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Thread: GP to L.A.

  1. Default GP to L.A.

    Hi all!
    Im shawn, and I am planning a road trip with some friends from Grande Prairie Alberta to Los Angeles, California.
    The plan is to skip any and all scenic routes In Canada and make it to Seattle, just to drive through, make a few souvenir stops, then continue down to L.A.
    we have talked about going to redwood national park.
    My Boss does a trip similar to this without going through British Columbia first, and APPARENTLY he can do it in 30 hours.
    THAT WOULD BE WONDERFUL! haha
    there are 4 of us and we plan on driving nonstop to get there.
    We are looking to be gone for about a week. Do you Guru's think its possible?
    any feedback would be much appreciated!
    I went onto a distance calculator website and it told me it is 2400 KM's to LA from here.
    would that distance be a straight line? or taking Freeways?
    thanks in advance!
    -Shawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    One thing that you will notice while searching through these forums is that, while many of us do "speed runs" from time to time, we don't often recommend the shift driving as there are some things you will need to consider:

    Sleeping in a moving car, sitting upright, and not planning many (if any) stops is not pleasant nor conducive to the long-term enjoyment of the trip by all involved parties.

    Some people handle night driving better than others, but it tends to be more taxing on the driver.

    When you get to your destination, at least one of you isn't going to be in the mood to stay awake and explore.

    I checked quickly on Google maps and it is showing that to get to Seattle without going through British Columbia is about 2400km; if you go through BC, then it is about 1350km. From Seattle to LA is 1150 miles (about 2000km).

    I'd say that a trip of this length in that short period of time would just set you up for disappointment. You would be driving all the time, never really able to get out and look around.

    Is there any particular reason you want to avoid British Columbia?

  3. Default Long drive....

    I've just done the "Seattle to LA" roundtrip.. Actually, Bellingham WA (just across the US/Canadian border) to Orange County, CA (think near Disneyland)

    From GP To LA, by the most direct route is going to be about 3300 km (2000 miles). That's not going through Seattle. If someone says they can do it in 30 hours, that means they are *averaging* over 110 kph (66 mph) the entire way. That's including stops to stretch the legs, bio breaks, food stops, gassing up the car, etc. As a rule of thumb, *on average* you can typically run around 90 kph (about 54 mph) -- so you're talking like 37+ hours of drive time.

    Through Seattle is going to add another big chunk of mileage. How long does it take you to get to Seattle? I've driven Jasper to Vancouver in a day, and its a *long* day of driving at best. From there to LA is another 2 long driving days. And then there's the return.

    You theoretically can drive this in a week -- but you'll take all week just about to do it , in my opinion, putting in long driving days each day. And if you try to bomb through with multiple drivers, you'll be so blasted from the push to get somewhere, you won't have much time for fun.

  4. Default

    thanks for the quick reply's guys! we don't have intentions on Skipping B.C. we just want to do it as quick as possible.
    The trip there we could do straight route. which at an average of 120KM's would take about 28 hours.. give or take because of food and washroom breaks. The trip back on the other hand would be nice to take the scenic route along the oceanfront. So we should take 2 days to do the trip back.
    We are thinking of leaving either Friday night on the 8th or Saturday morning on the 9th and being back home on the 16th which is a Saturday, It wouldn't be a big deal if we made back on the Sunday instead.
    I anticipated your responses to the shift driving, lol. But it seems to be the only way we can make it there and have enough time to go to Disney land and have some time on the beach.
    -Shawn
    P.S. thanks for the warm welcome!
    On the forums I am a regular on, I am always sure to give all new comers a warm welcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Not happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Snaz View Post
    which at an average of 120KM's
    An average of 120kmh - about 75mph - is unrealistic. The conventional wisdom, gathered from multitudes of road trippers over millions of miles, is that you are more likely to average 57mph West of the Mississippi River.

