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Las vegas - Los angeles drive

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Wieke, Apr 24, 2012.

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  1. Wieke

    Wieke Tourist

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    Hi!

    After our stay in vegas we have 3 days (2 nights) to drive to L.A. And im looking for a nice route with lots to see underway.
    We are looking @ Palm springs to stop but also want to see Death Valley.

    So any advice is welcome!

    Thank you!

    -x-
     
  2. worldtraveler661

    worldtraveler661 VIP Whale

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    Death Valley isnt really in the route to LA. And Palms Springs is in the Socal Area but on opposite ends of the Socal area.

    Personally, I dont think theres anything to see much in Palm Springs anymore. Its changed alot the last few years.

    You just have to plan out exactly what places you want to see and figure out a route so you're not backtracking to see things.
     
  3. Wieke

    Wieke Tourist

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    Ok.. but do you have any suggestions on what we can/must see? It doesnt have to be very touristic.
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    From Vegas you can go through Pahrump and route by Death Valley, ending up in Baker along I-15. Just no way to see the park in a drive-by, however.

    Personally, since you're not from these parts and you want to "see" some awesome desert and not burn half your time, I'd head down the 15 from Vegas, and after the Mountain Pass grade turn south on Cima Road. This road runs through what is considered the most dense stand of Joshua Trees in the desert, which means world.

    At the defunct town of Cima, turn right/westerly and go to Kelso, where the classic old train station has been restored and now houses the visitors' center for the Mojave National Preserve. From Kelso, head south on Kelbaker Road. You'll pass by one of the largest expanses of inland dunes in the states, then split the pass between the Providence and Granite mountains; beautiful stuff. (On the flip side of the Providence Mountains -- and a circuitous route in from this side -- is Mitchell Caverns; not sure if our budget debacle in Sacto has cost us this park yet. Good stuff, Mitchell Caverns. The Doors movie had scenes in the caves and out at the dunes.)

    Continue on Kelbaker passing under I-40 and then turn right/west on National Trails Highway/Route 66 (Kelbaker t-bones into this road). In a few minutes you'll hit what's left of Amboy, and then just over the tracks turn left/south on Amboy Road. You'll go through a dry lake -- look for the volcano-ette and lava to the right -- and through a small pass between the Sheep Hole Mountains and the Marines' bang bang range. You'll drop down into something called the Wonder Valley, and yes, you will wonder why folks are out in this valley. The road veers to a due-west orientation here and in 20+ miles drops you hit 29 Palms (turn left on Adobe Road to get "downtown," the Marine Base is to the right). From there you can route through Joshua Tree National Park or take the more direct route west on Hwy 62 through Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley and Morongo Valley, and that will spit you out in Desperate (Desert) Hot Springs at I-10 just north of Palm Springs. If you cut through the park you'll come out east of Indio on I-10. Joshua Tree NP is awesome.

    Just driving, it's 4.5 hours or so to the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) from Vegas.

    I love the Palm Springs area. Great golf, downtown Palm Springs has come roaring back to life, with great food and art and shopping and people-watching. Resorts. Really good hiking and on-/off-road biking. Some must-see sites from The Living Desert to the Indian Canyons to the tram. Also great eats down valley, particularly in La Quinta. Etc. I've written scores of articles about the area and a guidebook, so if you have any questions please just contact me.

    Unless you MUST be in L.A. for something, I'd bide my time in the desert and then head in. Or at least do an overnight.
     
  5. Wieke

    Wieke Tourist

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    Wow Ken! Thank you so much! We've planned 2 overnights (is that an english word?) But we've booked nothing yet in LA so we are flexible.
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    You're welcome. Go Orange! (Van Vechten, here.)

    Alaska Airlines article on the desert

    Here's something I wrote about the desert last fall. Kinda gives you an idea of things to do in each of the main cities (sorry DHS). It's a digital archive so when you get to it click to or enter page 98 to jump to the piece. I have numerous previous Coachella Valley pieces, a few of which are in PDF which I could email to you if interested.

    And I think I have a La Quinta piece on my website.
     
  7. searchin

    searchin Low-Roller

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    Ya ! Thanks ken. We usually drive to Carlsbad, ca. for a long weekend during our vegas trip. Boring and congested drive. We"ll try your route. Any suggestions on a motel along the route? Thanks again.
     
  8. Wieke

    Wieke Tourist

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    ive read the article and your website. There is so much to see! Now busy googling all the places ;) (hooray for google!)
    Lucky we still have plenty of time to make decisions.

    and yes.. Go Orange!! :beer:
     
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    In that article I talk about Palms To Pines Scenic Byway. If you don't mind continuing the convoluted route, when you get to the desert head to Palm Desert and find Hwy 74 (Monterey Avenue). That's one end of Palms to Pines. Take it up to the top and when you hit Hwy 371, turn left. That will take you down through Anza and Aguanga, and at Aguanga turn right on Hwy. 79. That will take you into the southern end of Temecula where you can grab the 15 South. From Aguanga you also can go east and flank around Mt. Palomar, but you'd be knackered by then.

    Stay? As in the Coachella Valley or elsewhere?
     
  10. searchin

    searchin Low-Roller

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    The whole route sounds great. I'll take any recommendations on this route.
    Great articles and website.
     
  11. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    great stuff ken. thanks
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Thanks you guys.

    searchin, if you're planning the back way to the coast, then do put in somewhere in the Coachella Valley for at least a night. There's nothing between Vegas and 29 Palms, and out that way you're looking at funky but isolated BnBs. Head into the low desert and you'll have your pick. It all depends on where you want to be, the type of accomm and the cost, the latter of which is heavily season dependent. If you want to be able to hoof around with many options, then go to downtown Palm Springs, where you can have a go at one of the cool mid-century/mod re-dos, a national chain, to a historic resort.

    If you want something big, bold and modern in a resort, the Westin or Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage; the JW Marriott in PD or the three-pack of Renaissance, Hyatt or Miramonte in Indian Wells; or the belle of the ball, La Quinta Resort.

    There's a nice Residence Inn in Palm Desert, all the other usual chains, and an Embassy. The newer Embassy in old La Quinta is a good option if you want to be close to the small but upcoming center down in that city's old core.

    Etc. etc. etc.
     
  13. scottw

    scottw Tourist

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    The entire drive, LAX to LAS, in 24 minutes, is on YouTube. Search for "Los Angeles CA to Las Vegas NV Time Lapse Drive."
     
  14. Wieke

    Wieke Tourist

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    Thanks scott!

    We planned the following trip
    Las vegas - Palm springs - San diego - Los angeles

    Hotels are booked, so let the honeymoon begin! (after wedding in vegas that is)
     
  15. elvis66

    elvis66 High-Roller

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    The drive from Palm Springs to Anza is awesome. We took this exact trip last September Vegas - Palm Springs - San Diego - Los Angeles. Be sure to drive the coastal route from San Diego to LA
     
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