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  1. #1

    Default San Diego to Las Vegas

    Hi all

    Myself and a couple of friends from the UK are driving from San Diego to Las Vegas on a weekday in April. We are planning to take our time over the course of 24 hours and would appreciate any advice on a place to stay along the way, sightseeing (although we wish to keep a pretty direct route and should add that we have been to the Grand Canyon previously) and recommended food outlets.

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Packing a Lot into Twenty-Four Hours

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Twenty-four hours is quite a lot of time for a drive that normally takes four to five hours. and so you have a huge opportunity to wander off the straight shot motorway (I-15) and see a bit of the desert Southwest. If that suits your plan, then look at leaving San Diego eastbound on I-8 to CA-79 north and CA-78 east through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. From Borrego Springs take county route S-22 to CA-86 north along the shore of the Salton Sea (226 feet below sea level). At Mecca, follow CA-195 (66th Ave) to Box Canyon Road to I-10 east and then CA-177 north and CA-62 east to Parker, AZ. From there, follow AZ-95 north through Buckskin Mountain State Park and Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge to Lake Havasu City and an ersatz taste of home. Finish up by continuing north to I-40 west to US-95 north to Las Vegas.

    Such a route is about 50% longer than the motorway route, but is an entirely different experience. It will take about twice as long to drive, due to the nature of the roads and the extra distance, but even with a 10 hour stopover for the night still leaves you about 5-6 hours to get out of the car and explore some of the sights along the way and still arrive in Las Vegas 24 hours after your departure from San Diego. Where to spend the night would depend on what time of day you leave San Diego, but there are plenty of options en route.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Here's another option - I-8 to CA-79 as Buck mentioned - and stop in Julian for some apple pie. From there, go west to Santa Ysabel and take CA-79 north through Warner Springs to Aguanga. Take CA-371 to CA-74, turn right, and take 74 down into Palm Desert. Take I-10 east to the south entrance of Joshua Tree National Park and explore the park. Go out the north exit into 29 Palms, then take Amboy Road to Amboy. Turn right on old Route 66, go a few miles to Kelbaker Road, turn left, and head into the Mojave National Preserve. Do some exploring, then head out via Cima Road to I-15.

    Another option from Amboy is stay on old 66 to I-40, take that to Topock. Take old 66 to Oatman, then over Sitgreaves Pass to I-40 to Kingman. From there you can take US-93 over the new bridge at the Hoover Dam into Las Vegas.

  4. #4


    Thanks very much Buck and glc for taking the time to respond. I will have a look at both options. Plenty of choice so thanks a lot! I was just wondering if there is any particular requirements that we would need regarding the type of car to rent for this drive?

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