We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

LAX to Kingman stop

3 posts
LAX to Kingman stop

Hi. We are travelling from LAX to Kingman and then on to Las Vegas. As we arrive early in the morning at LAX we thought we'd get on the road and stop somewhere around 2 - 3 hours from the airport. It would be too far to try and make it to Kingman that fist day. I am finding it difficult to find a good spot for that first night - between LAX and Kingman.. Should we take the road through Barstow and stop there or go down to Palm Springs and back up to Kingman? Any help is most appreciated!


12 replies to this topic
Coloma, California
Level Contributor
1,911 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

Where are you coming from? An international flight?

It's about a 6, more like 7 hour drive. Not a bad drive if you are rested, but definitely not a good idea if off a long haul.

More information would be helpful.

Level Contributor
2,031 posts
2. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

Let me understand -- You must visit Kingman? Before you visit Las Vegas?

If I did not need to visit Kingman, and yet I did not want to drive 5+ hours to Las Vegas but I wanted to stay overnight after I assume, an international flight, I would opt for a hotel around Rancho Cucamonga (NOT Rialto, NOT Colton, and NOT San Bernardino).


See, this will place you on the far east side of the metropolitan Los Angeles area where you will find a nice selection of major chain hotels and nice places to eat. In my opinion, this is far far mush better as compared to an overnight in Barstow or in Kingman. And pleeze, no offense to the good people who live in Barstow or in Kingman.

If you must visit Kingman on your way to Las Vegas, staying the first night in the Rancho Cucamonga area is still a good plan, in my experience. Palm Springs is way too far out of the way, unless of course, you have a real desire to stay overnight in the Palm Springs area.

Just my 2 cents . . .

Edited: 15 October 2016, 05:58
San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
17,002 posts
52 reviews
3. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

The mileage is not much different whether you go through Barstow or Palm Springs (Barstow is about 25 miles shorter). The Barstow route keeps you on major interstate highways more, so you might make better time and also see more traffic, if that would be more comfortable for you.

Barstow is a little over 2 hours from LAX, in ideal traffic conditions. You will be going through the Los Angeles metro area for 65 miles (about 100 km) from the airport until you turn off around beautiful Rancho Cucamonga, so ideal traffic conditions during daylight are the exception and any time estimates are exactly that – very broad estimates.

TBH, not many of the towns between Los Angeles and Barstow are terrestrial paradises. You’ll find lodgings, but these places are not big tourist attractions. Between Barstow and Needles, on the CA-AZ border, there is pretty near nothing at all. That leaves Barstow as the default choice. The main street, which is called Main Street, is part of the former Route 66 and has lots of motels, from “classic” or “vintage” mom-n-pop places to Motel 6, Holiday Inn, or Best Western.

East of Barstow, if you’re interested, you can stay on Old Route 66, now called National Trails Highway. You can see Newberry Springs and the motel-café complex where the 1980s movie “Bagdad Café” was filmed, and classic Route 66 towns like Ludlow, Amboy, Essex, and Goffs, before reconnecting with I-40 near Needles.

I was also wondering about the sequence of Kingman before Las Vegas – are you going to Kingman for a special event, or to the Grand Canyon, and then to Las Vegas a few days later? That would make sense to me.

Coloma, California
Level Contributor
1,911 posts
62 reviews
4. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

Claremont would be another possibility. I too, don't understand why Kingman.

Edited: 15 October 2016, 06:22
Level Contributor
2,031 posts
5. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

The Barstow route keeps you on major interstate highways more, so you might make better time and also see more traffic, if that would be more comfortable for you.

- - - - - - - - - -

I would definitely be more comfortable staying on major interstate highways (via Barstow) as compared to rather lonely and desolate 2-lane desert roads once a person is east of Palm Springs and north of Joshua Tree National Park headed north toward Vegas. I mean, it is REALLY desolate out there but some folks love it. Methinks those who love it are *locals* and they know the precautions to take when traveling in remote desert areas (such as, do not use GPS - have a real paper map, inquire locally as to road conditions, re-fuel when tank shows half empty, have LOTS of water for you and your vehicle, know how to change a tire yourself and be prepared to do it if need be because cell reception is very spotty or non-existent so basically forget about phoning for roadside assistance unless you have lots of time on your hands, and so on).

