Calif Hwys 4 or 108 East over the mountains

Old Jan 13th, 2011, 05:16 AM
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Calif Hwys 4 or 108 East over the mountains

We are planning a Gold Country trip end of May and would also like to drive East either from Murhpys (via Hwy 4) or Twain Harte (via Hwy 108) across the mountain range connecting to Hwy 395. Several years ago we drove one of these roads and i swore I would never do it again as it seemed to go straight up, along with the twists and turns. I can't remember now if it was 4 or 108.

Can anyone give an opinion on which of these roads is better for wimps like me? My husband, by the way, loves roads like this.....

Thanks for any advice!
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 08:44 AM
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Well both of these routes are closed for the winter along with Tioga Pass. Oftentimes, depending on the snow level, these roads remain closed in the Spring. So it may be less of which one, and more of, are these roads even open?

I really liked our driving trip on 108 as an alternative to 120 (Tioga Pass). I think it is quite beautiful espoecially at the top. So many trees. I believe that your trip was on 108.

Highway 4 was brutal for me since I got car sick.
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 09:31 AM
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Suzie - do you know if 88 is likely to be open in late April (Easter)??

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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88 is usually open but sometimes requires chains. It's all open now.
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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88 is a very nice highway. It does not have the twists and turns of the other two. We've been on 108 a lot more than 4 but have driven both quite often. Our preference is actually for Hwy 108. There are some steep windy places but the views are very dramatic driving west to east (to Hwy 395). Just take it slowly.
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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108, in particular right around and east of Sonora Pass is very steep and twisting.
4 is, IMO, a longer route because you have to cross both Ebbetts and Monitor passes before connecting to 395.
I consider 108 the more scenic, but 4 offer Murphys, Calavaras Big Trees State Park and Bear Valley.
As Susie said, you never know about the snow pack on those passes. Monitor usually opens up earlier than the others. Late May could be OK, but then again all, except 88 could be closed.
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Old Jan 13th, 2011, 01:49 PM
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Both of these routes have their twists and turns. You need to drive these roads slowly and stop and enjoy the views if they are open. Some people on blood pressure medicine can get dizzy from the high altitude especially on 108 if they just drive up quickly from sea level. Another reason to take it slow.

Both these highways lead to some great campgrounds and trails but May is usually too early to enjoy them. If you will be heading south on 395 then 108 makes the most sense but if you are going to Tahoe then Hwy 4 would be the better route. Of course, taking 88 or even 50 would be quicker if coming from Sacramento or the Bay Area.
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