i live in wales in the UK. I am travelling to vegas in june 09 and will be driving for the first time from there to san fran. I have a day or two too reach san fran and will need a route. Can anyone help with a safe, but quick drive through and possibly somewhere to stay in between. As i have not driven on US roads before i will be extra cautious and hence the stay over somewhere....Any tips guys i cant wait to visit
Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!
For speed and safety, the Interstate and state highways would be your best bet.
I-15 to CA-58 to CA-99 to CA-46 to I-5. This would probably be your best option if you only had a full day to make the trip.
Now, if you want to get a little bit of scenery in between, you could head up through Death Valley and on to Yosemite, but I wouldn't recommend doing this all in one day.
That is 570 miles point to point - which *can* be done in 1 day, but probably would not be wise with your unfamiliarity and inexperience with driving on the right side of the road. With that in mind, why not take 2 full days and see one major scenic area - Death Valley. This would probably be an easier drive for you than heading up into the mountains. After leaving Death Valley, you can either go south to Mojave and pick up CA-58 to Bakersfield and I-5, or take CA-178 through Lake Isabella if you feel up to a winding road. I would spend a night somewhere between Death Valley and Bakersfield. The second day would be all freeways from Bakersfield and will go fast till you get into SF traffic. The best way into SF depends exactly where you are going - if you take the 580 off of 5, it will take you through Oakland right to the Bay Bridge. If you are going to the airport, take I-238 off the 580 to I-880 south, then CA-92 (San Mateo Bridge) to the 101 north to SFO.
With one day you really are left with the Interstate route Tim suggested unless you want an extremely long day.
Now with 2 days [and being from the U.K myself, I would highly recommend finding the time] you will be in for a treat. Both options previously mentioned are great, and again if you can give yourself the time Death valley and Yosemite are stunning and you won't see the likes of them over here.
If you can spare the time you won't regret it and although some parts are mountainous and windy the roads are in very good condition and easy enough to drive. To be honest I found them far more relaxing and comfortable than the hustle and bustle of the Interstates.
The one thing you must check before leaving is that the Tioga pass is open that crosses the Sierra's at Lee vining[HWY 120] If not, it will have to be the Southern route.
hi guys thanks for replies i might have not put the info in properly. I will be looking to leave vegas on a fri morning and have till sat afternoon to get to san fran. Hope this helps. I qam looking to stay somewhere local on the fri noight hopefully mid way from vegas to san fran
But of Course
Cymru am byth!
With two days to get from Las Vegas to San Francisco, you will have time to explore 2 or 3 areas that are unique to this part of the world. Start by heading south on I-15 and take the time to Mojave National Preserve using the entrances at exits 272 or 246. Then take CA-58 west past Edwards Air Force base. Bakersfield is not quite halfway, but might make a good place to spend the night depending on how much time you've spent out of the car rather than driving up to this point. For day 2 start out on CA-99 north but then take CA-46 west to the coast around Cambria. Then it's just a matter of following one of the world's great scenic highways, CA-1, north along the coast to San Francisco.