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LOS ANGELES TO RENO

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Dec 17th, 2017, 11:40 AM
  #1
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LOS ANGELES TO RENO

I'll be traveling with my wife in early february from LAX to Reno. I understand that during that month most of the roads in Reno are difficult to drive because of heavy snow. i´ll have 2 entire days to get there.
any sugestions of routes? I heard the US395 is stunning!! ths
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Dec 17th, 2017, 12:06 PM
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>> I understand that during that month most of the roads in Reno are difficult to drive because of heavy snow.<<

Not really -- Some roads near Reno are. But unless there is a storm right when you are traveling, the drive would not be difficult at all. The problem is -- you can't know if there will be a storm/snow until just 2 or 3 days before you travel. If there is a winter storm, you will need to have tire chains.

The route most likely to be clear would be up I-5 and east on I-80. If there is no storm/snow it would only be about an 8 hour drive so even with breaks it could be done in one (long) day. Up 395 would take just a little longer but if you hit bad weather there are fewer places to hunker down and wait it out.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 12:20 PM
  #3
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I WOULD LIKE TO VISIT YOSEMITE PARK IF IS POSSIBLE!!
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Dec 17th, 2017, 12:33 PM
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If you want to visit Yosemite you cannot take 395. That would be impossible in winter.

If you do want to visit Yosemite you would really need more than 2 days since it is basically one day to get there. The drive to YNP (depending on exactly where you are in the LA basin and the weather) could take as little as 6 hours and as much as 9 hours. Then from YNP to Reno is another 6 to 8 hour drive. So essentially you would drive all day long to get there - - likely arriving after dark, and then have to leave first thing the next morning so you would not see anything at all.

If you want to visit Yosemite you would need three days for the drive (staying 2 nights in Yosemite or in El Portal) to give you one day for the Valley.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 12:54 PM
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I was seeing some routes, to go through 365 to see the Death Valley, and get to Yosemite, but always have the problem of the closure of Tioga Pass. Any suggestions???
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Dec 17th, 2017, 12:57 PM
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Yes, 395 is stunning, among my very favorite drives so I sometimes go out of my way to go that way. It's also tricky in winter, some parts fine, then snowy or icy because of changes in altitude and the fact that, going north, you have high mountains on your left and the lowest point in the US on your right. I've driven it a number of times, several in winter and unless the forecast is for dry weather either side of your travel, you might need to stop. I find, if you pay attention, there are enough places to stop if you need to. I've stayed in Independence, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, Lee Vining, Bridgeport and Carson City on various trips and there are others. So don't let it being winter stop you, but if a real storm is forecast, don't.

So I'd choose 395 first, because as mentioned above, 2 days to go via Yosemite isn't really enough to do the park justice. But if a peek is enough, then why not. Let the weather be your guide for which route, but you can't do both that time of year, no open road to get from 1 to the other.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 01:02 PM
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If the weather is dry, you could indeed visit Death Valley during your 2 day drive up 395. But I wouldn't if there is, or has been, cold wet weather. The slow parts, in that case, are farther north and if you need to stop along the way after a day's detour to DV, you could be delayed getting to Reno.

As we've mentioned, because the passes are closed, you'll need to choose, 395 & maybe Death Valley, or Yosemite.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 01:14 PM
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>>I was seeing some routes, to go through 365 to see the Death Valley, and get to Yosemite, but always have the problem of the closure of Tioga Pass. Any suggestions???<<

You simply cannot do both. In Feb it has to be EITHER Death Valley/395 . . . or . . . Yosemite.

You say you have 2 days - is that 1 night or 2 nights?.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 02:07 PM
  #9
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I have 2 nights...i´ll be leaving LAX at Feb06 e need to get to reno at Feb08.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 03:22 PM
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Then you simply need to decide - do you want to see Yosemite or do you want to see Death Valley. Neither is 'wrong' -- just which one do you want to see more.

Seeing both is not an option.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 03:41 PM
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I'd let the weather be your guide. If there isn't a winter storm over the Sierras then either is possible. But 395 may be less manageable if there is. If your 1st choice is 395, if possible, decide a few days prior to leaving LA. If Yosemite is calling to you louder, then go there and book accommodations ahead.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 04:05 PM
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If there is a storm -- you will need chains which ever you decide (and you will need to carry them to enter Yosemite even if there is no snow)

The Highway 140 entrance is usually better in winter because it is the (mostly) low elevation route.

If there IS a winter storm - which you won't know until your travel dates - I would much rather be on the west side of the Sierra.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 05:02 PM
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Rental car = NO CHAINS. Rental car that must be returned to LAX or have a big drop fee = Don't do it.
If you are flying into LAX and don't want to drive for 2 days, you have several options using Amtrak buses and trains.
The flyaway bus takes you from LAX (airport) to Los Angeles Union station.
Easiest route is an Amtrak bus from LAUS to Bakersfield and the San Joaquin train to either Martinez or Sacramento.
If you get on the California Zephyr on the 7th or the 8th in MTZ or SAC you will be in Reno about 4 PM.
February is not the ideal time for your first visit to Yosemite.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 11:53 AM
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Some rental car agencies do not permit chains on their vehicles. You could possibly get around this by renting a 4WD; however, if there are R3 conditions, 4WD won't do you any good. Driving in the Sierras in February is always a crapshoot.

As tomfuller suggested, the train might be a good plan~you won't have to worry about driving or dropping off a rental car.
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Dec 25th, 2017, 11:20 PM
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Off wall idea:
cheap flight on Southwest Air into Sacramento.( fares very reasonable if made about 3 weeks in advance)
California Zephyr , Station is downtown Sacramento...beautiful train ride to Reno...
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Dec 26th, 2017, 05:49 AM
  #16
 
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Additional thoughts:

Sixt doesn’t charge a one way fee between CA and Nevada.

You should spend the night in Death Valley to maximize visiting time, however it’s a really big place and a long way in on the CA side so you’ll just scratch the surface. These are county highways on the CA side without a lot of signage or striping.

395 between San Bernardino and Ridgecrest is a hard road to drive, only two lane, not fully engineered (bumps not graded out), and packed with semi trucks.

I’ve been in Reno in February and there was no snow at all.
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Dec 26th, 2017, 08:03 AM
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>>I’ve been in Reno in February and there was no snow at all.<<

Reno is not the problem -- it is the mountains between where the OP is starting from and Reno.
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Dec 26th, 2017, 08:22 AM
  #18
 
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Regarding Death Valley, Scotty's Castle is closed as well as some of the lodging options. Some are open but with fewer possibilities, rooms will be scarce so reserve way ahead to stay in the park.

https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/lodging.htm
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