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  1. #1

    Default LAS VEGAS TO SAN FRANCISCO (to Mt Shasta)

    Hi,
    I just got married and I am going on a trip to meet my wifes mother. My mother-in-law is coming to visit the USA by staying at Mt Shasta for a week. So my wife and I are planning the route tonight (Wednesday) and we leave in two days (Friday after work at 7pm) We plan on driving half of the trip with a long five hour stop/break. This will be with a restaurant meal and a nap in the van somewhere along the middle of the trip to Mt. Shasta. The problem:

    I have always gone up I-5 from Wasco to San Francisco with my dad.

    She has always gone up H-99 to San Francisco.


    Which route would you take? and why?
    Where would you suggest a good place to take the break and nap?

    Thank you very much for your suggestions. We want good smooth wide highway, lots of gas stations, restrooms, and cellphone reception along the way.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-15-2007 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Format for clarity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Congratulations

    Quote Originally Posted by hottyson View Post
    I just got married and I am going on a trip to meet my wife's mother.
    Congratulations and welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum. I don't understand the stop-over in San Francisco -- is this a required part of the trip? Otherwise the most direct and fastest route is I-15 to CA-58 to I-5 to Mt. Shasta. This is about 775 miles and will take you about 13.5 hours to drive it (if you drive at the speed limit and stop a couple of times for fuel and food...) I would nap around Stockton.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-15-2007 at 08:17 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    I don't understand the stop-over in San Francisco -- is this a required part of the trip? Otherwise the most direct and fastest route is I-15 to CA-58 to I-5 to Mt. Shasta.
    That I-5 way is the route that my dad and I have always taken.
    We will not be stopping in San Francisco only passing near by on I-5.

    My wife said that she thinks that we should take I-15 then hwy-99 up to San Francisco area then I-5 up the rest of the way to Mt Shasta. I checked Google maps and her route only saves 8 miles and I don't know how good hwy-99 is. I have never been up hwy-99 so I am wondering if anyone things her route might be better and if so why.
    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    This is about 775 miles and will take you about 13.5 hours drive to drive it (if you drive at the speed limit and stop a couple of times for fuel and food...) I would nap around Stockton.
    Thanks for the quick answer and ideas Mark. Stockton should work out well since that is about halfway. We may take our stop there.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-15-2007 at 08:41 PM. Reason: please do not use color

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Neither goes there

    Quote Originally Posted by hottyson View Post
    My wife said that she thinks that we should take I-15 then hwy-99 up to San Francisco area then I-5 up the rest of the way to Mt Shasta.
    Neither of these highways goes to San Francisco. I-5 is faster. CA-99 has more towns and stoplights.

    Mark

  5. Default There's two parts to 99

    Hello hottyson --

    There are two sections of the 99 you can drive, and they are quite different.

    The southern part, from about Bakersfield to Sacramento is a good quality highway -- 2 lanes wide (at least) in both directions, and moves pretty quickly. It's the old main route through the Central Valley, before I-5 was put in along the west side of the Central Valley. You can make good time on this route, but you may see more traffic than on I-5. There are more towns and places to stop along this part of 99, than on I-5.

    The other part of 99 is north of Sacramento and comes back to join I-5 at about Red Bluff. It is a narrower (1 lane each direction) highway, and has stop lights and very reduced speed limits in some of the small towns. If you're looking to make time north from the Sacramento area to Mt Shasta, I wouldn't take it. Again, this is the old main route north through the Central valley before it was replaced by I-5.

    My recommendation is that there isn't much of a difference between 99 and I-5 south of Sacramento. I sort of would tend to I-5 since you can sometimes run into traffic through Fresno and Sacramento, and its been a little quicker to go up I-5 than 99. But there really shouldn't be much difference in the two routes at all, up to Sacramento.

    North of Sacramento -- its I-5 for sure, if you want to make it in a day's drive to Mt Shasta. I've made it from south of LA to Mt Shasta in a day's drive numerous times, so from Wasco to Mt Shasta should be a bit easier.

    For a half way point to stop -- Stockton to Sacramento is about the half way point. There are some parks along the River north of Stockton, just to the west of I-5, but I've never stopped there. If you're looking for a peaceful place for a picnic, that might be a good place to stop -- Stockton and Sacramento themselves are pretty built up urban areas, and I tend not to stop there for a picnic lunch. Last time I went through it was 100+F in Sacramento, and I didn't want to stop the car for an extended period and stay in it, because of the heat. If you're from Wasco, and its hot in the south valley, it'll be as hot, if not hotter, in the north valley.

    I'll also note the bridge over Lake Shasta, about 10 miles north of Redding, is undergoing repair and upgrading. I-5 is down to one lane over the bridge in both directions, and traffic can be disrupted if they’re moving heavy equipment or materials across the road. Just be prepared for slow traffic through there if they're working on the bridge.

    An interesting place to stop in the north valley is in the little town of Corning. There are a couple of places in town that sell Olives and different Olive Oils. If your mother in law is into cooking, get her a couple of bottles of some of the speciality olive oils -- impossible to find elsewhere. This is the area where about 90% of the fresh olives in the US are grown. I usually stop at the "Olive Hut" on the south side of town, and there's a larger more touristy place on the north side of town. You can also usually get a lot of the north valley rices and fruits in corning as well, which are hard sometimes hard to find.

    PS -- when you get to Mt. Shasta, keep your eyes out for the Lemurians!! *Grins*

  6. Default

    I'm unaware of any other road that will run from the SF area to Mount Shasta. I drove to Mount Shasta from Marin via I-5 (okay CA 37 to I-5) twice this summer, took about 4 hours, easy drive, nice scenery.

    If you want a nice detour on way home try taking I-5 to CA 37 to 101 and drive home via the Golden Gate.

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