spend multiple days exploring the area.

However, unless you’re visiting Yosemite in the shoulder season , we don’t recommend exploring the valley floor unless you have the time to spare.

The park will be extremely busy, and it will be tricky to get in and out of the valley.

Instead, we suggest stopping by Olmsted Point to see amazing views of Half Dome, Tenaya Lake, and Clouds Rest.

You can also stop by Tuolomne Grove to see the giant redwoods , which are very impressive. 

Tuolumne Meadows is perfect for a short scenic hike, while Tenaya Lake is a beautiful lake to check out. 

These stops can be visited quickly since they’re off the highway. 

Local Tip : Unless you have a National Park Pass , you will still need to pay the entrance fee, so save some time and get your pass online . 

rock formations on a lake

Mono Lake is a beautiful saline soda lake just a 32-minute drive from Tuolumne Meadows. 

This is one of the oldest lakes in the western hemisphere and is home to trillions of brine shrimp and millions of birds. 

You’ll also find the world-famous tufa towers here, the beautiful and unusual rock formations that serve as habitats to Osprey, owls, and alkali flies.

This is a quick free stop that is cool to check out, go for a short walk and take some pictures.

Local Tip: You can stop by the Mono Lake Visitor Center to read more about the tufas, plus there are also restrooms you can use. 

Lee Vining 

Located on the southwest shore of Mono Lake is the small town of Lee Vining . It’s about a three-minute drive and 1.8 miles away from the lake. 

While there’s not much to see here, it’s the perfect place to stop for gas and provisions before continuing your trip.

June Lake Loop

road with mountain backdrop

Surrounded by a majestic mountainous backdrop, the June Lake Loop consists of a chain of four beautiful mountain lakes along a horseshoe-shaped canyon. 

These four lakes are June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake. 

You can stop by June Lake Beach for a quick picnic and dip your toes in the sand.

The view from the end of June Lake at Oh Ridge is one of the most photogenic areas in this loop. 

You can also swing by June Lake Brewing to grab some beers to load up in your ice chest.

Mammoth Lakes

vertical piles rock formation

Just 20 miles south of June Lake Loop is the town of Mammoth Lakes, one of the most scenic places in the Eastern Sierras. 

Known for its crystal clear mountain lakes and famous ski resort, this is one of the best places to visit on your road trip to Las Vegas from San Francisco. 

We also recommend stopping by the Devil’s Postpile , one of the best examples of columnar basalt worldwide, which is around 30 minutes away from Mammoth Lakes.

If you decide to break up your road trip and stay at Mammoth , make sure to check out the hot springs in the area , where you can even camp on-site .

Convict Lake

lake with granite mountain in the backdrop

About 40 minutes from Mammoth Lakes is Convict Lake , which got its name after a group of convicts who escaped from prison came here to take refuge in 1971, resulting in a shootout with a posse who went after them.

It’s a beautiful lake known for its shimmering translucent waters and the large mountains surrounding it, making it a beautiful place to stop and enjoy the scenery. 

It’s one of the deepest lakes in the region and a popular trout fishing and hiking spot. There’s also a 2.5-mile-long trail around the lake with beautiful mountain views.

Lake Crowley

white rock columns by the water

Lake Crowley is a reservoir created in 1941 when the City of Los Angeles built the Long Valley Dam. 

It’s about 10.3 miles from Convict Lake and has 45 miles of shoreline, making it a popular spot for fishing, boating, and seasonal watersports. 

The best thing to see at this spot is the Lake Crowley Stone Columns. You can drive there with a high clearance vehicle or hike about 4 miles round trip to get close to the columns.

The hike is a bit steep, sandy, and exposed so make sure to bring a bottle of water and lather on some sunscreen.

Although the mysterious columns are not always accessible due to the water levels, it’s definitely worth checking out.


Bishop is a small city located 42 minutes away from Lake Crowley. 

There’s not much to see here, but this is a great place to stop for gas and provisions before heading to your next destination.

rock arch with mountain range in the background

The next stop on this itinerary is Lone Pine , which is 55 minutes away from Bishop. 

Located between the eastern peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the Inyo Mountains, this is where you’ll find the famous Alabama Hills , a beautiful landscape with different rock formations and eroded hills. 

The picturesque mountains surrounding it make for a breathtaking background, and you’ll find a lot of natural arches here that are perfect for quick photo ops. 

One of the most famous photo spots here is the Mobius Arch Loop Trail , which attracts photographers from all over the country. 

Death Valley National Park 

sand dunes

With captivating peaks and stunning dunes and canyons, Death Valley National Park is one of California’s most picturesque places. 

Even though this is the driest and hottest national park in America, this desert valley has a lot of hiking trails that have incredible views of the park’s landscape.

Make sure to visit the famous Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes , where you’ll find three types of dunes and Mesquite trees. 

Stop by the iconic Zabriskie Point , an elevated vista with spectacular views that make it the perfect place for sunrise and sunset views.

If you have more time, check out other famous spots like the Mosaic Canyon, Badwater Basin, and Artist’s Palette. The park’s entrance fee is $30 per vehicle.

Rhyolite Ghost Town

Rhyolite is a ghost town just one hour away from Death Valley National Park. 

It was once a booming town after high-grade and valuable gold ore was discovered here in 1905, but the financial panic of 1907, unfortunately, caused its downfall. 

Presently, you can still find remnants of the town’s glory days and the one-of-a-kind Goldwell Open air museum with seven sculptures created by a group of well-known Belgian artists. 

Aside from the sculpture park, Rhyolite Labyrinth is also a must-visit and a popular photo spot. 

San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive – Direct Route

  • Drive Time & Distance : 8:22 hours, 570 miles ( via I-5 ), 8:45 hours, 580 miles ( via 99 S )

If you want the fastest route for your drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas, the direct route via I-5 and 99 S will get you there in less than nine hours . 

For this itinerary, we recommend driving via 99 South instead of I-5 .

Even though taking the I-5 is the most direct route and will be 15 minutes faster, there is nothing to see in between. 

While taking the 99 S route is not that scenic, there are still many stops worth checking out.

In this itinerary, you’ll be stopping by many interesting, historical, and unique places you and your family will enjoy. 

From aviation and fossil museums to underground gardens and art installations, this route has plenty to offer.

Best Places to Visit Between San Francisco and Las Vegas – Direct Route 

road in desert

  • Stops for Gas: Fresno, Bakersfield, Barstow
  • Stops for Food and Coffee: Fresno, Bakersfield, Barstow

Castle Air Museum (Merced)

Castle Air Museum is one of the largest aerospace museums in the western United States that displays vintage aircraft. 

If you’re a military aircraft enthusiast, you will definitely enjoy your visit here. 

This museum has more than 50 aircraft, including an Air Force 1 that Reagan and Clinton used. 

There’s an entrance fee to the museum that includes a guided tour. 

Because this museum is outdoors , make sure to come on a cool and clear day to enjoy and explore this museum fully.

Fossil Discovery Center of Madera (Madera)

Just 40 minutes away from Castle Air Museum is the Fossil Discovery Center of Madera , which kids will enjoy. 

This is the site of one of the largest middle-Pleistocene fossil excavations in North America. 

From the center, you’ll see views of the current landfill operations and the paleontology dig that’s right beside it.

There are plenty of exhibits inside, including fossils, local rocks and minerals, and artifacts from the Yokuts, a local Native American tribe. 

There’s also the Mock Dig area where kids can excavate 22 replicas of some of the fossils found in this area.

Forestiere Underground Gardens (Fresno)

The Forestiere Underground Gardens is a great stop that both history buffs and nature enthusiasts would love. 

Not only will you see trees and vines growing in this underground garden, but you’ll also be walking through hand-built underground rooms and passageways with stone-built walls and arches. 

You’ll also see the underground home of Baldassare Forestiere, a Sicilian self-taught artist who created this historical landmark.

There’s no entrance fee here, but a guided tour is required because the rooms, passageways, and underground courtyards can confuse newcomers.  

You can book their tours online , and the prices range from $11 to $21.

Sun-Maid Raisins Store (Kingsburg) 

The Sun-Maid Raisins Store is a short and unique stop you can make in Kingsburg before heading to your next destination. 

Contrary to its name, this is a great place to stop for snacks and not just raisins. You’ll also find the world’s largest raisin box in this store.


From Kingsburg, the drive to the small town of Bakersfield will take about 1:40 minutes, and this is a great place to stop for gas and provisions . 

If you’re traveling with kids, don’t forget to stop by the California Living Museum .

Kids can ride the scenic Central California Children’s Railroad around the museum grounds, visit the ten-foot aquatic touch tank, or mingle with reptiles and domestic and farm animals. 

