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This paper presents a cross-layer analysis of the route discovery process in ad hoc networks, and discusses the impact of this process on the packet end-to-end delay. The analysis primarily highlights the role of medium access control (MAC) protocol in the route discovery process, and further describes how the route discovery mechanism contributes to the end-to-end delay of a packet. The essential aspects of the route discovery process and the IEEE 802.11 distributed coordination function (DCF) MAC protocol are considered for this discussion. The simulation results show that the back-off mechanism of the MAC layer has a great impact on the route discovery process, which in turn influences the end-to-end delay of the packet in the form of route discovery time.