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Old 12-19-2007, 05:06 PM
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Planning to leave on friday (12/28 @ around noonish) from Vegas to San Diego for 2 days driving back on sunday (12/30 @ around 6 pm ish).

Good time to drive? Should we change it a bit? How long does it typically take?
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:16 PM
Location: Las Vegas
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I've driven so much from LV to San Diego lately, it seems like most times there's a lot of traffic in Cali.

While you might be OK with those times ( I'm thinking most folks are coming TO LV and not GOING TO San Diego that weekend?)...we've found that driving in the middle of the night (from about 8:00 pm until arrival around 2:30 am) works best for us.

When you get to San Diego, you're gonna hit the rush hour, and that Highway 5 is terribly congested. If you leave around 6pm, you might be OK, being it's Sunday, but there's no guarantee. We've driven back on Sunday quite a number of times and there's been a lot of congestion and lane closures due to construction (with absolutely no construction workers anywhere!).

The usual trip takes about 6 1/2 to 7 hours with driving to keep up with traffic...but again, that's when it's smooth sailing, and we don't drive like bats out of hell either (90-100 mph).

It's hard to tell, the only thing you might have in your favor at those times is most of traffic would be in the opposite direction in which you're going...New Year's Eve weekend and all..

Last edited by MomMom; 12-19-2007 at 05:49 PM..
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:31 PM
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
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I would expect you would do fine both ways except you are hitting San Diego in the middle of the rush hour. If you are headed to downtown San Diego it will be mostly OK...but if you go with the rush it will get slowwww.

Coming home will be a piece of cake.

You might try getting out of Vegas a couple of hours earlier...
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:34 PM
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I would recommend leaving on Friday either mid-morning (9am) or mid-afternoon (3pm) to avoid rush hour on the 5 freeway. I think it will take more like 5 to 5 1/2 hours to get there. The trip back is going to be trouble any way you slice it because of everyone in SoCal "flying to Vegas". I don't think there will be a best time to leave on the 30th but you can probably expect delays and people driving like maniacs.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:57 AM
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Work your travel around traditional traffic peak times (i.e. "5 o'clock traffic") in the Riverside/ San Bernadino corridors, as well as other major highway feeders to the burbs (i.e. in SD I-15/ I-8, etc.). Check road conditions for the Cajon Pass (San Bernadino), which can be closed due to snow or fog.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:36 PM
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How are the mountains between LV and San Diago, Are they very high and curvy?
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:12 AM
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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It's all interstate. Interstates are not curvy. But the mountains aren't really all that high, it's just that you start from about 1,000 feet elevation and climb to about 4000 feet in two places. One mountain near the Nevada/Calif border is a 19 mile grade. Given that the town of Baker, CA, near "Baker Grade" sometimes records the hottest temps in the country, they recommend that you make the climb with your A/C off to avoid overheating. Of course nobody does, but you'll always see a car or two on the side of the road with the hood up. Just make sure your oil and water levels are OK.

We drove to San Diego last Friday for the 4th of July weekend. Big mistake. It took over 7 hours to get there. Do not follow MapQuest or GPS directions to take I-215 at San Bernardino. Stick with I-15 all the way. I-215 is a construction mess, and looks like it will be that way for at least a couple more years. It had traffic backed for hours. It took 7 hrs to get home on Monday also, but mostly because we took the scenic route through the hills on Rt 79 east of San Diego off I-8, up through Julian and Temecula. Very beautiful drive, but if you're in a hurry to get home, stay on I-15 both ways.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:30 AM
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From my experiences, as long as you are past LA area (read between riverside and camp pendleton) before 4pm, you should be fine.. barring any accidents. In 10+ trip overs a couple of months, never had any really bad traffic in san diego, just around LA during rush hour (between 6am-9am and 4pm-8pm. BEST time i ever made it down there was 5 hrs, and that was averaging about 75-80mph 90% of the way. A realistic time would be closer to 6 hrs.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:37 AM
Location: Vegas
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Glad I saw this! Heading there next week and would of followed google map directions.. Thanks Buzz!
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:43 AM
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Oh, and I second Buzz's recommendation about I-15. Wife always trys to convince me to take 215 as it is "shorter".. but NOT quicker. Always construction/congestion and whatnot. I-15 all the way!
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