Road Trip: PDX to LAS
March 18, 2017 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Looking for route suggestions for 5-6 day, April photography road trip from Portland to las Vegas. Want to stay on two lane highway as much as possible. Wanting to avoid overly touristed areas and see local people and settings within the time frame. Bonus points for photoshoot ideas and foodie restaurants en-route.
posted by Xurando to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I did a major road trip a couple years ago and found this book, Road Trip USA, very helpful. It's a very good resource for finding two lane routes as well as some interesting eateries. I recommend checking it out to see if it includes ideas that would suit your route.
posted by leticia at 5:50 PM on March 18, 2017

Oops, just saw there's a new edition.
posted by leticia at 5:52 PM on March 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I did this trip, oh, 20 years ago. It is a whole lot of nothing the whole way, from the moment you cross the Cascades to the moment you roll in to Vegas. You might think Winnemucca is a highlight and I suppose it is, of a sort, but it's not exactly a tourist destination. What you'll find on this trip is a whole lot of empty dry rolling hills. They have their own beauty and quiet, but it's pretty hard-scrabble.

There are very few north-south routes through Nevada, really just the two, so your choices are kind of made for you. The shortest route via Winnemucca is plenty remote. The slightly longer route via Idaho and Great Basin National Park gets you near the Snake River, which I understand is quite nice. Great Basin is not the most beautiful of our national parks, but it is a park and it's not bad. I'm weirdly fond of Ely, NV. It's a small town whose copper mine closed up twenty years ago, but it's a reasonable place to stop for a night.
posted by Nelson at 6:53 PM on March 18, 2017

It is a whole lot of nothing the whole way
I think it depends on your route. I would head southeast and then take 395 down past Reno to Lone Pine and then turn left at 190 to go through Death Valley. This keeps you in California most of the time. When leaving Death Valley, head for Pahrump and then into Vegas. Here is a route on Google Maps.
posted by soelo at 8:59 AM on March 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

You could probably go west to 101 and take that much of the way south (too many Oregon sites to list, plus Redwoods!). Maybe around whatever city is west of Sacramento cut east and hit Tahoe area? Then from Reno to LV is pretty much desert and military bases. There's a few ghost towns and area 51 tourist trap stuff, but its all pretty much abandoned.
posted by TomFoolery at 1:10 PM on March 20, 2017

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