Barstow (Route 66)

old white building in the desert

After leaving Bakersfield, you’ll reach Barstow after about 2:40 hours of driving. This historic town was used as a mining center in the late 1800s. 

It is also a fascinating place to visit because the historic Route 66 runs right through its main street. 

This town has several historic local hotels and restaurants like the first Del Taco restaurant and Rosita’s Restaurant.

After exploring the main street, make sure also to check out the Route 66 Mother Road Museum , which contains a collection of historic photographs and artifacts. 

A short 20-minute drive from the museum is the Calico Ghost Town , which is another fun stop to make while you’re in the area.

Mojave National Preserve

dark cave with skylight

Mojave National Preserve , just 55 minutes from Barstow, is one of the country’s most beautiful and diverse national parks . 

You’ll find dunes, canyons, mountains, volcanic cinder cones, former military mines and outposts, forests, and wildflowers inside this park.

One of the most popular and must-visit spots inside this park is the Mojave Desert Lava Tube . 

This is one of the few lava tubes to check out in California and is an excellent place for a quick hike. 

You can also check out Kelso Dunes and Mitchell Caverns if you have more time. Just make sure to plan ahead, as the cavern can only be visited through a guided tour.

Bonnie & Clyde’s Death Car 

You’ll be able to see Bonnie and Clyde’s iconic car up close inside the Primm Valley Resort and Casino . 

You’ll also find Clyde’s blood-spattered and torn shirt and other memorabilia surrounding the car. This is a short and fun stop for fans of the infamous duo.

Seven Magic Mountains

stacks of colorful rocks

The final stop of this road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco is the famous Seven Magic Mountains , just ten miles south of Las Vegas. 

This is an art installation by the internationally renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone which consists of seven colorful stacked boulders that are more than 30 feet tall. 

This is an excellent place to stop for a quick photo op to check out these colorful towers. 

There is no entrance free, and no reservations are required, but it can sometimes get pretty crowded.

San Francisco and Las Vegas Road Trip: Best Places to Eat and Drink

Depending on road conditions, the drive from SF to Vegas takes anywhere between eight to eleven hours, so we compiled our top picks of the best places to eat and drink on the way there . 

You can choose between all of these restaurants based on your preferences. 

Most of them are quick detours , so you will be able to find them quickly, and you’ll be back on the road in no time.

Scenic Route: San Francisco to Las Vegas via Yosemite and Death Valley

road with views of yosemite

About 2.5 hours from SF, this town just outside of Yosemite is a good stop to get some food.

  • Iron Door Saloon – This historic restaurant is one of the oldest saloons in America and is known for its savory dishes like buffalo and bison burgers.
  • Mountain Sage – The perfect stop for a pick-me-up before hitting the road, this coffee shop serves high-quality coffee and delicious baked goods. 
  • Mono Cone – This burger joint is one of the best in the area and is famous for its mouthwatering burgers, milkshakes, and ice cream.
  • Tom’s Place – This adorable cafe near the Mammoth Lakes serves savory food and great coffee. This prime rib steak is a must-try!
  • Eric Schat’s Bakery – This famous bakery is known for its delicious sandwiches, like turkey and mule kick sandwiches, pot pies, and pull-apart bread.
  • Looney Bean – One of the best coffee shops in the area, it has tons of delicious drinks like the Dirty Hippie, spiced chai latte, and vanilla latte. 
  • Black Sheep Coffee Roasters – If you’re craving espresso and espresso drinks or looking to buy coffee beans, this place is highly recommended and raved about.
  • Tacos Los Hermanos Food Truck – If you’re looking for a quick stop for lunch, this food truck is famous for its delicious meaty, juicy tacos. 
  • Alabama Hills and Bakery – This cafe and bakery are known for their delicious pastries, and their breakfast burrito and chicken fried steak are crowd favorites.

Death Valley

  • Stovepipe Wells General Store – One of the very few stores in this area, it has an excellent selection of drinks and snacks for your road trip.

Direct Route via 99 S: Road Trip to Las Vegas from San Francisco 

  • Triangle Drive-in (W Belmont Ave) – This small fast food joint serves delicious and juicy burgers, chili dogs, and sandwiches at an affordable price.
  • Valparaiso Cafe & Roastery – Perfect for a quick energy boost, this cafe and roastery have excellent pour-over coffee and interesting drinks that you can choose from.


  • Porkchop & Bubba’s BBQ – Famous for their award-winning BBQ, this restaurant also serves delicious sandwiches and savory BBQ sauces, like the raspberry chipotle sauce, that you can also purchase.
  • Rosemary’s Family Creamery – This place has a fantastic selection of delicious ice cream and sundaes. Make sure to try their famous caramel sauce.
  • In-N-Out – If you want something easy and delicious, then this stop is for you.
  • Jenny’s Mexican Grill Steak & Mariscos – This restaurant serves hearty Mexican food at an affordable price. Make sure to try their huevos rancheros, Asada burritos, and Menudo.
  • Roy’s Cafe – Head to this small family-owned diner for filling meals and hot coffee. Their french toast, sandwiches, burritos, and street tacos are amazing.

Other Routes for a San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive

road with view of the mountains

San Francisco to Las Vegas via Death Valley

  • Drive Time & Distance : 10:45, 663 miles

If you’re going on your road trip during wintertime and Tioga Pass is closed, this is an excellent alternative itinerary. 

This route starts from SF and passes through the I-5 south to Highway 14 to 190 east (Death Valley) and Red Rock Canyon . 

The entire drive would take about 10:45 hours and a driving distance of 663 miles .

While this route is not as scenic as driving through Tioga Pass, there are still lots of fun and breathtaking stops that you can take along the way.  

If you’re planning on exploring Death Valley and Red Rock Canyon , the wintertime is a great time to explore those two desert parks. 

From San Francisco, you can also stop by Kettleman, Bakersfield, Tehachapi, Ridgecrest, Ballarat Ghost Town, Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek, and Pahrump before heading to Las Vegas. 

Kettleman and Bakersfield are great places to stop for gas and provisions and stretch your legs. 

SF to Las Vegas via Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Park

  • Drive Time & Distance : 12.5 hours, 700 miles

If you’re planning on visiting Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and don’t mind the long drive, this route is the best choice for you. 

This is the longest route on this list, taking 12.5 hours and 700 miles to get from San Francisco to Las Vegas.

From San Francisco, you’ll pass by Merced, Madera, Fresno, and Kingsburg before reaching Kings Canyon. 

The drive on General’s Highway to Sequoia National Park has steep, narrow, and winding roads . 

If you want to avoid this section, you can skip Sequoia National Park and just drive on King’s Canyon scenic byway from Fresno to the end of the road at King’s Canyon instead.

After leaving Kings Canyon, you can also stop by Bakersfield, Tehachapi, and Barstow before reaching Las Vegas. 

You can also stop by the places we recommended on the direct route via 99 South.

Local Tip: Avoid paying the entrance fee at Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Park and get yourself an annual National Park Pass for under $80.

Best time to do a Road Trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

The best time to do a San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip depends on your preferred route. 

If you want to do a scenic drive via Yosemite, avoid the wintertime because Tioga Pass is closed. 

If you’re planning to see Death Valley and Red Rock Canyon , avoid the summertime , as it gets scorching in the desert. The direct route via 99 South is open all year round.

Las Vegas to San Francisco Drive

If you’re driving from Las Vegas to San Francisco, you can simply reverse the itineraries on this list. 

Just be mindful of the weather and possible road closures along the way. 

As we mentioned earlier, Tioga Pass is closed in winter , so it’s best to avoid that route and take 99 South instead if you’re driving during those months.

San Francisco to Las Vegas Road Trip Essentials 

  • Roadside Emergency kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Car charger 
  • Power Inverter
  • Portabl e Car Jump Starter
  • Plug-in Ice Chest

Other Road Trips from San Francisco

After spending some time exploring the City by the Bay and staying at amazing suites with skyline views, it’s time to explore other parts of the coast.

There a plenty of other fun road trips from San Francisco to choose from, depending on what you’re looking for.

If you want to stay on the coast, you can drive to the town of Monterey and go whale watching.

Further down south along the Pacific Coast Highway , you can also drive to Big Sur for more epic views of the ocean.

Another option is to do a road trip to Lake Tahoe for a relaxing weekend getaway by staying at a lakeside resort .

FAQs: Drive San Francisco to Las Vegas

How far is san francisco to las vegas.

The distance between San Francisco and Las Vegas is 570 miles, and takes 8 hours and 45 minutes of drive time.

Is it safe to drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas?

Yes, it is definitely safe to drive to Las Vegas from San Francisco. The roads are clear and well-paved with plenty of beautiful places to stop in between. 

