Los Angeles to Salt Lake City: The Perfect 10-Day Road Trip

If you are looking for an amazing RV road, then check out this unbeatable two-week itinerary from LA to Salt Lake City.

Few places offer greater diversity than the American Southwest. Starting from the Coast in California, you can soak up the beach vibes, cruise down Sunset Boulevard and get a taste of Hollywood before heading out into natural grandeur of places like Joshua Tree and the ritz of Las Vegas. If you’re looking to get a little taste of everything from beaches and mountains, deserts and forests, country and city and more, then check out this perfect 10-day RV rental itinerary that stretches from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Day 1: LA to Malibu 

Los Angeles is so big that you can dedicate weeks to just exploring it. There’s just so much to do and see. After getting your RV, it’s time to hit the coast. On the way, be sure to check out some of the main spots in town along Hollywood Boulevard then down into Santa Monica. From Santa Monica, you can cruise along the coast and make your way up to Malibu. In Malibu, you can find parking right by the beach making it the perfect place to toast the first sunset of your RV rental adventure. 

Day 2: Malibu - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara consistently ranks as one of the top cities in America. It’s the perfect blend of great city amenities in a calmer and stunningly beautiful atmosphere. This is your first taste of California’s stunning natural beauty as you make your way into Los Padres National Forest. With over 1,200 miles of trails, mountains, rivers, and beaches, it’s total paradise and an incredible place to spend the night. 

Day 3: Los Padres National Forest 

Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres is massive and you’ll definitely want at least one full day to explore it. The park is an outdoor paradise and great for any activity. You can get your adrenaline pumping by taking an ATV on the thrilling Lockwood Trail. How about a kayak down Clearwater River? There’s fishing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, surfing and, of course, so many great campsites to enjoy a little laidback grilling and chilling right by your comfortable RV. 

Day 4: Los Padres National Forest - Joshua Tree 

Joshua Tree

You have many different options from scenic byways that will take you to Joshua Tree or cutting back through the heart of LA. Many people don’t mind a little traffic jam, if they can get a little more time in the world-famous city. You might even want to spend a night out in the Angeles National Forest along the way. By evening, you’ll reach Joshua Tree and savor its gorgeous starry nighttime sky. 

Day 5: Joshua Tree 

29 Palms Inn

Joshua Tree is stunningly beautiful and will be a complete change of pace from Los Padres National Park. Joshua Tree has many great outdoor activities although you’ll definitely want to start early in the morning during the summer to beat the heat. In the winter, you may even see a few snowflakes—hard to believe in Southern California! The town of Joshua Tree has also recently grown in popularity because of its eclectic mixture of western and hippie influences culminating in cool places like the 60s vibed 29 Palms Inn. Rumor has it that Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant is a regular!   

Day 6: Joshua Tree - Las Vegas 

Head out of Joshua Tree until you hit Highway 95 to go straight north to Las Vegas. This incredibly scenic drive is one of the most beautiful in California. Unlike the interstate, it’s a relaxing drive through the charming desert landscapes. On your way into Las Vegas, you can even take a very short detour to check out the Hoover Dam before cruising down the Strip to enjoy the desert gem. 

Day 7: Las Vegas 

Las Vegas

Where do you even begin in Las Vegas? The entertainment capital is designed to really have something for everyone. Whether you want to try your luck at the tables of Caesar’s Palace or the Bellagio, take in a show, head to one of the famous day parties, and more, you’ll find it here. The Circus Circus RV Park offers the best location for convenience and accessibility to the Strip or you can find some good options a few miles away if you prefer somewhere quieter. 

Day 8: Las Vegas - Fishlake National Forest


After soaking up the fun of Las Vegas, it’s time for a complete change of scenery as you cruise just a few hours up into Utah. Located in Central Utah, you’ll notice the majestic aspen groves, mountain meadows, and the beautiful lake. Fishlake National Forest is one of the best in the Southwest and packed with all kinds of nature activities. And a night under the stars in the park may just be the perfect detox after Vegas. 

Day 9: Fishlake to Salt Lake City 

You might choose to spend a little more time exploring Fishlake before heading out on the road to Salt Lake City. Utah’s capital sits at 1,288 meters (4,225 ft.) above sea level surrounded by snow-capped mountains and the Great Salt Lake. Salt Lake City is the perfect gateway to the region. You can enjoy the downtown and classic spots around town or head out into the Wasatch Range. Many people choose to base themselves in nearby Park City—known for being the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics.  

Day 10: Wrapping up in Salt Lake
Salt Lake City

There’s no better place to wrap up your adventure than Salt Lake City. You can wind down from the mountains and check out the gorgeous Red Butte Garden and cool eateries like Red Iguana and Valter’s Osteria. If you have more time, you can even head back on a northern route through Lake Tahoe and down into Yosemite. That’s the perfect thing about RV travel. You have the freedom and flexibility to go anywhere—the only thing you have to decide is how long you want your trip to be!  

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