Most scenic route from Houston to Las Vegas

Houston to Las Vegas is an exciting road trip with sights and activities. The total driving distance is 2,140 miles. Driving at the speed limit should see you complete this trip in five days. The route uses the I-10 W, and without stops, you could complete the trip in 21 hours. The average consumer will spend approximately $492.99 on fuel. 

Map of the scenic route from Houston to Las Vegas

This route will see you come into contact with national parks and state parks. It is, therefore, an excellent route for hiking and hunting. The course has theme parks, museums, and landmarks which don’t deviate much from the path as you take Interstate 10 and Highway 93. The first main stops are Ranch Road 1, Turquoise Trail, and Jemez Mountain Trail. As you progress through, you will see El Malpais National Monument, White Mountains Scenic Drive, and Grand Canyon Loop. The trip is best started on a Monday to avoid peak traffic hours.


Table Of Contents

  • Ranch Road 1
  • Turquoise Trail
  • Jemez Mountain Trail
  • El Malpais National Monument
  • White Mountains Scenic Drive
  • Grand Canyon Loop

Ranch Road 1

Travel Overview: 3 hours 44 minutes — 223 miles

Ranch Road 1 is an excellent drive that should take under 4 hours to complete. It is one of the most beautiful ways to explore Texas Hill Country. Many travelers choose this route to enjoy the serene views while biking along Ranch Road 1. On this route, you will be able to experience wildlife, history, parks, and wineries. It is important to note that only persons 16+ are allowed to rent a bike for this route. 

The bike reservation company offers both traditional and electrical bicycles to choose from. The area also offers self-guided tours that allow you to learn about the rich history of Rand Road 1. The site is also home to The Lyndon B. Johnson National and State Historical Parks. These historical lands were once home to the 36th national president and are now where he is buried. The stop offers travelers a chance to gain a unique perspective into one of America’s most noteworthy citizens.

Turquoise Trail

Travel Overview: 6 hours 11 minutes — 386 mi

The Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway is one of the main routes for travelers seeking to connect with the reborn ancient mines and ghost towns. These are areas of rich cultural significance where there are many artist communities. The scenery is breathtaking, with the common theme of stunning blue skies, hundred-mile views, and high desert hills. You can complete the drive in just over 6 hours. 385-mile-long National Scenic Byway, NM 14, parallels I-25. This route is the most fulfilling as you see the history of mining and jewelry-making in the area and how it has changed. 

As you progress, you will get to Tijeras using I-40 east. Here, you can visit the Turquoise Museum,s, which displays turquoise from 30 mines across the Southwest. Many travelers stop and enjoy learning about how the turquoise is cut, polished, and set in jewelry. 

When you get to Madrid , it is best to stop and rest. Madrid has the best choices for dining along the route. You can stop and enjoy lunch at the Mine Shaft Tavern. This restaurant has a local menu that offers consumers a good roadhouse breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  

The area has charm, and being in the old mining town feels like being in a Western movie set. The dirt streets, adobe houses, and clapboard storefronts haven’t changed much since cars replaced horses. You can stop at Saint Joseph’s Church which has been around since 1922. The church has a bar and hotel if you wish to stay the night and check out the Casa Grande Trading Post or Mining Museum. In the morning, on your way out, you can also see the petting zoo and thousands of artifacts.

Jemez Mountain Trail

Travel Overview: 1 hour 39 minutes — 88 miles

The Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway offers travelers scenic views, natural sites, and cultural and historical assets. The trip will see you starting via State Road 501, going through Bandelier National Monument. It is a pleasant drive that incorporates over 1,000 feet of dense forest and an elevation of 9,000 feet. The route can be completed in about 1 hour and 39 minutes, making it a convenient and rewarding path for people who wish to enjoy the best of Northern New Mexico.

While driving, you will have the chance to see the incredible Valles Caldera. This site is a volcanic crater that has grazing elk on it. You can also stop and traverse the trails on the cavity or go fishing. For a more intimate activity, there are soothing hot springs. As you drive, you will reach Jemez Falls campground. You can hike 1/4-miles down to a stunning waterfall from here on foot.

The Gilman Tunnels are the next stop you will see while on SR 485. Continue down to Ponderosa Valley Vineyard, where you can enjoy some well-crafted wine and tapas. Those who wish to stay the night can do so at one of the area’s fine lodging establishments and eateries.

El Malpais National Monument

Travel Overview: 2 hours 24 minutes — 135 miles

El Malpais is a national monument popularly known for the Rivers of Ancient Fires. This area is next to the volcanic crater passed earlier, and it is here you can enjoy the richly diverse volcanic landscape. It is a short stop, but it offers all travelers solitude, recreation, and adventure. The breathtaking geologic features bring curiosity to everyone. This route has attractions such as lava flows, cinder cones, and lava tube caves. The environment may seem desolate however it is a beautiful contradiction dubbed the land of fire and ice.

White Mountains Scenic Drive

Travel Overview: 1 hour 20 minutes — 72 miles

The White Mountain Scenic Drive offers scenic vistas, interpretive signs, and walking trails. The Kancamagus Scenic Byway is the most popular stop. It offers majestic views that take you through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This stop is great for taking pictures. You can also experience the White Mountains Scenic Drive, a tour introduced in the spring of 2012. Here you can see the National Forests east of the Mississippi River. There are over 40 sights to see on the 100-mile loop.

Grand Canyon Loop

Travel Overview: 2 hours 38 minutes — 152 miles

You will see beautiful natural features when you reach the Grand Canyon Loop. The stop is known for its stunning sandstone walls and ubiquitous waterfalls. Numerous native plants thrive in these environments that are conducive to life. You can see these on the Grand Canyon Track near Blackheath. When you drive through the Blue Mountains, you are amidst this World Heritage-listed landscape. Many travelers enjoy its intimacy, as the first estimated travelers were seen in 1907. It is an excellent place for a challenging hike, for which you do not need any special hiking equipment. All you need are comfortable walking shoes.


The halfway point between Houston and las vegas

El Paso, Texas is the halfway point between Houston and las vegas

Houston to las vegas drive cost

Fuel for the drive from Houston to Las Vegas will cost you about $492.99.

Train from Houston to las vegas

The train ride from Houston to Las Vegas will take 64 hours and 5 minutes. Tickets for this journey start from around $389.00.

Sights to see from Houston to las vegas

  • Ranch Road 1
  • Turquoise Trail
  • Jemez Mountain Trail
  • El Malpais National Monument
  • White Mountains Scenic Drive
  • Grand Canyon Loop

Houston to las vegas drive time

The drive from Houston to Las Vegas takes about 21 hr 24 min (1,456.3 mi) via US-287 N and I-40 W.

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