Is driving to Vegas cheaper than flying?

Driving to Vegas is definitely cheaper than flying, but the travel time is twice as long, and you’d be driving for more than eight hours. 

However, you have to factor in how much it will cost you for gas, especially if you’re also renting a car . 

If you plan ahead of time, you can score some good flight deals to Vegas from SFO for less than $120 round trip. 

What is halfway between San Francisco and Las Vegas?

Bakersfield is the town that is halfway between San Francisco and Las Vegas. It’s a good place to stop for gas and provisions or take a short break to stretch your legs. 

You will find local cafes and restaurants, but other than that, there isn’t much else to do in the area.  

Wrap-Up: San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive

Your itinerary for your drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas can make or break your trip, depending on how well you plan and prepare for it. 

Road trips are fun, so make sure to use our guide and check out all the fantastic stops and restaurants we’ve included so you can have a hassle-free road trip that you’ll remember for years to come.

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Gabriel is the head writer for Chef Travel Guide and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Martha Stewart, Eat This, Not That, Real Simple, Muscle and Health, and many more. He was born and raised in California and has worked as a professional restaurant chef for over 20 years. After escaping the “kitchen life”, he is now focused on his passion for the outdoors and world travel. Gabriel’s passions include trail running and hiking on California's incredible trails, camping in the redwoods, and exploring the golden state from the Eastern Sierras to the rugged North Coast.

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Universal Traveller

How to get from San Francisco to Las Vegas, United States

By: Author AnaMarija Mishachkovska

Posted on Published: November 18, 2019  - Last updated: April 29, 2024

Planning to go from San Francisco, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada? There are plenty of ways to travel from San Francisco to Las Vegas.

Whether you are in a hurry to reach the city or are open to seeing some world-famous sites on your way, the San Francisco-Las Vegas route is realistic as it is scenic.

Opt to fly out from San Francisco and reach Las Vegas in the shortest time possible.

Do you have a lot of time to spare? Go for the long drive and spend a day at Yosemite National Park along the way.

Should you wish to be out of the driver’s seat, buy a bus ticket to the city. If you fancy train rides, go the extra mile and travel to Los Angeles before heading to Las Vegas by bus. 

Tip:  We offer detailed guides about   United States transportation .

Table of Contents

How far is San Francisco to Las Vegas?

The distance from San Francisco to Las Vegas is 416 miles or 670 kilometers.

All the essential things you need to know to make your trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas a reality are here.

How To Get From San Francisco To Las Vegas United States2

Transportation Options from San Francisco to Las Vegas

The following table outlines all transportation options from San Francisco to Las Vegas:

How to get from San Francisco to Las Vegas

san francisco to las vegas travel time

1. Flights from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Journey Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

One of the most passenger-friendly travel methods is coming to Las Vegas via airplane. It cut the travel time, but it also proves cheaper than other public transport options.

Book ahead of time and directly from airline websites to enjoy more savings for your flight.

A one-way flight from San Francisco International (SFO) to Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) ranges from 37 to 54 USD. Some of the airlines that travel this route are Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.

It takes one hour and 40 minutes to travel from San Francisco to Las Vegas by air. Add at least two hours more for the general airport procedures such as check-in and baggage claim in your itinerary.

How To Get From San Francisco To Las Vegas3

2. Bus from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Journey Duration: 14-16 hours

Traveling by bus to and from these two destinations is longer than the other options because of the numerous stops that are part of the bus itinerary.

Transport companies such as Greyhound offer daily trips from San Francisco to Las Vegas. A one-way ticket ranges from 41 to 155 USD, depending on your travel preferences.

Choose the nonrefundable option of the Economy fare if you are absolute about your travel date and earn savings. Alternatively, enjoy the refund privilege of the Flexible fare and let changes be less of your worries.

It takes 14 to 16 hours to travel by bus from San Francisco to Las Vegas. This trip entails for you to transfer buses when you reach Los Angeles Union Station.

Enjoy free wifi and personal power outlets at the comfort of your seat with an extra legroom feature to make your long ride comfortable.

Greyhound indicates the stops wherein you can grab something to eat or use the onsite amenities for your convenience.

Should you wish to board a bus with fewer stopovers, check for routes tagged as Express Service.

How To Get From Los Angeles To Las Vegas United States2

3. Train from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Journey Duration: 18 hours

Currently, there is no train system between San Francisco and Las Vegas. 

If you are keen on riding the train, you must go from San Francisco to Emeryville, California.

They are ten miles or 16 kilometers away from each other and are a quick 15-minute drive. Amtrak has a metro station in Emeryville, which you can take until you reach Los Angeles.

A train ride from Emeryville to Los Angeles takes twelve hours and 40 minutes. Price starts from 50 USD for a coach seat and can reach 202 USD if you book a roomette. 

You must take a bus from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. You can find the transport company Megabus at the Union Station and continue your trip from there.

This trip takes five and a half hours, making your whole journey about 18 hours long. 

A high-speed train covering Los Angeles to Las Vegas is in the works after a long hiatus and can be considered in a few years.

The ride duration is said to take only 75 to 90 minutes. A one-way ticket is pegged at 60 USD.

Free And Cheap Things To Do In Las Vegas What To See In Vegas 2

4. Driving from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Journey Duration: 12 hours

To go to Las Vegas from San Francisco by car has proven to be a popular choice for many travelers.

The ability to travel as you wish is partnered with the opportunity to do some side-sightseeing while on the road, making it an efficient way to manage and stretch your itinerary.

One scenic drive to consider is the Yosemite route from San Francisco to Las Vegas. This takes you to the famous Yosemite National Park, where you have to pay the entrance fee of 30 USD even by just passing by.

With its breathtaking views, you wouldn’t mind paying the price.

Drive through Yosemite via Tioga Entrance toward Lee Vining and continue to Death Valley. Be ready to alter your trip depending on extreme weather conditions that force authorities to close particular roads and access the park. 

It takes twelve hours before you reach Las Vegas if you plan just to come and go. Try not to rush in between, and spend a night in one of the inns for a more relaxed drive. The Yosemite Valley calls for one full day of exploration.

On your map, drive to I-5 S and find the exits that lead you to I-15 E, which runs directly to Las Vegas. This is less exciting than the first route but gets you to the city quicker.

If you wish to rent a car to travel from San Francisco to Las Vegas , prices start at 130 USD a day for a one-way drive. You can conveniently drop off the car in downtown Las Vegas and begin exploring the City of Lights.

How To Get From San Francisco To Las Vegas2

Best day tours in Las Vegas

Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to. It’s usually the first website I check when I plan a trip to a new place.

The following widget shows some of the  best tours in Las Vegas .

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is there a train that goes to las vegas from san francisco.

There is only one train per day from San Francisco to Las Vegas. The fastest Amtrak train can travel from San Francisco to Las Vegas in 12 hours and 45 minutes, though most trains take around 12 hours and 51 minutes.

How much is a bus ticket from San Francisco to Las Vegas?

A bus ticket from San Francisco to Las Vegas can range between USD 41 and USD 155.

Is it worth driving to Las Vegas from San Francisco?

Nothing beats a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas. It’s an epic drive through the desert, followed by a tour of California’s most beautiful greenery. Instead of flying, get in your car and drive through a site of breathtaking parks, mountains, and sand dunes.

How far is Las Vegas from San Francisco by plane?

The shortest distance between San Francisco and Las Vegas is 416.15 miles or 669.73 kilometers. The flying time is around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Where should I stop between San Francisco and Las Vegas?

Calico, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and Tobin James Cellars are the top attractions to see en route from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Big Bear Lake, Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, and The Outlets at Barstow are a few more well-liked destinations.

How long is a car ride from San Francisco to Las Vegas?

The road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas takes about 12 hours, so it’s best to travel for two days when driving in a car!

How To Get From San Francisco To Las Vegas1

More Routes in the United States

Los Angeles to Las Vegas

San Francisco to Las Vegas

Seattle to San Francisco

Los Angeles to San Francisco

San Diego to Las Vegas

Seattle to Vancouver

San Jose to Las Vegas

San Diego to San Francisco

  • About the Author

Ana Maria Universal Traveller Travel

AnaMaria is a dedicated SEO specialist and content strategist with profound expertise in Transport in Costa Rica , Transportation in Mexico , Transport in Guatemala , Transport in Peru , and Transport in Thailand .

Expertises: Transport in Costa Rica, Transportation in Mexico, Transport in Guatemala, Transport in Peru, and Transport in Thailand

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Highway through the mountains of Yosemite National Park on the road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

Road Trip From San Francisco To Las Vegas

A road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas is quite a big undertaking as the drive is rather long and spans several terrains ranging from plains to mountains to desert.

