7 California highways to avoid during Memorial Day weekend

(Last Updated On: May 22, 2015)

Memorial Day weekend is a great time to get out of the house and enjoy a mini-holiday vacation. Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one using the highways to get to these beautiful California destinations. In fact, over 4.4 million Californians are expected to travel statewide. Additionally, an estimated three million tourists are heading to So-Cal, while many of the So-Cal vacationers are heading to the Bay Area. Basically, what you have is millions of travelers using the same highways.

The following is a list of highways you should try to avoid, if possible, during your Memorial Day weekend travel:

I-10 – According to the LA Times, this interstate is expected to have heavy traffic flow westbound on Sunday and Monday. This highway takes Californians east to Arizona. The Grand Canyon happens to be one of the top Memorial Day destinations for Californians.

I-15 – This highway is expected to have a heavy traffic flow going Northbound on Friday and Southbound on Monday. I-15 takes Californians straight to Las Vegas, which is the top travel destination for Memorial Day vacationers.

US 50 – This mountain highway takes people up to the beautiful Lake Tahoe Basin. It’s packed from Friday through Saturday. And, Sunday evening into Monday as travelers are coming back down the mountain.

US 80 – heading east to Reno will be it’s typical holiday traffic jam as many Californians want to head up to the mountains for the holiday weekend. Expect heavy traffic Friday night and Monday when the people return from their adventure.

– heading west toward the Bay Area will also be crowded most of the weekend. Many of the cities along the way from Sacramento to San Francisco have popular events taking place this weekend. However, US 80 tends to always be slow in the Fairfield/Vacaville area. With increased traffic, it becomes a parking lot out there.

US 101 – Pick your poison with this highway. You can be down south near the oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, or heading north into the beautiful Redwood Forests. Either region will have heavy traffic Friday evening through early Saturday morning. And then the return traffic on Monday.

US 120 or US 140 – Both of these highways take you into the heart of Yosemite National Park. Each road will be backed up due to traffic and inclement weather as they are expecting some rain. Yosemite has already announced on their FaceBook page that visitors should take shuttles into the park instead of driving, especially during peak hours of 10am to 2pm.

US 680 – this highway takes you around the Eastern portion of the Bay Area, all the way to San Jose. Other towns along this route are Benicia, Walnut Creek and San Ramon. Additionally, if you are coming or going to Sacramento via this route, you will hit even more traffic on highway 80.  Highway 680 is usually busy on an average day, and will be packed during the holiday weekend. Most days through this weekend will see an increased flow of traffic.

If you have to use any of these highways, my suggestion would be to leave early in the morning. Try to avoid the traffic. As always, buckle up and drive safely.