We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

san jose
Level Contributor
36 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

We are driving from San jose to San Diego tomorrow (Sat), Google provides 2 routes: one is hwy 5 straight down via LA, Anaheim, etc; the other is to avoid LA by taking a detour via Hwy 138 (Lancaster, Riverside, etc), Distance-wise the second route is 50 mi longer. But given the traffic jam situation in a Sat afternoon in LA, it might be a better choice. I have had experienced traffic jam in LA before, so I am even willing to drive a little bit longer to avoid the frustration of those mile-long traffic jam.

But I would like to hear some suggestions from locals--whether this is a worth-while detour in a Sat afternoon.

Thanks for your input.

Special Offer
Skip the Line: USS Midway Museum
379 reviews
from US$18.00*
US$23.00
San Diego Zoo
160 reviews
from US$54.00*
San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise
98 reviews
from US$89.82*
San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
237 reviews
from US$39.95*
san jose
Level Contributor
36 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

In case I didn't describe the 2nd route more clearly, here's a better description:

the 2nd route takes a detour onto Hwy-138 toward Lancaster/Palmdale->I-15->I-215 toward San Bernardino->San Diego.

This route is about 50 mi longer but avoid going through LA.

Santa Clarita...
Level Contributor
1,310 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

Hwy 138 is a two lane road, and it seems a long way around. I would check out the I-5 down to the 210 and check out the directions on Mapquest/google from Pasadena to San Diego if you want to avoid the 5 through LA.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
10,558 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

I-5 south to San Fernando, where you will take the Foothill Freeway (210) east through Pasadena, quite a ways, maybe an hour, then you pass through Rancho Cucamonga and right after that you get on I-15 south. From there it is about a 2-hour drive to San Diego unless there is heavy traffic. I wouldn't expect heavy traffic on a Saturday.

If your destination is downtown San Diego, you would get off I-15 and onto Highway 163 south, the split is in the area near MCAS Miramar. If your destination is the beach areas of San Diego, you would just stay on I-15 until you got to I-8 and then go west on I-8. However if your destination is La Jolla, you would get off I-15 and onto the 52 west, then get in the left lane and take La Jolla Parkway. On the 15, you will come to the split for the 163 before you come to the exit for the 52, but they are very close together.

If you take this route you will avoid Los Angeles completely. It's still going to be a very long drive though.

Edited: 12 June 2010, 04:58
Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
55,118 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

I would take the 101 to the 405 to the 5, not the 5 all the way and the 138 won't help you at all.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
10,558 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

But that would be going through Los Angeles, which they want to avoid.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
63,860 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

There are now car pool lanes the WHOLE way if you take the 5 to the 405!

On a Saturday I'd do that route in a minute!! Google does not know about the car pool lanes and the time they save.

We did it on a weekday around 1 PM and sailed through from where we got onto the 405 to the southern tip of Orange County in 1 hour!!

Just to be CLEAR-I mean to get onto the 405 immediately when you are at the north end of the San Fernando Valley BEFORE the city of LA!

Edited: 12 June 2010, 15:20
San Diego...
Level Contributor
3,297 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

I-5 to the 405 on a Saturday.

8. Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego, Hwy 5 or Hwy 138?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 10 December 2010, 06:17