Most people would opt to travel this route by plane. But by doing so they would miss out on the amazing adventures, detours left and right and some of the most stunning landscapes you're ever likely to see.

The road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas can be done in just 8 hours 30 minutes following the interstates through Bakersfield. Instead you should take 2 to 3 days taking the scenic route through Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks.

To help you plan your trip, I've put together a guide of everything you need to know before embarking on this journey.

Tioga Pass road at Olmsted Point in the Yosemite National Park.

How far is Las Vegas from San Francisco and how long will the road trip take?

Whether you're taking the scenic route or getting to Las Vegas as fast as possible, the route will be about 560 miles long.

The fast route along interstates bypassing the Sierra Nevada will take a little over 8 hours of pure road time - you'll need to add stops for fuel and food on top of that.

If you plan on taking the more scenic route, you'll need to add a couple extra hours of driving on top, but you won't want to do that route in one day.

Technically you could do it if you set off early, but what's the point of just driving past all the amazing sights between San Francisco and Las Vegas without taking the time to actually explore them?

Remember that your road trip may take an hour or two longer than normal if you're traveling on a Friday or Saturday, as lots of people visit Las Vegas over the weekend and head out of San Francisco headed for the mountains and national parks.

But if you set off early and get out of the city at 7am, making two or three pit stops along the way, you can theoretically get to Las Vegas in time for a night out.

I would strongly recommend breaking up your trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas into 2 days or more. Below, you can see some of the amazing places and landmarks you'll encounter along the way – the route I propose has plenty to offer in the way of views and accommodation, so you'll be thankful you drove instead of flying after visiting them!

Best road trip route from San Francisco to Las Vegas

The best road trip route from San Francisco to Las Vegas passes through the Sierra Nevada Mountains driving the Tioga Pass through Yosemite and past the Death Valley at a mere cost of 2 more hours on the road than it would be sat on the boring straight interstates through Bakersfield.

There are a number of great detours you can make off the route depending on the time you have and what kinds of places you want to spend time in.

Whether you're flying into San Francisco, or you simply don't have your own transport in the city, renting a car for your road trip is something you'll want to take care of ASAP.

For an easy-to-compare view of rental options for your road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas, take a look at our partner site, .

Road trip route from Denver to Las Vegas

Head out of San Francisco along the Bay Bridge to Oakland before following the interstate past Oakland Zoo and Lake Chabot to the I-580. You'll eventually reach Highway 120 as you cross over the San Joaquin River and this road will take you all the way to Yosemite.

The same Highway 120 crosses right over the Sierra Nevada through the Yosemite National Park with this section being known as the Tioga Road - check before you travel as this road gets closed from time to time and remains closed during the winter only reopening in late spring.

US 395 runs south past Mammoth Lakes and later reaching Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Take a left at Lone Pine to reach State Route 190 which will take you right across the heart of Death Valley before joining Highway 95 for the drive down to Las Vegas.

Fastest road trip route from San Francisco to Las Vegas

If you absolutely must get to Las Vegas as fast as possible and don't care about seeing anything on the way, ignore everything above and jump on the southbound I-5 a few miles after passing Livermore.

You'll need to come off to pass through Bakersfield and along Tehachapi Pass before joining the I-15 at Barstow which will take you all the way to Las Vegas.

This road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas should can take as little as 8 hours on the road if you set off early or 9 to 10 hours if you allow for a few stops. It won't be the most scenic route you've driven, but you can comfortably get there in time for a night out.

Best places to stop between San Francisco and Las Vegas

To make the most of the incredible scenery and to break up the road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas, you have some great places you can stop for the night on the way.

Sunrise through Yosemite Valley with the Merced River in the foreground.

Spend the day at Yosemite

The waterfalls, mountains, and sequoias make Yosemite National Park one of the most beautiful places in America. This is an incredible place to get in touch with nature by exploring the countless hiking trails and stargazing at night.

There's no shortage of great rentals in Yosemite, and wherever you wind up staying, you'll be surrounded by natural wonders and more picture-worthy locations than you can count. If you want to spoil yourself, Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite is the perfect luxury option in Yosemite .

Set right in the forest with stunning views of the surroundings, the lodge is just a mile outside the National Park and only a 15 minute detour off the Highway. You'll get to stay in one of the 88 luxury cabins spread around the 20 acre site and experience everything from relaxing in a pool to sitting around a camp fire.

All the sights and activities of Yosemite are on your doorstep with everything from fly fishing to snow shoeing on offer depending on the season.

READ MORE - Click here for more great hotel options

A Unique Stay In Death Valley

If you want to make more progress on day 1 or just want a different kind of scenery, you might consider staying in the Death Valley National Park instead.

Many of the Valley's most luxurious resorts are further south, and you'll be relatively close to Las Vegas by the time you reach them, but it still offers you the option of spending some time exploring this unique.

Famous for being the getaway of choice for Hollywood royalty from Marlon Brando to Matt Damon, the Inn at Death Valley is the perfect place to unwind right in the heart of the Death Valley .

From the pool and natural springs to the palm tree gardens and walkways, this resort truly feels like an oasis in the middle of a vast desert. The rooms are vintage, yet sleek and fashionable, and the bar and lobby area feel like a movie set. There are plenty of physical activities to be enjoyed here, thanks to the ample sports courts and exercise rooms.

The Inn at Death Valley offers unbelievable comfort in a green oasis right in the middle of the desert.

Just walking around the premises, you'll get a great view of the Panamint Mountain range, as well as dunes and salt rock formations. The grounds are covered in greenery which is an impressive feat and the perfect antidote to the arid desert all around.

Things to see on a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

The main reason to take a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas is the abundance of great stops – there are so many, in fact, that you'll be tempted to visit as many as you can on your way back from Vegas too (and maybe even revisit ones you already saw!)

Racing rocks at Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, California.

Here is a relatively comprehensive list of places worth looking out for while driving from San Francisco to Las Vegas, in order:

  • Rainbow Pool (Groveland) – an all-natural pool and a small waterfall – a beautiful location for a picnic and great for jump dives, but tends to be crowded
  • Tuolumne Grove – a sparsely visited location that makes for a great hiking spot and is home to gigantic sequoias
  • Mariposa Grove – somewhat of a detour, but definitely worth considering – another beautiful marvel of nature full of giant sequoias
  • Yosemite Valley – the heart and soul of Yosemite National Park, home to the Merced River, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, dense pine forests and the infamous El Capitan rock
  • Tuolumne Meadows – gorgeous meadow by the riverside with a beautiful view in literally every direction. Also great for hiking
  • Mammoth Lakes & Devils Pospile National Monument - great ski resort in the winter & perfect hiking in the summer to Devils Postpile to see unique column-shaped rocks
  • Kings Canyon National Park - although the main entrance is from the west, you can still access one of the most stunning national parks in the land with sequoia forests and tall mountain peaks
  • Sequoia National Park - again, most of the sights including the world's largest tree are accessed from the west side but you can still drive in and hike through giant sequoias on your way
  • Death Valley National Park - The hottest place on earth with otherworldly scenery needs little introduction
  • Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge – east of Death Valley NP, this nature reserve is home to unique flora and fauna on the verge of extinction
  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area – located in the Mojave Desert, this national park near Las Vegas is home to the Keystone Thrust and a slew of red/sandstone cliffs. You might need to make a reservation for a timed-entry slot, so check the official website before traveling.

As great as these places are, this is only scratching the surface of what the route has to offer. Pack up some additional supplies and get ready to take some detours off the beaten path - you will be surprised at how much there is to discover!

Tuolumne Meadows are a tranquil place to hike along the river with Yosemite sights in all directions.

Best time to go on a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas

In many ways, there's no wrong time to take a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas, as the weather in Vegas doesn't impact most of the indoor casinos and activities.

However, two important considerations are both weather-related. The Tioga Pass through Yosemite is closed throughout the winter from some point in November/Early December (depending on when snow starts) to whenever the road gets cleared (usually May).

This is the same for most other passes over Sierra Nevada including the nearby Sonora Pass so if you're driving in the winter, you'll need to adjust your route and head further north to cross over the Carson Pass (CA-88) or Echo Summit (US-50). Both cross just south of Lake Tahoe so you can add another amazing stop, but your journey will take a few hours longer.

The other consideration is the temperatures you will experience in Death Valley. This National Park is famous for hitting the highest ever recorded temperature. Whether you believe the 134° F (56.6° C) set in 1913 or the 130° F (54.4° C) recorded in August 2020, both put the Death Valley as the hottest place on Earth.

Death Valley's Zabriskie Point with unique rock and sand formations at sunrise.

If you plan on driving at the peak of the summer, bring plenty of water, make sure your aircon is working well and avoid spending time outside during the middle of the day as it will be unbearably hot.

