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Denver to Santa Cruz drive

driving   /   3 days   /   no pets   /   no RV

Denver to Santa Cruz road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Denver to Santa Cruz. If you're planning a road trip to Santa Cruz, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather. Traveling with a dog or cat? Find pet-friendly stops. Camping along the way? Search for RV campgrounds. Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

customize this trip
 Day 1

10:00 am  start in Denver
drive for about 1.5 hours

11:40 am  Vail
eat at Minturn Saloon
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 12:40 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

2:58 pm  Grand Junction (Colorado)
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 3:58 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

6:30 pm  Goblin Valley State Park
stay overnight and leave the next day around 8:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 6.5 hours

 Day 2

8:00 am  leave from Goblin Valley State Park
drive for about 3 hours

11:12 am  Zion National Park
stay for about 2 hours
and leave at 1:12 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

3:53 pm  Las Vegas
stay for about 4 hours
and leave at 7:53 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

10:13 pm  Barstow
stay overnight and leave the next day around 9:00 am

day 2 driving ≈ 8 hours

 Day 3

9:00 am  leave from Barstow
drive for about 2 hours

11:04 am  Bakersfield
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 12:04 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

2:38 pm  Hearst Castle
stay for about 2.5 hours
and leave at 5:08 pm
drive for about 2 hours

7:17 pm  arrive in Santa Cruz
eat at Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria

day 3 driving ≈ 7 hours

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Where should I stop along the way?

Vail  (53 answers)
    restaurants around Vail:
        Minturn Saloon
    questions about Vail:
        Outlet for ski clothing?
        Summer Restaurants in Vail

Grand Junction (Colorado)  (16 answers)

Goblin Valley State Park  (5 mentions)

Zion National Park  (83 mentions)
    questions about Zion National Park:
        When is the best time to visit/hike Zion national park?
        Canyoneer boots, Keen sandals, or old tennis shoes for Narrows hike?
        What's the best time of year to hike in Zion?
        Poisonous plants/ Venomous animals in Zion Canyon
        Are hiking boots necessary now if I hike Angels Landing

Las Vegas  (324 answers)
    Downtown Container Park  (15 mentions)
    Fremont Street Experience  (15 mentions)
    High Roller  (10 mentions)
    The Mob Museum  (8 mentions)
    Neon Museum  (8 mentions)
    restaurants around Las Vegas:
        Giada
        Mon Ami Gabi
        Wicked Spoon
        Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
        Lotus of Siam
    questions about Las Vegas:
        Best new restaurants in Vegas?
        What time of year is the best for scoring a cheap deals in Las Vegas
        Best tips and casinos for first time gambler?
        Is it better to stay on or off the Las Vegas strip?
        Top things to do in Las Vegas that don't include gambling?

Barstow  (13 answers)
    restaurants around Barstow:
        Del Taco
    questions about Barstow:
        What's the best neighborhood in Barstow for a first time visitor?
        Where to sleep RV trailer

Bakersfield  (19 answers)
    questions about Bakersfield:
        Best free things to do in Bakersfield?

Hearst Castle  (101 mentions)


Where's the best place to eat in Santa Cruz?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria, which was mentioned 3 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Want to research more popular restaurants in Santa Cruz? Click the blue button below.




What are some things to do in Santa Cruz?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

The Mystery Spot  (4 mentions)
Santa Cruz Beach  (4 mentions)
Seabright State Beach  (3 mentions)

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

For example, here are some questions people have asked about Santa Cruz. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

profile  Drew from Angelika Film Center & Cafe asked:
Activities during reunion in santa cruz  (4 answers)

profile  Allysia from Boston asked:
What are some must places to go to in Santa Cruz, CA  (2 answers)

profile  Paul from Redmond (Washington) asked:
Are there any good restaurants in Santa Cruz?  (2 answers)

profile  Lily from asked:
Names of beaches that aren't so crowded  (1 answer)

profile  Eddie from Bronx asked:
Best Things To Do In Santa Cruz?  (1 answer)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Santa Cruz.




Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Santa Cruz to Denver drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Denver to Santa Cruz. Or get a full Denver to Santa Cruz flight plan.

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Denver well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Denver!





At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 1,279 miles
driving time of 19 hours, 5 minutes
Santa Cruz is 1 hour behind Denver
192 Denver travel answers
53 Vail travel answers
16 Grand Junction (Colorado) travel answers
324 Las Vegas travel answers
13 Barstow travel answers
19 Bakersfield travel answers
85 Santa Cruz travel answers





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