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  1. #1
    aDropInTime Guest

    Default Road Trip Las Vegas to Vancouver


    me and my friend are flying over to Las Vegas in August.
    We're going to rent a car for 2 weeks and are planning a road trip along the West Coast, that is Las Vegas - LA - San Francisco - Porltand - Seattle - Vancouver.
    We don't intend to stay in each city for too long, and we don't count Vegas in because we'll be staying at a friend's house anyway.
    Our trip starts the moment we hit the road in Vegas to go to LA.
    From there on to San Francisco where we intend to stay for 3 days and then on to Portland.
    Now here's the question:
    How far exactly is it from San Francisco to Portland if we drive straight through without taking long breaks in other towns?
    I know that Portland is about 600 miles from Frisco.
    Can it be done in 7-8 hours?
    And what's the best way to go? I read a lot about the Interstate 5 that goes right up to Portland and even further.

    We'll probably stay at a friend's house in Portland, from there we would like to drive up to Seattle and maybe even up to Vancouver and then back including one night at a motel somewhere before heading back to Vegas.

    Is this all doable in 2 weeks? and what are the approximate driving times from city to city, esp. from San Francisco to Portland and then on to Seattle and Vancouver?
    Last edited by aDropInTime; 06-28-2005 at 12:41 AM.

  2. Default I-5 or US101

    How far exactly is it from San Francisco to Portland if we drive straight through taking long breaks in other towns?
    I know that Portland is about 600 miles from Frisco.
    Can it be done in 7-8 hours?
    And what's the best way to go? I read a lot about the Interstate 5 that goes right up to Portland and even further.
    From the Golden Gate Bridge to the I-5/I-205 interchange in Portland (near Tualatin, OR) it is 720 miles, roughly via US101 and Eureka -- or about 635 miles if you stick to I-5.

    This can be done in 8.5 hours on I-5, or 10 hours using US101. Both are extremely scenic. US101 gives you the coast between Eureka and Crescent City, then a run through the Redwoods to pick up I-5 at Grants Pass, Oregon. I-5 gives you the Mt Shasta area -- beautiful high forested mountains, valleys and lakes -- it'll remind you a bit of the Scottish Highlands if the weather is right (if you've seen those).

    Given you want to make good time, and you'll likely have already seen a bit of the coast between LA and San Francisco, I'll suggest you take I-5 and save the time. Keep in mind that my times are DRIVING time alone, not counting all the stops you make. Obviously, you won't be in Portland 8.5 hours after leaving San Francisco.

    Seattle is 3 more hours, Vancouver 2 more beyond that. Bob
    Last edited by Robert Schaller; 06-27-2005 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Corrected mileages.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    To make this trip you'll be driving a minimum of 3000 miles.

    Las Vegas to LA: 270 miles via I-15 (not a bad day's drive)

    LA to San Francisco: 381 miles via I-5 until you have to turn off on secondary highways to get to the Bay city (do-able in a day but a long day)

    San Francisco to Portland: 636 miles via I-5 (the quickest route). An extremely long day's drive. Do it in 2 if you have time. Or rotate drivers.

    Portland to Seattle: an easy 173 miles via I-5

    Seattle to Vancouver BC: an easy 144 miles via I-5 (allow time to cross the border, it can take a few hours if it's busy)

    Vancouver, BC to Las Vegas: about 1400 miles via the quickest route of I5, I90, I82, I84, and I15 taking you through eastern WA to Boise to Salt Lake City, and then back down to Vegas. Obviously a drive of several days depending on stops.

    There are tons to see along this route. It could easily take you 2 months to do it if you stop and see the sights, smell the roses, and play along the way. But if you're goal is the blitz drive to see as much as you can, it's do-able in 2 weeks.

  4. #4
    aDropInTime Guest


    thanks a lot, that's a great help.
    yeah... our goal is it to see as much as possible. it will be tiring and we'll probably need another 2 week holiday to recover afterwards but who knows when we'll get the chance again... and we have friends in LA and Portland which is good. we'll probably take it a bit slower in Portland instead of doing some hectic sight seeing so that we can save some energy for the 2nd week.