Also note that as it's a hugely popular destination, Yosemite Valley can get congested over the summer months. If you're looking to avoid crowds, late spring and early fall might be the best time to take the trip.

Although you'll have to take a detour in the winter due to road closures (see more in the Route section above), daily highs in the Death Valley in December are a balmy 40 to 65 ° F, and the view of Wildrose Canyon this time of year is absolutely gorgeous. Nighttime lows can get pretty cold so bring blankets and warm clothes!

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The flight was delayed by more than two hours. A notification ahead of time would be most helpful.

The flight was delayed for 2 hours and the last delay was not communicated and had to check manually.

Loved the airport. The announcements for boarding were too loud & echoing in the large waiting area, so hard to follow. Other than that, we had a great experience.

First time traveling with them and they were great leaving on time arriving on time very clean planes 😊

Staff was very friendly. Flight was on time and arrived early. Flight was comfortable.

I didn’t know that food needed to be ordered ahead. Please include this in the reservation information. Overall, very good experience.

Plane hit turbulence diverted to Houston. We'll probably get in after 3am

Given incorrect gate upon check-in, corrected by the gate attendant, D6 rather than D5, minor inconvenience. As with the previous flight, passengers were admonished to voluntarily gate-check carry-on luggage with the statement that those in the last boarding group would have no choice but to do so. If the Boeing 737 MAX8/MAX9 doesn't have room for carry-ons it's an interior design flaw on the part of Boeing. Posting an advance warning would be helpful, such as "Boeing 737 MAX planes feature limited carry-on space. Please be aware." SFO's amenities and TSA much better than MCO's. Crew was amazing! Brought my own food because Alaska's onboard selection has soy in everything. Beverage service was excellent. This was the first and last trip with Alaska after the previous flight's issues. It's no reflection on the crew of this flight. They were great.

I had a middle seat in between two large men. It was a redeye so needless to say I didn’t get a minute of sleep. One guy was pouring over into my seat the other kept falling onto my shoulder

Great price on internet. I love that WiFi was so affordable. Got a lot done.

Terrible landing. Uncomfortable seats. Great cabin crew-helpful and pleasant!

Tight fit in middle seat but OK for short flight. Crew was more interested in talking to each other than helping passengers - strickingly dissappointing. DAB is a great airport. New Haven sucks! Excellent value for the .

Avelo is definitely a budget airline and you get what you pay for. The plane was packed and the seats were not particularly comfortable. Staff was very nice and both of our flights were on time. The one thing I wish I had known was that the staff does not show up at the airport desk to check your bags until two hours before the flight. We had a 4:30 flight and had to check out of our hotel at noon. Since we have lounge passes we planned to check our bag, go through security and hang out at the lounge until we had to board. But because we could not check our bag until 2:30, when the staff showed up, we could not go through security and access the lounge. Passengers with boarding passes and carry on luggage would not have this issue. I might fly Avelo again but would only do carry on or plan to get to the airport no sooner than two hours before check in. And I would not recommend a long flight on Avelo since there is no food or entertainment and the seats are not comfortable.

No food or entertainment, but flight very comfortable and on time.

Baggage claim was barbaric at Wilmington. I realize that this is a startup airline but if they hope to grow or even survive they need to upgrade this airport. There is no automated luggage carousel and at times you are not only fighting your fellow passengers to get to your bags but also passengers coming in from other flights who cross right in front of you

No frills, i.e., no drinks or snacks. One is charged for everything. The cost really adds up. The crew and flight attendants were excellent and very pleasant.

I always walk by a pallet of Avelo branded mini bottles of water on the tarmac, but I’ve never seen them in flight. Yup, not even water offered on a 3 hour flight. No wi-fi onboard. We just watch the flight crew on their phone for 3 hours every flight. At least a mid-flight trash pickup would be great. Better than my last flight, but they only could have gone up from there. Don’t use for business or ticketed vacation like Disney… too unreliable.

You get what you pay for. The plane was dirty and the seats were awful.

Nightmare airline. Avoid Avelo. Understaffed at check-in with long, slow lines. Inexplicably had two flights and only one plane. Not weather or maintenance related apparently. One was supposed to go to Myrtle Beach and one to Orlando. I imagine someone thought it would be better to fly the available plane to Myrtle Beach and back and then go to Orlando since that round-trip was shorter. This didn’t account for the human factor of an end-of-week Orlando flight being 85% Disney passengers and putting the flight on a six-hour delay in New Haven airport… which, if you’ve been there, is tiny and has nothing to do for 50 kids excited to get to Disney. This delay was announced at the time of departure. No one realized before the time of departure there was no plane on the ground? And no one thought… hey I think the Myrtle Beach crowd might be a better one to have wait if we’re going to make a choice here (mind you the initial inbound plane was coming from Orlando and supposed to be out aircraft… they literally said let just grab this plane because it’s here to get this other group out at the last second). There is/was zero customer service desk for Avelo in HVN and there were no updates/announcements throughout the day. Plane still gets back late and we finally leave. No wi-fi on these planes, no snack or even water. I know this is budget airline, but expected at least a water after 8 hours of travel day. This should have been offered in terminal too. We land… hooray. Would you believe there is no ground crew to get the plane in to the gate… for 27 minutes. 27 minutes!!! At this point the rental car center is closing in 10 minutes, kids on the plane are crying again, and everyone is talking about how they’re never flying Avelo again. Finally get off. Bags are out at baggage claim right away (finally something right?), but they’ve stopped the carousel immediately and there is no baggage service rep. People are climbing over the carousel to get to the far side (if you’ve ever been to MCO you’ve seen it) because obviously they just stopped it immediately once all the bags were out. This airline is a dumpster fire. Icing on the cake was that while everyone was stuck in HVN, they were setting up for a celebration of their millionth passenger tomorrow. I bet 995,000 of those will never fly the airline again. Don’t fly Avelo. You’ve been warned.

Airline was the only available airline during the Southwest cancellation. It was easy to book. Lowest available fair. Convenient airports. Everything was great. Problem was, they didn’t release what gate flight was departing. The woman at the ticket booth didn’t know which terminal they were boarding and wanted me to wait in 30+ minute line versus telling me to look for flight kiosk. Burbank gate was packed. Otherwise the flight was perfect!!

Flight was delayed due to the late arrival of the catering truck, which is quite unacceptable. There was a beverage service, but no pretzel, or cookie, or nuts were served in coach.

I had a great flight. Everything went smoothly and the flight arrived early.

On time take off…US cabins look tired and need of refresh!

I paid $380 for my one-way ticket from California to Minnesota. The fair did not include online check-in. I received instructions from their app to check in at a kiosk. At the kiosk, the boarding pass would not print until an actual person came to verify that I had a personal item and not a carry-on item, On the plane, the person next to me was drunk and allowed to continue to order alcohol. United is garbage I’d rather fly spirit.

Do not like the feeling of being in the basic economy. Everyone should feel good no matter what.

Terrible! The plane was old and you are required to connect your own device to their Wi-Fi rather than have entertainment options in the back of the seat in front of you. The Wi-Fi went out during the flight and there was only one plug for the devices every two seats. Three out of five surrounding my family did not work. The seats and spaces under them were so small I could not fit my backpack, which I’ve always brought on flights and fit before no problem. The crew were unpleasant and patronizing.

Due to one crew member not showing up to work, our flight was significantly delayed causing us to miss our connecting flight in Houston to Mississippi causing us to be delayed by more than 6 hours and missing our event all together. Very disappointing. All because ONE crew member called in sick. United did grant us a $15 meal voucher, which was a small but appreciated concession that I wasn’t able to use because I ordered my lunch and paid for it before applying the concession, and the staff said it was too late to use it. Ugh! We also had a TWO delay coming back from Mississippi, but that was on American Airlines and it was due to weather, so not their fault. Anyway, not at all impressed with United’s handling of our flight and the HUGE disappointment of missing our important family event for our 90 year old mother. All that money and all that stress and emotions for nothing. Having to wait the hour to bring an employee from LAX seemed like something that should not have happened. Why don’t you have a local back-up? Santa Ana is not a little airport in a rural area.

Crew was great and did their best to make us comfortable and captain came out at the beginning to announce why the flight was delayed, weather situation up ahead, and kept us updated throughout the flight.

United WiFi is consistently unusable (it can take 10 mins to load a single web page). If you need Wifi to do work, be prepared to lose half a day of productivity.

Awful. I got stuck next to a person carrying a dog and behind someone with a dog. People need to board these dogs downstairs. The cabin is crowded enough with your pets

The flight was on time and nice as always for me with spirit but the cabin crew were not good. They left the lights on on a red eye for the entire flight.

