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  1. Default road trip from vancouver to LA

    I'm a student in LA, and I'm driving there from my hometown, Vancouver. I'm hoping to do it in two days and a I would leave on a thursday morning, and arrive around midday on Saturday. When I look up directions on Mapquest, they basically tell me to take the I-5 for 24 hours straight, but I'm worried that I would die of boredom. Does anyone have any suggestions on a route I could take that wouldn't take me too long, but would be a little more interesting? (I was thinking that I could maybe take the PCH for part of it.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default 1300 miles

    Quote Originally Posted by cc_canale View Post
    I'm a student in LA, and I'm driving there from my hometown, Vancouver.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Is this Vancouver BC or WA? If it is Vancouver, BC -- it is nearly 1300 miles and even if you use the fastest possible route (I-5) that would be two days at 11.5 hours and, unless you are expert driver, this is too many hours for a solo driver. I have always liked I-5 and never found any section of it to be boring -- but, in any case, if you drive PCH you need to add an extra day. It takes ~10 hours to drive from LA to San Francisco on PCH.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Alternate


    In the time you have alotted, I-5 is about your only option, and as Mark notes, it is a long way to drive solo in 2+ days. If you can add a day you might be able to catch Hwy 101 north of San Francisco and take the Avenue of the Giants parallel road north of Garberville to Humbolt Redwoods. Then, in Oregon there are several places where you can cross back to I-5 for the rest of the trip. I wouldn't recommend the drive from Crescent City to Grants Pass only because it is pretty slow.

    Just take it easy and enjoy the ride.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  4. Default 2 days and a bit, means pretty much I-5

    If you've only gotten 2 days and a bit to make the drive from Vancouver BC to LA, you're pretty much on I-5 the whole way.

    I just (last month) finished pretty much the same trip -- Bellingham WA to LA. (Bellingham WA is about 30 minutes south of the border).

    You can do the trip on I-5 in 2 long days. So adding "a bit" isn't going to buy you much more time.

    If you're looking for maybe an extra half day, you're not going to add much time for sightseeing -- I'd encourage you to only target places that are either on parallel routes to the I-5, such as the 99 in the California Central Valley or the Oregon Williamette Valley, or the 101 in California -- or short side trips near I-5.

    There are some things to short side trips
    -- Mt St Helens (figure at least 2-3 hours round trip from I-5)
    -- Mt Lassen Volcanic National Park (figure 3-4 hours from Redding through Lassen, and back to I-5 at Red Bluff)

    But I've never been bored on I-5. There are actually lots of interesting places to stop and visit, and intereting things if you just keep your eyes open.

    For example (and I'm just going to focus on the I-5 south of the CA/Oregon border)
    -- Castle Craigs
    -- Mt Shasta
    -- Shasta Caverns
    -- Redding Turtle Bay (particularly the Sundial Bridge)
    -- Corning (for Olives and rice and nuts)
    -- Old Town Sacramento
    -- California Rail Musuem in Sacramento
    -- National Wildlife Sanctuaries (Sacramento, Los Banos, Merced, Kern, and numerous others)
    -- Fort Tejon
    -- Colinga (old Coaling A, and the "airplane highway" California route 33 which parallels I-5)
    -- West Kern County Oil Musuem
    -- Tule Elk preserves (there are some near Los Banos, and a specific preserve south near Lost Hills)
    -- Lost Hills Oil Field
    -- Carizzo Plain National Monument (about a 90 minute - 2 hours side trip)

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