Wait! We can’t stop here… This is bat country!
– Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
For many, the long stretch of road between LA and Las Vegas is just a desolate desert; a wasteland of run down towns and scorched sand that is just an excuse to drive as fast a possible until an excessively large cheap margarita and a fistful of soon to be lost chips are in hand. But while most travellers just want to get there quick, for the photographer, there is actually so much to see and do along the way.
This post is not about making the drive a race, but like most road trips, making the journey more important than the end point itself. The trip, depending on your departure location within LA takes around three and half to four and half hours. We will however be spending a lot longer, making a day of it. Stopping at the weird and wacky, as well as, the historic and the majestic locations that make this trip a photographic adventure.
Camera Gear Used
- Leica MP240
- Leica 35mm Summilux 1.4 FLE Lens
- Leica 21mm Super Elmar Lens
- B&W 0.9 3 Stop ND Filter
- B&W UV Filter
The drive is approximately 3-4 hours (without stops) from Los Angeles through to Las Vegas on portions of the original Route 66. See the map before for more detailed directions
Sometimes a location is just too big for one article so here are some related articles
|STOP 01 - Donut Man||Food||34.1289641,-117.84974299999999|
|STOP 02 - The Mormon Rocks||Photo Spot||34.295738,-117.481497|
|STOP 03 - Victorville||Photo Spot||34.5371667,-117.2943727|
|STOP 04 - Emma Jean’s Holland Burger||Food||34.5613078,-117.313625|
|STOP 05 - Steel Truss Bridge||Photo Spot||34.573772,-117.322479|
|STOP 06: Antique Station||Photo Spot||34.5984607,-117.33671019999997|
|STOP 07: Ghost Gas Station!||Photo Spot||34.601407,-117.33831910000004|
|STOP 08: Ostrich Farm||Photo Spot||34.640920,-117.347013|
|STOP 09: Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch||Photo Spot||34.690152,-117.339207|
|STOP 10: Peggy Sue’s Diner||Food||34.903337,-116.8263481|
|STOP 11: Jenny Rose Sign||Photo Spot||34.9041133,-116.8867544|
|STOP 12: Baker - Aliens and Thermometers||Photo Spot||35.2686876,-116.0705926|
The stops are in order of the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. But you can rework these to fit your trip, mixing it up to do some on the way there and some on the way back. So feel free to customize your itinerary based on what works for you.
STOP 01 – Early morning Provisions – Donut Man
The Donut Man has been open in Glendora for over 40 years and has been featured on many national TV networks including the Food Network and The Cooking Channel. Its famous for its HUGE Fresh Peach and Strawberry stuffed donuts (seasonal) and the popular foot long Tiger Tails.
Food in your belly? Good! Photos to be had… Lets get on the road.
Located in the Mojave Desert, the Mormon Rocks are part of the Cajon Pass, a mountain pass between the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains and is a visual representation of the movements created by the San Andreas Fault. But don’t worry, the Rock will save us!
It got its name from a group of Mormon settlers who travelled though the pass in 1851 in covered wagons. It is made up of large sandstone boulders, which are great to photograph both close up to capture the texture and detail, as well as from greater distances, invoking the classic western movie landscape.
Located at the junction of Highway 138 and Interstate 15, you can’t miss them because of their size. The main visitor center and the scenic walk are about five minutes from the freeway and give you great views of these sandstone giants.
Address: Highway 138 and Interstate 15 junction.
GPS: 34.295738 | -117.481497
Accessibility: Roads seem to be open most of the time weather permitting which can range from extremely windy due to the Santa Anna winds or foggy which can cause the park entrance to close. No tickets or passes are required, entry is free.