It was the worst ever, i will be filing a lawsuit to get a refund. Our flight was delayed 4 hours so we would miss our connecting flight, we were not rebooked to our destination the same day, we were not offered any options to get home on the same day despite being clear that we absolutely cannot get stranded at night due to family, we were forced to book our own flights on a different airline to get home, and spririt is refusing a refund because our flight wasn't cancelled, only delayed. oh yeah, and they lost our luggage on the first part of the trip and you cannot get a hold of customer service when anything goes wrong, on hold for 30+ minutes. and their app breaks so you can't use that either.

The crew was the best and very accommodating I know you don't offer any complimentary items but water and coffee will not break the bank !!

My experience with Spirit was perfect. Did not expect it to be this good

My mother was HARASSED AND ACCOSTED by the gate agent for her bag. I pre purchased the bag fee and the gate agent made my 78 year old mother board, deplane, re pay for her bag fee and board again. The gate agent made my mother pick up her own bag and REFUSED to help her, she is an older woman who wasn’t bothering anyone on a flight that had maybe 30’total passengers. I am going to sue this airlines for their HORRIBLE customer service and treatment of my mother, and all this occurred the day after Mother’s Day!!!

For it to have left on time! Instead of two hours early with zero notice

First the good, everyone was friendly and efficient. Flight was smooth and plane was very clean and new. Now the bad, seats have almost no padding on your behind. I was in exit row so I had tons of leg room for a 6' 2" bean pole with long legs. Everything was extra - water, soda, snacks everything besides oxygen. Ya get what you pay for, and my flight was cheap as you could ever want it, so no worries.

First the good, everyone was friendly and efficient. Flight was smooth and plane was very clean and new. Now the bad, seats have almost no padding on your behind. I was in exit row so I had tons of leg room for a 6' 2" bean pole with long legs. Everything was extra - water, soda, snacks everything besides oxygen. Ya get what you pay for, and my flight was cheap as you could ever want it, so no worries. They dont really bother you about carry-on size, I brought a descent sized backpack and they didnt even check.

Kayak does not know that spirit airlines charged me $70 to fly. But the bag check-in was $89 each way. This is false advertising to lure people. Spirit airlines sends bunch of emails after flight purchases to buy wifi, better seats, priority boarding, secure reserved seats. This is false advertising. Up front pricing. I would of flown jet blue or Alaska airlines.

Every interaction the airline seems to want to find a different way to extract more money from you. The second leg of our journey they wouldn't let us board the plane without taking another $99 for a bag we asked about at the ticket counter and boarded with on the first leg of our journey. Horrible airline, poor culture. Not flying Spirit again.

Flight was delay 9hrs and nothing was provided at airport, had to go and get a room to sleep in, paid for Uber back and fort with no offers until we landed back home a 1hr later for a $75 voucher for a future flight.

Our flight was delayed an hour, then when we got to board our flight finally, we were waiting in our seats for take off for 45 minutes before it was communicated that there was a maintenance issue therefore we waited on the plane for over an hour while that was resolved. We did not get to Phoenix until almost 3 hours after we were originally supposed to. This was the first and last time I will be flying Frontier.

There were 3 leg for the trip and each leg was delayed by 90 minutes or more. The boarding process takes forever with people waiting on the jetway even though most folks do not have carry-on. The whole process is poorly managed.

They cancelled the flight then did nothing to help us rebook. It was awful - I won’t fly with them again

The process of buying the ticket and navigating all the hidden charges that Frontier throws at you was a terrible experience. The actual airport experience and flying was fine.

The truck that was refueling the plane drove away with the hose still connected to the plane and ripped part of the plane off with it

If you don’t check in 24 hours in advance, they will charge you $110 to check your bag instead of the $30. I did not get an email with this information and did not check in. In addition, my flight home was cancelled at layover and I had to spend the night in the airport, and then have another layover at another airport before making it home. Will not fly frontier again.

Terrible. Seats are bad and the baggage policy is inconsistent

Better than I expected but I did pay for a seat and carry on bags ahead of time.

I hope to avoid flying with them in the future. First flight got cancelled then got stuck with a 13 hour layover in Denver. The process was long and frustrating to many people.

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Average Timeline

Flight reliability by airline , explore more, flight summary.

The flight time from Las Vegas to San Francisco is 1 hour, 35 minutes. The time spent in the air is 1 hour, 7 minutes.

The flight distance from Las Vegas to San Francisco is 414 Miles.

Reverse Journey

Flight time by airline , flight time by time of day , flights by time of day (average), flights per week, flights by month , flights by day of week (average), flights by airline (per week), frequently asked questions, how far is las vegas from san francisco by plane, how long is the flight from las vegas to san francisco, what airlines fly from las vegas to san francisco, does southwest fly from las vegas to san francisco, tables and explanations, data source, average timeline timeline chart.

The average timeline contains the median time a flight spends in 3 stages. The first of these three stages is taxiing out which includes the time from the flight leaving the gate to taking off. The second stage is in the air, which includes the time spent from the flight leaving the ground to touching back down at the end of it's journey. The last stage is taxiing in, which is from when the flight touches down to the flight arriving at it's gate.

The average timeline also estimates on average of when the flight will leave and arrive relative to it's stated departure time.

Flight Reliability Reliability Chart

The reliability of an airline measures how often the airline's flights on this route are cancelled or delayed more than 20 minutes. For example, from Las Vegas to San Francisco, Southwest is 65% reliable, which means that Southwest flights are on time 65% of the time, and cancelled or delayed the remaining time.

Flight Time By Airline Flight Time By Airline Chart

Each airline takes a different amount of time to fly between Las Vegas and San Francisco, this is due to different operational factors on the ground, as well as scheduling of planes. Each airline's flight time is split into three stages which are described above in the "Average Timeline" section. There are also miscellaneous operational issues which are included in the below total but are not accounted for in one of the three stages.

Flights By Time of Day Flight Time By Day Chart

This one is pretty self explanatory, it represents the number of flights that leave the gate in a given hour of the day. The tricky thing here is that this is normally not a whole number since it is an average over 52 weeks. Partial numbers may indicate that a flight may be seasonal or may take off at different times due to different operational factors.

Flights By Month Flights By Month Chart

The quantity of flights from Las Vegas to San Francisco that take off in a given month of the year. This number changes because some flights are seasonal, and almost all flights have uneven demand througout the year.

Flights By Day Of Week Flights By Day of Week Chart

The quantity of flights from Las Vegas to San Francisco that take off on a given day of the week. Some routes only have enough demand to sustain a few trips a week, while others have many flights a day. This number is also an average across the year, and hence may not be a whole number.

Flight per Airline (per Week) Flights By Airline Chart

How many times an airline flies this route in a week. Different factors play into how often a carrier chooses to fly a given route including it's need to connect disparate routes, and demand.

Flight Time By Time of Day Flight Time by Time of Day Chart

The total flight time varies by each hour of the day due to factors such as airport traffic. More flights leaving an airport may cause higher taxi in or taxi out times. See the description of the average timeline above for a deeper discussion of each of these times.

Splendid day trips you can take from Las Vegas — each less than a two-hour drive

Places shown: Valley of Fire State Park, Emerald Cave, Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area and Las Vegas Ballpark.

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I have a new system for beating the casinos in Las Vegas: I don’t spend a penny on the slots, the tables or the sports books. Instead, I bet heavily on red and green.

Red rocks and green waters, that is. Hiking and kayaking.

I tested the system on a series of day trips last month. Though I slept three nights in a hotel on the Strip, I headed out of town every day.

First: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Later, Valley of Fire State Park and the Colorado River’s Black Canyon, where the waters of Emerald Cave eerily glow. Then a night of minor league baseball.

None of these adventures took me more than 60 miles from the Strip (a.k.a. Las Vegas Boulevard). Yet the psychological distance seemed enormous. Maybe it’s no surprise that many climbers and other outdoorsy types have moved to Las Vegas for the access it gives them to rocks, mountains and such.

You know that semi-vacant look on so many slot machine players’ faces? You don’t see that so much on the trail or the river, even when the path is uphill or the paddling is against the wind. And it’s tough to find a poker face in the Las Vegas Ballpark when management is staging an Elvis karaoke competition between innings.

Here’s a rundown.

People bicycle on a road toward red rock hills, with larger hills in the distance

Red Rock Canyon

Driving distance from the Strip: About 30 minutes from the Stratosphere tower.

What makes it great : You’ll have no trouble finding the scenery at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area .

Solitude might take a little longer, because the canyon is immensely popular and only an 18- to 22-mile drive from the Strip, depending on your route. Once there, you can hike, bike or drive a 13-mile loop through a landscape of stacked and tumbled boulders, some fiery red, some chalky white, many so strangely striated that you may suspect they’ve been scrubbed with steel wool.

