Las Vegas to Utah

At the end of the year I'm hoping to be paying a visit to Salt Lake City in Utah.
There's no direct flights from UK to SLC and I really hate either having to panic rush to catch a connecting flight or sit around some airport for hours waiting for one so I had the idea of flying over to Vegas for a couple of nights and driving up to Salt Lake.
It's around about 5 1/2 to 6 hours driving according to google maps and almost all of it's on one road so very little chance of getting lost.
Has anyone here tried it? I'm hoping for some decent scenery to drive through but will it be mile after mile of nothingness?
Also, what the smeg is there for someone to do in Utah in winter? Other than hurling oneself down a mountain side on bits of wood tied to your feet.

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I have driven around that part of the world a few times, a lot of emptiness which does not bother me, but others in the car got bored. I am sure your find a few places to stop but that time of year its going to be cock freezing once beyond Vegas. Me I would go for it.
Well I'll have Mrs Mac with me so I'll probably be leaving the ballpein hammer and marigolds at home.
And anyway, I'm sure car rental places charge a fortune to get all the blood and bits of bone out of the upholstery.

Just not worth the hassle.

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Book Reviewer
Also, what the smeg is there for someone to do in Utah in winter? Other than hurling oneself down a mountain side on bits of wood tied to your feet.
Loads. You can shoot great big hairy animals for starters. I have chums in Utah and Idaho so we tend to fly into SLC or Boise then head south for drugs in Vegas then LA and a flight back to civilisation. So this is going in the wrong direction.

From Vegas, the Hoover Dam. The visitors center is worth a shot. Grand Canyon is a big canyon and full of tourists. Head for Bryce Canyon which is way more interesting although, in Dec most of the treks will be shut because of the snow. Go to Provo, UT. There is **** all there, but it is without the shadow of a doubt the weirdest place on the planet. I am not sure why, but it is.

SLC - see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It is like being at a football match without the meat pies and the fighting. Proper awesome. Pick any steak house in SLC. They are all good and try the cinnamon sweet potato with your 16oz ribeye.

Buy booze in Nevada and stick it in the trunk. The Mormons have a seriously warped attitude to booze.

If you need hardware, the Intermountains Farmers Association can sort most things if you talk to them nice.
zion national park is a good one to try.
i agree with TID about provo my brother in law lives very close to there and it feels like you are in the opening of a mass murder film.

the only way i can describe it is a mormon version of stepford wives and the hills of eyes! once you have been there you shall understand


Book Reviewer
Oooh, the Navajo Bridge. It is a big bridge over the bottom end of the Grand Canyon. There are signs saying "Throwing stuff off of the bridge is a Federal offence". But they were put there by traitors so ignore them.

Pick up a big ****-off rock out of the desert. Stroll out to the middle of the bridge. Lean over with your bird and drop the rock. After a few moments you will think the rock has hit the wall of the canyon. Then your bird will spot a small plop a mile down in the river.

Stupid cnuts Bunjee jump off it. I have sometimes wondered if a belay half way down and a decent catapult could dissuade them.

It is indeed, a big ******* country.
I do Vegas in January for the gun show, however not this year.

We tend to drive around the outlying area, perch on a desert mountain and take in the view.

If you have the time and don't just want to kick off to SLC the Hoover Dam is worth a visit - my kids liked the fact that they could jump back and forth over the timezone line shouting 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock...

The Hoover dam holds back Lake Mead. If you are overnighting in Vegas, or Henderson on the edge of Vegas, go to a supermarket buy some bar-b-q coal, meat and some beers then go to Lake Mead for a sunset bar-b-q. Lake Mead is part of the Grand Canyon stretch and the sunset as it hits the rocks is "quaite naice" ..... not that blokes look at that kind of thing.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area - Lake Mead National Recreation Area

The Grand Canyon is specktakliar. However, to make it worthwhile it needs a minimum of two days; day one arrive bimble along the canyon rim and watch sunset, day two watch sunrise bimble a bit more, have lunch and leave.

If you have watched the film 'Paul', the one about the alien, much of the filming was done around northern Vegas where Area 51 is located.

You can drive along a bit of the ET Highway:

You can visit the Black Mail Box:

You can drop into the Alien Inn:


If you have never been to Vegas it is an experience in itself to wander down the strip at night when all the lights are on and it is in full flow. I like wandering down the strip at around 7.00AM, totally different to the night time experience. I always thought there was the opportunity for someone to kick off a window cleaning round for the strip........still do, but the Mrs does'nt like Vegas.

If you overnight in Vegas do not stay in a cheap pit, you get what you pay for there. One of our bunch had the idea of staying in the Riviera, its cheap and they made the Oceans 11 film with Sinatra there ................ nowadays its a pit, as we found out. Stay at the Venetian, Harrahs or the Ballagio.............better class of hooker. Yes, they are everywhere!

