A Warning about Driving from Las Vegas to Utah

Discussion in 'Travel' started by bob_flood|1, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Thought I'd broadcast this to the group population since Utah has so many good destinations.
    If you plan to travel from Las Vegas up to Utah by car, there's a problem that isn't going away any time soon. I-15 makes for an easy drive northeastward out of Las Vegas into southwest Utah, but the road goes through the Virgin River Gorge on the NV-AZ-UT border area. The Gorge is very narrow, with no wiggle room at all, and has many bridges that criss-cross the Virgin River. The Gorge itself is in the extreme northwest corner of AZ, and although no one lives there, the state of AZ is going to refurbish all seven bridges and repave the interstate. The project has already started and is planned to take 2 years.
    Given the absence of alternate routes, I-15 gets a fairly large amount of car traffic, and a very large amount of big truck traffic. While NV and CA both schedule road work 2 shifts a day, and shut down the work and clear the road to the extent practical during high traffic times, AZ refuses to do this, even though NV and UT have offered to help. So the traffic lanes will be constantly changing, with single lane travel in each direction for the next couple of years. Delays are expected to be substantial.
    There's a wide spot in the road named Littlefield, AZ just outside the Gorge on the western side. One can get off I-15 there and take state road 91 (usually known as Old Hwy 91) northward. This road turns eastward and goes into St George, UT. Taking I-15, it's about 30 miles from Littlefield to St George, and the Hwy 91 route is about 40 miles, but it's a slower road. Right now, the 91 route is an hour's drive, but I expect some I-15 traffic to take this route and slow it further. There aren't any other routes available on the Las Vegas to St George trail.
    I hate that AZ is being so unfriendly about the project, but no one's been able to do anything to alter the plan. Forewarned is forearmed. It's best that y'all be able to make informed decisions about your travels.
  2. Thanks for the heads up, Bob. I was planning to get out into that neck of the woods in the Fall, so I'll look for plan B, C, etc.
  3. I went through there about a week ago, it wasn't bad yet. Lots of 1 lane traffic, but no jams. Obviously it's going to get a lot worse. It's a long enough drive from Vegas to Zion NP without that.
  4. Well, it's a good time to visit Death Valley instead, like my wife and I did recently on a visit to Las Vegas. We will do Zion, Bryce, etc when that construction is done.
    The photography is limitless in Death Valley!
  5. Hey, I made my latest trip to Zion just after Christmas. Great week with melting snow, blue sky, cold, and few people. glad I will miss the traffic.

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