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LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

London, United...
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LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

Hi,

I am arriving in Vegas from london on July 6th, and then driving to LA, i'm aware that it is the last day of the july 4th weekend and know there will be lot of traffic, I will be arriving around 1pm is it worth waiting to leave Vegas to say around 7pm to miss most of the traffic, also how long should I plan on it taking to drive.

Thanks

Lewes, United...
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1. Re: LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

Hi samurai

Welcome to the Road Trips forum.

Please may I ask what time you land at LAS? There's no point in me saying you should leave Vegas at 6 in the morning, if you're still on a plane at that time of day. Also, will you have spent a night in Vegas or are you expecting to do that potentially time consuming and slow drive immediately after getting off a transatlantic flight from the UK, complete with jet lag?

Thanks to airport formalities and queues, etc - not the mention the chaos that will be a car rental depot at the end of the July 4th weekend, you need to allow at least 2 hours, probably 3, before you can count on being on the road, driving out of the centralised car rental depot that's offsite of McCarron.

Even without the extra traffic from a public holiday weekend, the drive from Vegas to LA is never good on a Sunday night.

SWT

London, United...
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2. Re: LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

Hi,

We Land at around 1pm and will be coming of a domestic flight (flying lhr-jfk-las) I have booked car to pick up at 3.30pm which should give me time to get from terminal to rental comany

Liverpool, UK
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3. Re: LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

The drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles is a minimum of 4 hours on a good day and will be a lot longer on July 6th as lots of people will be driving that route on that day/time after the July 4th holiday weekend.

Bearing in mind you'll be jet lagged (3.30PM in Las Vegas is 11.30 PM in the UK), driving a strange car on a strange road in lots of traffic I personally would delay the drive until the following morning unless you have to be in LA on the 6th as I wouldn't fancy that 5 hour + drive after a transatlantic flight.

Lewes, United...
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4. Re: LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

Not only will a mid afternoon departure from LAS to drive all the way to LA be absolutely awful on July 6th - as Tom has reiterated in addition to the comments I've already made, it would be a dangerous thing to do - to yourself as well as other road users. As your flight from the UK is indirectly, you'll have been up and about for even longer hours, even more jet lagged. That's my view.

Given that you have changed planes at JFK, why the heck are you flying to LAS when you want to be in LAX or LA city itself that night? If you are trying to save money, then it's a pretty poor plan.

SWT

Corona del Mar, CA
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5. Re: LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

There is not a snowballs chance in Hades I would drive from LAS to LA on that Sunday. Do yourself a favor and spend the night in Las Vegas and leave first thing in the morning. The drive to LA could be 7 or 8 hours. I don't think leaving at 7PM would help.

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6. Re: LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

The later you leave on that day (and you've already decided it will be at least 3:30) the worse it will be. People in Vegas want every last drop (of trying to win their money back?) THe best time, always, to leave Vegas is by 7 a.m. (we've never noticed much difference between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. - or even 8 a.m.) People in Vegas are not early risers. HOWEVER, since it's the 4th of the July weekend, there will be some folks who actually will leave Vegas at 4 a.m. on the 7th and try to make it work by 9 a.m. Seriously. I know people who do this. But, even so, the traffic will be better at 6 a.m. on the 7th and even better by 9 a.m. on the 7th.

Given that many people have a longer-than-4 hour drive to get back from Vegas (they live in Santa Barbara or Lompoc or San Diego or Fresno), and they want to be able to work the next day, traffic will be humming at 3:30 when you leave the airport, and begin to be really bumper-to-bumper by 5 pm. From then on until 2 a.m., it will be fairly heavy.

It's not going to crawl to a stop unless someone has a fender bender and fails to pull off right away - or a worse accident. Unfortunately, these things are frequent on holiday weekends. You will, hopefully, not be trying to keep up with the 80-85mph (and faster) drivers in the fast lane, nor get yourself stuck in the slow lanes, but will attempt to keep in the 70 mph lane (which will be nearly bumper to bumper, as people do not use common sense on that road). So it's a drive that demands concentration (except for the slow lane with the trucks, where you can just get behind some steady truck driver and drive 60 mph with a few slow downs as people get on and off the freeway).

Just be aware that if you are in the slow lane, you have to have nerves of steel to have those big trucks in front and behind you (although they are usually the best, least daring drivers - but still, if you get even one 50 mph person in the slow lane, everyone has to pass, and that's always nervewracking too).

Can't remember a time, coming back from Vegas, when there weren't at least a few vehicles that looked like they shouldn't even be on the road, in the slow lane, screwing things up.

It's impossible to predict how bad it will that particular 4th of July (I've done this trip over the holiday weekend several times, but never leaving on the last day of the holiday). Even on other days of that holiday, traffic can be horrific - and the worst part can be between Victorville and L.A. (you have to drive through San Bernardino first). I have lived in this area all my life and know about 5-6 alternate routes in case of horrendous traffic on the I-15 (by which I mean, dead stop and/or creeping ahead at 5-10 mph), but you won't know those routes.

On one fourth of July weekend, the traffic was backed up to Barstow. Yep, that's how many Californians like Las Vegas. The northern California traffic starts to split off at Barstow, thankfully.

On that evening, L.A. itself will be clogged with traffic as well. I vote for staying overnight in Vegas (rather than sitting in your car for what could be hours) and leaving early the next morning.

7. Re: LAS to LAX best time to drive it July 6th

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