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  1. Default San Diego to Vegas

    Hello

    Next summer myself and a few friends will be going on a road trip around parts of western USA. We want to travel from San Diego to Las Vegas but take in some of Arizona along the way while at the same time not making the trip too long. What is the best route we can take to do this?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,063

    Default Best for what?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    At this point, all you've told us is that you want to go from San Diego to Las Vegas via Arizona and you don't want to make this trip "too long."

    Without knowing what you want to see, what things you are interested in, why you want to visit Arizona, and how much time you have (or how long would be too long), there really is no way of saying what the best route would be for your trip.

    Tell us some more, so we can help you find what you are looking for.

  3. Default A scenic drive in the desert

    I think we would be leaving San Diego early in the morning probably about 8am. We would like to arrive in Vegas in the evening time. The main reason why I want to visit Arizona is for the scenery.

    Nothing in particular, just want to experience a scenic drive through the desert.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-24-2007 at 05:59 PM. Reason: continuation of previous post

  4. Default I day trip to Vegas?

    If you're talking about taking a 1 day trip to Vegas, starting from San Diego, there are only a couple of realistic options.

    The fastest and most direct route would be up I-15 to Barstow and then directly to Vegas. That's something like 330 miles or so, so you're talking 5-6 hours drive to get there without any real stops.

    The alternative route would be go to east on the I-10 (or 60) from about Riverside through Banning, and then up through 29 Palms to Amboy and then up 163 to Vegas via Searchlight. A longer route, and the roads aren't quite as fast, but might show you a bit more of the countryside.

    There's a variation on the second route to head straight north from about Amboy through the Mojave National Preserve through Cima and on to Vegas. That's probably got some of most varied scenery.

    The route you outlined really doesn't go through Arizona -- but it does through the desert. If you want to do Arizona you can loop back through Arizona and hit some of the most scenic parts of Arizona on the route back. If you have 2-3 days back ( or willing to take a 2 long LONG driving days), there's a route back that goes from Grand Canyon east to the 89, then south (potential via Wupatki and Sunset Crater) to Flagstaff, then south to Phoenix (possibly via Sedona and Montezuma's Castle farther south) to Phoenix or Tucson, and then west on I-8 to San Diego. This is really too long of a drive in a day and a push in 2 if you're doing sightseeing along the way. It'll be 5-6 hours to Grand Canyon, another 4-5 hours to Phoenix, and 5-6 hours to San Diego from there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default San Diego to Las Vegas via Arizona

    The shortest route between San Diego and Las Vegas is, as Larrison has pointed out, just a straight shot on I-15 and, at 330 miles, can be done in an easy day's drive. It also entails some desert driving as you cross the Mojave. If you're set on including some of Arizona, but still making it to Vegas in a day, then you can start out eastbound on I-8 to El Centro, take CA-111 north to CA-78 east, cross the state line on I-10 and hook up with AZ-95 north through Parker to Lake Havasu City (current home of the London Bridge), and finally I-40 east to Kingman and US-93 north across Hoover Dam and into Las Vegas. That will get you your desert drive, some interesting sights, and at just under 500 miles is still doable in a day.

    AZBuck

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    The shortest route between San Diego and Las Vegas is, as Larrison has pointed out, just a straight shot on I-15 and, at 330 miles, can be done in an easy day's drive. It also entails some desert driving as you cross the Mojave. If you're set on including some of Arizona, but still making it to Vegas in a day, then you can start out eastbound on I-8 to El Centro, take CA-111 north to CA-78 east, cross the state line on I-10 and hook up with AZ-95 north through Parker to Lake Havasu City (current home of the London Bridge), and finally I-40 east to Kingman and US-93 north across Hoover Dam and into Las Vegas. That will get you your desert drive, some interesting sights, and at just under 500 miles is still doable in a day.

    AZBuck
    Thanks for the help. I checked out that route and it looks perfect. 8 and a half hours of driving. How much of that route goes through the desert?What interesting sights are along the way?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Sand and Stuff

    Pretty much everything after you cross the Jacumba Mountains just east of San Diego is desert of one form or another. Don't let the farms of the Central Valley fool you, that's all irrigation. If you're really into desert, then by all means spend some time in the Anza-Borrego Desert State park and the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. For something a bit wetter, stop at the London Bridge in Lake Havasu city and have a pint of Guinness. And of course you'll be crossing the Hoover Dam.

    AZBuck

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