If you’re looking to make the scenic ~12 hour drive from the sunny beaches of Los Angeles to the mountainous landscape of Salt Lake City, you’ve come to the right place! This comprehensive guide will provide everything you need to know to make the trip safely and enjoyably.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: the drive from LA to Salt Lake City covers about 790 miles, takes around 12 hours depending on stops, and follows I-15 N the entire way. Make sure your car is serviced, plan gas and food stops, bring entertainment, and watch weather reports along your route.
In this detailed guide, we’ll cover the optimal route to take, tips for preparing your vehicle, where to stop for gas and food,must-see attractions and sights along the way, weather considerations, lodging options in Salt Lake City, and driving safety/etiquette tips for this road trip adventure.
Planning Your Route from LA to Salt Lake City
When it comes to driving from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, planning your route is essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Here are some tips to help you plan your route effectively:
Sticking to I-15 N the Whole Way
One of the most straightforward routes from LA to Salt Lake City is to stick to Interstate 15 North (I-15 N) for the entire journey. This highway will take you through scenic landscapes, charming towns, and iconic landmarks along the way.
It’s important to note that there may be alternative routes, but I-15 N is the most direct and convenient.
Mapping Out Gas, Food, and Rest Stops
Before hitting the road, it’s a good idea to map out gas stations, food options, and rest stops along your route. This will help you plan your breaks and ensure that you have everything you need during your trip.
Top Attractions and Sights to See Along the Way
Driving from LA to Salt Lake City offers you the opportunity to explore some fantastic attractions and sights. Here are a few notable places to consider visiting:
- Zion National Park: Just a short detour from I-15 N, Zion National Park is a must-see for nature lovers. With its breathtaking canyons, hiking trails, and stunning wildlife, it’s an unforgettable stop.
- Bryce Canyon National Park: Another nearby national park worth visiting is Bryce Canyon. Known for its unique rock formations called “hoodoos,” this park is a photographer’s dream.
- Las Vegas: If you’re up for a little detour, Las Vegas is a vibrant city that offers endless entertainment options, world-class dining, and iconic attractions like the Las Vegas Strip.
- Great Salt Lake: As you approach Salt Lake City, make sure to stop by the Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. Its unique salt formations and stunning sunsets make it a worthy visit.
Remember to plan your time accordingly to make the most of these attractions and ensure a memorable road trip experience!
Preparing Your Vehicle for the Road Trip
Performing Routine Maintenance
Before embarking on your road trip from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, it is essential to ensure that your vehicle is in proper working condition. Performing routine maintenance checks can help prevent any unexpected breakdowns and ensure a smooth journey.
Schedule a visit to your trusted mechanic to have your vehicle thoroughly inspected. They will check the engine, brakes, battery, and other essential components to ensure they are in good shape. Regular maintenance will not only increase your vehicle’s reliability but also improve its fuel efficiency, saving you money in the long run.
Checking Fluids, Tires, Wipers, etc.
Checking fluids, tires, wipers, and other crucial parts of your vehicle is a crucial step in preparing for a road trip. Start by checking the oil level, coolant, and brake fluid. Make sure they are at the recommended levels and top them up if necessary.
Inspect your tires for any signs of wear and tear and ensure they are properly inflated. Additionally, check your wiper blades and replace them if they are worn out. Clear visibility is essential for safe driving, especially during inclement weather conditions.
Taking the time to check these components will help prevent any avoidable issues during your journey.
Packing Emergency Equipment
While no one wants to encounter emergencies on a road trip, it’s always better to be prepared. Packing emergency equipment is crucial for any journey, and a road trip is no exception. Make sure you have a spare tire and the necessary tools to change it.
A first aid kit with essential supplies should also be included. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a flashlight, jumper cables, and a portable phone charger in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Lastly, don’t forget to have a map or a reliable GPS system to help navigate your way.
For more detailed information on preparing your vehicle for a road trip, you can visit Car and Driver. This website provides comprehensive guidelines on what to check and how to ensure your vehicle is road-trip ready.
