Without a doubt, the stretch from Reno to Las Vegas is one that demands attention for travelers. While you can complete this journey in under 8 hours, there are so many breathtaking things to see along the way that the trip should take a bit longer. Road trippers can choose to drive via US-95 or I-80W, but either way there are several gorgeous towns worth a side excursion. You can stop at Ely if you want to experience the thrills of meteor showers or at the Golden Open Air Museum in Beatty for an unbeatable historical treat. A great ending to a road trip from Reno to Los Vegas is to spend time in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
There are several gorgeous national parks that you'll want to tour on your Reno to Las Vegas RV road trip. Visit RVShare's national park guide to learn more about them.
Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park is a great place to visit if you don't mind taking an eastern Nevada detour from your road trip. It's home to some of the world's oldest trees, some of which have survived for over 4,000 years under incredibly harsh conditions. The park is also perfect for stargazing since minimal light pollution and low humidity give Great Basin some of the darkest skies in America. You'll also want to partake in a variety of outdoor activities, from RV tours along the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive to mountain biking on the designated trails.
Grand Canyon National Park
Consider stopping at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona if you want to see marine fossils dating back 1.2 million years. This park encompasses a remote community called Supai Village, and the deepest canyon in the US at 6,093 feet. On the South Rim, visitors can choose to explore the park by road via Desert View Drive or Hermit Road. Both of these courses are fantastic and provide unique perspectives of the canyon. You might be lucky enough to see mountain lions, hog-nosed skunk, or elk sunning themselves at the base of the Grand Canyon. Besides hiking and wildlife viewing, visitors can also learn the park's history at the on-site National Geographic Visitor Center.
Death Valley National Park
Located just 32 miles east of Beatty, Death Valley National Park is a terrific park to add to your road trip itinerary from Reno to Las Vegas. This 3000-square mile park is known as the hottest, lowest, and driest point in North America. Visitors can explore craters, salt flats, mountains, and dunes, as well as other dramatic scenery. While at this park, be sure to experience the majestic views of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, grab a photo at Badwater Basin, or take on the mysterious, rugged path at The Racetrack. You can also stroll through the iconic Devil's Golf Course to drink in the sights of enormous salt boulders.
As you'll see on RVShare's state park guide, there are plenty of beautiful parks that you might want to visit during your road trip from Reno to Los Angeles.
South Fork State Recreation Area
South Fork State Recreation Area is a great place to stop if you take the I-80W route. Here, visitors can enjoy sights of northeastern Nevada wildlife, rolling hills, and flourishing meadows. With the gorgeous Ruby Mountains as a backdrop, you can also go biking, hunting, boating, and fishing.
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park offers some of the best opportunities in Nevada for hiking and picnicking. As you stroll through the stunningly colorful cliffs and old buildings, you'll be amazed at how much local history you can take in. Be sure to note the natural amount of water on-site, making for an impressively manicured lawn for outdoor fun. Don't leave without swinging by the historic Main Ranch House for a more in-depth history of the owners who once stayed there.
Valley of Fire State Park
Situated just 52 miles northeast of Las Vegas Strip, Valley of Fire State Park is another great option on your Reno to Las Vegas road trip. Orange, pink, and red sandstone rocks create beautiful vistas that you can see from the comfort of your RV. Covering over 40,000 acres, Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest park. Take a 1.5-mile round hike to The Fire Wave, one of the most beautiful spots in the park, which also offers a great photo opportunity. Still, hikers might fancy bouldering along the trails in the White Domes.
Northeastern Nevada Museum
You'll reach Elko just 4 hours after leaving Reno. This quaint town is home to Northeastern Nevada Museum, the premier historical and cultural center in Greater Elko County. The museum's central gallery hosts over 40 exhibits showcasing the regional and natural history of the area, including ranching, firearms, railroads, mining, and the Shoshone-Paiute tribes. Spend some time at the 18,000-square-foot Wanamaker Wildlife Wing, which features Nevada's largest wild animal collection from around the globe. Be sure to check out the 4,000-volume library within the museum to peruse newspapers dating back to the 1850s.
Another US-95 point of interest is Rhyolite, perched in the mountains of Western Nevada and just 5 miles from Beatty town. With no residents for more than a millennium, battered buildings in a gorgeous Wild West setting, and no shops or services, Rhyolite is arguably the best ghost town in the western USA and makes for a great side excursion. It started as a mining town in 1905. Gaudy sculptures are the first thing you'll notice when you approach Rhyolite. The abandoned ruins of Rhyolite Mercantile, the Bottle House and the Bishop Jewelry Store serve as other exciting places for visitors to explore.
This castle off route 267 in Death Valley is a great place to visit during your road trip from Reno to Las Vegas. This gigantic desert mansion is operated by the National Park Service and cost a whopping $2 million to build (in the early 1900s). You might want to take an underground tour of Scotty's Castle for insight into the technology used to build it so lavishly in the middle of a desert. Visitors can also go on the Lower Vine Ranch Hike for an up-close tour of Scotty's actual home.
Higher Roller Ferris wheel
The High Roller Ferris wheel sits at the far section of The LINQ Promenade, just 0.6 miles from The Strip. This large Ferris wheel stands at 167 meters and takes 30 minutes for one complete rotation, offering visitors magnificent views over Las Vegas Boulevard and nearby area from the capsules. You might want to experience the view at night when the city explodes with neon lights.
Mandalay Bay and Shark Reef Museum
There's no better way to end your Reno to Las Vegas road trip than to visit the glamorous Mandalay Bay Resort. One of the standout highlights at this complex is the Shark Reef Museum, an enormous 1,300,000-gallon aquarium, where a variety of rays, sharks, fish, and reptiles call home. More than 2,000 animals, including 100 sharks from 15 distinct species, are all on display.
While going from Reno to Las Vegas via routes 1-80W and US-93S might add more time to your journey, it's worth it. There are numerous scenic towns to camp in along the way, and most seasoned trippers find the itinerary much more balanced than US-95. Several beautiful campgrounds with dump stations along the eastern Nevada route add to the appeal. However, route US-95 still offers many exciting places to visit if you prefer the grandeur of preserved areas.
Affectionately known as "Nevada with Altitude," Elko is a lush metropolis with plenty of natural attractions. There are many campgrounds nearby where you can spend a night or two.
Baker is a funky little town in eastern Nevada, best known for being the gateway to the famous Grand Basin National Park. Consider staying at one of the adjacent campgrounds if you choose to stop here.
With its proximity to the Spring Mountains, Mount Charleston, and Death Valley National Park, Pahrump is a great place to stop and experience nature at its best as you approach Las Vegas. There are nearby campgrounds where you can find cozy places to camp.
The road trip from Reno to Las Vegas is packed of things to do, see, and experience. You can take the rugged road and make the most of your trip by renting an RV in Reno. If you want to make the return trip from Sin City, renting an RV in Las Vegas on RVShare.com is highly recommended. No matter the route you choose and the attractions you visit, you'll be glad you took the time to experience the itinerary between Reno and Las Vegas.