Taking a Des Moines to Las Vegas road trip will give you the opportunity to explore a variety of different environments. Mountains, deserts, canyons, lakes, and more await you in some awesome national and state parks. Before you get to Sin City, you'll pass through some other great towns and points of interest. If your bags are packed and your trailer's hitched, then you're ready to set off on your road trip from Des Moines to Las Vegas.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Once you've explored the lovely city of Denver, you'll want to drive an hour and a half to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. More than 300 miles of trails take you to the summits of peaks and the bottoms of valleys. Stunning alpine vistas, trees that treat visitors to beautiful seasonal shows, and numerous mountain animals and plants are all on proud display here. You're going to become well acquainted with the Colorado River on this Des Moines to Las Vegas RV road trip, so you should make sure to see its beginning in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is only an hour and a half southeast of Grand Junction, Colorado. The Gunnison River formed this breathtaking canyon by carving its way through the black volcanic rock here for eons. You can go fishing and boating on the river; the canyon itself is also ripe for exploration via hiking and rock-climbing. At night, you can go stargazing courtesy of the dark sky that matches the park's dark rocks.
Canyonlands National Park
Traveling on Interstate 70 through Utah will take you past several stunning national parks, one of which is Canyonlands National Park. If you want to explore more than 520 square miles of this region's gorgeous red-rock canyons, then Canyonlands National Park is a must-add to your road trip itinerary from Des Moines to Las Vegas. At this park, you will, of course, get to see numerous canyons, but you'll also get to view mesas, spires, crevasses, and the intersection of the Colorado and Green Rivers.
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is about an hour south of Whipup, Utah. There are some outstanding rock formations here, so you won't have to look too hard to find captivating canyons, cliffs, domes, and more. Historic orchards in the park provide guests with seasonal picking options, so if you go at the right time, you can get some delicious peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, and more. This is a great place to go backpacking and backcountry camping, but you can also hike, bike, and ride here.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Driving south on Interstate 15 will eventually take you down to Vegas, but first, you'll go by beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park. This park is roughly an hour from Paragonah, Utah, so it's not hard to reach. It's known for its unique rock formations called hoodoos, which are rock spires formed by erosion and weathering. The rock formations are the main attraction here, but you can also explore spruce-fir forests and a dark night sky.
Walnut Woods State Park
Walnut Woods State Park is less than 20 minutes outside of Des Moines, so it's an early stop on your road trip from Des Moines to Las Vegas. The park is aptly named as it's home to America's largest stand of black walnut trees. Over 2 miles of trails take you through forests and by the Raccoon River, which is an excellent place to fish and boat.
Cherry Creek State Park
Cherry Creek State Park is only 20 minutes from the heart of Denver, so how could you not add this gorgeous park to your road trip itinerary from Des Moines to Las Vegas? The park's 800-acre reservoir is perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating. Over 35 miles of trails provide you with great places to hike, bike, ride, snowshoe, and ski.
Palisade State Park
Before you make your way south to Interstate 15 from Interstate 70, you should head north for half an hour from Salina, Utah, and visit Palisade State Park. Boating, fishing, and swimming all take place at the park's reservoir, and visitors also enjoy eating at the park's full-service restaurant. If you like golfing, you could play a round or two at Palisade's 18-hole golf course.
Sand Hollow State Park
About a dozen minutes from Hurricane, Utah, you’ll find Sand Hollow State Park. This gorgeous park is 20,000 acres large, so there's plenty of space for recreation and exploration. There are trails for hiking and horseback riding, but this park is best known for being a great place to go ATV and OHV riding. If you want to cool off, you can swim, boat, and more at the park's reservoir.
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is roughly half an hour from Glendale, Nevada, making it a late stop on your Des Moines to Las Vegas RV road trip. This park is comprised of 46,000 acres of stunning red sandstone formations and desert flora and fauna. Hiking, picnicking, wildlife-watching, and more are popular here.
The Durham Museum
Just a few short minutes from Downtown Omaha, Nebraska, is The Durham Museum. This museum is located in lovely Union Station, which is a great historical treasure in its own right. Permanent and traveling exhibits display everything from history to culture to science. Photos, rare coins, historical items, and more await you at The Durham Museum.
You'll find Dinosaur Ridge 20 minutes outside of Downtown Denver and right off of your route. Dinosaur fossils, footprints, and more are on display at this complex. You'll want to start at the Main Visitor Center; you can also tour the Dinosaur Ridge Trail, the Triceratops Trail, and the Discovery Center.
Colorado National Monument
If you travel about twelve minutes from Grand Junction, Colorado, you'll be able to explore the Colorado National Monument. Red rock canyons, towering rock formations, and large plateaus await you at this great park in the western part of Colorado. Eagles, bighorn sheep, and desert vegetation all call the Colorado National Monument home.
Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
You can see the Parowan Gap Petroglyphs roughly 15 minutes from Parowan, Utah. Whether you've long been fascinated with Native American rock art or you simply want to learn more about it, you won't be disappointed by the wide variety of petroglyphs on display here.
Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
Why travel all the way to Grand Canyon National Park when you can simply add the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument to your road trip itinerary from Des Moines to Las Vegas? You can view the beauty and majesty of this fascinating gorge and its desert environment without the crowds by visiting this lovely park that's about 40 minutes south of St. George, Utah.
Right after crossing over the Missouri River to go from Iowa into Nebraska, be sure to stop and explore Omaha. There are plenty of dump stations and campgrounds you can use while you’re touring places like the Henry Doorly Zoo and Lauritzen Gardens.
Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska, so there are plenty of great places to visit here like the Nebraska State Capitol and the Sunken Gardens. Numerous local dump stations and campgrounds are close by.
You can't take a road trip from Des Moines to Las Vegas without exploring Denver, which is Colorado's capital. Denver is a popular destination for skiers, sports enthusiasts, nature-buffs, and more, so there are tons of great dump stations and campgrounds in the area. Be sure to tour the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science while you're there.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Grand Junction lives up to its name by serving as an intersection for multiple roads and rivers. Unsurprisingly, many dump stations and campgrounds are also present at this great intersection. You can stroll the streets of Downtown Grand Junction before heading for the scenic vistas of Grand Mesa.
St. George, Utah
Whether you want to view the natural wonders of the Red Hills Desert Garden or the man-made feats of St. George Temple, this town in the southwestern part of Utah has much to offer. Given its proximity to multiple state and national parks, there’s no shortage of quality dump stations and campgrounds in the region.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Des Moines to Las Vegas, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Des Moines or Las Vegas.