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  1. Default Best ways to avoid LA en route to Disneyland...

    Hello all, my wife and kids are thinking about driving to Disneyland...I live in Oregon and know I-5 is the way to go to a certain point. But I want to avoid LA at all costs, so any thoughts on the best way to avoid LA on the way to Disneyland? Thank you so much in advance for your help!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It's Bigger Than You Think

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Avoiding Los Angeles proper would be relatively easy, but that doesn't really gain you anything. What you really need to do, if the thought of driving in 'Los Angeles' fills you with dread, is to avoid the entire LA basin and sprawl, including the so-called Inland Empire, and that is nigh onto impossible. Since your drive is more than is safe to try to accomplish in one day in any event, one possibility you can look at is adding a bit to it and making a big left hook around the entire metro area before entering ot from the west and heading straight for Anaheim. This would entail pulling up for the night somewhere between Sacramento (if you're starting from near Portland) and Bakersfield (if you're starting from southern Oregon) and then setting out the next morning for the Barstow area using CA-58 from Bakersfield. You'd then take I-15/I-215 south to Corona before turning west on CA-91 (freeway) into Anaheim. It's all a bit roundabout, and adds just about 100 miles to your drive, but it does manage to miss the worst of LA's traffic. Unfortunately, there is simply no way to avoid all of it.


  3. Default

    Thank you AZ Buck! I figured I wasn't being specific enough. The thing that frightens me most is I-5 downtown LA...that's what I really want to avoid. I'm just looking at options around the insane I-5 downtown LA area...I saw on another post from W. Larrison that said take 210 to 57 freeway to avoid downtown LA.

    I like the idea of going Barstow area, then to Corona before going west to Anaheim. I'm just looking at different options to avoid downtown LA...I'm going to take any ideas I can get and then map it to see what it looks like/make sense of it in my head!! So, any other thoughts out there? Thanks again AZ Buck!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Think like a pro -- shortest route is always better.

    As a frequent traveler in LA.... forget the fear. There is NO ADVANTAGE in adding miles and miles to your route -- all freeways are congested in LA 24/7. Some are more congested at peak periods -- but by far your best bet is the most direct route. I can guarantee it will be the shortest net time, even if your top speed is sometimes less than 15 mph.

    I drive the I-210 and CA-57 a lot -- at rush hour -- top speeds are ~ 10 mph.

    I like driving in LA -- even at the slower rates -- it an interesting city to drive through.

    Now, AZBuck's route would be more scenic -- but it will add considerable time to your trip. I just don't see the merit of the detour, you'll still be in heavy traffic most of your way in.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The thing you really have to keep in mind with LA Traffic is that unlike most cities, "downtown" isn't really the issue. The city is such a web of sprawl, that pretty much the entire area can and does see gridlock.

    For example, I-405 would avoid downtown, but its probably the worst highway in the region (if not the world) for traffic.

    I actually don't think I-5 is as bad, but you really have to pay attention, as there are a few spots where its very easy to get caught in the wrong lane and end up exiting onto a different highway.

    The 210 to 57 route looks like a pretty decent option, that might be your best bet. If you do decide to go all the way out to I-15, then you can save a few miles by using US-395 to cut south before you get to Barstow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I totally understand the fear you have ... I had that same fear for years. Notice that I used the past tense, "HAD". I found that the fear went away once I'd been in the traffic.

    Mark's suggested of I-5 to I-210 to CA-57 is SPOT ON. You will HAVE to get back to I-5 eventually, since the Disney properties are located in Anaheim right off the I-5.

    Allow extra time, or make the drive from Bakersfield down to Anaheim early on a Sunday morning. (But I wouldn't recommend Disney on a weekend!)


  7. Default

    Wow, thanks so much everybody for the is MUCH appreciated!!! It looks as if I-5 to I-210 to CA-57 is a route I'm going to look at...if anybody else has routes please let me know...thanks again SO much!!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Looks to me like 57 doesn't get you back to I-5 till you are south of Disneyland - what about taking 605 off 210? My mapping software says that will save you 12 miles.

  9. Default

    Does anybody know anything about Hwy 605 as opposed to 57? I'll look it up on the map, but thoughts on the hwy itself? Thanks again all!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If you're going to take the 605, then you might as well just take I-5 the whole way. At that point you're just taking another route to enter the heart of the beast.

    If you do take CA-57, then you don't need to go all the way down to I-5. You'd exit on Ball Rd or Katella Ave and take surface streets about 2 miles to Disney. (I'm pretty sure that GLC calculated going all the way down to I-5 and back up to come up with the 12 mile difference, if you go this way, the difference vs 605 is less than 5 miles.)

    However, I think I would defer to Marks advice here and stick with I-5 the whole way, as he has far more 1st hand knowledge of these specific roads. I've made the trip from north of LA to Anaheim several times, but I always took I-5 or I-405, and haven't driven these alternates myself.

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