Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Hiking Guide

This guide will provide you with a step-by-step itinerary for your hiking journey from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, including the best places to eat and stay in Salt Lake City.


7/20/20235 min read

Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Hiking Guide
Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Hiking Guide

Las Vegas to Salt Lake City Hiking Guide

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? This guide will provide you with a step-by-step itinerary for your hiking journey from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, including the best places to eat and stay in Salt Lake City.

Step 1: Preparing for the Hike

Before you start your journey, make sure you're well-prepared. This is a long-distance hike and requires a high level of physical fitness and preparation. Here are some key points to consider:


Having the right gear is crucial for a successful hike. Here's a list of items you should consider:

  • Backpack: A comfortable and durable backpack is a must. It should be large enough to carry all your essentials but not so heavy that it weighs you down.

  • Hiking boots: Choose sturdy, waterproof hiking boots that are well broken-in to avoid blisters.

  • Clothing: Pack lightweight, breathable clothing. Remember to include a rain jacket and warm layers for cooler temperatures at night.

  • Navigation tools: Bring a map, compass, and GPS device. Even if you're familiar with the trail, these tools are essential for safety.

  • First-aid kit: Include bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, pain relievers, and any personal medication.

  • Food and water: Pack high-energy snacks like trail mix and energy bars. A portable water filter is also a good idea in case you run out of water.

  • Camping gear: If you plan to camp overnight, you'll need a tent, sleeping bag, and cooking equipment.


Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in the desert heat. Carry plenty of water with you and remember to drink regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. A good rule of thumb is to drink about half a liter of water per hour of hiking.

Route Planning

Plan your route carefully and make sure you're aware of the terrain and distance. Check the weather forecast before you leave and be prepared to turn back if conditions become unsafe.


This hike is physically demanding, so it's important to be in good shape. In the months leading up to your hike, try to do regular cardio exercises like running or cycling, and strength training to build up your endurance.

Wildlife and Plant Hazards

Be aware of potential hazards from wildlife and plants. Avoid touching unfamiliar plants, as some can cause skin irritation. If you encounter wildlife, keep your distance and do not feed or try to interact with the animals. In snake-prone areas, be vigilant and stick to the trail.

Remember, preparation is key to a successful and enjoyable hike. Take the time to plan and prepare properly, and you'll have a rewarding experience.

Departing from Las Vegas

Embarking on your journey from Las Vegas, it's crucial to start early in the morning. The city, nestled in the heart of the Mojave Desert, is renowned for its scorching temperatures, particularly in the summer months. An early start will allow you to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures and make significant progress before the heat of the day sets in.

Hydration is key in these conditions. Ensure you have ample water supplies before setting off, and remember to drink regularly throughout your hike. Even if you don't feel thirsty, the dry desert air can dehydrate you quickly, leading to fatigue and other heat-related illnesses.

Sun protection is another essential factor. Apply a high-SPF sunscreen before you start your hike, and reapply it every two hours. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing to protect your skin from the sun's intense rays.

Planning your route is the next step. The most direct route from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City is via I-15 N, but this is a busy highway and not suitable for hiking. Instead, consider a route that takes you through some of the region's stunning national parks and wilderness areas. This could include a detour through Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah, both of which offer well-maintained trails and breathtaking scenery.

Remember, this is a long-distance hike, and it's important to pace yourself. Plan to cover a set distance each day, taking into account the terrain and your fitness level. Regular breaks are essential, not only for rest but also to take in the beauty of the landscape around you.

Step 3: The Hike

The hike from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City is indeed a long one, covering approximately 420 miles. This journey is not just about reaching the destination but also about embracing the journey itself. You'll be traveling through some of the most beautiful landscapes the American West has to offer.

Embracing the Desert

As you leave Las Vegas, you'll find yourself immersed in the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. This desert landscape, characterized by its sandy terrain, rugged mountains, and unique flora, offers a serene backdrop for the initial part of your hike. Be sure to look out for the iconic Joshua Trees, a hallmark of the Mojave Desert.

Ascending the Mountains

As you continue north, you'll begin to ascend into the mountain ranges that divide Nevada and Utah. This is where you'll encounter a dramatic change in scenery, from the arid desert to lush mountain landscapes. The trails here can be steep and challenging, but the panoramic views from the top are well worth the effort.

Exploring the National Parks

One of the highlights of this route is the opportunity to explore some of the region's stunning national parks. Zion National Park, known for its red cliffs and diverse wildlife, offers a network of trails that cater to all levels of hikers. Bryce Canyon National Park, famous for its unique rock formations known as hoodoos, is another must-visit on your journey.

Enjoying the Journey

Throughout your hike, remember to take regular breaks to rest, hydrate, and enjoy your surroundings. This is not a race, but a journey to be savored. Take the time to appreciate the changing landscapes, the wildlife you encounter, and the simple joy of being out in nature.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority. Stick to the trails, be aware of your surroundings, and make sure someone knows your route and expected return time. With the right preparation and mindset, your hike from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City will be an unforgettable adventure.

Step 4: Arrival in Salt Lake City

After a long and rewarding hike, you'll arrive in Salt Lake City. It's time to find a place to rest and recover. Salt Lake City offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Here are some top picks:

Step 5: Exploring Salt Lake City

Once you're settled, it's time to explore! Salt Lake City is known for its stunning natural beauty, outdoor activities, and vibrant food scene.

Step 6: Dining in Salt Lake City

After a long hike, you'll definitely want to refuel with some delicious food. Salt Lake City boasts a diverse culinary scene. Here are some restaurants you might want to consider during your stay:

For more options, check out this list of the 20 best restaurants in Salt Lake City.

Step 7: Departure

After enjoying all that Salt Lake City has to offer, it's time to pack your bags and prepare for the journey home. Safe travels!

Remember, this is just a guide. Feel free to explore and make your own adventure. Happy hiking!

add extensive sections about "Step 1: Preparing for the Hike. Before you start your journey, make sure you're well-prepared. This includes having the right gear, plenty of water, and a well-planned route. Remember, this is a long-distance hike and requires a high level of physical fitness and preparation. include items to bring, and hazards to avoid from wildlife and plants