News LIVE: Valley of Fire alternate routes to, from Las Vegas; update 9:40 p.m.

Alternate route around Valley of Fire, Nevada, Sept. 9, 2014 | Map created in Google Maps, St. George News

NEWS LIVE: This report contains news live as it develops and is being  updated continuously. Bookmark and refresh the page periodically for updates. Last update: 9:40 p.m.

ST. GEORGE –  Travel between St. George and Las Vegas on Interstate 15 is not possible in light of Interstate 15 being closed Monday due to flooding that washed out portions of the road between Nevada mile markers 64-112 north of Las Vegas between Glendale and Mesquite in Clark County, Nevada.

Travel impacts Tuesday

  • I-15 northbound and southbound remains closed at Moapa, Nevada, mile markers 64112.
  • I-15 northbound and southbound between Mesquite and St. George is open.
Alternate route around Lake of Fire, Nevada, Sept. 9, 2014 | Map created in Google Maps, St. George News | Click to enlarge
Alternate route around Valley of Fire, Nevada, Sept. 9, 2014 | Map created in Google Maps, St. George News | Click to enlarge

Alternate route through Valley of Fire

UPDATE 11:48 a.m. Nevada Department of Transportation is working on opening up I-15 at Nevada Exit 93 junction with state Route 169 to Logandale and Overton, according to a text message from Arizona Highway Patrol Sgt. John T. Bottoms. This would allow rerouting traffic through the Valley of Fire to reach Las Vegas.

The detour will be available to passenger traffic only, Bottoms said, and no commercial traffic will be permitted to travel south of Mesquite, Nevada.  Bottoms said very long delays are expected as all of the traffic stopped in Nevada will proceed on that route.  Watch for further updates confirming the Valley of Fire alternate route is open before proceeding.

UPDATE 3:35 p.m. From the St. George Police Department:

We’ve got some good news for residents who need to head to the Las Vegas area! Per Nevada Highway Patrol, drivers can take I-15 southbound to Exit 93, where they will be directed onto SR 169 through the Valley Of Fire, and then brought back around to I-15 southbound. Please take your time and be safe!

UPDATE 9:40 p.m. According to information from the Moapa Tribal Police Department, traffic is flowing both northbound and southbound on the alternate route through the Valley of Fire. Those traveling south to Las Vegas can travel on the alternate route through Valley of Fire and take Exit 75 to reach Las Vegas, but travelers cannot return north that way. Exit 93 is open, so drivers can travel through Logandale and Overton.

To return to Utah from Las Vegas, travelers can exit from northbound I-15 on Exit 64 at Love’s Travel Stop in north Las Vegas and take the back road toward Ely, according to information from the Moapa Tribal Police Department.

Alternate route between St. George and Las Vegas via LIncoln County, Nevada
Alternate route between St. George and Las Vegas via Lincoln County, Nevada, Sept. 9, 2014 | Map created in Mapquest, St. George News | Click to enlarge

Alternate route through Lincoln County

If you must travel to and from Las Vegas, the roads through Lincoln County, Nevada, are open, specifically Nevada Hwy 93, Hwy 319, Utah Hwy 56, Utah Hwy 18, I-15 in Utah.

From St. George to Las Vegas: Take Highway 18 to Utah Highway 56, which becomes Nevada Highway 319 to U.S. Highway 93, to I-15 in Nevada.

Live report from the road – alternate route

Bluff Street just north of Sunset, heading out of St. George to take the alternate route to Las Vegas. St. George, Utah, 10 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Bluff Street just north of Sunset, heading out of St. George to take the alternate route to Las Vegas. St. George, Utah, 10 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

Time 10 a.m. MDT – St. George News reporter John Teas left St. George. Traffic on Bluff Street was heavy and rain was coming down hard.

Water running across Highway 18, 2 miles north of Snow Canyon Parkway, with much debris on the road and many semitrailer trucks.

“They’ve got to be very very careful, the road is flooding down by Winchester where it dips down by the golf course,” Dammeron Valley resident Lesa Kesner said at 11 a.m. “We’ve had a little bit of flooding out here, but they haven’t called in first responders yet.”

John Teas travel time from St. George to Veyo was 30 minutes.

Highway 18, alternate route to Las Vegas. St. George, Utah, 10 42 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Highway 18, alternate route to Las Vegas. St. George, Utah, 10 42 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

At 10:42 a.m., Teas reported from Enterprise that the sun was out and roads were dry.

