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  1. Default Portland, OR to Las Vegas

    HELP! We're planning a last min. spring break trip (with kids!) from Portland to Vegas and need help with routes and sites to see.

    MapQuest is saying to go through Boise (Hwy 84 to 15) but a more direct route seems to be I-5 to 95. Any suggestions??

    Also, we'd like to visit the Grand Canyon and need some assistance with that too. There are so many tours available - what's the best one?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default How many days?

    Quote Originally Posted by WeBDuckFans View Post
    We're planning a last min. spring break trip
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! How many days will you have? You might find this week's article about Spring Break Road trips helpful.

    The shortest distance to Las Vegas and the fastest route is I-5 to I-15. This would be a 1150 mile trip (one way) and require four days of driving for the round trip. If you add in the Grand Canyon it will add two more days of driving. How many days total will you have?

    Mark

  3. Default

    We will have a full week to travel and plan on staying in Las Vegas. Like I mentioned, MapQuest is saying to go I-84 for the quickest route.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Which would you believe -- human or computer chip?

    Quote Originally Posted by WeBDuckFans View Post
    Like I mentioned, MapQuest is saying to go I-84 for the quickest route.
    Unlike Mapquest, I have actually driven that distance several times over the years.
    We will have a full week to travel and plan on staying in Las Vegas
    Then you don't have time to go to the Grand Canyon... You will have to decide where you want to spend the leisure time -- on the road -- or enjoying what there is to see in Las Vegas.

    Mark

  5. Default Judgement and computer helps...

    Seriously -- The computer mapping engines put a route way east as the "fastest" route to Las Vegas. maps.msn.com takes you off of I-5 at Eugene to 97 and south to Alturas and 395, then south to Lone Pine (!) and then east again on 168 through Deep Springs Valley to catch 95 south to Vegas.

    Ah yeahhh... That's a funky route. Some of those roads are definitely secondary roads (2 lane) without a lot of services or people around. For example, its getting hard to get gas at all between Alturas and Susanville now, from the local paper up there. And if you ask the computer for the fastest routing to Reno, it gives you yet another route (this one on 89 through Susanville)

    Distance and time wise it only saves you an hour compared to the longer 1-5 to I-15 route. 17 hours drive time on that route, versus 18 hours on the I-5/15 route, and 995 miles on the "short fast" route, versus 1120 on the I-5/15 route. (Note those times don't include gas stops, meal breaks, sightseeing, biological breaks, etc... in reality its probably 20-22+ hours of driving)

    Depending upon the weather and the slight difference in time, you may want to consider the I-5/15 route -- its the best road, the best services, and you can make the best time on it.

    As an option, you could do the I-5 south to Sacramento on one leg, then turn east to Reno/ Tahoe, and head south to Vegas. Sacramento has a bunch of stuff kids might like (the Sacramento Rail Musuem, being a favorite of just about any kid).

    As for the overall trip -- you've got 2 full days of driving to get from Portland to Las Vegas on ANY route. From LV to the Grand Canyon is about 6 more hours of driving (to Grand Canyon Village). If you're going a 6 day trip, you'll have enough time to get to the Grand Canyon, spend about a half day doing stuff there, and then turning around to head back. You might want to head back via Death Valley, but you'll need to driving pretty much all day, every day to do this trip -- and we all have concerns about how well kids take to being cooped up in a car for 10 hours a day.

  6. Default well....

    What no one is supposed to mention here is the fact that you can drive 90mph + on those 2 lane roads in Nevada, and you can't do that on I-5. There's no traffic and sometimes the road is perfectly straight for 40 miles. If your car can't, or you are not comfortable driving like this, then I-5 is probably faster.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default So who do you like Sept 26 at Autzen?

    In the spring weather shouldn't be a BIG factor, but you may want to consider possible delays in places like the Siskiyous or Cascades or the Sierras... depending on the route you select.

    Without knowing too much about weather and road conditions on the Idaho route, it would appear that does a better job eliminating late snow issues.

    Any way you slice it this is going to be a minimum of two long days down and the same back up. At a more leisurely pace (3 / 3) you've eaten up most of your time.

    Are you talking a 7-day week or a 9-day week or a 9+ day week (leave Friday evening and get as far as Eugene or Grants Pass)?

    Oh yeah; Go Bears!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default With kids !

    Quote Originally Posted by nozengi View Post
    What no one is supposed to mention here is the fact that you can drive 90mph + on those 2 lane roads.
    That would be best not mentioned.

    Not only is it illegal, it would be highly irresponsible travelling at over 90mph with kids in the car or in any other situation for that matter.
    We have all had to get a "move on" before now, but a family road trip,
    come on !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default an expensive error in judgement

    Quote Originally Posted by nozengi View Post
    What no one is supposed to mention here is the fact that you can drive 90mph + on those 2 lane roads in Nevada, and you can't do that on I-5. There's no traffic and sometimes the road is perfectly straight for 40 miles.
    Getting beyond the safety aspect of this bad advice, its also the kind of thinking that can get very expensive, as Nevada patrols these roads quite heavily, including via air patrol. Moderator Judy learned that $300 lesson first hand!

    While generally not a good idea either, at least freeways are designed to handle 90 mph speeds much better than rural 2 lane roads that often have slight ridges and valleys that can "hide" other traffic on what appears to be a very straight road.

    I'll also note that this is a 2 year old thread, so the actual trip involved here is long since passed....

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