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  1. Default St. George, Utah to Pismo Beach

    We are starting to plan a rv vacation and was wondering which is faster CA-166 or CA-46 going from St. George, Utah to Pismo Beach, CA? Also what kind of road is CA-166? We have traveled on CA-46 many times. What do you think the travel time would be both ways and where to stay if we stopped in the middle of our journey?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Next Best Thing to Being There

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are millions of miles of roads on America, and much as we all would like to, we can't - and haven't - driven them all. What we do have, as do you, is access to mapping and satellite programs that let you find how many miles there are between two given points by any road combination and, in addition, the ability to see actual photographs of every mile of the roads involved. In the case of your request I used Google Maps to see what I'd do in your case. And that would be to take the usual I-15/CA-58 to the Bakersfield area, but then take CA-223 as sort of a bypass around the southern edge of the city and then (un-numbered) Old River Road down to CA-166 which in turn would take me to US-101 and ultimately Pismo Beach. This is the shortest route and avoids the drive through downtown Bakersfield. From the satellite views, CA-166 looks like a fairly standard two-lane highway through sparsely settled arid terrain with farms and then a few light industrial sites along it. At its western end, it does follow a fairly narrow canyon through some hilly terrain involving quite a few curves but no steep grades. Just the kind of road I like.


  3. Default Ummm.....

    Umm... I've been on both CA 46 and 166 within the last year. ... 166 from Bakersfield area over to Santa Maria in mid January this year.

    If you're doing a speed run, I'd recommend CA 46 -- straighter, faster and a very good quality road.

    CA 166 is also a very good quality road, but typically more winding (particularly on the western 1/2) and you won't travel quite as fast.

    Your trade I quess, is a slightly slower route, but it might be slightly shorter to take 166 instead of going farther north and taking 46.

    If you're coming in from St George, by far the most selection of hotel rooms is in Bakersfield. Other than that, there's not a lot of places to stay between west of the I-5 until you get to the 101 coorridor. I mean, on 166 there's a small hotel in Maricopa (a Motel 8? If memory serves), and a small place in Cuyama, and thats about it before Santa Maria. Biggest town in the area is Taft, and it has like 3-4 small, older motels. On the 46, about the last place with hotels is Lost Hills, which has several right next to the I-5, and then nothing until you get to the 101 and Paso Robles.

    However..... there are some interesting places in western Kern County..... There's the Lakeview Gusher site near Maricopa (largest gusher in the US... and happened back in 1910). There's the west Kern County Oilfield Musuem in Taft. There are number of oil pits and seeps up along between Taft and McKettrick -- sort of like the La Brea Tar Pits, but no where near as explored or investigated. There's the Carrizo Plain National Monument (but the road from north to south is about 12 miles of dirt road through it), with petroglyphs, wildlife, and Soda Lake. There's the San Andreas Fault area. On the 46 route there's the Kern National Wildlife Refuge (and you're near a couple of others). There are numerous wineries (particularly on 46).

  4. #4

    Default Splitting the difference

    Between CA 46 and CA 166 is CA 58, the Carissa Highway. From the Central Valley, it crosses the Temblor Range and skirts the northern end of Carrizo Plain NM. It's curvy and has many dips and humps, but the section I was on back in November 2007 was truly "Big Sky Country" so the curviness didn't seem extreme.

    If you go on CA 46 to the north, you can take in the James Dean Memorial, at Cholame, where CA 46 and CA 41 join.



  5. Default

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. As I mentioned earlier, we have traveled CA-46 a lot but did not want to get on a road that was winding around to much. We also wanted the quickest way, so the 46 it is.

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