Help for LA to Las Vegas trip

Apr 18th, 2006, 08:03 AM
Original Poster
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Help for LA to Las Vegas trip

we are flying from Philadelphia, and spending two weeks in CA and Las Vegas, NV. Here is our plan but like to know if we will hit any traffic during our trip.

We are first visting Disney for three days then going to San Francisco for three days. 1. We will be driving to SF from LA on Saturday. will it be problem to drive to SF? and what is the best scenic route?

2. From San Francisco, we will drive to Las Vegas (long drive) but what is the best option as far as expressway goes?

3. From Las Vegas, we are planningto drive back to Los Angeles airport for 1:00 PM flight on Saturday. when shall we leave Las Vegas to catch 1:00 PM flight. would it be OK to leave Las Vegas on Saturday 6:00 am to catch 1:30 PM flight? how is the traffic on saturday coming vrom Las Vegas to Los Angeles? please help

Tumegoda is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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Hi tumegoda,

I lived in southern Ca for 30 years. If it were me I would take the rental car from LA to SF, taking about 3 -4 days for this segment. Then I would FLY to Vegas and FLY from Vegas to LA.

The drive between Vegas and LA is boring and not scenic at all.
Dayle is online now  
Apr 18th, 2006, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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The drive from L.A. to S.F. shouldn't be a problem. The traffic should be OK depending on what time of day you leave the L.A. area. Nowadays, traffic is bad in L.A., especially on Saturdays and especially in the afternoon. But once you leave the L.A. area, the traffic should be OK. The most scenic route is to drive along the coast, and also has the most things to see. But it's a much longer drive.

Your drive from Vegas to L.A. should definitely be OK if you leave at 6:00 AM.
jcena is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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The previous post is right in that there's nothing to see at all on the drive from Vegas to L.A.....if you're looking for that.
jcena is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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I live in Las Vegas and indeed the drive to LA is boring. My son does it all the time and does not mind it. People at work think I am crazy to fly for the short distance. I have made that drive many times and can't stand it.

I don't know what the traffic will be like during your drive, sorry. Good luck.
IamBooth is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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OK, a little Tough Love first of all.

The topic of the LA to SF drive comes up several times daily on this Forum. Have you searched for info on this yet? You can do it in one day, IF you forego any scenery and drive I-5 through the Central Valley. Any thoughts of a "scenic route" will take you to CA-1 and CA-101-- and will take you at least TWO days, preferably THREE. Remember: Between LA and SF are some 380 miles or so of California scenery.

"Disney", aka Disneyland, is not LA. It is a theme park. In Anaheim. In Orange County. You can spend three days at Disneyland, sure. But don't think you will have seen one iota of Los Angeles or the rest of southern California. Other than the suburban Generica of Anaheim.

San Francisco is one of those great cities in the world where having a car is a LIABILITY. Unless you're planning to do a lot of touring outside the City, I'd think about dropping off the car.

The SF-LV drive is dull and long. The LV-LA drive is dull and long (and, if there's an accident on I-15, you will be stuck in traffic for a long time). It is better and cheaper AND SAFER to fly.

You may want to rethink this a bit....
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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Oops-- CA-1 and US-101. Gotta get those highways right...!
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Definitely some pros and cons about driving vs flying from Vegas to L.A. Yes, the drive is boring as it's mostly desert, but IF you don't mind that, then the drive is not bad at all if you're leaving that early in the morning. And yes, 1 accident can definitely screw you up! With the price of gas today, it might be cheaper to fly IF you can find a cheap flight, which is one of the bad things about flying from Vegas to L.A. or vice versa.....JUST TRYING TO FIND A CHEAP FLIGHT!! But your chances might be pretty good if you want to leave Vegas on a Sat.
MrTraveler is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Thanks everyone for the great response. now I am thinking about getting flight from Las Vegas to LA. I am stupid because I bought round trip air tickets from Phila to Los Angeles. I should got my return from Las Vegas.

