Driving from LAX to Las Vegas

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by AlvaroLuis, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. AlvaroLuis

    AlvaroLuis Disney Marathoner

    Oct 18, 1999
    Hi! We'll be arriving to LA airport around midnight and, by the time we clear immigration, pick up our luggage, through customs and get our rental car it might well be around 2-3 a.m.

    I've been doing some research on how's the traffic on I-15, but have not found much, so I have a few questions:

    1. Is I-15 a "driver friendly" road? and by this I mean, is it like the FL turnpike with places to stop for rest and to get something to eat?
    2. Is this road any more dangerous than other US roads at night?
    3. Will I be missing a lot by travelling at night? (sightseeing)

    Thanks for all the help!
  2. M4travels

    M4travels DIS Veteran

    Aug 30, 2005
    Hi, Alvaro:
    Once you hit I-15 there's not a heck of a lot going on. You'll probably hit Barstow around 5:30 or 6ish and there is a stopping/shopping place there. Last I was there I think there was only a McDonalds for food, but I'm sure they've added on a few places.

    It is a busy road with truckers but they are relegated to the 2 right lanes so you can pretty much cruise by them.

    I, personally, don't think there's much on I-15 to see; it's just the only road between L.A. and Vegas!

    Looking forward to seeing you in September!

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  4. AlvaroLuis

    AlvaroLuis Disney Marathoner

    Oct 18, 1999
    Hi Michael! :wave:

    Thanks for the info. All we need is a place where to buy some coffee on the road... McDonald's will do the trick :)

    Looking forward to seeing you in Sept too... in about 3 weeks... :banana:
  5. MadeToLove

    MadeToLove The Ultimate Potterholic

    Jul 3, 2006
    you'll probably take the I-105 to I-605 to I-10 to I-15....there are tons of Los Angeles suburbs here with tons of gas stations and restaurants, only a few will be open over night, usually diners like Norms or Dennys, but you can usually find places there. Once you get on I-15, as M4travels said, you're going to have fewer places to stop.

    Victorville is one of the first place you'll hit after crossing over the San Bernardino mountains that should have several places to stop for gas, coffee, food or bathrooms (by the way, going over the mountains it's pretty steep, so stay alert for that). There are several exits for Victorville, but you can usually see the signs up ahead for what's coming a mile away (land is pretty flat since it's desert).

    After that the next big place is Barstow and you should find some places there for gas and coffee and breakfast. (That's where the I-15 splits off and also connects with I-40 by the way).

    After Barstow there won't be much for the next couple of hours. There are a couple of rest areas that will have bathrooms, and probably vending machines. And a few itty bitty "towns" which basically have a single gas station, but not much until you get into Nevada.

    Once in Nevada, you'll see several curious "towns" which are basically casinos with a couple of gas stations and maybe, maybe a McDonalds, but the gas stations do generally have restrooms. (Primm, Jean and Sloan are the big three). And then you'll be in Vegas.

    At that time of night/morning, you should be in Vegas in about 4-4 1/2 hours, five tops if there's much morning traffic on the way into Vegas.

    I don't know where you are staying in Vegas, but if you're driving back to LA from there, there are several reasonably priced gas stations on Tropicana Ave. just west of the exit ramps for I-15. :thumbsup2

    Have fun, sunrise over the desert should be spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :sunny:

    Edited to add: to answer some of your other questions.... I haven't heard of I-15 being any more dangerous to drive at night than anywhere else. Keep your doors locked when you stop, and if you see anything odd, go someplace well lit. There are emergency call boxes along the road at regular intervals if you break down or have trouble, the operator on the other side of the line can get you a tow truck or the cops if you need them.

    The road could possibly be very windy if we're experiencing Santa Ana winds from the east. Sometimes trucks have tipped over because the wind was strong, so be vigilant.

    Also, you're not really going to miss much scenery by going at night, not a lot to see on the roads you'll be taking...except the aformentioned sunrise which could be breathtaking, otherwise, just a few deserts, mountains and such......but the stars in the sky should be super clear and brilliant at night, so going at night is actually somewhat preferable....plus less traffic....just watch your speed, I-15 is patrolled by helicopters and planes.
  6. AlvaroLuis

    AlvaroLuis Disney Marathoner

    Oct 18, 1999
    Thanks a lot Made ToLove... lots of useful tips :thumbsup2 I'm gonna have to print your reply to take with me.

    We'll keep an eye on that sunrise (actually I'll have to keep both eyes open... I'm driving..lol...) I'm sure my wife will want a picture of that :confused3
  7. OCSurfCity

    OCSurfCity Mouseketeer

    Jul 7, 2006
    Hola Amigo, Que Paso? Welcome to the City of Angels!

    The posters above gave you excellent advice. I will provide you with suggestions along the route you will be driving.

    At the present time, the I-15 is undergoing expansion in various areas of the Mojave Desert. California and Nevada decided to widen this stretch of highway because of the volume of visitors from California. There will be ample time to slow down in these areas.


    Regardless of what time you will be traveling through the desert, ALWAYS take along water for you and your family. Also make sure your car is filled with gasoline when the opportunity comes up. The trip from LAX to Las Vegas will be some 276 miles. Yes, there are gasoline stations in Victorville, Barstow and Baker as well as in Stateline (you will see the casinos right at the border of the states).


    If you find yourself getting tired, open up your windows for fresh air. Or better yet, have someone else drive. You do not want to get into a wreck in the desert. Ambulance response time can vary.

    You will find many fast food restaurants along the way to Las Vegas. At night, especially in Barstow, many of their restaurants closes early. Take along some snacks to snack on during your trip.


    The maximum speed limit through the desert is 70 mph. Many people go faster BUT be careful out in the desert areas. Because you will be driving at night, the road will become a blur and tend to hypnotize you. It happens occasionally with me so be warned. Scan the horizon, look left and right and up and down to keep your mind alert.

    Finally, GOOD LUCK in Las Vegas!
  8. AlvaroLuis

    AlvaroLuis Disney Marathoner

    Oct 18, 1999
    Thanks buddy! I feel comfortable now about driving from LA to Las Vegas... haven't been to California in 20 years so I'm kind of lost...lol...

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