11:20 a.m. City of St. George:  “Even though the storm cell has passed through the area, please avoid accessing any washes in St. George. There are a number of streets impacted by the heavy rainfall and city crews are detouring traffic and beginning clean up.”

At 12:15 p.m. John Teas reported that traffic on Highway 18 had been moving at 15 mph.

At 12:54 p.m. Teas had reached Caliente, three hours since leaving St. George.

There has been a 10-mile traffic backup in all directions at the junction of  Nevada Highway 319 and U.S. Highway 93, Teas said. He was dead stopped on Highway 319 5 miles east of Highway 93, north of Caliente.

“Semi trucks nose to tail for miles,” Teas texted.

Panaca, Nevada, Sept. 9 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Panaca, Nevada, Sept. 9 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

Teas reported arriving downtown Las Vegas at 4 p.m. MDT, making the drive a six-hour drive St. George to Las Vegas

Sierra Van Cleve-Archibald wrote: "Here is what we experienced (Tuesday) while driving through Lincoln County (Nevada). It was horrible! Don't drive this route unless you absolutely have to." Lincoln County, Nevada, Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Sierra Van Cleve-Archibald, St. George News
Sierra Van Cleve-Archibald wrote: “Here is what we experienced (Tuesday) while driving through Lincoln County (Nevada). It was horrible! Don’t drive this route unless you absolutely have to.” Lincoln County, Nevada, Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Sierra Van Cleve-Archibald, St. George News

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Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

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72 Comments

  • Bart Anderson September 9, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Heavy traffic on the alternate route. Be sure to allow for plenty of extra time when traveling through Lincoln County. It is only a two lane highway, with traffic leading into Panaca, Nevada backed up due to the turn you have to make to get onto Hwy 93.

    This route takes about 5 hours from Cedar City to Las Vegas when there is no traffic, it is longer from St. George, may take several hours longer, plan for plenty of time or delay travel would be my advice.

    • Bart Anderson September 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Gas stations in Panaca and Caliente are out of fuel. Traffic backed up for several miles headed into Panaca. traffic northbound is backed up at least through Caliente. Caliente to Panaca (15 miles) reported to take 2.5 hours. Avoid this route.

  • sue allen September 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    How many miles is alternet route how long will it take to drive it?

  • Jason M. September 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for the updates!!

  • Rachel September 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I need to get to SLC, so I’m trying to go northbound. Is the traffic on the alternate route as bad going north?

    • Bart Anderson September 9, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      If you’re going to Salt Lake I would wait. Northbound traffic delays are worsening. No fuel is available on this route at this time.

  • Steve September 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    The route via Panaca is about 265 miles from St. George to Las Vegas and in normal conditions takes 4.25 hours one-way. It really would be better to wait until the road is open via Overton and the Valley of Fire. Otherwise you could be on the road for 8-9 hours. Be sure to take water and snacks and blankets.

  • Gail L September 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I would also like to know how many miles it is.
    Need to get to Vegas thursday.
    Thank you.

  • Brandon September 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Flying out of Las Vegas in the morning. Can anyone tell me how long the drive is via I-15 with the detour through Valley Of Fire?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Brandon, it’s just opened so we haven’t had anyone time it just yet. Highway Patrol said to expect long delays.
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

      • Lake of fire? September 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm

        I think the caption to the latest map should read “Valley” not “Lake of Fire”. Sounds ominous! But really appreciate the coverage and updates, the most helpful online.

        • Cami Cox Jim Cami Cox Jim September 9, 2014 at 6:07 pm

          Thank you for catching us on that! Lol. We have corrected that in the captions. You’re right — the lake of fire and brimstone is farther south. 😉 Haha. Thanks again!

      • Dee September 10, 2014 at 9:15 am

        Can a 14 foot UHAUL truck be driven through the Valley of fire route? We are moving from St George to Vegas.

        • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

          Trying to get you an answer on that, Dee – on our first report from Arizona Highway Patrol, giving word of Nevada Department of Transportation’s intention to open that route, Sgt. John Bottoms emphasized it would be for passenger vehicles only. That’s what I can offer you now, but we will make further inquiries to confirm, may take some time.
          Joyce
          EIC

          • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 10, 2014 at 9:57 am

            Dee, I will be reporting an update shortly – but to help you quickly, the answer from Nevada Highway Patrol is NO, that size vehicle will likely be turned away at the Valley of Fire alternate route. Passenger vehicles only. 🙁
            Joyce
            EIC

        • Coprqwn September 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm

          No, no uhauls

  • Leanne September 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Can anyone tell me if the alternate route using the Valley of Fire road is open for Northbound (trying to get to Utah from Vegas) and then getting on the I-15 at Exit 93 (Overton Exit) It just mentions people going southbound can use it.

