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Old 06-20-2020, 08:23 AM   #1
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Seattle to Las Vegas - Flattest route?

Needed to take the RV from Seattle to Las Vegas and looking at route options. Since its the heat of the summer, looking to take the 'coolest' and flattest interstate route. Time/Distance really isn't a factor.

Currently thinking about I-5 south to Bakersfield CA then east on I-15 to Vegas. 2 grades here: Siskyous at OR/CA border and Baker grade between bakersfield and vegas

Prioritizing staying on i-5 as much as possible vs heading east in WA/OR and down through UT. Anyone know how the baker grade compares with the Siskyous? I hear baker is very long/steep and hot.
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Old 06-20-2020, 08:27 AM   #2
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Your right, Baker is very long, steep and hot and very little between Bakersfield and Tehachapi. also don't forget the grade out of Baker, it doesn't look bad but very long with a significant elevation increase.
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Old 06-20-2020, 08:35 AM   #3
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Cool and flat do not work together in the summer.
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Old 06-20-2020, 10:06 AM   #4
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Cool and flat do not work together in the summer.
I'm guessing you are using a different meaning of cool - I'm meaning the opposite of hot. Do not care about scenery

Any opinion on alternative cut over points from west to east? Or is Baker the 'best'. I'll plan to hit it early in the AM or late PM - but it doesn't really get that cold overnight.... maybe low 80s
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Old 06-20-2020, 10:16 AM   #5
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I am leaving for the Barstow Baker area in a couple hours here off hwy 99 in Fresno area. I will be taking our 2007 Southwind for a trip to Calico and then back up 395 to Lake Tahoe. The baker grade is long and hot but not steep in my opinion. Steep is going Tioga Pass or Sonora pass over the Sierra Nevada mountains. Once you hit the San Joaquin valley this week it will be over 100 degrees all week and likely most of the summer.
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Old 06-20-2020, 10:30 AM   #6
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I'm guessing you are using a different meaning of cool - I'm meaning the opposite of hot. Do not care about scenery

Any opinion on alternative cut over points from west to east? Or is Baker the 'best'. I'll plan to hit it early in the AM or late PM - but it doesn't really get that cold overnight.... maybe low 80s
I meant cold cool. It will be warm/hot wherever you go.
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Old 06-20-2020, 10:54 AM   #7
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I-5 CA , beware of the posted towing speed . You can get away with 60 but over that , you'll attract the wrong kind of attention.

Avoid rush hour traffic in Sacramento !

Bakersfield to Barstow is CA 58 and the section from Boron to Barstow has been redone and may not be in your GPS data base ( if using GPS ), mine went nuts trying to get me out of the " desert " and back to the old highway .
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:21 AM   #8
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I meant cold cool. It will be warm/hot wherever you go.
Ok great and I agree, that's why I put coolest in quotes
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:28 AM   #9
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I-5 CA , beware of the posted towing speed . You can get away with 60 but over that , you'll attract the wrong kind of attention.

Avoid rush hour traffic in Sacramento !

Bakersfield to Barstow is CA 58 and the section from Boron to Barstow has been redone and may not be in your GPS data base ( if using GPS ), mine went nuts trying to get me out of the " desert " and back to the old highway .
Thanks. Current plan is Seattle to Medford/Ashland/Grants Pass (somewhere in there). Spend the night. Cross Siskyou's early day 2, then straight to Bakersfield. This should put going through the fun in Sacramento at about ~1pm, probably a little traffic sitting on that causeway. Sleep in bakersfield then head in the early am to Vegas.

It is good to hear that the baker stretch isn't 'that' steep, I see reports of around 6%. I've done the siskyous several times without a problem - and if it isn't much worse than that (other than higher ambient temp) I think it should be ok
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Old 06-20-2020, 12:10 PM   #10
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No, Baker is not that steep it's just at a point you think when will it end.
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Old 06-20-2020, 12:31 PM   #11
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Personally, towing in Calif sucks along with their prices.......I turn off at McCloud and head to Susanville, the Reno, then Vegas and points south....
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Old 06-20-2020, 12:44 PM   #12
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Thanks. Current plan is Seattle to Medford/Ashland/Grants Pass (somewhere in there). Spend the night. Cross Siskyou's early day 2, then straight to Bakersfield. This should put going through the fun in Sacramento at about ~1pm, probably a little traffic sitting on that causeway. Sleep in bakersfield then head in the early am to Vegas.
Ok, second day drive , that's approx 650 miles ,13+ hours driving in summer heat , south into the sun for most of the time .
My usual Northbound is. Canyonville OR ( I-5 MP 99) to Smokey Point rest area , north of Seattle , so your day one section is doable .
But from Southern OR to Bakersfield CA please consider another another night on the road.
I've driven Vegas to Lodi CA,(actually CA 12 , I-5 junction ) in a LONG day , so any place you stop past Lodi , will get you into Vegas on the third night. California traffic permitting of course.
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Old 06-20-2020, 12:53 PM   #13
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A warning of sorts ; The downhill off the Tehachapi pass to Mojave , when traveling in October , you can feel your skin drying out more every mile ; I can't imagine the trip this time of year , have LOTS of drinking water at hand for the drive.
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:24 AM   #14
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Have you given any thought to taking I-90 Ellensburg, then 84 through Boise then pick up I-15 through SLC to Vegas?


Google maps show that as the primary option from Seattle to Vegas.
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