There are 6 ways to get from Des Moines to San Francisco by plane, train, bus or car

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended option

Fly to San Francisco  •  5 h 48 min

  1. Fly from Des Moines (DSM) to San Francisco (SFO) DSM - SFO

$248 - $321

Cheapest option

Bus  •  43 h 56 min

  1. Take the bus from Des Moines, IA to Denver, CO
  2. Take the bus from Denver, Co to Reno, Nv
  3. Take the bus from Reno, Nv to San Francisco, Ca

$216 - $451

4 alternative options

Fly to Oakland  •  7 h 27 min

  1. Fly from Des Moines (DSM) to Oakland (OAK) DSM - OAK

$232 - $1,113

Fly to San Jose, Caltrain  •  8 h 58 min

  1. Fly from Des Moines (DSM) to San Jose (SJC) DSM - SJC
  2. Take the Caltrain from Santa Clara Caltrain to San Francisco Caltrain

$232 - $1,015

Bus, train  •  47 h

  1. Take the bus from Des Moines, IA to Lincoln, NE West Bound
  2. Take the train from Lincoln Amtrak to Richmond Transit Station Amtrak California Zephyr

$235 - $688

Drive  •  27 h 10 min

  1. Drive from Des Moines to San Francisco 1810.6 miles

$170 - $260

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Des Moines to San Francisco is to drive which costs $170 - $260 and takes 27 h 10 min.

More details

The quickest way to get from Des Moines to San Francisco is to fly which costs $240 - $330 and takes 5 h 48 min.

More details

The distance between Des Moines and San Francisco is 1556 miles. The road distance is 1810.6 miles.

Get driving directions

It takes approximately 5 h 48 min to get from Des Moines to San Francisco, including transfers.

More details

No, there is no direct bus from Des Moines to San Francisco. However, there are services departing from Des Moines, IA and arriving at San Francisco, Ca via Denver, Co and Reno, Nv. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 43 h 56 min.

More details

The nearest airport to San Francisco is San Francisco (SFO) Airport which is 11.2 miles away. Other nearby airports include Oakland (OAK) (12.1 miles), San Jose (SJC) (39 miles), Santa Rosa (STS) (55.3 miles) and Sacramento (SMF) (78.3 miles).

Search flights

Map of how to get from Des Moines to San Francisco.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 1556.1 miles
  • Duration: 5 h 48 min

What companies run services between Des Moines, IA, USA and San Francisco, CA, USA?

Frontier Airlines, United Airlines and three other airlines fly from Des Moines to San Francisco hourly. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Des Moines to San Francisco via Denver, CO, Denver, Co, and Reno, Nv in around 43 h 56 min.

Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Website
southwest.com
Flights from Des Moines to San Francisco via Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
5 h 50 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$270 - $1,000
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
6 h 11 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$310 - $1,200
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
7 h 50 min
When
Sunday
Estimated price
$330 - $1,200
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via St. Louis
Ave. Duration
10 h 21 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$350 - $1,300
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via Las Vegas, Reno
Ave. Duration
8 h 25 min
When
Sunday
Estimated price
$320 - $1,200
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via Las Vegas, Burbank
Ave. Duration
9 h 15 min
When
Saturday
Estimated price
$330 - $1,200
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
6 h 26 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$270 - $1,000
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
6 h 50 min
When
Sunday
Estimated price
$280 - $1,100
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via St. Louis
Ave. Duration
8 h 10 min
When
Sunday
Estimated price
$300 - $1,100
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Phoenix, Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
7 h 10 min
When
Sunday
Estimated price
$290 - $1,100
American Airlines
Website
aa.com
Flights from Des Moines to San Francisco via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
6 h 25 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$250 - $310
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
5 h 59 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$290 - $1,200
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via Dallas/Ft.Worth
Ave. Duration
7 h 52 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$310 - $1,200
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Phoenix
Ave. Duration
5 h 54 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$250 - $1,000
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Dallas/Ft.Worth
Ave. Duration
7 h 4 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$270 - $1,100
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Chicago O'Hare
Ave. Duration
8 h 10 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$280 - $1,100
United Airlines
Website
united.com
Flights from Des Moines to San Francisco via Denver
Ave. Duration
5 h 55 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$260 - $470
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Denver
Ave. Duration
5 h 54 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$240 - $1,100
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Chicago O'Hare
Ave. Duration
8 h 15 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$270 - $1,200
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Houston
Ave. Duration
7 h 33 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$290 - $1,200
Delta
Website
delta.com
Flights from Des Moines to San Francisco via Minneapolis
Ave. Duration
6 h 41 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$250 - $330
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via Salt Lake City
Ave. Duration
5 h 47 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$250 - $1,100
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Minneapolis
Ave. Duration
6 h 45 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$230 - $1,000
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Salt Lake City
Ave. Duration
8 h 8 min
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
$220 - $1,000
Flights from Des Moines to San Jose via Atlanta
Ave. Duration
8 h 15 min
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
$300 - $1,200
Frontier Airlines
Website
flyfrontier.com
Flights from Des Moines to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
3 h 53 min
When
Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
Estimated price
$170 - $700
Flights from Des Moines to San Francisco via Denver
Ave. Duration
6 h 14 min
When
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Estimated price
$170 - $700
Allegiant Air
Website
allegiantair.com
Flights from Des Moines to Oakland via Las Vegas
Ave. Duration
7 h 49 min
When
Sunday
Estimated price
$220 - $1,100
Train operators
Caltrain
Phone
+1 650-508-6200
Website
caltrain.com
Train from Santa Clara Caltrain to San Francisco Caltrain
Ave. Duration
1 h 30 min
Frequency
Every 30 minutes
Estimated price
$8 - $11
Schedules at
caltrain.com
Amtrak
Rome2rio's guide to Amtrak
Contact Details
Phone
+1 1-800-872-7245
Website
amtrak.com
Train from Lincoln Amtrak to Richmond Transit Station Amtrak
Ave. Duration
41 h 45 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$230 - $700
Website
amtrak.com
Coach Seat
$230 - $340
Flexi Coach Seat
$410 - $600
Business Coach Seat
$490 - $700
Room
$850 - $1,200
Bus operators
Burlington Trailways
Greyhound USA
Rome2rio's guide to Greyhound USA
Contact Details
Phone
+1 214-849-8100/1-800-231-2222
Email
ifsr@greyhound.com
Website
greyhound.com
Bus from Denver, Co to Reno, Nv
Ave. Duration
23 h 15 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$100 - $260
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$100 - $170
Flexible
$190 - $260
Bus from Reno, Nv to San Francisco, Ca
Ave. Duration
5 h
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$26 - $65
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$26 - $45
Flexible
$45 - $65
Windstar
Phone
+1 888-494-6378
Email
sara@gowindstar.com
Website
gowindstar.com
Bus from Des Moines, IA to Lincoln, NE
Ave. Duration
3 h 20 min
Frequency
Once daily
Schedules at
gowindstar.com

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