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Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

Sydney
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Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

We are thinking of driving to Vegas from San Diego on December 18 or 19. We are undecided whether we should leave around 5:00pm on 18th or 6:00am on 19th. We would like some advice around road conditions, visibility, weather and traffic please. I have searched the forums but only found posts sedating back 4-6 years

San Diego
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1. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

If it were me I'd prefer driving in daylight than in the dark sooo I'd leave at 6AM on the 19th.

IF you are just going the fastest way to get there then it is main highway the whole way.

No worries about road conditions. Many visitors prefer taking a longer more scenic route which of course you'd only do in daylight.

Corona del Mar, CA
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2. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

You never want to drive anyplace in So Cal at 5PM, that is rush hour in pretty much every county in the area, which then pushes the choice to leaving at 7PM, meaning you'd get into Vegas around midnight.

6AM is when I would leave, but there is something to be said for arriving in Vegas when it is dark because of the glow and how amazing the Strip is at night.

If you can't leave at 3PM or sooner, I'd wait until the next day.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

I agree and I opt for leaving in the morning. If you do end up leaving in the evening, make sure you get into the car pool (Express lanes) on the 15 and you will miss most of the traffic so it wont be bad, by the time you get further North into some other notorious traffic areas it will be late enough that the worst will be over.

If you dont stop and dont hit traffic it will take about 4 1/2 hours from Downtown San Diego to the Strip.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

Agree with all of the advice to leave on the morning of the 19th, which is a Friday. At this time of year it will be dark by 5:00PM so leaving in the evening would be dark the entire time. My advice is to take the I-15 and take the I-215 auxiliary route which is slightly shorter but less likely to hit traffic. I-215 meets back up with I-15 before you go thorough the mountain pass, so easy to stay on track.. You are unlikely to have any weather impact your travel at this time of year. Maybe an early rainstorm, though unlikely. Fog is possible but not a big deal. I-15/215 are major multi-lane, limited access freeways so road conditions will be excellent. This is a well traveled route and there are frequent roadside stops and gas stations along the way, despite much of the route going through desert.

Enjoy your trip!

Norwich, United...
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5. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

> At this time of year it will be dark by 5:00PM

Sorry, I'm not trying to argue, but is that correct? These web sites all say 8pm:

timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html…

timebie.com/sun/los_angeles_united_states.php

gaisma.com/en/…los-angeles-california.html

San Diego
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for San Diego
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6. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

IF you put in DECEMBER they timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html… that sunset is before 5PM:

timebie.com/sun/los_angeles_united_states.php

Edited: 11:46 am, May 25, 2014
Norwich, United...
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7. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

> IF you put in DECEMBER

Doh! Big sorry. I saw "this time of year" and wrongly thought it meant now. I should have read the OP more closely. Apologies.

Fortaleza, CE
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8. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

I-15 over Cajon Pass does occasionally have delays, even closures, due to winter storms. Can have fog from low clouds). Can even close for a short time due to snow and require chains for a bit longer than that. Keen an eye on weather reports and just your times if need be. Odds are you'll have no big problems. You won't be driving in So Cal at 5 p.m., but I am sure Vegas has its own rush hour traffic. You don't have other options on departure time? I think road signs will direct you onto I-215 going to SD.

Edited: 1:08 pm, May 25, 2014
San Francisco...
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9. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

<<<I think road signs will direct you onto I-215 going to SD>>

The OP is asking about going to LV not to SD

But the signs on the 15 say stay on 15 to Las Vegas and coming back stay on 15 to SD.

Fortaleza, CE
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10. Re: Driving between San Diego and Las Vegas

Sorry, got directions reversed. Even more of an incentive to leave early, as 5 or 6 would put you in rush hour traffic leaving SD. I-15 can be heavy.