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Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

Sydney, Australia
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Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

Hello, We are interested in traveling from Lake Tahoe down to Los Angeles via the eastern Serrias (Hwy 395) or something close to this route in late December.

We will have spent a week at the snow at Squaw Valley beforehand and weather depending we will decide if its viable or safe enough to attempt the trip south. Is it possible to take this route in winter (we are from Australia)? We will have a hire car and have set aside 2 days to get to LA... hopefully making use of the mid-morning to mid-afternoon hours to get through.

What would be the total travel time... 9 hours or so? Also are there any side trips or places that are 'must see', which are still accessible at this time of the year along this route? As we are planning 2-3 to get down to LA where would be a good place to breakup the trip and spend a night or two? Bishop?

What is it like to visit the Death Valley area at this time of the year? Any suggestions on a route itinerary for Death Valley or over to the Mojave? Many thanks in advance. Cheers!

Tahoe
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32 posts
19 reviews
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11. Re: Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

Mammoth foragood selection of cabins.

Edited: 11:54 am, September 14, 2010
California
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10,862 posts
11 reviews
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12. Re: Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

Mammoth is more of a condo place than a cabin place.

I hope the weather cooperates since the drive is quite nice, certainly much better than I5.

Redlands, California
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5,092 posts
38 reviews
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13. Re: Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

Agree, the drive down 395 is far more scenic than I-5. If the weather isn't good, I'll take 5 anyway.

Singapore, Singapore
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46 posts
29 reviews
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14. Re: Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

Appreciate any advice from forumers.

We are from tropical Asia and planning a 2 weeks road trip from LA, LV, Lake Tahoe and San Francisco in late Nov and early part of Dec 2010, we are thinking of taking Hwy 395 to North Tahoe on the 1st or 2nd of Dec 2010, mostly to see the Sierra and the high mountains of California. We have no prior experience driving in icy conditions and the rental cars will not come with tire chains. We have heard from our American friends that the roads to Tahoe from San Francisco are seldom close during the early winter months and it is quite safe to drive up there in a sedan during this period. Anyone with a different views and/or would advise otherwise? Of course there will be risks but can we assume it will be reasonably safe for us to drive 3 sedan cars from LV to Lake Tahoe during this time?

Redlands, California
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5,092 posts
38 reviews
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15. Re: Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

Weather is unpredictable up here, hard to guess what it will be like in early December. The roads between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe are very well-maintained. Check road conditions and weather reports before attempting the drive. I wouldn't advise driving up unless the weather is completely clear. If you just want to look at the Sierra, you could come part of the way up the mountains. Turn around if you feel nervous about the conditions. Even the foothills are beautiful.

The drive between L.A. and San Francisco can be really enjoyable. If you have plenty of time, take 101 or 1. There are lots of interesting places to stop along the way.

Maybe someone else can give you good advice concerning the drive between Vegas and Tahoe. It's not my favorite trek.

Singapore, Singapore
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46 posts
29 reviews
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16. Re: Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

Thanks for the advice. Weather permitting, we are really keen to take HWY 395 as it will allow us to see more of the country and make the long drive more enjoyable. Seriously thinking of renting a 4X4 SUV to provide us with more comfort for the road trip.

Yes, Monterey, Carmel and Highway 1 are in the plan.

17. Re: Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles via Hwy 395 in December

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