SMF or RNO to Tahoe in mid-Feb?

Jan 6th, 2008, 10:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 531
SMF or RNO to Tahoe in mid-Feb?

Hi all,
First of all, thanks to everyone that answered my previous post (SF or San Diego) but now Mr. Fan has decided that Tahoe sounds better.

We'd be traveling Feb 14th or 15th to the 18th or 19th. Both flights arrive around 7PM. Would it be ill advised to travel that night?

What about driving part of the way the first night? Are there logical options?

SMF is about $50 cheaper per person. I was leaning toward SMF because if there were a horrible storm, we could head to Napa or SF instead.

What do you think?

Any input appreciated!!!
phieaglefan is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,132
Pildredge is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
Reno is definitely closer than Sacramento. I'm not comfortable driving at night due to black ice, but that's just me. I think it is about an hour from Reno to Tahoe. You could easily find an inexpensive place to spend the night in Reno.
Sacramento airport is about 2 hrs or less from Tahoe. You would still have the black ice issue at night. There are places to stay in Roseville or Auburn if you are heading toward North Tahoe on 80, and places in Sacramento, Folsom, Placerville if you are going to South Tahoe on 50.
I guess you could pick Reno if you want to be closer, or Sacramento if you want the option of changing plans.
elnap29 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Last year I flew from SD to Reno in Jan/Feb and then rented a car to Tahoe..
Stayed at the El Dorado Casino in Reno which we liked and the food was really good and the Silver Legacy Casino is gorgeous and right next enclosed walkway.
It took about an hour plus to get to Tahoe as long as conditons are good.
I would not drive at night up to Tahoe in possibly snow conditions.
Jan 6th, 2008, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 275
Last June (I know it is a lot different than February) we flew to Reno to go to Tahoe. The drive to our destination in Tahoe was about a 45 minute drive (in good conditions). I did drive at night...we got in about 9pm and I rented a car. It was quite the drive! Much better to do in day light.

On our way back we had an early flight out of Reno and I booked a room through hotwire and got a room at the Atlantis Casino Resort for $46. !!! I thought we would get a dumpy room but I thought wrong!
bhonoreh is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,854
If you fly to Reno you can take the tahoe express shuttle to your hotel and then rent a car in SLT. If you aren't going to SLT you can fairly easily drive from Reno west on 80 (which is a well maintained interstate by both Caltrans and Nevada DOT) to exit 188 In Truckee - North Shore Road - to the lake. It's fairly short and not too much mountian driving. I really don't like the steep Mt Rose HIghway so I try to avoid that - car sick for me. You can reach the lake easily and you come out at Kings Beach near the stateline on the north. You can drive to Incline if you are staying there.

If you are going to Squaw Valley or Tahoe City continue west on 80 and get off on exit 185 and go south on 89 to Squaw or continue to Tahoe City.

Here's a link to the shuttle:

If you drive to SMF then I would for sure head out on 50 or 80 depending on which shiore you will stay and get totally out of Sacto so that you are positioned first thing in the morning to be out of the morning traffic.

There is a nice hotel in Rocking opff the freeway called The Rocklin Hotel if you are going on 80.

If you are going on 50 then try to get to Eld Dorado Hills which has a Holiday Inn Express on Town Center Blvd:

But if not that far try Folsom where there is a Hilton Garden Inn on Iron Point Road:
Suzie is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,170
I live in El Dorado Hills. We will be spending Feb. 16-18 at the Silver Legacy in Reno. We could have had a free night for the 15th, but chose not to go up after work. Depending on the weather, the roads can be very tricky (we have 4 wheel drive vehicles). Also, remember that if you come "down the mountain" to Sacramento on Feb. 18, the traffic could be horrible because of the three day weekend. Normal drive time from EDH to Reno is 2 hours. After some three/four day weekends it has taken 5 hours.

Summer is very different in terms of the drive. DH and I have taken flights out of RNO because a big difference in costs. We flew into RNO at 10PM and where home in EDH by midnight. It is the conditions of the road due to weather that make the difference.
BarbAnn is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 02:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 531
Thanks, everyone for your prompt responses. Sounds like everybody feels like Reno is the better choice.

Well, Mr. Fan loves to play craps so if we get into Reno in the evening, we could certainly stay at one of the casino hotels and head out in the morning (hopefully not with empty pockets!)

Thanks again,
phieaglefan is offline  
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