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Old 08-03-2019, 03:24 PM   #1
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Best route from Barstow to Bakersfield

Heading to Pleasanton, CA in October from Arkansas. We are still mapping out our route, and looking for suggestions going from Barstow (where I-40 apparently ends) to I-5 west of Bakersfield. Have read good and not-so-good things about CA-58; winds, traffic backups, narrow 2-lane portions. Considering maybe a slight detour on I-15 from Barstow to Victorville, over/up to Lancaster and then west to I-5 just south of Gorman. Is it worth the time/mileage to avoid CA-58? We are in a 26' Sprinter with toad. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 08-03-2019, 03:42 PM   #2
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We did RT 58 from Eugene to RT 97 to Rt 39 to RT 395 to Barstow. It was a wonderful drive with no big problems. We were in a F-250 (gas) towing a 29 ft, 8000+ pd TT. There was some construction and a few short (lees than 15 min) delays. I recommend it over any Interstate.

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Old 08-03-2019, 05:07 PM   #3
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we went over route 58 from barstow to bakersfield and back a couple of months ago. it it basically a four lane road (2 in each direction) with a small section of one way in each direction in the area of the rt 58 / us 395 junction. they are in the process of building a new multi lane freeway type road in this area. it might be completed by the time you travel. there are a couple of grades around tehachapi but they are no different than grades anywhere else. i wouldn't worry myself with route 58 in the slightest. going the gorman route you have the grapevine grade to contend with.
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Old 08-03-2019, 05:43 PM   #4
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Highway 58 from Barstow to Bakersfield is as good as any other road. I used to drive truck through there in the 80's and even then it was a good way to get down into central California.
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Old 08-03-2019, 05:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! CA58 from Barstow to Bakersfield it is!
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:47 PM   #6
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I ran that route for years from Little Rock to San Jose,Ca. I 40 to Barstow then highway 58 to Bakersfield the highway 99 North. be sure to have plenty of fuel as it it over 100 miles from Needles,Ca to Barstow
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:18 PM   #7
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Highway 58

They are making a new 4 lane section to bypass the 2 portion, maybe it will be finished. Besides you will pass through the movie famous town of Hinkley.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:04 PM   #8
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Boron, Edwards AFB, Mojave Space Port, & the Tehachipi's

Highway 58 is a much better choice than going through Lancaster and taking the 14 down to the junction with I-5. If you get on the 14 in the morning it can be really congested as many commuters use it to go from the high desert down into Los Angeles. Then the junction of the 14 and the 5 is always busy and the 5 north is full of truckers all day long as well as heavy construction. The climb up the Grapevine is long and arduous.

We use highway 58 when going from the central California coast to Las Vegas. Heading west on 58 you will pass through Boron, home to the famous 20 mule team and the borax mines. Then you will pass Edwards Air Force base once home to the X-1, X-15, and Space Shuttle as well as other famous aircraft. You will also see the Mojave Air & Space Port and its collection of aircraft in its graveyard. The Mojave Air & Space Port is also home to Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic where they will soon be providing tourists with rides into space.

The drive through the Tehachipi's is easy and very scenic and will get snow in the winter, but you will be fine going through in October.

I am sure this is much more information than you wanted, but I find the history of that area along Highway 58 fascinating.

I hope you have an enjoyable visit to California.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:24 PM   #9
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let's not forget the tehachipi loop right of rt 58
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:25 PM   #10
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Route 58

We use route 58 from Bakersfield to Barstow for Vegas and north on I-15 or east on 40, there is still a 2 lane section which will be gone possibly by the time of your train. If you like trains you will see many along with the Loop. And just before Bakersfield is Murray Farms if you want to have a break and get some of the fresh fruits an vegetables which are in season. Just watch your speed as the CHP likes to catch folks towing over 55mph around Tehachapi
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Old 08-04-2019, 03:04 PM   #11
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hi way 58

58 is your best route. Have the same rig as you with a Fiat 500 toad. Easy route. Get ready for high diesel fuel prices in CA. Suggest filling up in AZ prior to the border. Big Pilot at exit 8 or 10. I use 99 north from Bakersfield then cut over to Tracy. 3 lanes most of the way. Some congestion in Stockton and on 580 depending on the time of day. 1-5 could have construction and the road is beat up in spots.
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Old 08-04-2019, 03:05 PM   #12
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If you need to overnight in the Bakersfield area, check out Orange Grove RV Park. We always stay there on our way from Northern CA to Palm Springs.
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:24 PM   #13
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Barstow to Bakersfield

Hwy 58 is an excellent highway most of the way. In parts, its 2 lane, 2 way, but still good. I travel it all the time, both with and without my 32'trailer.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:32 PM   #14
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hi way 58

We've stayed at River Run RV park. Just west of 99 and near where 58 terminates. Nice park but no river, it's dry. If you like country, Buck Owen's Country Palace is nearby as well as a Costco that has diesel.
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:00 PM   #15
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58 is a great road compared to the Grape Vine. Less traffic and far less steep grade. Then 99 to 120 at Manteca, west to 5 and 205 to Pleasanton. We go to the car show in Pleasanton that way with no problem. 58 is our road of choice to head east out of Ca. and back again. Mojave has some interesting sights beside the Space port. There's an aircraft boneyard and they mfg. the blades for wind turbines there. You won't believe how large they are close up!
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:22 PM   #16
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Route 58 is one of our favorite drives. Consider stopping in the town of Tehachapi, whch used to be a huge apple growing region. The local restaurants still feature some of the best apple pies you will ever find.

The Tehachapi Loop railroad line is one of the modern engineering wonders of the world. The double-track main rail lines wind up the canyon eastbound from Bakersfield, then enter the "loop" which climbs even higher until the locomotives and front ends of the train pass right over the tail end of the same consist, completing a 360 degree circle! There are several viewpoints just west of the town of Tehachapi on a side road off the main highway where you can watch the trains coming and going.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:20 AM   #17
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HWY 58

HWY 58 is a much better choice than Victorville to Lancaster. Unless, you like lots of quick up and down dips bouncing you around. The road between Victorville and Lancaster has lots of them.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:35 AM   #18
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Do not drive I580 over the Altamont Pass between Tracy and Livermore at any time except between 11am to is perpetual gridlock otherwise.
The RV park at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton is ok, mostly just a dusty parking lot with hookups. The wifi is good though.
The traffic around the Bay Area is awful, get in the mindset to take extra time to travel in that area. Watch for a lot of lane splitters.
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:50 PM   #19
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Experience America, Stay off the Interstates when possible.
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:01 PM   #20
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I lived in Bakersfield for 30 yrs. There's no issue what so ever with driving Hwy 58 from Barstow to Bakersfield. It's got some downhill sections, but nothing as steep as you'd find if you took I5 down the Grapevine route. From Bakersfield, you can drive up Hwy 99 through all the small towns and then cut over someplace around Tracy to drive over the pass to Pleasanton. It'll take you awhile as this route is the older road and does go through many towns (Delano, Visalia, Fresno, Modesto, etc, etc). You could also head out of Bakersfield and drive out through Buttonwillow and pickup I5 there. This route is much smoother and faster as it really doesn't go through any towns. It'll put you right into Tracy, so you can still take I550 over the pass. As someone else mentioned, there's a ton of traffic on I550 with commuters driving from the valley over to the bay for work. It's kind of a boring and uninteresting drive, so be prepared for that - Enjoy.

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