First stop, Hoover Dam.
Don’t forget to check out the complete Arizona Utah road trip itinerary including itinerary details, route information, planning tips, budget, and post-trip recommendations.
Once you arrive in Las Vegas, it’s a quick 45-minute drive from the Las Vegas Airport to the Hoover Dam. This is definitely worth a visit! Stay, walk around, be blown away (literally, its really windy there) and bask in the craziness that is the dam.
The Hoover Dam offers several tours, however I just wanted a quick stopover so I did not take one. As far as parking goes, there is free parking for the bypass bridge and paid parking for the actual dam. I chose the free parking and it was fantastic for my purposes. It was the first right after the security checkpoint. I did not have access to the visitor center or actual dam, but the bridge was enough for me. I was able to walk along the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, see the dam and take some pictures. If you want to get closer, parking starts at $10.
Next stop, Flagstaff, Arizona.
It’s a beautiful 3.5 hour drive from the Hoover Dam to Flagstaff, AZ. The time zone changes as soon as you cross the Nevada-Arizona border so you’ll “lose” an hour as it becomes an hour later. This means if you leave the Hoover Dam at 2pm, you’re really leaving at 3pm with the time zone change. Make sense?
Time to turn on the audio book and relax.
When you arrive in Flagstaff you’ll see its a cute college town with tons of restaurants, shops and bars. It’s a little far from the Grand Canyon (about a 1.5 hour drive) but its much livelier than the other neighboring towns. If you’re looking to stay close to the Grand Canyon, stay inside the park or on the perimeter. If you can’t find a place there, head to Flagstaff. Trust me!
Bonus: Flagstaff is only 1 hour from Sedona if you choose to take a day trip there. I didn’t have enough time but its supposed to be beautiful!
I arrived in Flagstaff late at night, hungry, exhausted, and very ready for bed. I dragged myself to Whole Foods (thank god) and checked into my hostel. I stayed at the Grand Canyon International Hostel and it was wonderful!
Day 1 – Hoover Dam + Flagstaff ((you are here))