Where to Stop for Gas, Food, and Lodging
When driving from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, it’s important to plan your stops for gas, food, and lodging along the way. Here are some recommendations for where to stop and refuel, grab a bite to eat, and find a comfortable place to rest during your journey.
Gas Station and Rest Areas along I-15
One of the main routes to reach Salt Lake City from Los Angeles is via Interstate 15. Along this highway, you’ll find several gas stations and rest areas where you can take a break and fill up your tank. Some popular gas station chains along I-15 include Chevron, Shell, and ExxonMobil.
These stations offer clean facilities, a variety of food and snacks, and restrooms for your convenience.
Additionally, there are designated rest areas along the highway where you can stretch your legs, use the restroom, and have a picnic. These rest areas are well-maintained and provide a safe and comfortable environment for travelers.
It’s always a good idea to plan your stops in advance and make note of the rest areas along your route.
Main Cities and Towns to Stop in
While driving from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, there are several main cities and towns where you can make a stop to grab a meal or explore the local attractions. Some popular stops along the way include Las Vegas, NV; St. George, UT; and Cedar City, UT.
In Las Vegas, you’ll find a wide range of dining options, from casual eateries to world-class restaurants. Don’t forget to check out the famous Las Vegas Strip and its iconic hotels and casinos for some entertainment and excitement.
St. George, UT, is known for its stunning red rock landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities. Take a break from driving and enjoy a hike in Snow Canyon State Park or visit the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site for a unique experience.
Cedar City, UT, is home to the Utah Shakespeare Festival and offers a vibrant arts scene. If you’re a fan of theater, make sure to catch a show during your stop in Cedar City.
Lodging Options in Salt Lake City
Once you reach Salt Lake City, there are numerous lodging options to choose from to rest and recharge. Whether you prefer luxury hotels, budget-friendly accommodations, or cozy bed and breakfasts, Salt Lake City has something for everyone.
Some popular hotels in Salt Lake City include The Grand America Hotel, Marriott City Center, and Little America Hotel. These hotels offer comfortable rooms, excellent amenities, and convenient locations near popular attractions.
If you’re looking for a more unique and personalized experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast. Salt Lake City has a variety of charming bed and breakfast establishments that provide a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
Remember to book your accommodations in advance to secure the best rates and availability. Websites like Booking.com and Airbnb are great resources for finding and booking accommodations in Salt Lake City.
Driving Safety Tips for LA to Salt Lake City
Watching the Weather and Road Conditions
When embarking on a road trip from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, it is crucial to stay informed about the weather and road conditions. Before starting your journey, check the local weather forecast and any potential road closures or construction projects along your route.
Long drives can be tiring, so it’s essential to be well-rested before hitting the road. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before your trip and take regular breaks to stretch your legs and refresh your mind.
Fatigue can impair your reaction time and decision-making abilities, increasing the risk of accidents. If you start feeling drowsy, find a safe place to pull over and take a short nap or switch drivers if possible. Remember, arriving safely is more important than reaching your destination quickly.
Following Speed Limits and Traffic Laws
Obeying speed limits and traffic laws is crucial for a safe journey. Speeding significantly increases the likelihood of accidents and reduces your ability to react to unexpected situations. Stick to the posted speed limits, especially in construction zones and areas with heavy traffic.
Additionally, always wear your seatbelt and ensure that all passengers are properly restrained. Following these rules will help protect you and your fellow travelers on the road.
By following these driving safety tips, you can ensure a smooth and secure journey from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. Remember to stay informed about weather and road conditions, avoid fatigue by taking breaks, and always abide by speed limits and traffic laws. Safe travels!
With thorough preparation and planning, the drive from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City can be an unforgettable road trip. Follow this guide to map your route, ready your vehicle, plan proper stops, and make the most of the stunning scenery along the way. Drive safely, take breaks when needed, and enjoy the open road on your journey between these two amazing American cities!