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stopping point en route to Lassen

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Bedford UK
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stopping point en route to Lassen

We are hoping to travel Amtrack to Sacramento and will then pick up a car and head North. Our first destination would be Lassen. However we've noted that the California Zephyr is frequently late so that we cannot rely on the arrival time of 2 pm. We'll also have to pick up our pre booked vehicle.

To be on the safe side I think we're looking to a drive time of 90 mins - 2 hours. This is on the basis that we wouldn't want to arrive later than 8.30 or so.

Is there anywhere within that range that would be a good stopping off point, hopefully being attractive and offering clean and restful accommodation after our two nights on the rails?

If anyone has any ideas, they'd be gratefully received

Thanks

Betty

San Jose, California
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1. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

Clean, restful accomodations: check Yuba City, Chico, or Red Bluff. Those are the biggest towns enroute to Lassen and all have decent accomodation. This is the central valley, so largely agricultural area - nothing is particularly picturesque or esspecially attractive - just normal towns surrounded by farm country. Chico is probably the most attractive.

Sacramento, CA
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2. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

Sacramento has a nice downtown with great restaurants and hotels. Old Sacramento is walking distance from the train station. There's a lot to see here for an afternoon/eve. Why not spend the night in Sacramento then get an early start for the 3 1/2 hour drive to Lassen in the morning?

http://oldsacramento.com/

Lassen National...
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3. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

Sacramento or Chico would be my picks--both have very beautiful sections. If you have extra time a route through Tahoe is another option.

Edited: 17 June 2012, 04:36
Rocklin, California
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4. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

Since Lassen is your first destination, another thought would be to only go as far as Reno on Amtrak and rent a car there. You would have maybe a 4 hour start on your day - I seem to remember Amtrak is scheduled to leave Reno about 8:30 or 9 in the morning for Sacramento. The drive to Lassen shouldn't be any longer than the drive would be from Sacramento and would be much more scenic (and cooler) than the SAcramento Valley (assuming you are talking a summer trip).

Lassen National...
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5. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

The drive from Reno to Lassen is at least an hour shorter than from Sacramento.

Bedford UK
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6. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

Thank you all for your comments.

I think we may end up leaving the train in Reno. Although we will miss the sierra nevada part of the ride, we will be able to take our time driving to Tahoe and then to the Lassen area, so we will be able to enjoy the Sierras still.

Thanks again

Betty

Sacramento, CA
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7. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

You don't have to 'miss' anything. The drive up the east side from Truckee to Lassen is gorgeous. Much more scenic than the first part of the drive from Sacto to Lassen.

If you still want ot see the Sierra Nevada's Just drive down I-80 from Truckee a few miles. You will see some sweeping vistas and there are viewpoint turnouts along the way.

For the full effect go on down and take exit 174 - Soda Springs. Take a left on the old Lincoln Highway and go over the freeway. Continue on through the Soda Springs Ski areas back to Donner Lake via the old highway. This will take you right past the snowsheds the trains run through. The only difference from the train ride is that you can stop and get out to take in the scenery and take pictures.

There is some spectacular scenery on this route. The whole circuit back to Truckee takes about 45 minutes to drive. But of course it will take longer because you will have to stop and get out of the car a few times.

Here's a GoogleMap link: http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I-80+W&daddr=39.3344777,-120.3570971+to:Donner+Pass+Rd%2FDonner+Summit+Rd+to:I-80+W&hl=en&ll=39.332173,-120.29377&spn=0.14632,0.308647&sll=39.327858,-120.324411&sspn=0.036582,0.077162&geocode=FQpGWAIdHGrW-A%3BFU0yWAIdF3_T-CkbrZHwYeibgDE_XfXetjnHug%3BFfrsVwIdvvfT-A%3BFZtCWAIdRmTW-A&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=14&via=1&t=m&z=12

Edited: 24 June 2012, 15:36
Sacramento, CA
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8. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

Oops, I thought the site would abbreviate that. Oh well, you can just copy and paste right?

Rocklin, California
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9. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

I am assuming you'll be doing your trip in the fall (or late summer, or maybe next spring), and tripjunkiy's suggestion is great with the old highway 40 route which will get you right back to Truckee to head north to Lassen. Just wanted to comment about taking Amtrak over Sierras - the most beautiful views from the trains are when the mountains are fresh with a lot of snow and it's a clear sunny day, but if the weather's like that, you wuuldn't be headed for Lassen!

10. Re: stopping point en route to Lassen

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