Las Vegas to LA

Old May 9th, 2017, 05:28 AM
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Las Vegas to LA

We'll be driving from Las Vegas to LA in July and I'm wondering if it's worth driving the Angeles Crest Highway. I've read that the drive between LV and LA is boring and to get it over as quickly as possible. This looks like a more scenic route but it adds on an hour and a half.

My main concern is that this means we'll be arriving in LA around 4pm, and I don't know how bad the traffic will be coming in from this direction.

Do you think we'd be better off avoiding it?
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Old May 9th, 2017, 06:50 AM
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By the time you get to the east end of the Angeles Crest Highway you've already driven through the Mojave Desert which is the worst part of the trip. http://angelescrestscenichighway.com/
It makes big difference what day of the week you are making the trip and how hot it is on the day in July you travel.
If you must drive it, make sure you have good AC and plenty of fluids with you. Fill the gas tank in Las Vegas.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 08:54 AM
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I've driven to Vegas dozens of times. I find much of the desert scenery to be beautiful.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 08:59 AM
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Fly.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 10:04 AM
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We can't fly as we're doing a loop from San Francisco through Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas and back to LA. We need to drop the rental car back in California to avoid one way fees. I'm assuming the rental car will be pretty new with good A/C.

I'm not too fussed about the boring scenery, UK motorways aren't particularly scenic and we've done plenty of long drives on them! We'll probably enjoy at least some of the drive as it'll be so different to what we see in the UK.

My main concern is whether the traffic will be terrible due to the later arrival time and whether the scenery from Angeles Crest is pretty enough to justify it! We're leaving Vegas on a Friday morning so it'll be Friday afternoon that we arrive in LA.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 10:29 AM
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"...UK motorways aren't particularly scenic and we've done plenty of long drives on them!"

Oh, dear, you have no idea how not scenic not scenic can be if that your comparison. More importantly, maybe you've discussed your timeline on other threads, but given the season and your desert destination, it seems to me it would make a great deal more sense and make for a much nicer visit all-around, to just stay in California. There are so many nice things to see between northern and southern California, unless you've been here before and have seen it all, I strongly recommend you consider dumping an awful place (in my opinion) and replace it with any number of choices for great.

I realize what your question was but sometimes we ask questions when the real issue is something entirely different. We're here on this board as much to steer each other back on track, you must know, as much as giving those narrow sorts of answers.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 10:59 AM
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We both really want to go to Vegas, I know summer isn't the best time but we're really looking forward to it. We can both drive so if the drive is really boring we can swap over. We probably won't come back to the US for a long time so we want to keep Vegas.

This is part of a month long trip down the west coast. We're going to Vancouver first, then to Seattle where we'll hire a car and drive down to San Francisco with time to see the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon coast, Redwoods and northern California for the first half of our trip, so we do have time to see California too.

The drive from Vegas to LA is probably going to be the longest drive of our trip, we have stops on all of the others.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:29 AM
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Then I'd say opt for the shortest drive to your destination that day. LA freeways can be parking lots any time of any day, especially mid-afternoon to mid-evening. Don't make any plans.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:58 AM
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I would just drive straight through and get it over with, Friday is the worst day for traffic in LA.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 12:33 PM
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Thanks everyone, we'll give it a miss. If we're not stuck in traffic for hours we'll leave the car at the apartment and spend the late afternoon at the beach instead!
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Old May 9th, 2017, 01:14 PM
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We did the drive from Las Vegas to LA some years back. I thought it was fun. Maybe because we drove really fast and the fact that we don't get to see the desert landscape everyday (no desert in western NY). Traffic would be a downer but we didn't run into any until we got right to the LA area. Good luck. Have fun.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 02:40 PM
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Going from Las Vegas to LA on Friday means you'll be on the quieter side of the freeway crossing the desert. Most traffic on Fridays is going to Vegas.

When you drive through Baker, about 2 hours from Vegas, look for the giant thermometer (on your right).

Shortly after you cross into California, there's a massive, and somewhat controversial, solar installation on your right.

http://www.brightsourceenergy.com/ivanpah-solar-project

The desert landscape is, IMO, fascinating. The mountains in the distance are beautiful and change color over the course of the day as the light changes. During the day, it all looks empty, but at night thee are lots of lights out there.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the tips! I'm looking forward to it, counting down the days to our American adventure! ��
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Old May 9th, 2017, 03:05 PM
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We did that road trip last year. We had driven through Death Valley National park and had a nice time. Suggest you consider the option if you have a extra day of time.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:59 PM
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We're staying a night in Death Valley. I thought it might be better to stay over and explore the sights at sunset and very early in the morning to avoid the midday heat!
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Old May 10th, 2017, 09:35 AM
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Make sure you have bottled water in your car. When you're driving in the desert you have to be prepared in case your car breaks down and you're stuck for a while. It will be very hot and dry, so don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 10:03 AM
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I'll definitely make sure we have lots of water, I've read lots of advice online because the car breaking down is my biggest worry!

Death Valley sounded too good to miss though and I liked the thought of a late night swim under the stars. Hopefully the construction at Furnace Creek won't affect us too much.
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