Striated rocks and red rock cliffsides at Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area.

Many of the formations are Jurassic sand dunes that have been hardened to sandstone by time. You can drive between or hike on 16 trails threaded through the rocks, junipers and some Joshua trees too.

For drivers and cyclists, it’s a one-way route, with a speed limit of 35 mph, on a wonderfully smooth two-lane blacktop. For hikers, the trails range from 800 feet to 14 miles, easy to difficult, and there are more just beyond the loop.

If you go: Once you start driving the loop, you’ll almost immediately want to pull over because the scenery is so arresting. Don’t. It’s illegal. And the first parking lot, Calico Hills, comes up soon, followed by about 10 more in 13 miles. Most have restrooms.

I made my visit just before sunset. Early morning would be good too — you get dramatic light and avoid the worst of the heat.

In cooler months (Oct. 1 through May 31), you’ll need to book a timed reservation to drive through between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. In summer, you don’t need a timed reservation, but you’ll still need to pay $20 per car (unless you have a national parks pass).

Black Canyon and Emerald Cave

Groups of kayakers in emerald-green water, surrounded by rocky cliffs.

Driving distance from the Strip: About an hour and 15 minutes.

What makes it great: What if you flooded a red rock canyon and set multitudes of Nevadans and visitors loose on assorted watercraft? Lake Mead National Recreation Area , a 38-mile drive east of Vegas, is the lively answer to that question.

Most of the action is on the lake itself, which was created in 1936 by the construction of Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) along the Colorado River. But about 15 miles downriver from the dam, you’ll find Willow Beach and the Black Canyon Water Trail , a great place to kayak.

After a 60-mile drive southeast from the Strip, I was floating with a tour group in gentle waters (no rapids here) at the foot of 1,500-foot cliffs.

“Let’s go to Arizona,” our guide said — which simply meant paddling from one side of the river to the other.

I had signed on with Blazin’ Paddles , one of several kayak tour companies that paddle out of Willow Beach Marina on the Arizona side. The marina is about 15 miles downriver from the dam. Because it’s part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, entrance is $25 per car.

There were dozens of kayakers in groups ahead of me, in part because paddling in a shady canyon is a pretty good way to spend a 95-degree day, in part because Instagram has made Emerald Cave a star.

The cave, a 2-mile paddle from Willow Beach, is only about the size of a two-bedroom apartment. But the way its waters glow green makes for great pictures. It’s the centerpiece of most half-day tours, and guides say they’ve fit as many as 23 kayaks in there at a time.

A person in an inflatable watercraft sprays water toward the camera

You can explore the Colorado River in an inflatable watercraft.

People stand in a river that winds through small islands with trees and tall red-rock hills

Kayak tours from Willow Beach explore the Colorado River. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Mountain buttes rise above kayaks floating in the Colorado River

If your excursion is like mine, you’ll run into a traffic jam outside the cave and the wait will be about 45 minutes. Sometimes it’s over an hour, guides say.

But remember, you’ll be in a kayak beneath tall cliffs, keeping an eye out for desert bighorn sheep, possibly engaging in splash skirmishes with fellow paddlers. Life could be worse. And once you’re in the cave, the sight is memorable. If you’ve ever taken a rowboat into the Blue Grotto on the Italian isle of Capri, this cave’s interior will give you déja vù in another hue.

For the record, we wedged 17 kayaks and a canoe into the cave. And on the way back to the marina, we spotted a bald eagle.

Four miles of kayaking, with a cave in the middle and a stop to hop out for a view, is just about perfect for a three-hour excursion. I paid $110. (With shuttle bus service from the Strip, it’s $149.)

If you go : The best time for Emerald Cave photos is said to be midday, when I was there. But if you get there early or late, you’ll have less company.

There’s a store at Willow Beach Marina that sells snacks, sunblock, hats, water shoes, dry bags and boating and fishing supplies; open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in summer. There’s also a restaurant, Black Canyon Grill, open daily for lunch in summer; open Fridays to Sundays for most of March, April, May, September and October; and closed November to February.

You can also take a quick, free look at Hoover Dam (22 miles from Willow Beach) by parking in a free lot on the Arizona side of the river (parking is $10 on the Nevada side) and walking across the dam. Entry to the Visitor Center exhibits and observation deck is $10. There are also guided dam tours available, first come, first served. Boulder City , 6.5 miles from the dam, has several restaurants and antique shops.

Valley of Fire State Park

People appear tiny as they walk among reddish-orange boulders and dunes

Driving distance from the Strip: About 55 minutes.

What makes it great: Even after I saw Red Rock Canyon, I didn’t fully understand how easily outback Nevada can pass for outback Utah. The Valley of Fire — about 55 miles northeast of the Strip — educated me further.

It also lured me into a few furnace-hot gullies and showed me miles of red sandstone, gray limestone, slot canyons and crazy-shaped boulders, all scattered on a desert floor that long ago was an ocean floor. Some boulders are decorated with petroglyphs older than all of our leading presidential candidates put together.

More specifically, because I read some signs, I can tell you that the petroglyphs are more than 2,000 years old, and also that a petroglyph is cut into stone; a pictograph is painted on stone.

Petroglyphs of a hand within a kite shape next to a spiral at Valley of Fire State Park.

Petroglyphs at Valley of Fire State Park.

People hike on red rocks at Valley of Fire State Park

(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Valley of Fire, Nevada’s first state park, has one through road, two campgrounds and several rock-climbing spots. But keep this place’s name in mind. It gets so hot (up to 120 degrees) that from May 15 to Sept. 30 this year, rangers have closed all trails longer than 1 mile.

Sticking within that limit, I wandered among the Beehives rock formations near the park’s western entrance and climbed the stairs to Atlatl Rock (where an ancient inscribed hand seems to be giving the finger to all who pass). I also walked the 0.7-mile Mouse’s Tank Trail and 1-mile Rainbow Vista trail, but it was close to 100 degrees, and the sandy path may give you that swimming-in-syrup sensation.

If you go: Park entrance is $10 per vehicle ($15 for out-of-state vehicles). The rangers’ 1-mile limit means that until October, nobody can hike the Fire Wave, Seven Wonders Loop or the White Domes Loop.

Still, it’s a thrill to follow White Domes Road north from the visitor center as it twists and squeezes between boulders.

The Moapa Valley town of Overton, 9 miles north of the park’s eastern entrance, is home to the Lost City Museum , created in the 1930s to showcase Native artifacts that long predate the creation of Lake Mead. On Overton’s Main Street, the Inside Scoop cafe has ice cream and makes a topnotch $8 tuna salad sandwich.

Aviators baseball in Las Vegas Ballpark

Las Vegas Ballpark, home to the minor-league Las Vegas Aviators.

Driving distance from the Strip: About 25 minutes.

What makes it great: Strictly speaking, the Las Vegas Ballpark isn’t a full day trip, but this may be the most family-friendly of these excursions, so it needs to be here.

The ballpark, home to the AAA Aviators baseball team, stands in the Vegas suburb of Summerlin, about 15 miles from the Strip. You could spend all day in a casino and still make 7 p.m. game time. (Or you could head for the ballpark after exploring Red Rock Canyon, which is practically next door.)

Whenever you arrive, your blood pressure is likely to ease once you step in. It’s a gorgeous ballpark, completed in 2019 with a capacity of just 10,000, so it feels intimate. You can spread a blanket on the grassy berm overlooking right field, and there’s a good chance a local 15-year-old will be singing the national anthem.

But there’s also a bright, high-resolution scoreboard, a swimming pool beyond center field (yes, that costs extra) and food options that include tri-tip sandwiches and avocado chicken burritos.

A worker squirt salsa on a burrito-in-the-making at Las Vegas Ballpark

You can count on silly games between innings (including a cardboard airplane-throwing contest), brand ambassadors handing out merch and kids scrambling for foul balls. Beers start at $10, hot dogs at $6.50. (And there are cocktails, because Las Vegas.)

On the night I came, attendance was 5,042 people and 99 dogs (because it was bring-your-dog night).

Unless you’re a devotee of the El Paso Chihuahuas, Salt Lake Bees or Reno Aces, you won’t recognize any of these hopeful young players. But that will hardly matter — especially if (as I witnessed) the center fielder makes a leaping grab to save a 9-7 win for the home team.

If you go: Tickets start at $14 (for a spot on the berm in right field), but if you buy online in advance, the middleman fees will push that to about $20.

Las Vegas, a Dodgers farm team from 2001-08, is now a farm team for the Oakland Athletics. It’s a tad awkward that the Athletics have announced that they’ll be moving to Las Vegas in a few years. But for now, the Aviators are here and you can be too.

