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This is a route I recommend for Northern Californians who are driving to Coachella Arts & Music Festival this. (or any year.) It's a much nicer drive then either alternative- the 15 or the 5 through the Cajon or Grapevine Passes- an alternative driving route, if you will. So much nicer- OMG- if people only knew.
(GOOGLE MAP DIRECTIONS PALM SPRINGS CA TO CALIFORNIA CITY CA)
FROM THE 10: Take exit 117 to merge onto CA-62 E/
This is alternative way to get from way East of Los Angeles to California City, CA (and then to Bakersfield.) This route avoids the Los Angeles/Riverside/San Bernardino basin entirely and is itself a rather pleasant ride. The CA-62 East/Twentynine Palms Hwy heads North, taking you through Morongo and Yucca Valley.
Turn left onto Old Woman Springs Rd take 44.8 miles:
This is also called state highway 247 and it takes you North out of Yucca Valley- it's all travel gravy from this point in as you wind through foot hills and see lots of interesting high desert foliage and end-of-the-world type residential/commercial development.
Continue onto CA-18 N 23 miles:
There is no obvious difference between Old Woman Springs Rd./247 and CA-18 N- except note that CA-18 North doesn't actually take you North, it takes you East. Eventually you run through Apple Valley to Victorville- also you've already by passed the Cajon Pass and are well on your way to Northern California/Bakersfield/California City.
Turn right onto US-395 N/
To the extent there is a confusing part to the trip, it's the time between the end of the CA-18 to when you get on US-395- you have to drive through the low density urban sprawl of Victorville/Apple Valley- and it's basically street traffic- give yourself 20 to 30 minutes to get from one side to the other.
The 395 is not a "fun" part of the trip- in fact- make it a point to "stock up" inside Victorville if you haven't had breakfast, because there is basically nothing to eat between Victorville and Bakersfield along this route.
The US 395 takes you north to the US 395/ CA 58 interchange- which is basically like a post-apocalyptic cross roads- a cross between Robert Johnson blues devilry and industrial era detritus.
From there you take the CA 58 East either 20 miles (California City) or 40 miles (Bakersfield) and you are well on your way to Northern California.