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  1. Default Calif. Desert road trip - Grapevine vs. Hwy 58?

    Hi all,

    I'm taking my '49 Buick to the desert lake beds of Southern Calif. (e.g., El Mirage Dry lake, Superior Dry lake), Barstow, Mojave, etc. in a few weeks.

    I'm a little apprehensive about the Grapevine (Hwy 5), and I have never driven Highway 58 from Bakersfield.

    Going to that area in a newer car, over recent years, I've taken Hwy 5 southbound, up the Grapevine, and then to Hwy 138 East and so on.

    If I want to avoid the steep Grapevine, how's the drive along Hwy 5, to 46 East, to 99 South, and then to 58 West? Any very steep hills I need to worry about? This old car has its stock brakes. Although recently adjusted, I don't want to go flyin' off any cliffs.

    Your recommendations?

  2. Default

    I can't speak to 58, but in my opinion the Grapevine is a little hyped up. I don't think it's nearly as taxing as people build it up to be.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default good but agreed

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I too agree that the Grapevine is really nothing that you should have to worry about. I've driven it many times and while you're certainly climbing a mountain, its not anything that is all that taxing for a car.

    Having said that, CA-58 is a little bit easier in that Tehachapi pass is a few hundred feet lower in elevation than if you cross via the grapevine. Both are 4 lane freeways built to standards with minimum grades. I'd say the distinct advantage to taking CA-58 in this case is that it should be faster and easier than trying to use 138 back down to lancaster/palmdale.

  4. Default

    CA 58 is a great road. I've driven it many times (as well as CA-14, CA-138, etc). From Bakersfield to Barstow (i.e., I-15/I-40), it's almost to freeway standards. There's just a few segments that still has intersections (but, luckily, no lights or stop signs on CA-58) until you get near "Four Corners" where CA-58 and US395 intersect (it's two lanes from there to Barstow).

    Grapevine, however, isn't bad, either. I've driven it a couple of times, and never saw the issue people have with it. Although, unless you want to go into LA, it's easier to take CA-58 east to CA-14 to CA-138 to I-15 as a northerly bypass to San Bernardino/Riverside. or just simply CA-58 east to Barstow to avoid all of the LA Basin.


    There's only a couple hills, but otherwis

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