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Old 06-22-2013, 10:18 AM   #1
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Sacramento to Lake Tahoe - Route

I am traveling from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and I am looking for a route without any huge downhill grades and drop offs since do not like and I am traveling alone with my two young boys.

I have driven the 50 many times and hate the Echo Pass drop off.

Wondering what the 80 and the cut off route to Tahoe is like - I think it is the 89?

Any big drop offs or descents?

Is it a pretty easy drive compared to the Echo Pass cliff?

Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:39 AM   #2
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If you can make it to Tahoe without any steep grades I too would like to know the route. I've been over all the roads and never found one without a pretty good climb.

I suggest 80 because it is four lane and you can go as slow as you want without creating too many problems compared to the other routes.

You can leave 80 at Truckee and go around the lake on the east side.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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tahoe route

It depends where you are going at lake tahoe. If you are going to north shore then I 80 is the best route. If you are going to south lake tahoe, then I would still suggest 50 over the top and drop down the big hill into tahoe. If you take 80, and are going to the south end of the lake, you will have to negotiate the two lane roads from north to south along the lake. These can be crowed, twisty, and it will be considerably longer. I vote if the south go 50 and just bite the bullet---if north go 80 as it will be a much easier drive.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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thanks - any drops off 80 similar to the last part of 50 or is it a pretty easy drive?

I might chose the 80 if no drop offs all the way even if slower.

We are going to South Lake Tahoe and don't care if take longer if an easier drive.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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Take I-80 to Truckee and then head south to Lake Tahoe. You can take either side of the lake to go around, just depends on your preference.

Or you can stay on I-80 to Reno, then I-395 south to Carson City and finally over to the east side of Lake Tahoe on the 50 and south into South Shore LT.

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Old 06-22-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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We just returned from South Lake Tahoe to Grass Valley. We have taken every possible route to South Lake Tahoe from the Sacramento area and we understand your concern about the grades and drop offs. We recommend the following to minimize those issues. Take the I-80 to Truckee, it has uphill 3 mile 5-6% grades with lots of level spaces between them for 40 miles or so, but nice big highway and going back down these are easily managed. From there take the 267 to the 28 at Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe. There is one steep grade uphill on the 267 going that direction, (and obviously downhill on the way back) but it's not very long and it's not a windy grade and the road is good, no drop offs. Be sure to take the east side down to south Lake Tahoe. That side has no drop offs although it is windy until you reach the 50. Take the 50 into south Lake Tahoe. It's good road. The only concern will be a low clearance tunnel as you approach Zephyr Cove. It is 18' clearance in the middle but only 12'-4" in the right lane, go straight down the center and your good.

Do NOT take the west shore (HWY 89) it has steep drop offs with no guard rails and several hairpin turns near Emerald Bay. not to mention tons of road work.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Pretty good advice so far. No problems at all getting over I80. It's a big wide interstate freeway. Your problem is getting where you want to be in Tahoe. Sounds like ChiliRick has some good suggestions.

It would help get better responses if you shared what you are driving. It's easy to add the make, model, and year of your rig in your signature like. You can do that through your User Control Panel.

Best of luck.

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Old 06-22-2013, 03:54 PM   #8
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Ditto what ChileRick said. We live in Auburn on 80 about 22 miles east of Sacramento, been all around the Lake many times. Rick described it well.

Just take your time. If you have the luxury, there will be a lot less traffic if you hit 28 about 9:30-10:00. Morning commute has folks getting going on work, lunch traffic and the rest of the day sucks for traffic during summer season.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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Thanks ChiliRick and everyone else.

So sounds like 80 to 267 to 28 and on 28 stay east side of lake.

Any idea on how much longer in time this route would be versus the 50 from Sacramento on average?

Do you know what the grade percent is on the uphill on 267 you mention?

Probably will go back on the 50 since not hanging over the cliff on the return.

We are driving a 32 foot class C and towing a jeep wrangler.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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Chilirick is right on with his post, plus its a great scenic drive.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trirwl View Post
Thanks ChiliRick and everyone else.

So sounds like 80 to 267 to 28 and on 28 stay east side of lake.

Any idea on how much longer in time this route would be versus the 50 from Sacramento on average?

Do you know what the grade percent is on the uphill on 267 you mention?

Probably will go back on the 50 since not hanging over the cliff on the return.

We are driving a 32 foot class C and towing a jeep wrangler.
It took us 30-45 minutes longer, but that will depend on your driving speed/style. It is about 30 miles longer. That grade on the 267 is signed at 9%. It didn't seem that steep to us.

We were about to give up on Lake Tahoe with our RV, just too challenging a drive for too long a distance, but now that we finally found this route, we'll go again.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:10 PM   #12
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I'd say it would add about an hour to the drive.

Can be slow going through North Tahoe area.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:10 PM   #13
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You aren't in North Tahoe that long. Just thru Kings Beach and Incline Village (which isn't even on the main highway). We went thru there at 10:30 or 11:00 AM yesterday, a Friday (with our 2 young granddaughters in the coach). There wasn't any traffic to speak of there that held us up at all. A weekend might be a bit longer. It only took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to get from Tahoe Valley RV Resort (at the Y) to south Grass Valley with a stop for gas. We took the 49 to the 50 to get there and it took us 2 hours 20 minutes from south Grass Valley. Even if it was an hour difference, I'd still go this way, it's way easier and certainly less stressful.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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I live in Gardnerville NV, which is just south of So Lake Tahoe and near Carson City NV. It really depends on what part of Sac you are coming from and what part of Lake Tahoe you are heading to. When I travel over the pass to any place south of Sacramento, I prefer HWY 88 through Jackson. Lots of good scenery and only a short area where your near a drop off right after Kirkwood. Lots of passing lane opportunities and pull outs if your taking it slow. Once you get to Hope Valley (Alpine County) you can take HWY 89 north (not a lot of warnings that its coming up, so watch for the one sign that says "So Lake Tahoe") over Luther summit to Meyers which has light traffic and as of right now, no road construction. The climb over Luther is only a couple of miles long and all at once. Lots of construction in So Lake Tahoe along HWY 50.

One other option if you live north of Sac and want an easy go is to take HWY 80 to Reno, 395 So to Carson City and 50 West to the south shore or Incline Village area. Hwy 50 over Spooner Summit is four lanes all the way, but it is a climb for you.
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