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-   -   SAN FRANCISCO TO TAHOE (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/san-francisco-to-tahoe-261061/)

Joanie Sep 25th, 2002 03:58 PM

SAN FRANCISCO TO TAHOE
 
Originally, I was going to fly into Reno, then stop and spend the night in Tahoe before heading down to Yosemite. But then I decided to fly into San Francisco a day earlier instead and go to Tahoe from there. I will be arriving in San Francisco about noon. Any opinions on whether it would be better to go on to Tahoe and add an exra night there or better to stop and stay somewhere along the way?

J Correa Sep 25th, 2002 04:11 PM

It's about a 4 hour drive up to Lake Tahoe from SF, more if there is traffic. What day are you coming in? <BR><BR>Assuming there aren't any delays in your flight, you are looking at getting up to Lake Tahoe in the early evenning some time. Depending on how long your flight was and what time you had to get up, this could make for a long day. <BR><BR>I'd probably drive up to Sacramento. I think it's about an 1 1/2 drive from SF. Old Town Sac is a nice place to wander around, you could go to the Railroad museum, Sutter's Fort, the Capitol Building. <BR><BR>This way you'd be fresh for your drive up to Lake Tahoe, which is advisable. Also, both Hwy 80 and 50 go out of Sac, so regardless of which side of the lake you are going to, you wont have to backtrack. <BR><BR>

Joanie Sep 25th, 2002 04:57 PM

I will be flying in on a Monday, the first week of May, if time of year might make a difference.

Bill Sep 25th, 2002 05:50 PM

Book 2 nights is Tahoe area. It will take about 4.5 hrs from the car rental place at SFO to Tahoe (allowing for short stops).<BR><BR>If you want a glimpse of SF, head north from SFO on 101, merge with 80 east, cross Bay Bridge and sail on. For a slightly quicker escape, take 101 south, take 92 east crossing San Mateo Bridge, take 880 north to 238 to 580 to 205 to 5 to 80 east (not as difficult as it sounds).<BR><BR>Both bridges are free east-bound.

Tony Sep 25th, 2002 06:00 PM

Personally, I would spend the two nights in Lake Tahoe. Assuming you arrive in SF at noon by the time you get your luggage and rental car you will get on the road at noon. You'll make it to Sacramento in about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. From there, it is about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to Lake Tahoe. For the South Shore you will be taking Hwy 50. For the North Shore, you will be taking Interstate 80 most of the way. By the time you get there, it will be late afternoon. You'll have the entire next day to explore the lake and you will need all of that if you want to get around it and stop and see various sites. If you are going on to Yosemite, I would recommend that you spend the night at South Shore.

David Sep 25th, 2002 06:56 PM

Spend the extra night in Tahoe, you will not regret it. The best route to Tahoe from SF airport would be 101 south to 92 east(San Mateo Bridge) to 880 north then 238 south/580 east then 680 north to 80 east. Traffic through the Altamont Pass on 580 as well as the Bay Bridge can be quite heavy.

Utahtea Sep 25th, 2002 07:05 PM

Traffic on 580 from Dublin through the Altamont Pass gets busy starting at around 3 and then turns into a parking lot at commute time. Trust me I drive it every day. Get on you way as soon as you can!<BR><BR>Tioga Pass through Yosemite WILL NOT BE OPEN in early May. From Tahoe you will have to come back over Hwy 50 and then take Hwy 49 over to Hwy 120 to go into Yosemite.<BR><BR>Utahtea<BR><BR>

Kay Sep 27th, 2002 09:09 AM

c onsider flying in and out of Sacramento (don't know what airline you are using) However, about 2 hr. drive to Reno (highway 80) or 2 1/2 to South shore(Lake Tahoe) via highway 50. USUALLY traffic is only somewhat congested around 3:30 to 6 PMon weekdays<BR>Also getting back to Sacramento from Yosemite is easier than into SF.<BR>IF your only destinations are Yosemite and Lake Tahoe areas and Sacramento is not possible I would use Reno.<BR>Hope this helps...

Ed Sep 28th, 2002 09:25 AM

Bill, With all due respect, I think that Joanie's main aim is to take the fastest route up to Lake Tahoe. I do not think that it is responsible of you to suggest that she take the most congested route in northern California via the Bay Bridge through SF. What exactly is your obsession with advising people to drive through SF at every opportunity that arises?


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