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  1. Default San Fran to Vegas over ThanksGiving

    Hi there,

    I am driving from Sunnyvale (45 min south of San Fran) to Vegas on ThanksGiving day. I have a route in mind, and I would appreciate your opinions on that.

    This is my route: 237 -> 880 -> 680 -> 580 -> 99 -> 58 -> 15.

    While 101 to 5 via 152 and then onto 58 would seem more logical, I'm wary of 152 as I've read about a lot of horrific accidents along that route. I'm driving with wife and two kids, and I've never been on that route. I've also read that traffic can be really slow here (although it might not be the case on ThanksGiving day). Any comments?

    I also chose not to take 5 from 580 because that stretch of 5 is probably very deserted with few options to stop and eat. Any comments?

    I've never been on 58. Is it 2-lane each way all the way from Bakersfield to Barstow? Is there a possibility of snow on the Tehachapi mountains around this time?

    Finally, I estimate a total drive time of 10 - 11 hours with 2-3 stops in between. Is this a fair estimate?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default inaccurate information

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you are dealing with some bad information.

    For some specifics, CA-58 is a 4 lane expressway all the way from Bakersfield to Barstow. It has a 65 mph speed limit, and except for a 4 way stop at US-395 (which could even be gone since the last time I drove it) it is a very fast route, busy, and well maintained route. Tehachapi does occationally see snow, but the odds of it being a problem for your trip are very small.

    I-5 doesn't go through many cities, but it is still one of the busiest highways in the Western US, and there are plenty of restaurants and other traveler services. If this is your only reason for taking CA-99, I would just take the faster I-5.

    I haven't taken CA-152 myself, but I have a feeling that you are overstating the dangers of this route. However, if you are really that concerned about it, I would take US-101 all the way down to Paso Robles instead. To me, that's going to be easier/faster/shorter, than going back up into Oakland/bay area traffic to get over to I-5/CA-99.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default CA-152 is my route of choice

    Any travel around Thanksgiving is going to be busy -- CA-152 is the route I always use when traveling from Las Vegas to the bay area. Most of it is three lanes (two-way plus the truck lanes) but there are sections that are now four-lane, divided highway.

    Here's my usual advice about Thanksgiving Holiday travel.

    I should also mention -- I've driven between Sunnyvale and Las Vegas dozens of times -- I usually make it in less then 7 hours -- but if you travel on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and leave Sunnyvale, ANYTIME earlier than 9:00 pm on Wednesday, you need to allow a minimum of 10+ hours to make the journey (with only one stop).

    And I echo Midwest Michael's advice -- get on I-5 and hammer down (to the extent you can). There are restaurants and gas stations at each of the exits along I-5 (I think the longest stretch between exits with traveler services is now 45 miles or something like that).

    Actually, I just checked this site, and the longest distances between exits with food and fuel along the stretch you'd be driving on I-5 is less than 15 miles...

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-23-2009 at 03:56 PM.

  4. Default Thanks for the feedback

    Mark and Michael,

    Thanks a lot for the feedback. Now I'm leaning towards US-101 -> CA-152 -> I-5. Mark: I read an old thread (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum...hp?t-7065.html) in which a member has favored Stockdale Hwy over 58 to cross the valley from I-5. Did you ever try that route? Did you find it faster?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default We still agree!

    I agreed with the comment then when I posted in agreement with "Warren" 6 years ago. At the time I was living in Bakersfield, right off Stockdale to be exact, and Stockdale Highway was always my choice to quickly get out to I-5.

    I haven't been there in about 5 years now, but I would bet that it is still the case. Stockdale basically ends right where CA-58 meets CA-99, so it will be easy to continue across to Barstow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    The best way to get from I-5 to CA-58 in my opinion is CA-46 to CA-99. It's less than 4 miles longer than taking the Stockdale and it involves no city streets whatsoever.

    Your trip is 540 miles, I would allow at least 10 hours to do it. I don't see how you can do it in less than 7 hours without a police escort, Mark..........

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default No one mentioned legal speeds herein

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    ...I don't see how you can do it in less than 7 hours without a police escort, Mark..........
    I'm not recommending that anyone try and better this rate, I'm just saying I've done it. But no one will be able to beat 10+ hours anytime on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving....

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default If you haven't left yet....

    Even faster than CA-152, is to take US-101 to CA-46 and go east from there to I-5. My brother is actually on the road right now (headed south) and I just got a field report on the road conditions -- he is rolling along US-101 at well above stated highway speeds -- roads are busy but moving well.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    ......he is rolling along US-101 at well above stated highway speeds ........

    Mark
    That is the most irresponsible thing I have seen you write.

    The signs do not say 'stated highway speeds' they clearly state speed LIMIT!

    It is a constant source of puzzlement to me that normal law abiding citizens in the US, appear to think that once they get in a motor vehicle, the law does not apply to them.

    Lifey who is most disappointed

  10. Default To Vegas and back

    Thanks for all your inputs. Just wanted to summarize my experience.

    From Sunnyvale to Vegas, I took US-101 -> CA-152 -> I-5 -> CA-46 -> CA-99 -> CA-58 -> I-15. Being Thanksgiving day, traffic was non-existent and I reached Vegas in 8 hours (11 hours if you include leisurely breaks). My concerns about CA-152 were unfounded - even the 13-mile two-lane stretch is not scary at all.

    Vegas to Sunnyvale was a different story altogether. We left on Sunday at 10:30 (probably a bit too late), and took the same route back. Got stuck on I-15 for 5 hours (the main culprit being 3 lanes narrowing down to 2 near Primm). Got stuck again for 3 hours on CA-58 (this time 2 lanes narrowing down to 1, followed by a traffic light at Boron). And finally, heavy traffic and an accident on I-5. In all, it took 14 hours including three 15-minute breaks. But it probably wouldn't have been so bad if it were a normal weekend.

    I would love to try either CA-46 or CA-58 from US-101 one day - I've heard they are very scenic from US-101 to I-5.

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