  • Angela September 9, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Any updates on traffic moving northbound from Vegas to Utah??

    • Norene Mackley September 10, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      We came up to St. George/Ivins from Las Vegas this afternoon. The road is open if you take the exit at the Native American Smoke Shop on the south end and go through Valley of Fire. You come out at Overton on the north. Plan on about an extra hour for the detour. It is a two lane road so you have to be alert at all times, but there are no trucks. The trip was uneventful and we are so glad to be home! In the Gorge the free way was open on both sides and travel was good.

  • Char September 9, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Lake of Fire? Okaaaaayyyyyyy

  • Leanne September 9, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Is the alternate route using the Valley of Fire road open to north bound traffic, then going thru Overton on to I-15 at Exit 93? Need to get to Cedar City.

    • Cami Cox Jim Cami Cox Jim September 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Hi Leanne,
      See the 9:40 p.m. update to this story. According to a dispatcher from Moapa Tribal Police, traffic is flowing both northbound and southbound on the alternate route. However, the dispatcher said you can travel into Las Vegas via Exit 93 through Overton but you can’t travel north to Utah that way. It could all change by tomorrow, but as of Tuesday night that’s what we were being told. But he said you can get to Utah taking a back road from north Las Vegas toward Ely (see the update). Best of luck!

  • Kathy September 9, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Can anyone confirm that you can get to that exit from Mesquite? Need to get to the airport tomorrow….

  • kenneth September 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    You wld think that they give better. All they mention is south bound. Im having to search every pice of information to get an update on northbound. News for dummies i guess

  • Songs of Innocence September 9, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Any updates on how long the drive is via I-15 with the detour through the Valley of Fire to Las Vegas?

  • Megan September 9, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    We left Vegas this morning at 9:40 with all our provisions. We arrived at our home in Washington Utah at 7:10 pm. 8.5 hours driving! Highly discourage this route for now. Caliente to Panaca was the WORST!

  • NEIGHBOR September 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I know that the route through the valley of fire is open. I’m wondering how long its taking going that way and if they have opened it up for semi trucks or if they are still being diverted up to caliente?

    • Cami Cox Jim Cami Cox Jim September 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Last we were told, that alternate route is still only allowing passenger vehicles. We’re also hearing travel is slow through there. Some phone numbers that may help give you updated info:
      Moapa Tribal Police Department dispatch: 702-865-282
      Nevada Department of Transportation: 775-888-7000
      Also, this website: http://www.nvroads.com/

    • KJ September 10, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      My husband went that way this morning & said it added 40 minutes to his commute. You may want to allow for extra time though, because he went through pretty early this morning when traffic was lighter.

  • North Driver September 9, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Just did Vegas to st George via the valley of fire route. It was surprisingly smooth ,just a 20 min back up at exit 64 where the trucks exited I-15 for the northern route and a few slow spots on the twisty turns in the park. total drive time with a 30 min stop in the park for a stretch and picnic dinner was 4 hours Glad to be home:)

  • Stranded September 9, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    My family member left Las Vegas at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. Traffic was slow turning onto the alternate route, after that smooth sailing until about 15 minutes outside of Callente. They have moved about 15 miles in an hour and a half, it is now 11:27 p.m. Family saying that cell service is very spotty. Called Nevada Highway Patrol and they are claiming there was a stalled car and that is what is causing the delay. Nevada Highway Patrol also indicated they are not sure if there is a hotel or store in Panaca. Hope they get a better solution soon this is a tuff situation for those who travel back and forth from Vegas often.

  • Cheryl September 10, 2014 at 12:11 am

    The alternate route to Vegas from Mesquite through St. George, Enterprise, Caliente, Alamo, took me 10 hours to get home today. Left Mesquite at !0:30 am arrived in Vegas at 8:30pm! The traffic was out of control!

