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Just back from timber lodge Lake Tahoe

davemy

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What A GREAT TIME OF YEAR TO GO TO LAKE TAHOE!!! This was are first trip there and 2nd time this far west for us. We had 3 other couples with us and none of them have ever been on a vacation like this before, We had 2-2bedroom units. The Weather was a perfect 10. Sunny and warm everyday. It was only cold in the early morning. I highly recomend a trip here in early september. There is so many different things to do. We were there for 6 nights. None of us on this trip are really outdoorsy people, but we all said it was one of the best vacations we ever went on. Day 1, DayTrip to San fransico, Day 2 Hanging out by the pool, shopping in south lake tahoe and dinner at the beacon bar and grill on the lake. Day 3 sailing on lake tahoe on woodwind one to Emerald Bay, Dinner at scusa's, Day 4 up the moutain on the heavenly condola, WOW! That night dinner at the Chart House on the moutain,what a SUNSET!, Last day A TRIP AROUND THE LAKE that took 6 hours because we stoped everywhere. Emerald Bay, Tahoe CITY, SQUAW VALLEY, TRUCKEE, CRYSTAL BAY CASINO, INCLINE VILLAGE, SAND HARBOUR. Can't wait to go back there with the kids someday. P.S the Casinos weren't very kind to all of us. But who cares!
 

lprstn

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:rolleyes: You have me thinking...
 

DeniseM

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thanks for the report. i will try and go there in the summer.

how far was san francisco from the lake?

It's a long way for a day trip - 3.5 hours one way, if you don't run into traffic!

Map - Tahoe to SF
 

winger

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winger

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What A GREAT TIME OF YEAR TO GO TO LAKE TAHOE!!! This was are first trip there ...

Glad you enjoyed - this is our "backyard/weekend getaway" local for lots of Northern Californians!
 

davemy

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We went with a company called demo tours to S.F, right in Lake Tahoe, picked us up at the Marriott at 6:10am. We were in S.F by 11:00, The tour included Morning Breakfast and a pottie break at the jelly belly factory. At 1:00 pm we went on a 90 min tour of the city, with Mr. Toads, Then Early dinner at pier 39 at the grab house. At 5:00 pm it included a Wine and cheese party at the Golden Gate Bridge. We were back in Tahoe by 9:30pm. What a day!!! All for $100.00 a person. Its a must do. Traffic was good this day only a couple short delays.
 

stevens397

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C'mon Dave. Lake Tahoe is, in fact, beautiful but really - when you're from Tonowanda, pretty much everything shines!:rofl: [I went to SUNY Binghamton]

Seriously, Lake Tahoe in the summer was a wonderful trip. We combined a week there with 3 nights in San Francisco and it was a wonderful vacation.
 

calberry

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Would this be the same route in Winter? We are driving the other way in January...from SF to Tahoe.

Just wondering if this route involves any high passes...

Thanks.

There are really only two main options (unless you fly into Reno) to get to Tahoe from SFO. One is from the south (Hwy 50 as the map shows) and the other from the north (Hwy 80 to Truckee, then south...and then choose which side of the lake you want to traverse). Both require going over 'passes', but nothing very high/demanding (although coming down into the lake basin on Hwy 50 can put a knot in your throat if you are afraid of heights!). Hwy 50 is the best (most direct) route, but if you had planned to drive around the lake anyway then going 80 would enable you to do half of that on the way in.

Steve
 

winger

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Would this be the same route in Winter? We are driving the other way in January...from SF to Tahoe.

Just wondering if this route involves any high passes...

Thanks.
Yes and yes.

Except, IF you want to go to the north shores of Tahoe, then you would continue on 80 East instead of 50 East (the split to 50 takes place in Sacramento)

Yes, high pass - as the Lake is up over 6000ft high... On 50, the highest pass is a little over 7500ft, if I recall correctly.
 

