Ever wondered how writer Jack Kerouac got those memorable experiences hitchhiking in the West Coast of the United States? If you want to follow his footsteps and set on a journey of your own, you too will have a trip filled with amazing stories of meeting new people and exploring new places.

Before you embark on your journey, however, you must need to be reminded of some rules and tips that will help you have a fun trip. Below are some tips for hitchhikers who wish to explore the West Coast.

Scenic routes: Nevada and California

Although Nevada is a landlocked state, many still consider this as a part of the West Coast. Many hitchhikers pass here, because of its great scenery. There is one very important thing that you must not forget before heading here: water. Since this place is mostly a desert, you will have difficulty to find free-flowing water at all times. Try passing by the rocky terrain of Desolation Wilderness, a known destination for backpackers and hikers.

Also pass by California, where you’ll get to have an experience of wonderful views of the mountains, beaches, waterfalls, and sand dunes.

Dealing with authority

Since there have been several reported accidents of people who hitch with strangers, many have started taking precaution—meaning, they avoid picking up passengers completely. Cops can also sometimes be hard on hitchhikers, so make sure you’re ready for some impromptu interrogation. Better have your ID on you at all times.

Hitching during daytime

Most trucks and cars start travelling early, so you should too. By traveling during the day, you will have more chances on getting rides, not to mention a safer trip (traveling at night could get pretty sketchy sometimes).

Girl hitchhikers

If you’re a girl, you must be extra careful because it could get pretty dangerous when you’re hitchhiking alone. It’s always better to go with someone so you won’t have to worry too much about being alone in unfamiliar places.


Remember that you may have to wait for a longer time here as compared to hitchhiking spots in Europe, so you should try to pack lighter. If you’re not lucky, you may need to carry your bag for hours, so it will really help if you pack light. Just keep the essentials such as: a sleeping bag, a raincoat, a flash light, some food, and water.

Highway One

This is a great spot to look for some vehicles to pick you up, because this spot has all the traffic. Just by standing on a curb, there is a big chance for you to get the ride you need.

Riding on interstates

This won’t be easy, because hitching on the highway is way better. However, if you find yourself not having a choice but to get a ride on the interstate, make sure you stay safe and don’t wait close to the curves, for the cars won’t immediately see you. You must always make sure that you stay on guardrails


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