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  1. #1

    Default Driving from Victoria B.C. to Mesa, AZ

    My wife and I will be driving down the west coast from Victoria B.C. to Bakersfield CA and across to Las Vegas and on to Mesa AZ in January. We have a condo there starting mid- January. My questions are how much time should we set aside for the drive and which route should we take?

    I've selected Bakersfield only because I felt it would be less congested than further south in California. We've visitedI the Bay area several times and really enjoy it but never in January, so I imagine winter weather might make things quite different - rain and fogs come to mind. Which pass(es) will we need to cross and what weather should we expect there. We've made the trip to Arizona from Calgary so we are familiar with the Monida Pass. What's in store for us on this trip?

    I anticipate a 4 day trip. We like a reasonably relaxed drive and will have our dog with us. Any suggestions on places of interest and stopping points?

    I look forward to your advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    My mapping program suggests the most efficient way to Las Vegas is via Salt Lake City. This would require using Snoqualmie Pass on I-90. If you go via Bakersfield, you will have to go over the Siskiyous in southern Oregon. This is actually only about an hour longer. Predicting the weather this far in advance is impossible, you will need to check on conditions just before you leave and make your decision on routing at that time.

    Either way, you are looking at a full 3 day run from Victoria to Las Vegas.

    Removing Las Vegas from the equation then favors I-5 all the way to the LA area.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Your Response

    Thanks for getting back so quickly. I've just looked at your choices and would revise our plans based on your suggestions. We could drive down to Bakersfield and then take 58 east to join the I-40 to Kingman and there take 93 to Phoenix. Or we could do as you suggest and take the I-5 to LA and the I-10 east to Phoenix. Both look do-able. Any further suggestions?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I personally would take 58 and avoid LA. This would also avoid the Grapevine on I-5 north of LA. The Tehachapi Pass on 58 is not as severe. The best way from I-5 to 58 is get off at Lost Hills and take 46 to 99. If you plan on staying a night in Bakersfield, I'd recommend you stay near 99 or on the west side of it, the eastern part of the city is pretty rough. Staying in the town of Tehachapi or Mohave are also good options.

  5. #5


    Dear glc,

    I've been doing quite a bit of map work since I last wrote you. I think we'll take the southern route, from LA on I-10 to Phoenix. So now, I'm looking at places to stop for the night on a 3 night / 4 day drive from Victoria to Mesa. I've selected Eugene as being reasonable for Day 1 (365 miles and a ferry crossing would likely mean an 8 hour day. I've checked out accommodation as far south as Medford to give us some flexibility.) For Day 2, I had selected Sacramento as a stopping site, but see that it's about 100 miles farther, plus driving over passes from Oregon. How would that stack up in hours driving? A killer?

    Day 3, I had thought about Bakersfield, but your earlier suggestion kind of put me off it. You had mentioned Mojave and I had thought of Barstow or Victorville? Any suggestions here?

    Day 4, we're on to Mesa and on home ground.

    Any suggestions you have will be appreciated. I am an AMA member and have good data on places to stay and eat, but highway information is something I could use help with.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default which way?

    I'm a little puzzled, you said you're thinking of taking "the southern route from LA I-10 to Phoenix" but then you are also talking about going through Barstow or Victorville which aren't on that route.

    Its not a right or wrong, I'm just not sure what direction your thinking of going.

    Eugene to Sacramento is a little under 500 miles, which should be a pretty easy drive that will take about 8 hours.

    After Sacramento, I think you could get to San Bernardino quite easily, and you could even push onto Palm Springs if you wanted to do just a short day into Phoenix/Mesa on day 4. I lived in Bakersfield, and while its certainly a blue collar town with some rough stops, I wouldn't have a problem stopping there for a night - its just a matter that I think you should cover more miles this day.

    If you are looking to bypass LA, then I would use CA-58 to US-395 to I-15/I-215. And if you are going that route, I might get off I-5 all the way up around Stockton, using CA-4 or CA-120 to go over to CA-99. That will take you down the East side of the central valley, but its all freeway and would let you skip the 2 lane highways needed if you stay on I-5 all the way into the southern end of the Valley.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Maritime Pacific Northwest (Seattle area)


    Hi: I've done this trip several times. From Victoria you will be traveling south on I-5 through Seattle (If you are taking the ferry over to Seattle you catch I-5 there, if you are taking the Black Ball to Port Angeles, go south on #101 to the Olympia area to catch I-5). Stay on that through Oregon. In January, the only mountains you may have a problem with, are the Syskiu mountains just south of Medford. I stay in Medford and start over the pass during daylight. Check those pass conditions. Sacramento to Bakersfield and then if you want to go to Las Vegas, go southeast from there through Lake Havesu City and to Phoenix. Mesa is just east of Phoenix. OR you can go further south to catch I-10 going east and then north to Mesa. You may want to take one route going down, and the other on return.

    Someone mentioned using I-90 across Snoqualamie Pass but I do NOT recommend that. That is not a good route to your destination. It puts you into lots of bad weather and bad roads.

  8. #8


    Good suggestions, both of you. We'll look to get to Eugene, possibly Medford on Day 1, Sacramento on day 2, and possibly as far as Palm Springs on Day 3. (Las Vegas is not really a part of our plans for this trip.) Day 3 will be quite long, and depending on the traffic, we may stop earlier, but if we hang in there, we'll have a short stint into Mesa the next day.

    Day 1 and 2 are fairly light. Any suggestions about sights to stop for, good places to stretch our legs and walk the dog?

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