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  1. Default Vegas - LA/Santa Barbara - Something Different


    Hoping to pick your brains about a route back from Vegas to LA/Santa Barbara happening on our trip in 2 weeks time. Booked a last minute holiday and really looking forward to escpaing the Uk and coming back to Cali. We actually did a wedding and roadtrip in October (LA-Vegas-DV-Tioga Pass-SF-PCH-LA) but are looking for something different.

    This year we have a rough idea of what we are doing but I'm trying to sort out somehting more fun on the way back to LA from Vegas. We are going from San Diego to Vegas on Mon 28th March for 5 nights then heading back to Santa Barbara. The thing is that the girlfriend is wanting to fly back down I15 and head straight back to Santa Barbara (SB) in one long drive so we have more time in SB.

    But I have suggested cutting back through DV again as it is that amazing, stopping over outside of death valley near Sequoia then having a 3hr drive to SB on teh following day. Only thing is that I have looked at stopping at Lake Isabella/Kernville and she naturally wants the extra driving and stop off to be worthwhile seeing as this journey is a good 8+ hrs with stops.

    Any thoughts on this and areas to stay, looked at Kernville or even Mojave (but that looks a bit desolate)?

    I've also looked at heading South from Vegas going down the 95 through Mojave National Preserve and down through Twenty Nine Palms and Joshua tree NP and staying over at Palm Springs, then driving to Santa Barbara the next day. Only thing is though that Mojave preserve seems a bit flat and boring and the long drive probably isn't worth it.

    To round up, the choices are:
    1. Drive back to Santa Barbara from Vegas is one long trip as quick as possible = 7ish hours in 1 day

    2. Vegas to DV and stay over around Kernville or somewhere better? = 8hr drive day one, then 3hr to SB next day.

    3. South of Vegas through Mojave and Joshua Tree NP and stay over at Palm Springs? = 4ish hours in 1 day then 3hrs to SB next day.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Since you didn't visit Sequoia on your last trip, I think I'd take the Kernville option, but from there continue up towards Johnsondale and take a quick tour of the Trail of 100 Giants. This is not part of Sequoia National Park (which would be significantly more driving) but a nice easy place to see some Giant Sequoias, and just a nice drive in general. From there, you could head out into the Central Valley via California Hot Spring, shoot across CA-46 through some nice wine country to Paso Robles, and then head down the coast. That is going to take up some more time (although getting from Kernville to SB in 3 hours seems beyond optimistic to me in the first place, I doubt you could even do it in 4) and will take you most of the day, but if you've got 5 days in Vegas, and you've already been there, I think it would be something worth looking at.

  3. #3

    Default Door #3?

    Hello Adam,

    It's a fairly quick run down I-15 from Vegas to Barstow or Victorville. From either one, you can go through or by Palmdale to Santa Clarita, and from there to Santa Paula along CA 126, then north to the nice little village of Ojai. Ojai is but a short drive from Santa Barbara but from Santa Paula through Ojai to S B is hilly and very scenic, as is the drive from Palmdale to Santa Clarita and from SC to Santa Paula. Victorville to Palmdale is a bit hectic and sketchy along the Pearblossom Highway, so I'd favor turning west at Bakersfield, thence dropping south to Palmdale.

    One could also remain west on CA 58 through Bakersfield and pass by/through the Carrizo Plain NM, a neat little patch of desert w/ a dry lakebed in the middle and featuring one of the best exposures of the San Andreas Fault to be found anywhere.

    Either way, you're looking at an easy day's drive, with plenty of time to stop and smell the roses, and zero of the LA Basin traffic issues--you stay well to the north the whole way, either way.


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