  • teajay2000 September 10, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Has anyone else heard about the standoff with the police going on between like i-15 and st george

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 10, 2014 at 9:20 am

      We’ve made inquiries this morning, teajay, and thus far have come up with nothing. If you can provide us more information, time, location, that might help us zero in on it. 🙂
      Thank you so much – we’ll keep our radar on search …
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

      • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 10, 2014 at 10:22 am

        Found it, teajay – report forthcoming.
        JK
        EIC

  • Melissa September 10, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Any updates for 9/10/14? We are heading north trying to get to Zion. We’re in Victorville, ca currently. Just wanting to know what to expect.
    Thanks for any and all updates.
    Emlissa

  • Ricky T September 10, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I’m in Vegas what route can I take to get to Mesquite

  • V Lewis September 10, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Can a 16 ft moving van go through the Valley of Fire detour?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Trying to get you an answer on that, V – on our first report from Arizona Highway Patrol, giving word of Nevada Department of Transportation’s intention to open that route, Sgt. John Bottoms emphasized it would be for passenger vehicles only. That’s what I can offer you now, but we will make further inquiries to confirm, may take some time.
      Joyce
      EIC

      • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 10, 2014 at 9:57 am

        V, I will be reporting an update shortly – but to help you quickly, the answer from Nevada Highway Patrol is NO, that size vehicle will likely be turned away at the Valley of Fire alternate route. Passenger vehicles only. 🙁
        Joyce
        EIC

  • Mark September 10, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I was heading to Salt Lake from Vegas last night the 9th and never made it out of Nevada. It was the worst. 10 hours of driving and had to turn around and cancel my vacation. 93 heading to Coyote Springs to Ely was ok. Hwy 319 to get to Hwy 56 was a 20 mile parking lot. Awful, the worst. Avoid at all cost. I know people had to be running out of gas and stranded and spent the night in their cars. Do not go this way!!!!!!!!!

  • WannaGoNorth September 10, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Thank you for all the updates. Does anyone know if the route toward Ely is the only north bound route from Las Vegas to St George? Is route 167 from Henderson to the Valley of Fire passable?

  • axoli September 10, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Some clarification please, anyone. Is the major traffic jam being experienced on Wednesday 9/10 for northbound traffic only, or is southbound traffic from St. George experiencing the same major jams? Also, is the traffic as bad going through the Valley of Fire route, versus the Caliente/Alamo route?

    Thanks so much for any additional info, and for all the updates.

  • Dave September 10, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Supossed to drive up to St. George from Vegas on Friday. Does anyone have any updated travel times? Thanks.

  • Steve September 10, 2014 at 10:55 am

    This sentence is very confusing:

    “Those traveling south to Las Vegas can travel on the alternate route through Valley of Fire and take Exit 75 to reach Las Vegas, but travelers cannot return north that way.”

    I think what you meant to say is that travelers in both directions can bypass the closure on I-15 by taking the Overton/Logandale exit on one side and traveling through the Valley of Fire to I-15 on the other side (or the reverse). It is also possible to reach Henderson or Boulder City by traveling south of Overton through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Both parks are waiving their entrance fees.

    Please reverify your information and correct mistakes that could lead people to confusion.

  • JJ September 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I will be going through the valley of fire detour in couple of hours. Will update shortly.

    • shaliddle September 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      JJ – I am interested in how long it takes you. If it doesn’t add on too much time, I will be doing the same trip tomorrow at noon. Looking forward to your post.

  • George S September 10, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Joyce, Do you know how long it is taking from I 15 exit to Valley of Fire through Overton to re-commect with I 15 North?

  • Don September 10, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    What is the latest from Vegas to Utah?

  • bustraveler September 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Ok, this is not at all clear to me – what is the best route to get from Vegas to Zion National park at this time? I am trying to map it out, but, as a non-resident of the area it is not clear to me if I need to take Highway 93 or if I can some how use the valley of fire route – is there a site that can give clear directions?

  • Jd September 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Any updates on how long it takes to get TO vegas From St. George, via the valley of fire route?
    Thanks

  • V Lewis September 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Is there an estimate of when they may have 1 lane open on I15?

  • Axoli September 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I’m trying to do the same as JD. I need to get from St. George to Southern California. Wondering how long the Valley of Fire route is taking now. I will be attempting it tomorrow if it is reasonable. Otherwise, I will have to find an alternate route to the alternate route. This is such a bummer. 🙁

  • Melissa September 10, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Hi All,

    It’s late, but still wanted to give my input. We travelled from San Diego to Zion today. We took valley of fire detour. It added about 1.5 hrs on our drive. It was beautiful. No traffic for us. Wondering if it was due to being a Wednesday, don’t know. We travelled through about noon. Wonderful drive. Beautiful sites. Just wanted to update. Coming home Sunday though I’m worried we won’t be so lucky. Oh well. Hope your travels are as good as ours.
    Melissa

  • Alternate Route September 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I just went through valley of fire route at 10:00 PM from Vegas to St. George. Added about 45 minutes. Watch out for the police. There were at least four patrol cars and the speed is 35 to 45 MPH most of the way.

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