Driving from San Diego to Pasadena

Jun 11th, 2003, 05:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 11
Driving from San Diego to Pasadena


I am leaving soon for a trip to San Diego and Pasadena. I am flying in to San Diego and then driving directly to Pasadena from the airport. Can anyone please tell me the best route to avoid the famous LA traffic. I will leave the San Diego airport at about 11 AM and hope to arrive Pasadena as soon as possible. Thank you so much!
skyeval is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 10:24 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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You don't say if you are arriving during the week or on a weekend. BUT at that time of the day the traffic shouldn;t be that bad.I drive from San Diego to that part of LA frequently. Where in Pasadena are you staying? Mapquest says it should take about 2 hours for just general directions from San Diego to Pasadena, which sounds right. Directions are pretty easy. Check it out. www.mapquest.com
DebiC is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 11:04 PM
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What time of the day will you be arriving in SD?

You could potentiall be facing SEVERAL major traffic headaches..starting off right here in San Diego. The first big one will be about 15miles up I-5, when I-805 merges with I-5 (the "bottleneck.)

The next potential hassle could be the Border Patrol checkpoint near San Onofre. This is where ALL cars and truck must pass thru BP agents who wave you through after eyeballing your passenger load.

Once past this...I'd Pay the extra 3dollars to take the toll-freeway (Hwy 73). It'll dump you back on the 405, so you'll bypass the traffic that passes through Anaheim/Disneyland/Edison Field, etc.

Once you merge onto the 405, you're probably gonna hit traffic. You'll probably be looking for the 110 fwy or 710 fwy to go to Pasadena, but these won't come until about 20-miles or so.

The 110 is majorly trafficky...especially when you pass thru downtown L-A.

Don't mean to scare you...but such is life for us who live and travel throughout SoCal. Just allow yourself some extra time. Bring along your favorite CD's or tapes...or punch-up the numerous sports-talk radio shows (like I do). Also, it's a good idea to check in on the all-news radio station every now and then for the latest traffic reports (KNX 1170 A-M...traffic every 6-minutes.)

Hope this helps. Welcome to SoCal, dude/dudette...and have fun!

Lucca Brazzi
San Diego, CA
LuccaBrazzi is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 11:09 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 83

My bad! I just re-read your post..saying you'll arrive in SD at 11am. As long as it's not a Friday, then you should avoid these logjams I just mentioned. But this being SoCal, just be prepared for those peskly fender-benders...which will quickly cause these headaches.

Barring any major accidents, it should probably take you about 2 1/2 hours to get from SD to Pasadena.

As far as the best route: From San Diego you have no choice: It's I-5 northbound from the airport. But I HIGHLY recommend you take that toll road (Hwy 73) when you hit OC...oops, that's Orange County to us locals. Once you dump back onto the 405, check that all-news radio station (AM 1170) to see if the 110 is traffic-free (the 110 hits before the 710; they both take you into Pasadena). If the 110 is bad, skip it and continue north til you hit the 710.
LuccaBrazzi is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 07:19 AM
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Bad advice from LuccaBrazzi. Taking I-5 always sucks and 710 (Long Beach freeway) is before 110 (Harbor freeway).

My advice is to take 163 N from the airport to I-15 North to 91 West (Beach/Cities) to 71 North (Corona) to the 210 (Pasadena freeway). Possible conjestion on 71 due to construction, but not much mid-day, even less on weekends.

I-5 is much more scenic until you reach Mission Veijo though.
nolists is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 08:00 AM
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I'm going to agree with nolists, the inland route is always much faster. It is not particularly scenic, though. ie -no ocean views. It will take a good two hours, possibly more.

Barbara is online now  
Jun 12th, 2003, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 300
I agree with the inland route. The San Diego fair in Del Mar is going to start in a few days and could add considerably to your drive if you take I-5.
kkj is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 08:47 AM
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I'm in agreement with those favoring the inland route. A straight I-5 route takes one past Disneyland-- which is almost guaranteed to be a parking lot on a nice weekend (and it looks like June Gloom is lessening even now); traffic through downtown LA will also be quite heavy (even on a weekend). The I-5/I-405/I-710 route cuts out Disneyland, but still takes one through the INS/USDA checkpoint and on the always-busy 710 (and all those trucks leaving the Port of LA/LB).

Inland will be faster and less nerve-wracking.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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Just an FYI - there is also an INS checkpoint on I-15. It's close to the Riverside County line.
Barbara is online now  
Jun 12th, 2003, 10:37 AM
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I am at a loss to understand several posts recommending the I-5 to the I-405 (via C-73) to the I-710 or C-110. That will take you quite a number of miles out of your way and even if the traffic is better (a doubtful question), it will take longer than taking the I-5 straight north into downtown LA and the Pasdena freeway (C-110) into Pasadena.

Either that or the inland route previously mentioned are the best bets but the inland route will also be many miles further. A hybred of the two would be the I-5 north in Santa Ana, then the C-57 to the I-210 to Pasadena.

I also agree with previous posts to listen to news or talk stations to get frequent traffic updates and adjust your route accordingly. The AM stations I often use are KFI-640, KABC-790, and KNX-1070 (not 1170 as a previous poster had it).

I also agree the at that time of day, barring accidents that create tie-ups, you should have realtively easy driving. I would not waste a lot of time getting on the road, however. Our afternoon rush starts to build between 2:30-3:00 PM.

Have a great visit.
dwooddon is offline  
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