Road Trip Guide: Driving From Los Angeles To Phoenix

The drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix packs epic scenery into a manageable one-day road trip. Along the way, you’ll traverse the Mojave Desert’s rugged mountains, pass by Palm Springs’ retro-chic vibes, and arrive in Phoenix to enjoy its thriving arts and culinary scenes. This guide provides everything you need to know to plan the perfect LA to Phoenix road trip, whether you seek the fastest route or the most scenic journey.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The drive from LA to Phoenix covers around 375 miles and takes 5-6 hours depending on traffic and stops.

Drive Time and Distance from LA to Phoenix

The most direct route from LA to Phoenix covers roughly 375 miles. With ideal conditions, you can drive it in about 5-6 hours nonstop.

Are you ready for an exciting road trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix? Buckle up and get ready to hit the road! The distance between these two vibrant cities is approximately 375 miles. If you’re a seasoned driver and the traffic gods are on your side, you can complete this journey in about 5-6 hours without any major stops along the way.

Keep in mind that driving conditions can vary, so it’s always a good idea to check the weather and traffic conditions before you embark on your adventure. Planning your departure time strategically can help you avoid rush hour traffic and make the journey smoother and more enjoyable.

To make the most of your road trip, consider taking advantage of the scenic route options. While the most direct path will get you to Phoenix faster, taking some detours for sightseeing can add an extra layer of excitement to your trip.

Explore the stunning landscapes, charming towns, and iconic attractions along the way. You might find hidden gems that you never knew existed!

Adding in rest breaks, meal stops, and sightseeing detours will extend the drive time to 6-8 hours or more.

Of course, it’s important to take breaks during your road trip to rest, refuel, and recharge. Adding in rest stops, meal breaks, and sightseeing detours will naturally extend the drive time. Plan for additional hours to explore the sights, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and stretch your legs.

Consider making a pit stop in Palm Springs, a desert oasis known for its luxurious resorts, hot springs, and stunning mountain views. Or, take a detour to Joshua Tree National Park and immerse yourself in its otherworldly landscapes.

These side trips will add extra hours to your travel time, but the experiences will be well worth it.

Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Embrace the adventure, enjoy the ride, and create unforgettable memories along the way. Safe travels!

Route Options Driving from Los Angeles to Phoenix

Interstate 10 is the most popular and fastest route. It runs straight east from LA through the desert to Phoenix.

When it comes to driving from Los Angeles to Phoenix, the most popular and fastest route is Interstate 10. This route takes you straight east from LA, cutting through the vast desert landscapes and leading you directly to Phoenix.

With well-maintained roads and plenty of gas stations along the way, Interstate 10 offers a convenient and efficient journey for road trippers.

For a more scenic drive, take Highway 62/Twentynine Palms Highway. It runs northeast from Joshua Tree through desert landscapes.

If you’re looking for a more scenic and picturesque drive, consider taking Highway 62, also known as Twentynine Palms Highway. This route offers breathtaking views of the desert landscapes and takes you through the stunning Joshua Tree National Park.

As you drive northeast, you’ll be treated to the beauty of the desert, with its unique flora and fauna, making for a truly memorable road trip experience.

Palm Springs makes a nice pitstop, about halfway between the two cities. Combining I-10 and Highway 62 lets you pass through.

About halfway between Los Angeles and Phoenix lies the charming city of Palm Springs. This desert oasis serves as an excellent pit stop for road trippers, offering a wide range of attractions and amenities.

From exploring the city’s vibrant downtown area to taking a relaxing dip in one of the many luxurious pools, Palm Springs provides a great opportunity to stretch your legs and recharge before continuing your journey.

If you want to make the most of your road trip and experience both the speed of Interstate 10 and the scenic beauty of Highway 62, consider combining these two routes. By taking a slight detour, you can pass through Palm Springs on your way from Los Angeles to Phoenix, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Sightseeing Stops Between Los Angeles and Phoenix

Break up the drive with interesting attractions along the way:

Driving from Los Angeles to Phoenix can be a long journey, but it doesn’t have to be boring. There are several sightseeing stops along the route that are worth exploring. By taking breaks at these attractions, you can make your road trip more enjoyable and create lasting memories.

Joshua Tree National Park – Iconic desert scenery with unique twisted Joshua trees.

One of the must-see stops on your road trip is Joshua Tree National Park. Located just east of Palm Springs, this national park is known for its unique desert landscape and iconic Joshua trees. Take a hike or drive through the park to admire the twisted and spiky trees, rugged rock formations, and stunning panoramic views.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this natural wonder.

Palm Springs – Relax in a retro-chic resort or check out the Palm Springs Art Museum.

After exploring Joshua Tree National Park, make a stop in Palm Springs. This desert oasis is famous for its retro-chic resorts, hot springs, and vibrant arts scene. Take a dip in a pool, relax under the palm trees, or pamper yourself with a spa treatment.

If you’re interested in art, visit the Palm Springs Art Museum, which features a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art. You can also explore the trendy downtown area, filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants.

Indio – Stop at festivals like Coachella or explore date farm tours.

