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los angeles
posts: 1,084
reviews: 86

mapquest says its like 486 miles from los angeles, but also says it will take 7 hours and 20 minutes? seeing as how so much of it is the 5 fwy...can it REALLY take that long? is that last part of this drive all windy, mountains, slow, etc.?

i was thinking if you could do around 70 the whole time til the end you could def do it in under 7 hrs, not to mention if you leave at that time (read: like 5am) you can prob do 80 for the first 3-4 hours easy. I wouldn't go any faster than that, but if you do 240 miles in the first 3 hours, theres no way it will take you FOUR hours to do the other 200 miles, again unless for like 100 miles it's super slow, windy, mountain driving, etc.?

thanks for any help on this, never driven it and am trying to negotiate the drive vs just flying to reno + rental car costs, but I am finding flights LAX - RNO nonstop surprisingly expensive for such a short flight.

Thanks everyone!

Edited: 12:42 am, April 02, 2013
Dublin, California
posts: 12,524
reviews: 30
11. Re: Driving...

Even if you drive 70 mph non stop, it's still 6.94 hrs.

los angeles
posts: 1,084
reviews: 86
12. Re: Driving...

Thanks everyone!!

Orange County Ca
posts: 151
reviews: 3
13. Re: Driving...

My initial thought was why take the I-5 at all? Awful boring drive, personally detest it, and avoid it if at all possible. From any place in the greater LA Metro area, mine, and many others, choice is the I-5, but then SR-14 to 395 through the Owens Valley and the Eastern High Sierra to Gardnerville and over Kingsbury Grade to SLT. Why not slow down a bit and enjoy the scenery? Time wise, there may be little, if any, difference between this route and the longer but faster driving I-5 way. Stop in Bishop to gas up, grab a quick bite and stretch the legs. Have taken the 395 route for decades, still enjoy it, and would not go any other way. Many other travelers share this opinion.

posts: 10,878
reviews: 12
14. Re: Driving...

395 offers awesome scenery and you never feel that rush to get past it, the way you do on 99 or I5. The traffic is significantly less on 395 so it's much easier to enjoy . Stop at Jolly Cone in Bridgeport for some old fashioned burger and shake.

South Lake Tahoe...
posts: 183
reviews: 156
15. Re: Driving...

Yes, you will need at least 7 hours to get here. You may be a fast driver, but you WILL get behind slow moving vehicles on HWY 50, as well as construction. Not only that, I wouldn't advise doing 70 miles an hour coming down from Echo Summit, unless you'd like to be like my 2 high school buddies who failed to negotiate a turn, and ended up several hundred feet down the mountainside.

In all seriousness, in your rush to get up here please be a safe driver.

los angeles
posts: 1,084
reviews: 86
16. Re: Driving...

no worries everyone, I am certainly a safe driver, having never negotiated this drive before, it's why I posted this thread to begin with :) thank you everyone!

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 10,130
reviews: 77
17. Re: Driving...

A tip for seeing what a drive is like - on Google maps, drag and drop the "little man" onto your route and you can see the street view. For this route, drop him anywhere on Hwy 50 once you get into the foothills and you will see the 2 lane road that you will be driving.

Google streetview is invaluable for route planning IME.

Lake Tahoe, NV
posts: 142
reviews: 19
18. Re: Driving...

If you decide on the drive.. go 395 instead of the 5.

Everyone debates on which is faster. In my experience I have always found 395 with to be the quickest.

Why and how have I come to this conclusion?

I have three young children that don't do well in long car rides.. We leave Tahoe at 4 am for Disneyland and need to get there with plenty of time to spend a good day in the park.. It does just fine. It is a desolate drive but it the fastest hands down even if google says it's longer.

19. Re: Driving...

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