Car hire at the airport is a wierd affair. Because McCarron is such an old airport they have expanded things off the site of the airport. You get off the flight, walk out of the terminal and find the car hire bus stops, then you wait for a coach to take you to the car hire garage. Only 5 minutes down the road.

I always use 'CarHire 3000' the largest car hire broker in the world. Their bulk buying gets it cheaper than any other way of renting cars that I have found - they include all the insurances and allow you to prepay a tank of fuel, DO THAT and make sure you can drop off the car empty when it is returned.

Do not get caught speeding, bubba cop likes foreigners who speed. If you do get pulled for any reason, particularly in the desert just open the window and put your hands back on the wheel straightaway and tell the mrs to stay still. Cops in the back of beyond are fair game for pissed up shooters so they tend to be wary when dealing with everyone. Tell them you are retired military, they love me off a ticket.



Book Reviewer
the Ballagio.............
Lovely. If your taste runs to Russians, stag nights and people from Manchester with a child who is dying of Leukemia. I would give it a miss.

Back to the needs of the OP. You really cannot go wrong in Vegas. Apart from the Bellagio. Which is a Bling shithole.

Take the kids to Mix Bar at the top of the Mandalay Bay early doors. 64 floors up with floor to ceiling windows. You can watch the jets landing beneath you. But get the kids out before 19.00 when old farts stick their wrinkly hands down hookers knickers.

Vegas is the dogs bollocks but there is things you do not wish your children to see, you know?
The fountains at the Belag are..............errrrr, pretty. The thing is whatever hotel you stay at if you get a stag party or hen party on your floor you are fucked. Vegas is minging from thursday night to sunday afternoon at which point it quietens off a bit - so if you go mon - thurs its generally quieter.

There are some world class shows that you can go see if you stay there.

Mac, did you think about fly in to another location and then taking an internal flight to SLC?
The old part of Vegas, Fremont Street is a good night and shouldn't be missed. It's thd bit that has the street covered by a roof that is a massive light and music show. ******* impressive stuff. The whores down here are not as high class as uptown.
Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are good, the fish in the lake must grow in proporsion to the size of it as they are mahoosive. Its either that or the amount of popcorn the tourists feed them. Helicopter flights of the dam are also quite reasonable, their is a place about 10 mins before the dam where you just turn up to pay and fly.
The M hotel (google it) at the start of the strip has a fantastic buffet that includes unlimited beer and wine (the beer was warsteiner last year). It's 1 of the places where the locals go rather than the full on strip.

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Book Reviewer
There are some world class shows that you can go see if you stay there.
Cirque de Soliel and last time I was there, Finding Nemo. On stage. Which you would think would be shite. But it wasn't It was mint. And Elvis tribute acts in Hoozyar bunker bars up north. Vegas is just all right with me, Vegas is just all right.

Put the band on down behind me boys...

Vegas is a vile place. Last time I was there the Highway Patrol decided that my hired Challenger was going too fast and blamed me, which was unfair. Apparently if you're going over 85 it is a criminal offence. Flagstaff and the area around is nice, though.


Book Reviewer
Flagstaff and the area around is nice, though.
One hates to start but Flagstaff is, without the shadow of a doubt, the gayest town on the ******* planet. The Monte Vista hotel has a tattoo parlour attached to the bar and the mens shitter has no doors on the shitters. And a bunch of fay boys stand there giving you marks out of ten when you go for a shite. It has some lovely ethnic jewelry shops and nice cafes run by faggots.

Flagstaff AZ makes Brighton look straight.
Rent one of these.....and please watch out for all the bats. And good luck in UT.

Car rental is a feckin lottery.

We booked 3 Suburbans so that we could pose around looking like a Presidential protective detail with a small convoy of Subs. What did we get? Feckin lardy Fords.
Flagstaff - I stayed at the Weatherford, and pretended to be Gary Cooper for the weekend (well, that's what it said on my room's door). Yes, the pubs/bars are a bit odd. My voice went down a register for the period.
Thanks for all the advice folks

To be honest I hadn't even thought about Area 51 until it now, I think that will be well worth a trip just to appease the inner geek.
Would it be best to do as a day trip from Vegas during the day I'm staying there or a detour on the way up to Utah?
I'm surprised there's no orange mushrooms on that ET Highway sign.
As for hire care, considering the majority of time will be spent up in the mountains in winter I figured a 4WD would be more sensible than my original plan to go to Orlando and get a convertible.
Found out there's some fun looking ranges in the area that rent weapons and range time, and you pay by the mag full.

Pretty worried about the comments about Provo, UT. That's not too far from the town I'll be going to......
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