[ edited to add after seeing the most recent post ]

Claremont is definitely another good option.

Edited: 15 October 2016, 06:31
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
Level Contributor
19,357 posts
16 reviews
6. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

Andie , it would really help if you post where you are from in your profile. Coming off an international flight is way different than coming off a local flight.

I'd rather stay in the Hesperia/ Victorville or Rancho Cucamonga area rather than Barstow, but have stayed in Barstow more times than I can count over the years.If you could make it to Laughlin(much longer drive) then you could do Oatman to Kingman on Route66 the next day.

Personally, I would rather go thru Palm Springs. If you arrive in LA in the AM you could visit the tram, indian canyons, downtown. Stay PS or stay in Joshua Tree or 29 Palms.

Then get to Kingman via Route 66 and Amboy, or head across Hwy 62 and get to Kingman via Parker Dam and Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge. These route are less travelled, but nothing to fear. You definitely won't be alone and they are patrolled.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
33,343 posts
6,456 reviews
7. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

We were in September in Kingman. Kingman is a very fun town on Route 66. They have a very good Mohave Museum, Route 66 Museum, Electric Car Museum, Railroad Park and Museum, and a lot more. Its a fun place to dine in a Route 66 cafe as well.

On the way from Barstow, you will be driving past the Mohave Presere as well as could detour to Lake Havasu and see the London Bridge.

There are some unique things to see along the way.

We stayed the night in Barstow and then took highway 40 out of Barstow to Kingman. Its a 4 1/2 hour drive.

Highway 40 is a good route. Route 66 parallels it along the way.

You could drive out to Palm Springs, drive through Joshua Tree National Park, and then spend the night in 29 Palms. From 29 Palms to Kingman would be 3 hour drive, So if you have time to drive east and see Joshua Tree during day light hours, that would be nice too. The Best Western in 29 Palms would be a reasonable place to stay.

For more on things to do in Kingman see


Have fun. Route 66 is lots of fun.

Since Kingman is in Arizona, for more questions regarding Kingman, post in the Arizona Kingman forum.


Edited: 15 October 2016, 09:56
3 posts
8. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

Thanks for your replies so far!

We are flying in from NZ and arrive at 7.30am so think we can manage 2-3 hours driving on the first day (Sunday).

Our plan is to get to Las Vegas by Tuesday and travel on Route 66 through Oatman to Kingman. We are not tied to staying in Kingman but thought the drive might take a while with stops here and there so would need that extra night before heading to Vegas. If the drive from our overnight stop on the Sunday night to Las Vegas is doable without rushing it, we could add an extra night on in Vegas. Does that clarify things??


Level Contributor
2,031 posts
9. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

OK, NOW I understand! Thank you for your added list of places you wish to see!

Here is what your proposed map looks like --- https://goo.gl/maps/ZXZbpRYNPXk

Hit the PLUS icon in the lower right corner of the map to enlarge the detail of the map. The more times you hit it, the more detail and enlargement you get.

And yes, you are looking at approximately 9 hours of DRIVE TIME, so yes, need to break up your route with an overnight stop.

As you can see, incorporating Oatman, AZ on the far end makes it logical to include Joshua Tree National Park on the near end of your trip.

NOW, I recommend your first overnight in Twentynine Palms, CA after you have driven through JTNP -- https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm.

There area few chain hotels in Twentynine Palms -- Fairfield Inn, Holiday Inn Express to name a couple of them. There are some, not a whole lot, but some places to eat.

If you are terribly jet-lagged, then I stand by my first idea to overnight in the Rancho Cucamonga, CA area.

Just know that once you leave Twentynine Palms, you are headed for 50 miles of lonely roads until you get to Interstate 40.

This looks like a fun trip.

Edited: 15 October 2016, 12:53
3 posts
10. Re: LAX to Kingman stop

Thanks Copper Jack Rabbit!

Reply to: LAX to Kingman stop
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Desert Hot Springs