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  1. Default Suggestions needed for December trip from Edmonton to California

    Hi all,
    We (me, wife and 7 month old twins) have 'intentions' to go on a road trip from Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) to California and back starting 20th of December and coming back on 30th of December. We recently did a road trip from Edmonton to Vancouver and that was quite fun. Our last long road trip was from Toronto to Edmonton about 2 years back in November when we were not parents - it was a long rip and quite fun. We have driven from Toronto to Houston in 2010 in 27 hours - was an impulsive trip.... Edmonton to Cali is similar distance but I haven't driven on that route. We would like to spend most of the time in Cali and drive as fast as possible.

    Any suggestions and/or advices on what routes will be scenic and safer (because of the weather)? We intend to spend time between San Diego and SFC area, where should we head first SFC or San diego or it doesn't really matter? Is crossing mexico border for a day a good idea? what are the scenic drives? What are some of the good places for shopping for kids? What kind of weather should we expect there - mild or cold? let me stop here and wait for some answers :)

    p.s - google suggests this route:
    1. Enter US from Idaho (US-95 S)
    2. Pass through Spokane (using I-90 W)
    3. US-395 S to US-97 S to I-5 taking us to SFC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    For planning purposes, it's at LEAST 3 full days each way from Edmonton to San Diego and back - and that's via the fastest inland Interstate routes. So, if you want to do any sightseeing at all, you start adding days.

    My mapping software says the fastest way to SFO is head to the border via Calgary and Lethbridge, crossing at Sweetgrass. Take I-15 to Pocatello, then I-86/I-84 to Twin Falls, US-93 to Wells, then I-80 the rest of the way to SFO. This in itself is a full 3 days, overnights needed in Helena or Butte and Wells. If you want to stay toward the coast, you can certainly take the US-95 to I-90 to US-395 route, but I'd be inclined to stay on I-84 to Portland to pick up I-5. US-97 is not a fast road, the Oregon speed limit is only 55 mph except on Interstates, which are 65. Your overnights would be Coeur D'Alene and Eugene (Bend if you do take US-97).

    I would highly recommend taking the extremely scenic Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) from SFO to LA, this will be a minimum of 2 days. Then, it's only a few hours to SD. I do NOT recommend a Mexican border crossing.

    If you are in a hurry to get back home, just take I-15 out of SD all the way to Canada. 3 days.

  3. Default

    Thanks GLC! I have taken notes and intend to keep PCH (CA-1) from SFA to LA as the highlight of the trip ...keeping in mind 2-3 days.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-29-2013 at 12:04 AM. Reason: inline quote not needed here

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Is flying an option ?

    I'm usually the last person to talk anyone out of driving, but in this case are you sure you wouldn't be better flying south and renting a car for 8 or 9 days ? To include the coast road between SF and LA you have about 8.5 days on the road, without any possible weather disruption considered and 7 month old twins to cater for. You will need to stop more regular and for longer each time they need a feed or nappy changing and general parenting if they are unhappy. If one [or both] of them has a bad night and keep you awake, you could end up exhausted the next day. "As fast as possible" really takes on a new meaning with babies to consider. ;-)

    The trip is possible if you want to spend the most part driving over Christmas, but if you are planning on a couple of days in SF and LA to do shopping and sight seeing then you need to reconsider in my opinion.

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