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  1. #1

    Default Vancouver Washington to Palm Springs

    Hi -
    My family and I will be traveling from Vancouver to Palm springs in 2 or 3 days time - about 1000 miles! I have two kids under 10....any ideas of places to stop and see anything interesting and quick along I-5? When is the best time to drive through LA? Also, we were going to try and drive to Redding the first night...is that a good stopping point? Thanks for any help!

    tkjmbarnard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,962

    Default Check Your Calculations

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Sorry, but Vancouver to Palm Springs is a lot closer to 1500 miles than 1000. You will need to take at least three days for this trip. If you really want to stop and see things along the way, then you'll need to add a fourth day. and there is much to see even if you don't stray very far from the highway. In Washington, Peace Arch, Birch Bay, Larrabee, Wenberg, Millersylvania, Lewis and Clark, and Seaquest, State Parks are all just off the Interstate, while Mount Rainier National Park, and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument are only moderate drives away.

    In Oregon, state parks near the highway include Tryon Creek, Molalla River, Willamette Mission, Thompson's Mills, Jasper, Wolf Creek Inn and Valley of the Rogue, while Crater Lake National Park, is a little over an hour away.

    Once you're in California, there are, of course, the giant redwoods and sequoias, as well as Castle Crags, Shasta, Woodson Bridge, Colusa-Sacramento River, Caswell, Tule Elk, and Fort Tejon. The 'big' park on this stretch within an hour of the freeway would be Lassen Volcanic National Park.

    So you see that there is no shortage of places to visit, just a shortage of time to see them all. As I said, I don't think you can do this drive in any case in two days. If you decide to take three, then your overnight stops should be roughly near Eugene, OR and Sacramento, CA.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,962

    Default ...And I'll Check Mine

    Oooops. I used the wrong Vancouver (BC) for my calculations! Sorry about that, Nevertheless, you'll still be basically following I-5, so everything listed above still holds, you'll just be starting a bit farther south. In that case, you can make this trip in two days. The downside is that you would be driving through L.A. around evening rush hour which can last well past 7:00 PM. Personally, I'd be inclined to forego L.A. altogether and get off I-5 well north of there, take CA-58 east to Barstow and then use CA-247/CA-62 to drop down to Palm Springs from the north. I haven't taken those roads, but I have driven I-210 through L.A. at rush hour often enough to know I don't want to do it again. The alternate route is only about 30 miles longer, but could end up taking less time depending on traffic. Still, I might try to get farther south than Redding on the first day, maybe even to Sacramento.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you SOOOO much for the info.....yep....we're coming from Vancouver Washington, not B.C......( I should have been more clear) Now I want to spend time looking up all of your suggestions! Thanks again, tkjmbarnard

  5. #5

    Default Vancouver Canada to Palm Springs

    I drove down by myself for a nice holiday, April 2008. I met up with my friends in Palm Springs - they flew down.
    First night stay in Eugene Oregon a cute little College town. It's about an 8 hour drive depending on the wait at the border. Have a nice dinner out and get rested for the next day's drive. Stay across from the University and ask for a room on the back with a river view (the river is really a stream with cute mini beaver like animals imported from South America). Next night Modesto California (8 hours) another cute little town (has Palm Trees). Modesto is slightly off the I5 but worth the small diversion.Don't stay in Sacramento -too big and confusing -Stockton too ugly.Next day continue down the I5 into Los Angeles; drive across LA to Palm Springs. Coming back I avoided LA (if you've ever driven on the LA freeways you'll know why), instead drove North-West out of Palm Springs to Barstow then Bakersfield. No traffic but seemed like a long lonely drive through the desert. I then made the mistake of trying the old highway 99 going North - forget it. No rest stops and ugly industrial scenery. The next morning from Modesto I drove in to San Francisco for lunch! Should have stayed overnight as I then left San Francisco for Eugene Oregon and it was a very long drive with traffic and then it got dark for the last 3 hours of my drive which I didn't enjoy and was probably dangerous as I was tired and couldn't see.
    Re Palm Springs -it's wonderful for a relaxing adult vacation. For adults, especially older adults its a paradise -relaxing, perfect weather, great food.No kids or teens in Palm Springs -they would be bored silly.The drive was challenging and an adventure and I'd do it again in a minute, preferably with some company next time.
    Last edited by envisage; 08-02-2008 at 01:18 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default Thanks for the report

    Glad you had a good time.

    Yeah, not good to drive if you're drowsy. Driving in the dark isn't dangerous...especially on an interstate. Driving when drowsy is. There were numerous places you could have stopped between San Francisco and Eugene.

    I've been to Eugene a lot as I have good friends who live there. I didn't know about the beaver-like critters from South America. I'll have to see if I can check them out sometime.

    Hope we can help you with your next roadtrip!

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