There are no slot machines in the ballpark and no sports betting area. In fact, the only casino with a prominent ad posted is nearby Red Rock Resort.

You can check the schedule to see when the Aviators are playing at home. The season runs through Sept. 22, and the AAA national championship game will be in the ballpark on Sept. 28.

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Born and raised in California, Christopher Reynolds has written about travel, the outdoors, arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times since 1990.

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WATCH: Biden celebrates Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden welcomed the Kansas City Chiefs to the White House on Friday, lauding the back-to-back Super Bowl champion team for its sportsmanship on and off the field, and breaking an unofficial political rule about headwear. He tried on a Chiefs helmet the team gave him as a gift.

Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.

“It was cool to see him put the helmet on,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes told reporters after the celebration held on the South Lawn. “We didn’t expect that. But it was really cool to see him throw that Chiefs helmet on and you get that Chiefs kingdom kind of for the rest of the nation to see.”

The Democratic president recalled that he said at last year’s celebration for the Chiefs that they are building a “dynasty.” He noted the struggles they overcame last season on the road to the Super Bowl and said, “I don’t think anybody’s doubting you know.”

He noted the shooting in February at Kansas City’s parade and rally honoring the team, which killed a mother of two and host of a local radio program.

“We saw pride give way to tragedy,” Biden said, adding that, “amid the chaos this team stepped up.”

“‘This team is exceptional,” the president said, adding that the country as a whole must “do more to stop the tragic shootings before they happen.”

Biden recognized the Chiefs after their come-from-behind overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl in Las Vegas in February. It’s a longstanding tradition for championship sports teams, both professional and collegiate, to be invited to the White House.

READ MORE: Missouri senators, not taxpayers, will pay potential damages in Chiefs rally shooting case

In 2023, the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, first lady Jill Biden’s favorite football team. She grew up near Philadelphia and attended the game. Kansas City defeated San Francisco to claim the 2020 Super Bowl title.

Kicker Harrison Butker, who made headlines by assailing some of Biden’s policies during a commencement speech earlier this month, accompanied his teammates to the White House. Butker recently defended his comments, saying he had no regrets about expressing his beliefs.

In the May 16 speech at Benedictine College, a private Catholic liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas, Butker congratulated the women who were receiving degrees and said most of them were probably more excited about getting married and having children.

He criticized some of Biden’s policy positions, including the president’s condemnation of the Supreme Court’s reversal of its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Abortion is an issue that Biden and his fellow Democrats hope to use to their advantage in the November elections.

Butker also tackled Biden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Swift has been traveling abroad on her Eras tour and had a show on Thursday in Madrid.

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Nine’s Wide World of Sports

Super Bowl LVIII Ultimate Guide: Aussie star Mitch Wishnowsky chasing unique feat

After a grueling season and dramatic playoff period, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will square off in Super Bowl LVIII on Monday morning (AEDT).

The two powerhouse franchises advanced to the NFL decider after wins in their respective AFC and NFC Championship games, with the Chiefs and 49ers to revisit their 2021 meeting in football's biggest contest.

The clash will be played in Las Vegas for the first time in league history, with Allegiant Stadium hosting the encounter.

GALLERY: The curious fact about Australia's only Super Bowl winner

READ MORE: Chiefs dealt injury blow ahead of NFL decider

READ MORE: 'Love story' behind cult hero's Olympic redemption

All eyes will undoubtedly be on the two teams on the field, with stars such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey among the NFL's elite - but there will also be added interest around Taylor Swift, who has a well-publicised romance with Chiefs star and two-time Super Bowl winner, Travis Kelce.

Here is everything you need to know about Super Bowl LVIII.

When is the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl LVIII is scheduled for the morning of Monday, February 12 in Australia.

Locally, this year's Super Bowl will be played during daylight hours on Sunday, February 11 from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LIVE UPDATES: Super Bowl 2024 LIVE scores

What time will the Super Bowl begin in Australia?

The pre-match coverage begins at 9am AEDT, before the Super Bowl itself will kick off at 10:30am and should conclude by 2pm.

The game will start at 3:30pm local time in Las Vegas.

Where will the Super Bowl be played this year?

This year's Super Bowl will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The stadium is the home of the Las Vegas Raiders and can hold 65,000 people.

The occasion marks the first time that the NFL's biggest game will be played at the venue and the first time the Super Bowl circus has descended on the state of Nevada.

The location of the Super Bowl changes every year and does not take into account the teams playing as the host city is locked away years in advance.

Which teams are playing in the Super Bowl?

Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.

To get to the championship decider, the Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 in the AFC championship game, while the 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat the Detroit Lions 34-31 for the NFC title.

Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 after a decisive call in the final minute left a bad taste in NFL fans' mouths.

With a win this year, the Chiefs can become the first franchise since the 2003-04 New England Patriots to win consecutive Super Bowls.

The two franchises last met in Super Bowl 54 when the Chiefs resurged from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the 49ers 31-20 in Miami. The 49ers have not won a Super Bowl since 1994.

What are the odds for the Super Bowl?

San Francisco is the favourite, paying $1.77 as of Sunday morning, while Kansas City is rated as the $2.10 outsider, per SportsBet.

49ers star Christian McCaffrey is the favourite for first touchdown scorer at $4.70, while Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco has the next best odds of $6.75.

With the relationship between Cheifs tight end Travis Kelce and pop singer Taylor Swift exploding this season, there are also some side-splitting betting markets including the odds of Kelce proposing to Swift on the field after the game and the number of times she will be featured during the broadcast.

What time is the halftime show?

It is tough to give an exact time given the start of the show is dependent on how long the first half goes for, but if you are not interested in watching the game and just want to tune in for the halftime show, it will begin around midday AEDT.

Who is performing the Super Bowl national anthem?

The honour of singing the American national anthem ahead of kick-off has been bestowed to country music singer Reba McEntire.

Post Malone will also perform the classic America the Beautiful and Andra Day will sing Lift Every Voice and Sing as part of the pre-game entertainment.

Who is performing in the Super Bowl halftime show?

Grammy award-winning artist Usher will take to the stage in this year's Super Bowl.

In recent years, the Yeah! singer had been performing his vast collection of R & B songs in his Las Vegas concert series Usher – My Way The Residency, which closed in December.

His top hits include songs such as DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love, Scream and Love In This Club, among many others.

"It's an honour of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list," Usher said when the news was announced last year.

"I can't wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they've seen from me before."

READ MORE: The most controversial Super Bowl half-time show moments of all time


Aussie Mitch Wishnowsky is aiming to be the first Aussie to play in a winning Super Bowl.  Getty

Which Australians are playing in the Super Bowl?

San Francisco 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky is the only Australian who will feature in this year's Super Bowl.

The West Australian product was drafted by San Francisco in 2019 and has been with the franchise ever since.

The 31-year-old is striving to become Australia's second Super Bowl champion after defender Jesse Williams achieved the feat with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013.

However, if Wishnowsky is able to earn a Super Bowl ring, he would become the only Aussie to play in the match itself and emerge victorious, with the aforementioned Williams failing to play for the Seahawks in the decider due to injury.

View gallery

Jesse Williams

Curious fact about the only Aussie to win a Super Bowl

How much are super bowl tickets.

Attending the Super Bowl is no cheap feat with fans forking out top dollar for a ticket.

The cheapest tickets sold directly by the NFL went for just over $3000.

According to ticket company StubHub, the average price of tickets exceeds $13,000.

Ticket prices have shown a gradual decline since the matchup was set following the conference championship games.

Who has won the most Super Bowls?

The record for most Super Bowls won as a team is six and is currently shared between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Patriots have the most Super Bowl appearances having made 11 and share the crown for the most Super Bowl losses with the Denver Broncos with five a piece.

Tom Brady holds the record for most Super Bowl appearances by a player, making seven between stints with the Patriots and the Buccaneers. Brady also has the most Super Bowl MVP awards with five.

How can I watch the Super Bowl in Australia?

Wide World of Sports will have running coverage of Super Bowl 58 through our live blog . This will include the latest updates, analysis and video as it happens.

The game will also be broadcast free to air on 7Mate and available to stream through NFL Game Pass and ESPN via Kayo Sports.

What about the iconic ads?

Unfortunately, the American commercials — some of which cost millions to get broadcast such is the popularity of the game — are not shown in Australia.

READ MORE: The top 15 best Super Bowl commercials of all time

If you are interested in checking them out, you will have to source them on YouTube or a similar platform.

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Mcgregor speaks as rumours swirl over comeback dramas, 'not true': olympian shoots down athletics australia claim, dramatic aussie capsize a 'dangerous situation', afl legend set to fight disgraced nrl bad boy.


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