    I just don't think you are going to have a very good time with this trip. It's going to turn into a job, not a vacation, trying to make some deadline/quota. I would strongly suggest altering your plans and setting up a more reasonable trip that will be more fun for everyone involved.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Respecting Reality

    Quote Originally Posted by Snaz View Post
    which at an average of 120KM's would take about 28 hours.. give or take because of food and washroom breaks.
    I think you may have missed it in Larrison's post, but its simply not possible to average 120kms(75mph) over a days drive. To obtain those speeds for an average, you'd have to be consistantly driving well over 160km/100miles per hour. I've driven full days at 80-85 mph (130-140km/h) and just with a couple very quick stops for fuel, bathrooms, and to grab a snack at the gas station, and the best I've ever done was 62mph(100k). There simply is no way in a car that you will ever cover this distance in 28 hours.

    As far as a scenic trip along the oceanfront, that's great, but I don't know how you'd have time for it. The coastal highway is a very slow, curvy 2 lane route, with plenty of slow moving traffic. You can't just zoom through it on a speed run as part of a 2 day trip from LA to Alberta.

    Ultimately, its your choice to embark on a trip, but you've got 3 people telling you that what you are trying to do would be a pretty grueling experience. Many of us have done trips like this, and we've certainly heard from many others who have tried, and I can't really think of anyone who has reported a positive experience.

  7. Default Let me add a specific example..

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    [ ... ] As far as a scenic trip along the oceanfront, that's great, but I don't know how you'd have time for it. The coastal highway is a very slow, curvy 2 lane route, with plenty of slow moving traffic. You can't just zoom through it on a speed run as part of a 2 day trip from LA to Alberta.[ .. ]
    Let me be specific. less than a month ago I drove up the coast from the SF bay area to Astoria. Figure a minimum of 3 days to do this, without sightseeing.

    As an example, on the 3rd day we drove from Brookings, OR to Astoria OR -- basically from the southern border to the northern border of Oregon. We left Brookings at 8 am, stopping only to get gas. We made minimal stops along the Oregon Coast, other than a picnic lunch and a couple of bio breaks. We arrived at Astoria at about 7 pm. The road is 2 lanes, with sections of the road listed as 25 mph (tight turns) and a maximum of 55. You can not speed through here -- the road is too narrow and twisty to keep a high rate of speed. Plus.. the towns along here have low speed limts and you will go through town, where the local Sherriff is watching traffic in his patrol car looking to add to the munipalitie's revenues from giving you a speeding ticket.

    That's 3 days, and I wouldn't want to tackle the coast route back with tired drivers trying to drive fast on unfamiliar dark twisty roads in the middle of the night. Not recommended.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    That's 3 days, and I wouldn't want to tackle the coast route back with tired drivers trying to drive fast on unfamiliar dark twisty roads in the middle of the night. Not recommended.
    I've done WA State to LA several times, both via the coast route and via I-5. Believe me, there is no way you can do it in the time you've alloted.

    Going via I-5, it's two long days from Seattle. Emphasize LONG. It's feasible if you're just driving from Washington state or Vancouver BC (or thereabouts) but when you add on the other driving you need to do to get there, it will become an ultra-marathon and will become unfeasible for you.

    Going the coast, minimum 3 days. And that is still rushing it, imho. One of the reasons for taking the coast is the beautiful scenic views. If you don't have time to stop and enjoy them a bit, what's the point? Plus, if you're going to be trying to do a lot of driving at night in order to cover miles, there really is no point at all for taking the coastal highway as you will miss many sights in the dark. Why bother?

    At the pace you're thinking of doing this, I imagine you falling asleep on the rides at Disneyland. And slather on the sunscreen when you hit the beach because, when you fall asleep there, you don't want to wake up with a burn.

    How will you possibly have the energy to enjoy your time in LA if you do this?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default Alternate route?

    While all of us here agree that online mapping programs have overly-optimistic time-to-drive estimates, GoogleMaps says that this route will shave 4 hours off your travel time even though it's about 20 miles longer than this route to Vancouver, then down I-5. I'm thinking that the difference is the type of roads, speed limits on those roads, and traffic congestion typically encountered on those roads that might make the difference in the time estimate. I still don't think you can travel this other route in the time you are allowing but it might make a good alternate as long as you allow appropriate time.

    Yes, and figuring 57mph average, as Mass Tim has already stated, is the best way to estimate travel time. Sometimes it will take a tad longer, sometimes a tad less but it's accurate enough to give you an appropriate estimate.

  10. Default

    So, Are the all in all opinions not to do the trip?
    more time is out of the question.

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