One more question: if there is no major accident on LV to LA drive then what is the normal driving time? is any alternate route available?

I am also searching for air tickets at this time.
Tumegoda is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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Four to five hours drive. No alternate route.

Heck, you could fly back to Philadelphia from Las Vegas.
IamBooth is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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I would also consider flying from SF to LV. It is a very very long drive and there is no great route, unless you want to take a scenic route and go through Mammoth Lakes and make it last a couple of days. One way tickets on SW airlines may be reasonable.
kangamom is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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San Francisco to Las Vegas is 575 miles and plan on 9 hours driving time. The fastest route would be I-580, I-5, Hwy 58 and I-15.

utahtea is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 10:51 AM
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It may cost you less just to change your return tickets to Vegas/Philadelphia raher than booking a separate one way ticket LV - LAX. Less gas, less boring drive, less car rental day, less stress trying to make it to LAX.

But then, if it were me I would not go anywhere near Vegas at all!
Dayle is online now  
Apr 18th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Don't get those air tickets from Vegas to L.A. until you find out how much extra it is gonna cost you to drop the car in Vegas.
tracys2cents is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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You can fly to Las Vegas from either Oakland or San Jose on Southwest for about $100. The Oakland airport in particular is easily accessible from downtown San Francisco. Las Vegas to Los Angeles on SW is $49. We just paid $60 on gas alone for a rental car to drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and back (about 560 miles). If you flew both legs instead of driving, you would avoid the rental car fees, drop charge, gas, and a lot of desert driving.
enzian is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:45 AM
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The drive from Vegas to LA is about 4 hours, can be done in about 3 1/2 if no stops at all. I make this drive pretty often and it isn't too bad. I leave at about 6AM most times and there is "usually" no traffic. However, if there is an accident, be prepared to wait a VERY long time, but...knock on wood, I have been very lucky with this. The worst time to make that drive is Vegas to LA on Sunday morning when they are all checking out and heading home, and of course LA to Vegas (northbound) Friday night when they have all got off work and are coming in. Personally, I think the drive isn't too bad, the worst stretch is from Vegas to Baker, then just past Baker it starts to get a little more green, by the time you hit B the El Cajon pass you are through the worst of it. I have also flown several times and even though the flight is a mere 45 minutes from gate to gate, you got to arrive at the airport early, then get out of LAX which can be a hassle and before you know it, it has taken 3+ hours anyway. If I were you and you are still thinking of driving back to LA, leave no later than 6AM like you said and provided there is no accident you should be more than ok.
vegasnative is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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LAS to LAX is 280 miles or so. At a steady 70 mph, you'll travel this in four hours. Some parts should have a speed limit of 75, others will be at 65. It's still a draining drive.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 01:37 PM
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What I would do, if not to late or expensive to cancel reservations you already made, is purchase a circle trip ticket. Fly into LA spend some time, fly from LA to San Francisco, spend some time, fly from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Win a lot of money from our casinos here then fly from Las Vegas back home to Philadelphia.

But I would price the route first...would it be cheaper to fly to San Franciso first, or Las Vegas first, or LA first. Keep in mind there is more than 1 airport you can use in LA and San Francisco.
IamBooth is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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As already mentioned - if you drive LA to SF in one day you will not see ANY scenery. It will be a long hot boring drive (BTW - I may have missed it, but what time of year is this trip. Makes a big difference on a couple of your legs)

What is most important to you - scenery along the coast and around SF -- OR -- going to Las Vegas?

If you just want to hit LA/SF/LV - then driving makes no sense. But if you want scenery, then you need to modify your itinerary . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Apr 21st, 2006, 12:18 PM
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If you decide to do the drive from Las Vegas to LA, be sure to double-check the CalTrans website for road conditions. There's road work being done around Baker that caused an hour delay last week going into Vegas and a two hour delay going away from Vegas.
jlaughs is offline  

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