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san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

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san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

Hi, we will be driving from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe on July 4th. Is this likely to be a nightmare, traffic-wise? Any route suggestions, or is there only one logical way to go? Thanks!

Santa Cruz...
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1. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

I cannot really imagine a traffic nightmare, but you have two logical choices.

If you are going to North Lake Tahoe, cross the SF/Oakland Bay Bridge on I 80 and stay on it, through Sacramento, etc. until you come to Truckee and then take either 89 to Tahoe City, or 265 to the Kings Beach area.

If you are going to South Lake Tahoe, when you get to Sacramento, switch to Hwy 50 and take that to, well, South Lake Tahoe.

Don't worry. Everybody who is going to Tahoe for the 4th will probably already be there.

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2. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

Thanks!

Long Barn...
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3. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

July 4 is a Friday this year. I do not think you will have traffic problems driving to Lake Tahoe, however, when you arrive at Lake Tahoe traffic could be bad. This is probably one of the biggest days for traffic at the Lake. You do not want to be traveling any more than necessary after you arrive. They have the big fireworks display at South Lake Tahoe and the traffic can be bad in the evening in this area.

The advise Puter gave above is good. At Sacramento take Hwy 50 to South Lake Tahoe or I-80 to North Lake Tahoe.--- use Hwy 89 to Tahoe City area and Hwy 267 (not 265) to the Kings Beach/Incline Village area.

LA
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4. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

July 4th is usually gridlock in South Lake Tahoe after about 2 pm as everyone gets to the beach areas to secure parking and spots to watch the fireworks.

Parking becomes impossible near the lake.

Where will you be going to in South Lake Tahoe?

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

CaSwede,

Thanks for the correction on the HWY from Truckee to Kings Beach. My map has a crease there and I couldn't read the road number clearly. <grin>

San Antonio, Texas
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6. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

I would avoid the Emerald Bay area (parking slowdowns) and most of 89 between TC and SLT during daylight hours, except maybe a couple of hours after dawn. Hwy 50 through SLT and Hwy 28 between TC and Incline will likely be slow going. Weekends in July/Aug will be slow going if projections of increased bookings this year pan out.

OE

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7. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

We are staying at the Marriott Timber lodge on South Lake Tahoe Boulevard. Sounds like the traffic once we get there will be pretty heavy

LA
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8. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

Yes, you will be right in the middle of the traffic madness on July 4th. I would get groceries, etc before you get to your accommodation and not try to venture out later by car.

The best route to there from SF it to take HIghway50 in Sacramento, over Echo Summit. If you take I-80 and turn off at Truckee, you end up having to drive around the lake on the busiest traffic day of the year.

Edited: 19 May 2014, 15:10
Long Barn...
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9. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

The Marriott Timber Lodge is a very nice place to stay. Here is a tip for your drive to the Marriott. As you drop into the Tahoe basin using Hwy 50 you will come into the town of Meyers. Just past Meyers you will see a signal at the Pioneer Trail turn right and this will reconnect you with Hwy 50 only about two blocks from your lodging. You will bypass all the signals along Hwy 50. This is the way I travel when I head to the Stateline area and is used mostly by the locals. It will be a faster route for you. That signal at Hwy 50 and the Pioneer Trail can back up and depending upon where you park you could take a few side streets and connect with Lake Parkway which goes behind the Marriott. You should check a more detailed map or you could get lost.

No need to stop and buy groceries. Once you get to the Marriott and park you can walk over to the very nice large grocery store- Raley's. It is a short walk for you.

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10. Re: san francisco to lake tahoe on July 4th...advice?

We go to North lake every year for July 4th. As mentioned traffic on the way up shouldn't be terrible, but since it's a Friday it will be quite heavy out of the Bay area and past Sacramento.

What I haven't seen mentioned is traffic on the way back. If you are heading back to SF on Sunday 7/6, traffic will be a nightmare. Try to avoid heading west on 80 that day.