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  1. Default Las Vegas to San Diego via Joshua Tree

    Hi - my husband and I from Australia and we are planning to drive from Las Vegas to San Diego (hopefully in one day) in January next year. He was hoping that we could have a pit stop (so to speak) at Joshua Tree National Park. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to tackle this trip and also what we should allow time wise. As I said, we're hoping to do it in one day and, being from Australia, aren't afraid of long driving trips. Also, if we are able to stop at Joshua Tree, where would be the best place to stop that we could just have a quick look around (or are we dreaming)? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    One day is only going to give you enough time for a quick drivethrough. Via Joshua Tree, it's 425 miles from LV to SD.

    Take US-95 south out of LV to I-40. Take that west to the Mountain Springs Rd exit (exit # 115) and take old Rt 66 west to Amboy. Turn left on Amboy Rd and take that to 29 Palms. When you start coming into town, turn left on Utah Trail. If you need services, turn right on CA-62, otherwise continuing will take you in the north entrance.

    Leave via the south entrance and get on I-10 west. Depending on the weather, how much time you have, and the road conditions in the mountains (snow) you can either take the fast way or scenic way to SD.

    Fast way: I-10 west to CA-79 south (through Hemet and Temecula) to I-15 south.

    Scenic way: I-10 west to Golf Center Pkwy in Indio. Take that towards town, turn right on Avenue 46 (CA-111), take that into Palm Desert, and turn left on CA-74. Take that to CA-371 to CA-79. Take CA-79 south to I-8. Check the CALTRANS website for road conditions before trying this, 74, 371, and 79 are mountain highways.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Welcome !

    glc has pretty well covered your question so I would just like to say "Hello and welcome to the RTA forums"!

    If you have any other questions about your itinerary or would like to post it up so we could help you "fine tune" it if necessary.

    Have a great trip !

  4. Default

    Thanks so much for that - I really appreciate it and it sounds like a great route to try. I knew it would only be a quick drive through, but I think that's all we really need this trip. I'm hoping to come back to America and do other trips and spend more time in particular areas. I also love that you have got some of the old route 66 in there for us. I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions as after we have a couple of days in San Diego we're planning on driving up the coast all the way to San Francisco with stops in Anaheim and Los Angeles on the way. Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    A couple things - your quick drivethrough of Joshua Tree will cost you $15 unless you have a parks pass. If you are planning on driving up the coast road, allow at least 2 days from LA to SF.

  6. Default

    Thanks for that - we're probably only going through the one National Park at this stage so just paying the one off fee won't be so bad - but if we change our minds then I'll definitely look into the parks pass.

    Can we not do LA to San Fran in one day going the inland highway? We thought that once we're in San Fran we can take a drive back down along the coast road to Santa Cruz - or would you recommend just going the coast road and stopping somewhere in between and having one less night in San Fran? And where would you recommend a stop over? Sorry for all the questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The PCH

    You can do the drive in one day using Interstate but I personally would prefer taking the coast road with a stop over and not have to track back. The PCH [ROUTE 1] is a very famous and scenic route and it would be a shame to miss out on this amazing drive, but it comes down to how you want to spend your time and how long you have in SF.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you take the PCH, I'd recommend an overnight in Cambria or San Simeon. Try to leave time for a Hearst Castle tour.

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