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Routes from Tahoe - Mono

Rugby, United...
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Routes from Tahoe - Mono

Hi everyone! We're travelling around Yosemite in August in a 35ft RV and wanted to detour to Lake Tahoe before heading to Vegas. I'm keen not to double back on ourselves too much, so from Mono Lake to Tahoe and back are there scenic alternative routes from the 395 up and back again?? Or is that so lovely we wouldn't mind doing it twice? I don't want to detour massively but wondered about Grover Hot Springs as a change one way? Or the 338? Would we see Humbolt that way?

Thanks for any help / suggestions! We're Brits and just want to see as much as we can!

Napa, CA
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1. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

If you are going to Tahoe after visiting Yosemite and are leaving Yosemite via Tioga Pass, then I would recommend backtracking down 395. It's a lot more interesting than going out into the desert and taking US 95 and crossing the Sierra and going through the Central Valley would not be any fun.

You could visit Grover Hot Springs but you won't be able to camp there with a rig that large and driving over Monitor Pass could be a challenge. See this warning:

http://www.topazlakervpark.com/contacts.html

You could take NV 338 from Topaz Lake on your return trip. This is a desolate road but scenic. I used to drive it a lot when Nevada didn't have a speed limit but I haven't driven it in years. Inquire at the Topaz Lake RV Park about road conditions.

What do you mean by "Humbolt"? The Humboldt River is quite a ways northeast of where you will be and the Humboldt Bay and redwoods are in far northwestern California. Or maybe you are asking about the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest? If so, you will be going through portions of it along 395.

London, United...
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2. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

I've gone from Lee Vining south down the 395 but never north. I'm planning it for the next trip as I'm led to believe it's a pretty fabulous drive.

An alternative might be to head back from Tahoe on the 88/49. This gives you another journey across the Sierras (in addition to the 120/Tioga Pass) at which point you can take in Grover Hot Springs and the 49 has a lot of interesting little Gold Country towns and certainly the parts I've driven offer a really different feeling landscape.

Long way round, though.

California
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3. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

If I were driving an RV I would stick with the easy to drive 395 both directions. Really, the scenery is nice enough that seeing it twice will not seem repetitive. I drive that section of the road back & forth from Tahoe to Mammoth at least once a year and I find it just really stunning.

London, United...
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4. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

On reflection (and realising that thirty-five foot is whopping!) I think I agree with Suzie. A view is never the same going different ways on the same road.

Rugby, United...
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5. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

Thanks everyone! Think we'll stick with 395 then! Do you think the detour up and down to see Tahoe is worth it? We start in San Fran, then down to big sur, across to sequoia, kings canyon, Yo, Tioga to mono (?Tahoe detour) mammoth, Death Valley, Vegas x we love beautiful places and thought Tahoe looked too good to miss - would you agree or spent the 3+ days elsewhere en route?? X

London, United...
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6. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

You've answered your own question. But I wouldn't spend three plus days doing it. Morning getting there, afternoon, overnight and the next morning there and an afternoon getting back to Mammoth.

EDIT: On a more leisurely trip, maybe take longer. But on your schedule if the three options are don't do it, do it slow and miss something else or do it quick so you've done it and can still do something else, I know which I would pick.

Edited: 08 February 2013, 19:15
California
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7. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

Yosemite Tioga Tahoe (where are you camping there - we are longtime Tahoe tent campers) I woudl definitely spend 3 days in Tahoe.

Then down to Mono Lake then to Mammoth .

Mono Lake Visitors center is south of Lee Vining - like not much south but you could really do that on the way to Mammoth from Tahoe.

Rugby, United...
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8. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

Thanks again! We were thinking of staying at Zephyr Cove? Would you recommend? Good to

Know Mono is south of Lee Vining - I hadn't realised and if we do on way back - we could then do just 2 nights at Tahoe (as we'd arrive earlier). Any tips on where to stay near Mammoth? I fancy seeing devils post pile - not sure where else? Also any tips for Death Valley? I'd aimed to send a night nearby ?Lone pine, then drive through DV in a day and wind up in Vegas early eve x

London, United...
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9. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

Sorry, Suzie, just when we're agreeing on something I say, 'Only stay one night in Tahoe.' Looks like Zoe's splitting the difference but taking your advice more than mine.

I hope you realise the reason I suggested what I did has nothing to do with Tahoe, which is wonderful. (I was there in eight foot of snow once and it was a stunning memory.)

If you're on a trip to Europe and plan to split your time between London, Paris, Rome and Berlin and I say, 'Spend less time in Berlin and you could do Madrid.' it's not me saying Berlin isn't great.

You know what I mean.

Let's be friends.

California
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10. Re: Routes from Tahoe - Mono

LND no worries. Everyone has an opinion.

For camping in and RV Zephyr Cove is really a great choice. I think you'll like it there. Proximity to SLT and to Sand Harbor on the north easat side. Easy to get ot Emerald Bay from there.

We stay on the west side but in campgrounds that don't have hook ups so that 's probably a deal breaker so do go with Zephyr Cove.

In mamoth you can stay either at one of the campgrounds at eh Lakes or you canstay in the campgrounds down Minaret Raod near to the Devil's postpile along the San Jaoquin River - very nice.

Here's a link to some good descriptions for campgrounds in Mammoth:

http://www.mammothlakes.com/camping.html

I used to work in the Inyo National Forest during the summer. That's when I fell in love with the eastern Sierra. There are lots of places to camp along 395.