  5. #5

    Default It's doable -- but do you really want to??

    I agree with Judy, you can do it, but there is so much to see -- consider leaving Vancouver BC for another trip -- and spend more time in Seattle and Portland. Washington alone has three National Parks (Rainier, Olympic Mountains & North Cascades) and all are beautiful.

    Oregon has a breathtaking coastline (skip the Washington coast...) and, of course, has Crater Lake - the deepest lake in North America, and so incredibly BLUE! Check out the windsurfing in the Columbia River Gorge where you can surf all day on the river and never "go downstream!"

    California, besides having a varied and fabulous coastline, which you don't see from I-5 anywhere that I remember!, also has more National Parks than any other state. Yosemite is probably the most famous, but I think Death Valley (not far from Vegas) is extremely interesting.

    No matter what you see or don't see, you can't miss in this part of the country.

    Be sure not to miss the "scene" in Portland's new Pearl district!

    Have a great trip.

    Carol White
    Live Your Road Trip Dream
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-28-2005 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Add link -- Great Book!

  6. #6
    aDropInTime Guest



    we'll be staying in vegas for a total of 2 weeks, one week before and one week after the actual road trip so we'll do death valley, hoover dam and grand canyon sometime during these 2 weeks.
    we're not too keen on seeing national parks, althogh i believe that they're amazing. but we're more into seeing the cities, or at least a little bit of them and of course driving. we love to drive and we're used to driving a lot.

    what about highway 1 from LA to Frisco? someone mentioned the I-15?!

  7. Default SLO to San Francisco

    For intense driving pleasure, you'll want to drive California State Route 1 between at least San Luis Obispo and San Francisco. That takes in the most scenic portion of SR1 south of San Francisco. The road runs along the coast and has lots of twists, turns and grades to keep you happy. Unfortunately, it is also bound to be crowded (summer tourist season) and that will slow you down some, but nonetheless you will enjoy it. It's a driver's road.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Highway 1 is an incredible driving experience. If you have time, I'd do at least a part of it. I like all parts of that route but I prefer the section north of San Francisco as it is less crowded with other cars and the scenery is more rocky and rugged. But it's ALL good.

    The Oregon Coast is a fantastic drive as well. Again, it's hard for me to pick a favorite area. It can get crowded but you will also probably find stretches where it's not crowded and where a driver can really enjoy the drive. You can always drive part of it and, if you get tired of the twist-and-turns and slower pace, there are many options to turn onto I-5 along the way.

    The Washington Coast is good as well but, unfortunately, 101 doesn't hug the coast like it does in Oregon and like Hwy 1 does in California. I actually think the Washington beaches up on the northern part of our coastline on the Olympic Peninsula are the most gorgeous beaches of all. However, you can't drive along the road to see them from your car. You will need to take side roads to the coast and hike out to see most of the beauty of this rugged coastline. And it sounds like that isn't your thing.

    One of my favorite drives is going from the Lake Quinault area to Forks. This takes you along the west side of the Olympic Peninsula and the Olympic National Park. It's a beautiful drive and, for a driver, a nice combination of straight open stretches with twisty-bits here and there to play on. And the scenery is gorgeous. But if you're into cities, this is a very rural area and the "cities" along the way are just small towns. It might not be your bag.

    I'm not all that into the city scene so I don't have much to suggest in the cities. Here's a few of the things I can think of though I'm not sure if this is the kind of stuff that rocks your boat:

    Portland: Saturday Market, Powell's Books (the most amazing bookstore in the world...seriously cool)

    Seattle: the Public Market on 1st Avenue, the waterfront, Ye Olde Curiousity Shoppe, Pioneer Square, the Underground Tour, Hiram Chittenden Locks, Fremont, Ballard

    Vancouver BC: Gastown, Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge, drive to Whistler

    I can't wait to hear your trip report when you get done with your adventure!

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