4 Roadside Stops Between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon
To break up a long road trip, we like to find interesting roadside attractions along the way. On our four-hour trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, we made several stops on the departing and returning trips. Here are four suggestions for kid-friendly roadside stops in Northern Arizona.
4 Fun Places on the Drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
The Hoover Dam is just 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, and even closer if you’re staying at Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. As you’re heading from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, you’ll pass right by Hoover Dam. Tickets for a guided tour of the dam are $30 and can only be purchased on-site. Wait times during peak periods can be long, and the tour is not accessible for visitors with wheelchairs or crutches.
Parking prices vary. On the Nevada side, parking costs $10, while some farther lots on the Arizona side are free! If you are only interested in seeing and photographing the dam, it is best viewed from the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Cars are allowed to cross over the dam, but there is no stopping and the road does not go through to Arizona so you will have to turn around to come back to Nevada.
The famous road, Route 66, loosely follows and intersects with I-40 in several locations in Arizona, so travelers have multiple opportunities to exit the interstate and enjoy some of the sights along Route 66. We stopped in Kingman, Arizona where we enjoyed burgers, onion rings and homemade root beer at Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner.
We also visited the Route 66 museum, where there happened to be Hualapai Indians singing traditional songs. We didn’t linger, but there are bowling, mini-golf and plenty of hiking and biking trails nearby at Cerbat Foothills recreation area and Hualapai Mountain Park. Break up the trip and stay the night at Hampton Inn & Suites Kingman.
Alpacas of the Southwest
This is an interesting, low-cost roadside stop. Just 14 miles east of Kingman, AZ, you will see signs for Alpacas of the Southwest. Right off of I-40 is a true desert ranch that is home to about 25 alpacas in a variety of colors.
For $7 per car, visitors can watch and feed the alpacas. We weren’t able to pet them as they had just been sheared, but the resident dogs and pig were quite willing to have some belly rubs. The small store offers a variety of alpaca products, including alpaca yarn for knitting. The proprietors are very friendly and provide an educational tour.
Keepers of the Wild
Keepers of the Wild is an animal sanctuary for rescued animals located in the town of Valentine, AZ about 30 miles east of Kingman off of Route 66. Visitors can stroll through the nature park or opt to take a guided tour in a big safari bus to view more than 150 animals including lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, primates and a grizzly bear, as well as birds and wallabies.
Our family loves to support these types of wild animal sanctuaries, so we hope to stop during our next trip out west. Note: Keepers of the Wild is closed on Tuesdays.
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