The chart above is NOT considered legal speeds, but they are kinda realistically what to expect on the FREEWAY. Interstates and busy freeways in California get cranking and CHP is usually out in force, earning revenue for the state, as well as ensuring the safety of the roads.
Senior drivers, tourists & outta state visitors be warned – the closer you get to a big urban area, the higher speeds and the more aggressive the drivers will be. More commerce, means more trucks and delivery drivers. Southern California is notorius for bad traffic jams, and the Bay Area ain’t much better – just more spread out w/ bridges. Large 18 wheeler rigs and SUVs kill with impact, so slow down a little folks.
So much for Sammy’s “Can’t Drive 55”
Californians can’t drive anywhere near 55. Now that the laws have increased the statewide speed to 65 or 70 mph, there is no stopping ’em. Unfortunately the average speeds are increasing all over the west, as people zoom from place to place, city to city, in a never ending transient society. This leaves way more dirt roads and rural backcountry highways left to us Escapers.
TIP: Exit the rat race & take your time, for your sanity sake & safety… slow down.
On average 3500 people die on California roadways each year. Texas has even more driving deaths, but a lot lower population. 80 mph, go figure.
The freeway speeds above do not apply to narrower state routes and rural county highways. Most of these are one lane blacktop in each direction and are labeled 55 mph. Maybe slower for curves, tunnels and bridges. Be alert when driving and know that cell phone service is not always abundant on the back roads. At any time you can experience: wildlife crossing, rock slides across the road, downed tree (or branches) in the roadway, stalled vehicles w/ stranded motorists, heavy rains, snow blizzard, hail, sleet, ice, or any other hazards that accompany typical backcountry travel.
How to Avoid Tourist Crowds when Traveling California
We are sure you’ll agree: Too much of life is spent sitting in traffic jams and waiting in line. Check out the traffic page. This page is created as a warning – CALIFORNIA IS CROWDED.
“Hell is other people.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
Bus loads of senior citizens travel in luxury motor-coaches to casinos; Airport shuttles bring sightseers to local attractions on full day excursions; Mountain bikers head to the trailheads by way of a personal automobile, a sport utility or pickup truck; 4x4s caravan to their meeting spot, in route to the trail destination. People on their daily commute to and from work, school, play. California has loads of traffic, tourism and terrain, with a massive freeway system, plus some awesome state highways. Popular destinations tend to get crowded at certain times of the year.
California Road Trips & Peak Travel Seasons
California population may be ever growing, but they’re not building any more Yosemite Parks. The migratory path westward started w/ the historic gold rush – the trend has literally lasted over 200 years!
Make sure you plan your trip & book your lodging or campgrounds well in advance. In this west coast world of tourism, 3-6 months is not unheard of. The more popular the locale, the more people want that perfect weather month and the further in advance you should reserve. Remember a good portion of these mountains destinations are closed half the year for winter snow.
There’s nothing worse than planning a trip, only to fight traffic on your way outta town, stand in long lines & see way too many tourists running about. Enjoying nature shouldn’t have to include thousands of other people. Try these helpful tips for avoiding the crowds. Get more solitude & relaxation out of your vacation. Check our Fairs, Festivals, & Events list to know when certain towns & areas will be busiest.
With California population near 40 million people it’s a wonder we don’t kill each other faster. Slow down on the freeways and enjoy the back roads with Total Escape. Statistics show: One outta 8 Americans lives in California!
This staggering large population is ever growing and expanding. College students, retirees, world-travelers and young families flock here, bring relatives and friends to migrate west… ever since the gold mining boom of 1849.
Still we are cranking out babies and building more communities in California. Add a huge tourism industry that brings in millions of outta state folks for conventions & outdoor vacations.
Although Cali is a huge regional paradise to explore, it is amazing that locals can find any secret refuge for weekends or week-long fishing trips. With vast deserts, mountains and countryside, half the golden state land could be easily considered public land, park, wildlife refuge or neighborhood open space preserve. Total Escape has this back roads thing covered. Getting you out in the boonies to relax, in nature, is exactly what this site is for.
more nature, less people
Try out new areas! If you’ve never heard of it, chances are most people haven’t either. Go ahead, explore a little. California is a really big state.
California’s Busy Season
Summer is definitely the tourist season in California. All the out-of-staters coming in to see the amazing Golden State: the recreation & the sights it has to offer. Summertime is the busiest time to visit the well-known areas such as:
Best time to plan trips to avoid summer crowds is –
Before Memorial Day (last weekend in May)
After Labor Day (first weekend in Sept.)
Plan your trip to overnight in the National Forest lands adjacent to a National Park . You can still enjoy nature and scenic attractions without having to sleep with the masses in the expensive campgrounds, which take camping reservations a year in advance.
Plenty of secluded primitive camping & small campgrounds are available in the NFS. California State Parks are very abundant too, often less crowded during the week days and non holiday weekends.
Winter can be the busiest time to visit these areas:
Better Book It – Below is a list of some super popular California destinations that have pretty limited accommodations. Tight quarters, limited capacity. Total Escape recommends you book early if you wanna spot at one of these prime places, especially in summer or winter months.