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Distance between California and Nebraska

Driving non-stop from California to Nebraska

How far is Nebraska from California? Here's the quick answer if you have friends taking shifts as driver so that you can make the entire trip by car without stopping.

Nonstop drive: 1,345 miles or 2165 km

Driving time: 20 hours, 33 minutes

This is a really long drive, so it's not very realistic to drive nonstop. To get a better idea of how long this road trip would actually take, scroll down to calculate how many hours it would be if you drive with stops.

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Flying non-stop from California to Nebraska

Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between California, Maryland and Nebraska (NE). Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula. For a long distance, this appears as a curve on the map, and this is often the route that commercial airlines will take so it's a good estimate of the frequent flyer miles you'll accumulate as well.

Flight distance: 1,174 miles or 1889 km

Flight time: 2 hours, 51 minutes

The straight line flight distance is 171 miles less than driving on roads, which means the driving distance is roughly 1.1x of the flight distance.

Your plane flies much faster than a car, so the flight time is about 1/7th of the time it would take to drive.

This is a medium length flight, so unless you have a nice private jet, you might be booking a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. Scroll down to see a more realistic calculation that takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.

California to Nebraska road trip

Realistically, you're not going to want to drive without stopping all the way from California to Nebraska, especially if you're the main driver. So let's say you're actually planning a road trip to Nebraska, and you need to stop along the way to rest. Plus if it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting stops along the way, eat at great restaurants, and find a hotel to stay overnight. That's what Trippy is perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.

Based on the length of this trip, we think you could spread out this fun road trip over a number of days.

Road trip: 3 days of driving

With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.

Travel time: 21 hours on the road with 2 overnights


Start at California.

Drive for about 3 hours, then stop in Tonopah and stay for about 1 hour. Next, drive for another 3 hours then stop in Ely (Nevada). Stay overnight.

The next day, drive for about 3.5 hours, then stop in Salt Lake City and stay for about 1.5 hours. Next, drive for another 3 hours then stop in Rock Springs. Stay overnight.

The next day, drive for about 3.5 hours, then stop in Cheyenne and stay for about 1 hour. Next, drive for another 2.5 hours then stop in Ogallala and stay for 1 hour.

Finally, drive for about 2 hours and arrive at Nebraska.

To see all the details on this itinerary, including recommended restaurants, hotels, and things to do along the way, check out the full road trip planner:

California to Nebraska airports and flights

In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. But for most of us, we're going to be flying on a commercial airline (whether it's first class or coach). So that means we really need to account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport, waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.

To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.

Departure airport: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

Arrival airport: Central Nebraska Regional Airport (GRI)

With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.

Getting to the airport: 143 minutes

Getting to your destination: 34 minutes

Now finally, let's look at an actual flight from DCA to GRI and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.

Commercial flight time: 2 hours, 51 minutes

So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from California to Nebraska including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.

Total travel time: 8 hours

To see the details on this flight plan, including recommended airports, airline, and route, check out the flight planner:

Plan a trip to Nebraska

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Nebraska (NE). Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Nebraska. Click the button below to explore Nebraska in detail.

How far is it the other way?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line (or driving the same roads back and forth). But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse directions to get the distance from Nebraska to California, or go to the main page to calculate the distance between cities.

If you happen to know California, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about California!

At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 1,345 miles
driving time of 20 hours, 33 minutes
flight distance is 1,174 miles
flight time of 2 hours, 51 minutes
Nebraska is 1 hour behind California
160 California travel answers
7 Nebraska travel answers

Driving directions from California to Nebraska

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