quickest way from Vegas to Portland, OR
Hi, I'm going to Las Vegas with some friends in a few days. We'll be driving down Saturday & Sunday (through CA, stopping in Bakersfield), we have hotel reservations in Las Vegas for Sunday & Monday nights, and were planning to drive back over Tuesday & Wednesday. Unfortunately we found out we need to be back in Portland, OR by 10am on Wednesday. Sooooooo.... If we leave Tuesday morning - what's the fastest way to get from Las Vegas to Portland OR.
All the routes I checked are about 19 hours driving time. You could go over to I-5 and north, or take US95 north through Nevada to Klamath Falls and then connect with I-5 for the rest, or even I-15 north through Salt Lake City and then Boise and along the Columbia River -- all are about the same time-wise. Bob
Every time I look on Mapquest (or similar) it just tells me to go back through Bakersfield, north on 99 to the I5. I've gone back and forth to southern CA several times, so I'm really familiar with this route. I just heard from someone that it was faster to go through Nevada - he just didn't give me any specifics. I guess I should probably just go the way we are most familiar with and pray we make good time!!!
The Nevada route
Here's the most direct route -- although I'm not certain it is faster unless you are not concerned about speed limits...
Take US95 and Alt US95 north to Sparks, NV, I-80 west to US395, US395 north to Johnstonville, then west (not sure from my map whether this is SR36 or SR44) a short distance to Susanville, and pick up California SR139 becoming Oregon SR39 into Klamath Falls. From Klamath Falls, US97 north to SR58 north of Chemult, SR58 to Eugene and I-5 from there into Portland. This would be my choice of routes simply because the scenery is wilder and the areas traveled through more remote. That may not hold the same attraction for you...
Driving time on this route
I think the driving time on this route could be as little as 14.7 hours (roughly) -- this does not include any necessary stops. Using my normal rule of thumb for road trips, the whole trip comes out to 18.7 hours on the road at 52 mph. That would include reasonable stops for food and gas but not overnights. If you have multiple drivers so you can keep rolling, you can get somewhat closer to the 15 hour time.
the Nevada route
Well, there will be 4 of us who can share the driving, so if we have two people sleeping in the back with two people awake in the front seats (driver & navigator) we should be able to keep on rollin. I'm a little concerned about how 'desolate' it might be. Nice sceenery is a plus, but not being able to get gas at 3 am - is a major negative. Have you actually done this route?
It's been too long since I've been on the worrisome parts to remember where the stations are.
You'll do all right in Nevada, and along I-5. The only stretch I'm not sure about is between Reno and Eugene -- there are a couple of good sized towns along that route (Susanville, at least) so you'll probably be OK -- but what is the size of your gas tank and what kind of vehicle is it? What is the normal highway gas mileage?
First thing I'd do is see if you can make it between Reno and Susanville, and Susanville to Klamath Falls, and from there to Eugene on one tank each without cutting it too close -- then I'd look for links to the Chambers of Commerce in those towns and inquire as to whether they have an all-night gas station. Then you can make an "informed" choice!
Susanville does have an all-night service station (according to Patty at the Chamber of Commerce), so I think you'll do OK on this entire route 24 hours a day (that was the biggest hole).
CA139 is an all-weather road (meaning it doesn't get permanently closed for winter), so you should be fine on it and it is a real pretty drive, runs down a valley between the high country hills (not that it matters since you'll probably be there at night, eh?).
That's extremely helpful!!!
I have a neon, and theoretically I can get 30mpg or roughly 300 miles/tank freeway. In the city I get a lot closer to 24mpg. So I feel comfortable driving around 200 miles, but closer to 300 would make me nervous. I'll check it out on a map.
It's only 166 miles from Susanville to Klamath Falls, so you'll be fine.