Bee

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The trip to Tahoe from San Francisco in winter can be difficult. If it's snowing you will need four wheel drive or chains to get over the passes. Also, the freeways are often temporarily closed for snow removal. It can take hours to reopen. However, Tahoe is beautiful in the winter, as well as summer. :D

Bee
 

gores95

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There are really only two main options (unless you fly into Reno) to get to Tahoe from SFO. One is from the south (Hwy 50 as the map shows) and the other from the north (Hwy 80 to Truckee, then south...and then choose which side of the lake you want to traverse). Both require going over 'passes', but nothing very high/demanding (although coming down into the lake basin on Hwy 50 can put a knot in your throat if you are afraid of heights!). Hwy 50 is the best (most direct) route, but if you had planned to drive around the lake anyway then going 80 would enable you to do half of that on the way in.

Steve


Thanks for the info. We are renting a 4WD and after driving for several hours direct is good! We will take Highway 50 and monitor the weather closely. I would assume that the drive is fine until you get past Sacramento correct? If the weather is "iffy" any recommendations on towns to stay in overnight along the way?

We plan on spending the morning and afternoon in SF then heading east around 2:00 or so.
 

vacationtime1

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Marc--

Your plan is fine, but if you drive on a Friday, you will be accompanied by lots of ski traffic. If you plan to do this on a Friday, it would be best to leave Sacramento before 4 (if you leave SF by 2, no problem).

There is no snow risk until the last portion of the drive. The Sierras are steep and most of the altitude gain is at the end. But the last 25 miles can be tough in a blizzard.

There are few gas stations above 2000' and before South Lake Tahoe so prepare accordingly. And there are fewer places to stay overnight in the winter before you get to South Lake Tahoe (most of the accommodations are summer cabin type places).
 
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winger

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i disagree. leave san francisco by noon.

hit the costco in folsom,ca off 50 (cavitt st) for gas.
 

gores95

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Thanks guys. Actually we are flying in to SF on Friday and will be there around noon. Staying overnight them leaving for LT on Saturday afternoon. If it makes sense to wait until later on Sat afternoon to leave....4 or 5:00 we can do that as well. I just thought travelling with the sun out would be safer/easier.
 

vacationtime1

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Driving Saturday has no traffic issues; the ski crowd drives up Friday nights and down Sunday afternoons. Driving during the daytime is easier.

Restaurants at Tahoe are crowded Saturday nights. But if you are going to a TS and eating in, that will not be a problem.
 

luvsvacation22

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Driving Saturday has no traffic issues; the ski crowd drives up Friday nights and down Sunday afternoons. Driving during the daytime is easier.

Restaurants at Tahoe are crowded Saturday nights. But if you are going to a TS and eating in, that will not be a problem.

I agree! Driving during daylight hours through the mountains and passes much easier/safer especially if your are taking 50. I hate 50 (the drop into the valley) makes me nervous, but it is more direct. My sister owns two cabins in Tahoe and they drive to Tahoe on 50 almost every weekend. Her suggestion during the winter is: Be sure to have a full tank of gas, food/water, blanket, and flashlight. Sometimes during the winter they close 50 and 80, and the wait in line can be a few hours long and cold (therefore the blanket.) You probably will not need to use these items, but you should always be prepared! Have a great time! You will love it!
 

winger

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maybe make the costco pit stop both a 'fill up your car' and 'fill up your tummies' stop, so once you get to tahoe, you are all set to spend a night out.

with all the talk of taking 50 (vs 80), remember if staying on the north shore (incline village, squaw/olympic valleys) you will want to keep/take 80 all the way.
 

calberry

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Listen to the radio, KCBS channel 740 AM is a 24/7 news channel in SF (and just about all northern Ca...including Sacto). They give traffic updates on the 8's, and if there are any closures or chain controls in the Sierras they will give updates. If you check weather.com in advance you will see if there is a storm coming. If not no problem. If so...well, as others have said, just be prepared.

Steve
 

davidvel

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You can also call 800-427-ROAD and enter or speak the road numbers: 80, 50 etc and get the info on any closures (works on all highways in CA, not just winter closures!)

You can also try 511 on your cell for road and other info (but not available in all areas).
 
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