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Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

Muskego, Wisconsin
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Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

First trip to the area! Trying to avoid the weekend crowds, but still want to see a lot. The plan is to daytrip to North Lake Tahoe on Thurs, hit the museums in Virginia City on Fri, take in more NLT on Sat, then begin the drive down to Yosemite on Sun. We'll stay in Carson City Sunday night, but have Mon and Tues in Yosemite. We'll stay in Mariposa on Mon night so we can see the sequoias early the next morning. We'll start driving north again Tues night. My question is whether we should backtrack using 120 and 395, or if it is feasible to take the western route that will allow us to see Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe on Wed. We'd like to spend the night there before flying home on Thurs afternoon.

Too ambitious? I know it's a lot of driving, but we can sleep when we get home! There are lakes to kayak, and trails to climb!

Muskego, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

One more thing: does anybody know when/if the roads will be closed, due to the bike race in Tahoe on Sunday the 7th?

LA
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2. Re: Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

I'd do Virginia City on your way from Tahoe to Carson City. Otherwise too much backtracking. I also think of bars rather than museums in Virginia City. Carson City does have the Nevada State Museum in the original Carson mint, which made the coins with the "CC" mint stamp on them. I probably still have some of those CC pennies. The museum has some cool exhibits and a fun mine shaft tour. Have lunch or dinner at Adele's.

Edited: 30 August 2014, 00:54
LA
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3. Re: Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

oops, the old pennies I have are "C" not "CC". The Carson City mint didn't do pennies and it closed in the 1800's.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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4. Re: Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

>>We'll stay in Mariposa on Mon night so we can see the sequoias early the next morning.<<

Yosemite Valley to Mariposa is about 1 1/4 hrs via Hwy 140. Mariposa to Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is about an hour via Hwy 49 and Hwy 41.

I don't think I'd stay in Mariposa overnight if the goal is a quick drive to Mariposa Grove the next morning. I'd stay in Fish Camp or Oakhurst.

Yosemite Valley to Fish Camp is about an hour. Fish Camp to Mariposa Grove is less than 10 minutes.

Yosemite Valley to Oakhurst is almost 1 1/2 hrs. Oakhurst to Mariposa Grove is about 30 minutes.

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If you have questions about your visit to Yosemite NP, this is the place to ask. Have you seen the maps linked to the lodging info in the Top Questions? The Trip Reports? The suggested itineraries in the Trip Ideas? We've tried to include info that is relevant for visitors.

Fremont, California
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5. Re: Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

Personally I would back track 120 to 395 to highway 50 and then just driv Lake tahoe that last day,

Not sure what you mean by the western route - if you mean 120 and then Sacramento and then back up to Lake Tahoe that adds hours to the drive.

Just back track and enter on highway 50. I would have said Kingsbury Grade but it is currently closed due to some improvement projects on the road.

Sounds like a wonderful time.

Edited: 30 August 2014, 03:00
Long Barn...
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6. Re: Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

" My question is whether we should backtrack using 120 and 395, or if it is feasible to take the western route that will allow us to see Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe on Wed."

If you don't want to revisit the Tioga Pass expierence you might consider driving Hwy 120 north to Hwy 49, to Hwy 88 (Carson Pass) at Jackson to Hwy 89 in the Hope Valley and then over Luther Pass on to see Emerald Bay which is on Hwy 89. This is also a scenic drive.

It looks like you plan on visiting Lake Tahoe three times? It sounds like your lodging is in Reno? Why don't you stay at Lake Tahoe instead of driving there twice in a couple of days?

Muskego, Wisconsin
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7. Re: Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

Thanks, everybody, for the insight. We're tweeking the itinerary based on your recommendations. Tahoe and Yosemite seem better suited to me than Reno, however the hotels are much cheaper there. So, we'll be starting there and taking daytrips. Gotta pack now . . . looks like temperatures can be anywhere from high 80s to low 50s! Yikes!

8. Re: Driving Reno to Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Sept 3-11

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