South Lake Tahoe is starting to safely reopen, which means it’s the perfect time for a road trip! Road trips are a great option right now because you can get out of the house while still socially distancing and making responsible, healthy decisions. And there’s no better place to take a road trip to than Lake Tahoe. There’s no shortage of sightseeing opportunities and stunning mountain views of the Sierra Nevadas along the way. Once you arrive, there’ s plenty of exciting ways to soak up the California sun and explore the great outdoors. Let’s start planning!
Road Trip From San Francisco to Lake Tahoe
Distance: ~190 miles
Time: ~3.5 hours
Route: Take I-80 E and US-50 E/El Dorado Fwy
- The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. Stretch you legs and explore the unique and educational gardens.
- Apple Hill. Experience agriculture, snag some tasty home-grown treats, and enjoy some fun local attractions and picnic areas.
- ForesthillBridge. Don’t miss the tallest bridge in California — 700 feet above ground level.
Road Trip From Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe
Distance: ~ 439 miles
Time: ~7.5 hours
Route: CA-14 N and US-395 N
- Red Rock Canyon State Park. Experience the spectacular rock formations and scenic cliffs.
- Devil’s Postpile National Monument. Enjoy this unique formation, considered one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt.
- Yosemite National Park. Explore the iconic waterfalls, meadows, valleys, and gran sequoias.
- Mono Lake. This ancient lake is one of the oldest in North America at 1 million years old!
Road Trip From Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe
Distance: ~443 mils
Time: ~7.5 hours
Route: US-95 N
- Free-Range Art Highway. Experience colorful murals, sculptures, and more all along the trek.
- International Car Forest of the Last Church. This unique display of cars balanced, stacked, and showcased in unique ways is a can’t-miss.
General California Road Trip Tips
- Check road conditions. Traffic and road closures can always delay your trip. California wildfires (summer/fall) and snowy mountain conditions (winter/spring) can also raise travel concerns, depending on what part of the season you’re traveling in.
- Check business openings. Many businesses and restaurants are closed or have limited hours and operations due to Coronavirus. Be sure to check their website or call ahead to make sure they can accommodate you.
- Bring a mask. Masks are required in most places in California right now per the statewide mandate. You’ll want one handy for when you make pit stops at gas stations and other socially-distanced sightseeing opportunities along the way.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Gotta love that California sunshine! Avoid painful sunburn by reapplying sunscreen frequently — even when you’re in the car. Sunglasses and hats are also great for making your driving experience more comfortable and pleasant.
- Stock up on sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. You may not always have access to a sink for proper handwashing on your trip, so having hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are a must as we work together to fight COVID-19.
Things To Do Once You Get To Tahoe
- Horseback riding
- And so much more!
Whether exploring Emerald Bay or golfing at Edgewood, there’s no shortage of things to do. Start planning your Lake Tahoe road trip today. We’ll be here waiting for you with comfortable rooms, scenic views, and a relaxing experience to help you get away from it all!
Before you head to Tahoe, you might find these guides handy:
What to Pack for an Adventurous Hike Around Lake Tahoe
Responsible Recreation During Your South Lake Tahoe Getaway
10 Tips for Traveling with Kids In Lake Tahoe
6 Tips for Visiting Lake Tahoe for the First Time