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  1. Default Portland to Las Vegas

    Hello there!

    We are planning on leaving around 11pm on Monday the 28th from Portland, OR to Las Vegas.

    I have been getting a lot of mixed messages about what the best route is to take.

    Some say all the way down i5 to LA and cut over but that seems like I much longer trip. Another one is down i5 and cut over at Bakersfield. Or to just not take i5. We are looking for the safest route as we want to be safe, but faster would be nice.

    We drive an Acura MDX, and we have purchased the chains for the front tires as well.

    Hope someone can give advise.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two Heads are Better than One

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Or in this case, having two possible routes is better than just having a single route that you have to take, no matter what. The fact is that your two major possibilities: 1) I-5 down to Bakersfield, CA-58 t Barstow, and I-15 from there; and 2) I-84 to Twin Falls and US-93 south from there differ by only about 100 miles and an hour of driving. A third possibility, I-84 to north of Salt Lake City and I-15 to Las Vegas also falls within the same general parameters, about 1100 miles and two full days of driving. So what would be the deciding factor in choosing one over the other(s)? Weather, of course. Rather than count on chains, find the route that won't see snow (probably). Right now, the National Weather Service is predicting light rain with little accumulation along all three routes on the 28th, with that precipitation turning to snow on the mountain tops (but not in the valleys or passes). So you can pick any one of the three routes and probably encounter the same weather. You might as well pick the most scenic route or the one you haven't driven yet, because unless you have more than two days for the drive, you won't really be able to stop anywhere except for a good night's sleep.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Just some more food for thought: Going between Barstow and Las Vegas on I-15 is likely to mean a LOT of traffic. It's always crazy crowded anyway, but just before New Years is even more crazy. That's because of all of the Southern California (LA and San Diego) folks rushing up to spend New Year's in LV. In many ways, you might be better off with taking the 84 to Twin Falls and US-93 from there. US-93 is scenic, anyway. Try to drive it during the DAY, though.

    I'm not sure why you're leaving so late at night, though? I hope you're planning on staying somewhere overnight, not trying to drive this all the way through after a long day at work.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You need to wait till the next morning to leave and get an early start. This is a FULL 2 days drive.

  5. Default

    I really want to say thank you for all the additional advice. I will ddiscuss the.routes with the rest of the group. We are leaving that early because our friend gets off work around then. We will have 4 drivers, so I don't believe we will need to stay anywhere over night unless we think the conditions are bad.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Two full days!!

    Having four drivers is irrelevant - this is still a full two day drive. Just sitting in a moving vehicle is tiring and fatigue starts to set in.

    Fatigue is an insiduous enemy on the road, it builds up slowly without the person being aware of it. By the time they become aware, it is too late, and, sadly, often fatal. They may not feel tired, but then I have never known a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs admit that they were not fit to drive. Unfortunately fatigue has the same affect on the human body.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Lifey speaks the truth: nobody gets any rest! I've done what you are planning to do, but many years ago. Four of us went from MO to CA, straight through, rotating drivers. I can say that I got very little sleep, but was expected to drive a 2-hour shift when it became my turn. Frankly, I'm not sure how safe I was, probably okay on the first run, but the second rotation? I will never do this again!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    It really should go without saying that your plan is extremely reckless. There's just no way to do what you are planning safely.

    But I'll add to that two important pieces of information.

    First, if you are leaving at 11pm, that means you'll be getting to Southern Oregon - Where you will deal with the most mountains, and the largest chance of seeing bad weather - in the middle of the night. That's when it will be hardest to identify how good or bad the roads are (identifying black ice at night is not easy!) That's also when your body's will be expecting to sleep, and thus you'll be the least able to deal with, potentially rapidly changing road conditions.

    Second, even if you make the trip safely, you're all but guaranteeing that when you arrive in Vegas, you'll be beyond exhausted, and it's really hard to have fun - even in a place as exciting as Vegas - when you are exhausted. Stopping overnight along the way will make for a much more enjoyable trip, in the long run.

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