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scenic route from lake tahoe to mendocino

Melbourne
Level Contributor
131 posts
4 reviews
scenic route from lake tahoe to mendocino

Hi,

Will be travelling in Jan or Feb from Lake Tahoe to Mendocino. Have done Napa on several occasions so looking for other options. Perhaps even travel north of Lake Tahoe and overnight enroute to Mendocino.

Any suggestions appreciated. My husband and i love quaint small towns and scenic driving so wish to avoid larger cities.

On a seperate note, we loved Carmel on previous trips, will we be disappointed in Mendocino or is it just a pretty?

Thanks in advance.

California
Level Contributor
10,862 posts
11 reviews
1. Re: scenic route from lake tahoe to mendocino

Well that's a great distance to drive during the winter. There is a very good chance that you'll be driving in snow & rain during Jan or Feb on northern CA.

You could exit the Tahoe area via 89 north to Truckee and then drive west on 80 to Emigrant Gap and take 20 where you'd pass through some small towns like Nevada City, Grass Valley, Yuba City & Colusa until 20 merges with I 5 in Williams. Continuing on 20 you'd pass near Clearlake and then through Willets before coming to HIghway 1. A short drive south on Highway 1 will get you to Mendocino. With the short daylight hours in Jan or Feb this drive will take all your daylight. If raining or snowing the drive will be more cahllenging. You should really watch the weather reports before choosing this route or any route during the winter that takes you off of major roads.

California
Level Contributor
10,862 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: scenic route from lake tahoe to mendocino

Just want to clarify a bit. There is a section of the drive wher you merge with 101 north to Willits which is where to exit to 20 again.

Fort Bragg...
Level Contributor
151 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: scenic route from lake tahoe to mendocino

I actually did the drive today and it is beautiful, but it will be more challenging in the winter. I would take Highway 20 all the way to Fort Bragg. There is a great place in Upper Lake called the Tallman Hotel you could stay in. It is about 2/3 of the way to Mendocino.

I lived in Carmel and Mendocino. You will not be disappointed in the least with the Mendocino Coast. We actually enjoy it much more as it is much more quaint and authentic.

4. Re: scenic route from lake tahoe to mendocino

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