Hi guys and gals. In January wife and I are going to the Road to California Quilt show. We were thinking after going up the I-15 to Las Vegas to visit friends, good route or bad ? Will be 3rd week of January.
I-15 from So-Cal to Vegas can be a smooth ride or a nightmare, depending on the day of the week, the time you plan on traveling and accidents. We've made the trip many times. The last time was about three weeks ago. The normal six hour drive (from San Diego) took eight hours due to a traffic accident. I-15 N/B, in the middle of the Mojave Desert, was a parking lot for miles - at 9:30 PM in 110 degree heat.
While enroute to Vegas, you'll climb the Cajon pass outside of Riverside, which is a 6% grade that's several miles long, then another grade that's not quite as steep, but also several miles long. Much of the route is two lanes in each direction.
You'll also hit Mountain Pass, another 6-7% grade getting close to the Nevada state line. Not as long a Cajon, but just as steep. I drove that road many times while living in Vegas and visiting relatives in Los Angeles. Best time to take it is during the week, if possible. Remember the exodus from LA every weekend to the city of lights. If you try to drive it to Vegas on a Friday, you'll be in bumper to bumper traffic most of the way.
Thks guys for the reply's. I was more concerned with snow going over the passes. I am used to pulling 5er over mountain passes and have plenty of truck. I was just reading somewhere that highway was the most dangerous in the country. Maybe we will try a different route.
Best thing to do re-Snow is keep a tight watch on the long term weather. and then to make sure you have alternate paths or plans should the road be..... Beyond hope.
Fact: back in 2006 I drove straight into a blizzard in Utah. a State that KNOWS how to "De-Snow" a road.. Well when it got too white and scary I spotted a Cooporative Rest Stop sign and that's where we spent the night. Nice and secure, at the far back end of the lot.
Next AM we hiked to the eatery (Attached) for Breakfast and watched the news reports. Cars in the ditches both side of the now very clear and dry highway or so the announcer said.
And when we finished breakfast and returned to the drive.. Announcer spoke absolute TRUTH we quickly found out.. Cars lining both ditch and median ditch.. We were not among them.
There's no problem with snow on I-15. You may rarely see some on the ground at the highest point going over Cajon Pass , but there's never enough to affect traffic.
The road itself is a piece of cake, it's all the LA yahoos rushing towards Vegas on Friday and Saturday, then returning home on Sunday that cause the problems. Just avoid going towards Las Vegas on Friday or Saturday, or going back towards LA on Sunday and you'll be fine.
If you want to take a break after leaving the LA basin, there's a KOA Kampground near Calico Ghost Town east of Barstow. Peggy Sue's Diner across the freeway is a kitschy 1960s style diner that also allows overnight stays in their truck parking lot.
Rest up, maybe spend half a day exploring Calico (not an actual abandoned town, but a 1960s era re-creation of an old silver mining town that's now a Riverside County park). Then resume your drive to Las Vegas the next day.