If you happen to be traveling during the festival season, make sure to stop in Indio. This city is home to the famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a multi-day event that attracts music lovers from all over the world.

Even if you’re not attending the festival, you can still enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and explore the nearby date farms. Take a tour and learn about the cultivation and harvesting of this sweet fruit, and don’t forget to sample some delicious date treats.

Blythe – Stretch your legs at roadside parks along the Colorado River.

As you continue your journey towards Phoenix, take a break in Blythe. This small town is located along the scenic Colorado River and offers several roadside parks where you can stretch your legs and enjoy the beautiful views.

Take a walk along the riverbank, have a picnic, or simply relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. Blythe is also a popular spot for boating and fishing, so if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, make sure to bring your gear.

Quartzsite – Browse open-air flea markets and view ancient petroglyphs.

Before reaching your final destination, make a stop in Quartzsite. This quirky town is known for its open-air flea markets, where you can find everything from antiques to handmade crafts. Browse through the stalls, hunt for hidden treasures, and strike up a conversation with the friendly vendors.

If you’re interested in history, visit the nearby petroglyphs, ancient rock carvings made by Native Americans thousands of years ago. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past and a great way to connect with the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Tips for Driving from LA to Phoenix

Follow these tips for a smooth and enjoyable LA to Phoenix drive:

If you’re planning a road trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make your journey as pleasant and hassle-free as possible. Here are some handy tips to help you along the way:

Leave early to avoid heavy traffic exiting the LA metro area.

Los Angeles is known for its notorious traffic, and it’s no different when it comes to leaving the city. To avoid getting stuck in a sea of cars, it’s best to leave early in the morning or during non-peak hours. This way, you can beat the rush and enjoy a smoother drive out of the LA metro area.

Bring sun protection for desert conditions.

As you make your way from LA to Phoenix, you’ll be driving through the desert, where the sun can be scorching hot. Be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the intense UV rays.

It’s also a good idea to have plenty of water on hand to stay hydrated throughout the journey.

Get gas when you see stations, they are spaced far apart.

One thing you’ll notice as you drive through the desert is that gas stations can be few and far between. To avoid running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere, it’s important to fill up whenever you see a gas station.

Don’t assume that the next one will be just around the corner – play it safe and top up your tank whenever you have the chance.

Watch out for high winds that can impact driving, especially trucks and RVs.

The desert can be a windy place, and this can have a significant impact on your driving experience. Strong gusts of wind can make it difficult to maintain control of your vehicle, particularly if you’re driving a large truck or RV.

Be sure to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and be prepared for sudden gusts that may push your vehicle off course.

Obey speed limits, police monitor highway routes.

While it may be tempting to put your foot down and enjoy the open road, it’s important to remember that speed limits are in place for a reason. Police regularly monitor the highway routes between LA and Phoenix, and exceeding the speed limit can result in hefty fines or even a suspended license.

So, obey the speed limits and enjoy a safe and stress-free journey.

Consider staying over in Phoenix on the return to break up the long drive.

If you’re planning on driving back from Phoenix to Los Angeles, you might want to consider breaking up the long drive by staying overnight in Phoenix. This will not only give you a chance to rest and recharge but also allow you to explore the vibrant city of Phoenix and all it has to offer.

It’s a great way to make your return journey more enjoyable and memorable.

Remember, a road trip from LA to Phoenix can be an exciting adventure if you plan ahead and follow these tips. So, buckle up, turn up the music, and enjoy the scenic drive through the desert!

What to Do in Phoenix

Phoenix offers plenty of great attractions and activities after the scenic desert drive:

When visiting Phoenix, one must not miss the opportunity to explore the breathtaking Desert Botanical Garden. This unique garden showcases a wide variety of Southwestern plants and cacti, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the desert landscape.

Take a leisurely stroll through the garden’s trails and be amazed by the vibrant colors and intricate patterns of these fascinating desert plants. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning sights!

If you have a passion for art and culture, Phoenix has you covered. The city is home to renowned museums like the Heard Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum. The Heard Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Native American art and culture, showcasing an impressive collection of artifacts, jewelry, and traditional artwork.

The Phoenix Art Museum, on the other hand, offers a diverse range of exhibits, including contemporary art, modern photography, and European classics. Art enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by the rich cultural experiences these museums have to offer.

After a day of exploring, it’s time to satisfy your taste buds with the diverse food scene in Phoenix. The city boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with a wide range of restaurants and eateries serving up Southwest and Mexican cuisine.

From mouthwatering tacos and burritos to flavorful chili and enchiladas, you’ll find it all in Phoenix. Be sure to try some traditional dishes like the Sonoran hot dog or the famous chimichanga. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking to indulge in delicious flavors, Phoenix will leave you wanting more.

For more information on the attractions and activities in Phoenix, visit


The scenic drive from LA to Phoenix traverses about 375 miles through iconic Mojave Desert landscapes. Plan for a 5-6 hour drive time plus extra time for stops. Take routes like I-10 and Highway 62 for fast travel or sightseeing detours. Enjoy art, culture, and cuisine upon arriving in lively Phoenix after your Southwestern road trip adventure.

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