Tahoe or San Juan Islands late June?

Old Apr 15th, 2017, 11:05 AM
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Tahoe or San Juan Islands late June?

We'll be in Mammoth for 3 days for a wedding and then likely head to Reno to drop friends at the airport. Husband and I have 6 more days free, thinking of flying to Seattle to connect to San Juan Islands or just driving to Lake Tahoe. Pros and cons of both? We've been to Seattle and OP previously, so if we go to SJI we'd optimize flights and ferries to spend our time there.
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Hard choice. Both are lovely at that time of year. Just decide if you want a more sea/island centric, or mountain/lake-centric vacation.
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 12:39 PM
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I would with out a doubt go to the San Juan Island. When there on my honeymoon. Stayed a place called onesome Cove. www.lonesomecove.com/
It was right on the water. Great views, wonderful scenery and the deer came right up to be petted. There were also otters that played on the beach. The Town was nice and there were lovely restaurants. We went back to Orcas island when my daughter went to camp at Four Winds. We keep saying we are going back to the islands but haven't had the time or money. But it is wonderful, beautiful and relaxing.
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 02:57 PM
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Orcas Island it's a beautiful place and a great island for relaxing, hiking, and a variety of outdoor activities. The island Chamber of Commerce publishers and excellent and complete guide to the island.

Htty
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 03:01 PM
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I believe it would take the better part of a day to get from Reno to one of the SJ islands. Turn in car, security check, flight, rent another car, drive the fastest way, wait for ferry, etc. Perhaps 8 hours? Driving back to Seattle, I suggest you take the slower, scenic route via Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands.

We loved the SJ islands but spend a week every year in the Sierra Nevada (not counting days skiing). FWIW, three days in the Mammoth area is really short. I think janisj is right: You have to decide what sort of side trip you want.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 05:20 AM
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I think it will present some logistical problems. Unless you left Mammoth at zero dark thirty in the morning to get to RNO, the only flight to Seattle that would work arrives around 5 PM. After the car yoga and rush hour traffic, you'd probably need to book a very late ferry out of Anacortes, so I'd expect that you'd be looking at a minimum 12-hour trip door to door, and that's with everything going like clockwork.

Will you be renting the car in Reno in the first place, or in LA or Las Vegas? If you choose the San Juans option, it might be easier (and cheaper) just to return the car where you got it and fly from there.

I suffer from not being Lake Tahoe's biggest fan; I like the north end of the lake much more than the casino-infested south end, and while it's certainly beautiful in places, the west is full of beautiful places, so it's all about activities and access. If you want to hang out in beautiful surroundings, there are places we might suggest that wouldn't be as complicated to reach as the San Juans, or as (over-) developed as Tahoe. But with those two choices, I'd probably pick Tahoe. But I'd also give strong consideration to combining Tahoe with the gold rush country along CA 49 north of Yosemite, and maybe fly out of Sacramento.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 07:48 AM
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If you do choose Tahoe (the much easier option) I would NOT stay at southshore. I'd stay along the north shore or parts of the west.

Every year I spend 2 or 3 weeks (different times of the year) at Incline Village and make it down to southshore maybe 2 day trips a year
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 08:17 AM
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Thanks so much! I think we will postpone the San Juan islands till next summer so we're not dealing with all that travel in a short time frame. So.... if we stay in the CA mountains, we could put our kids on flights from mammoth and not rush back to Reno,which is why we looked at Tahoe. Assume we had 6 days starting in mammoth and wanted easy to moderate hikes, kayaking, quaint towns....any specific suggestions?
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 09:08 AM
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If Tioga Pass is open (possible but not guaranteed this year) -- Yosemite.

Otherwise, you can spend a day or so exploring Bodie and Alpine County then head on to Tahoe.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 08:17 AM
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FYI, the ski area at Mammoth will still be operating.

I don't know if kayaking will be possible that early this year. Experts are expressing concern about potential flooding throughout the area as the record amount of snow melts.

If the road beyond the ski area is open, drive to Devil's Postpile. Then, when you're leaving Mammoth, if the road is open, drive the Mammoth Scenic Loop to Hwy. 395. Going north on 395, look for the turnoff to Obsidian Dome. Both the Postpile and the Dome are interesting geologic formations.

Another couple of miles north, the June Lake Loop (route 158) is very scenic. A few miles after you re-join 395, you'll reach the junction with Tioga Road. If the road is open, you can drive to several hiking options both outside and inside the Yosemite gates. Be well prepared for mosquitoes and possibly wet trails; bring water.

Back on 395... IMO, Mono Lake is fascinating for several reasons. Geology, biology, history... It's especially pretty at sunrise and sunset. The "Friends of Mono Lake" information center and book store is located in the center of Lee Vining, and the well-organized Interpretive Center is located a mile or two north of Lee Vining on the shore of the lake.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 02:17 PM
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Well I'd pick Tahoe, since you're much closer to that.

I live in Seattle and have been to the San Juans... once. I don't see any reason to jump thru hoops like you would have to, to include it in this particular trip itinerary.
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