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  1. #1

    Default Phoenix to San Francisco late July

    I've pretty much laid out our plans in Phoenix & SF but have a couple of questions about the drive from Phoenix to the LA area on a Sunday (7/22). First, our departure time is very flexible & we don't check into the SF timeshare until 4:00 on Tuesday 7/24. That gives us (wifey & me) plenty of time to enjoy the ride. My first question is how will traffic be on a Sunday evening as we approach the LA sprawl? Should we plan on staying in the Indio/Palm Springs/Ontario area or are we better off trying to get to Santa Clarita and having an early, leisure drive along the coastal route. Second, how easy will it be getting hotel rooms in the area? I am a member of Q Returns with LAQuinta but do not need to use them exclusively. If rooms are plentiful then we can 'wing it' and call ahead from the road depending on traffic conditions. This isn't a speed run so we are flexible - I just dread the thought of LA area traffic :( We'd like to stay at a B&B somewhere on the northern leg of the coastal drive as we approah SF on Monday evening so recommendations are welcomed. We then have Tuesday AM to get into SF. Finally, all of the related posts have been a TREMENDOUS tool in laying the groundwork for this 9 day trip. Travel safely everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Personally, I would go all the way to Santa Clarita on Sunday. If you stayed in the Indio area on Sunday night, you will compete with Rush Hour on Monday morning unless you waited until 10 am to depart.

    I know how you feel, as I dreaded LA traffic for a long time. After doing it a few times, I'm always glad that I don't live there. :-) I prefer driving in LA on the weekends, rather than on weekdays!

    Are you planning to take the actual coastal route (101 to the PCH/Hwy 1), or I-5, to SF? If taking I-5, you could avoid most of the LA mess-tropolis by catching I-215 to I-15, then CA-138 to Lancaster, US 395 north and then CA-138 over to Gorman. OR.....I-15 north to US 395 to US 58 west through Tehachapi and Bakersfield, catching I-5 at Buttonwillow (which has a ton of motels and you wouldn't need a reservation, probably). My parents (from Phoenix area) have used these two routes to SF a lot.

    Of course, if you want to take the PCH-1, you won't want these routes. Then you would take I-10 to I-210 (watch out in the area around Pasadena, as there is an EXIT if you want to keep on I-210, which I recommend). Once again, plenty of hotels in the Santa Clarita area. If you're headed for the PCH-1, you may want to stay closer to the coast.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I get the impression that you want to avoid LA and get to the PCH. Your best way to do this is take I-10 to I-215 to I-15 over Cajon Pass, then US-395 to CA-58 to Bakersfield. This is roughly a 9 hour drive. There are plenty of lodging options there. There are 2 LQ's in Bakersfield and one in Tehachapi.

    From there, you would take CA-46 to Cambria to pick up the PCH. This can easily be done in less than 3 hours, and you should be able to make it to the Monterey area for a Monday night stay. There's a LQ there too and there should be plenty of B&B's in the area.

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