How To Avoid Traffic Jams at Coachella

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a three-day event that celebrates arts and music in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley. Coachella is notorious for its traffic jams, so if you want to keep having a good time and avoid a headache, it’s best to plan ahead for the ride and from the festival.

Here are ways to avoid traffic jams at Coachella:

  • Stay away from Jefferson, Jackson and Monroe. These roads are packed with Coachella-bound vehicles during the days of the event. While these streets have the shortest distance to the festival grounds the sheer volume of vehicular traffic alone makes it undesirable for a time-oriented driver. So forget what the Coachella website tells you, avoid these roads. However, Jefferson has seen a lot of recent construction in an attempt to free up more lanes, so expect the traffic jam to lighten up a little along this particular road.
  • Go for Washington or Highway 86 and 52nd Avenue. Once you reach Washington, turn right and go south. Traffic cops may direct you to hang a left at Avenue 50, but ignore them and head straight to 52nd Avenue. Turn left, head past Jefferson then drive until you reach Madison Street. Hang a left from here and go straight until traffic enforcement directs you to the grounds. You can also drive along Highway 86, which detaches from I-10 and exit at 52nd Avenue. Follow the instructions above until you also encounter the traffic cops.
  • Bring a map of the area. It’s best not to get lost while looking for shorter routes to Coachella. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions or help from the locals.
  • Drive to Coachella at specific times. Traffic is light before 10am and after 4pm. Listen to the traffic radio for updates on traffic conditions.
  • Carpool with fellow attendees. If five people sit in one car, that’s four less cars clogging the roads to the festival. Not only will you and your friends do your parts in alleviating the problem, you can also save up on gas while have good company to enjoy the event.
  • Wait until the bulk of attendees have left. Bring plenty of distractions while waiting for the roads to clear on your way home. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, though: impaired driving skills can put your life in danger. Talk among your fellow attendees about the past several days and the performances during the festival.

Yes, there will still be traffic, but it beats the clueless celebrants at Jefferson and Monroe who will have to wait longer in their cars. And even if you do reach the camping grounds, there will be another long line going in. But while you’re trying to keep calm about the whole situation, try not to be of the traffic problem: bring plenty of water in case your car overheats. Of course, the best way to avoid traffic jams at Coachella is not to go at all, but where’s the fun in that?


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