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March 29, 2017

Los Angeles to Zion Road Trip - 3 Beautiful Stops We Recommend

Over the weekend we ventured over to the stunning Zion National Park. This was a destination we've been looking forward to visiting since our cross country road trip last summer when we constantly heard from others that Zion tops their list of favorite parks. Unfortunately last year we ran out of time so couldn't make it there but, thankfully this past weekend we were free and itching for adventure.

However, half the fun of a weekend getaway to Zion is actually getting there. We made the most of the 6-7 hour drive and made several stops along the way. From Los Angeles, you spend a majority of the drive to Zion on Interstate 15. Promoted as a scenic highway, I-15 offers some colorful stops to brighten your journey.  Here are 3 stops we highly recommend for those making the same trip.

Seven Magic Mountains



1. Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch 24266 National Trails Hwy, Oro Grande, CA, US
Our first stop was in Oro Grande about two hours in, at a fascinating place called Bottle Tree Ranch. This is a fun and quirky roadside stop along the historic Route 66 and is all the work of Elmer Long. The whole site is filled with intricately made sculptures completely comprised of garbage - mainly vintage bottles. From the road it looks like a cluster, but walking through the maze of bottles is nothing short of mesmerizing. With the sun bouncing off the endless glass and birds chirping all around you, you can't help but smile as you wander and take it all in.

Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch


The second stop is located about 30 minutes south of Las Vegas, right off I-15 (take exit 12 coming from LA + exit 25 coming from Vegas). Seven Magic Mountains is a public art installation by renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone featuring seven 30-35 ft tall dayglow totems. It's only meant to be a 2 year exhibition so you have until May 2018 to check it out.

I first discovered this place on Instagram a couple months ago, only growing in popularity since then, and rightly so. The brightly colored boulders are beautifully jarring against the background of the stark desert with nothing surrounding it. Which ultimately is the point of the exhibit, enticing the visitors to observe the contrast between the artificial and the natural.

Seven Magic Mountain


3. Valley of Fire 29450 Valley of Fire Road, Overton, Nevada 89040
The 3rd stop we made was about 40 miles north of Las Vegas (take exit 75 and drive another 17 miles to the Park entrance). Stopping and driving through Nevada's oldest state park add's almost an hour to your drive to Zion but if you can spare the time, it's definitely worth it. The Valley of Fire features ancient trees, mysterious petroglyphs, and most famously, visually striking red stone formations. We drove through the park around sunset so the reds were even richer. We actually plan on coming back soon to camp.

Valley of Fire State Park


There are a handful of other attractions we would've loved to see but it was getting late so we had to save them for another trip. Check out this list for other popular spots along I-15 and be sure to scroll through our photo gallery below to see more snaps from each of the stops.


PHOTO GALLERY


Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch










Seven Magic Mountains












Valley of Fire State Park











What are your favorite stops along 1-15? Would love to hear any recommendations for our next road trip!

Happy Travels Friends,

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