Every single weekend without feel sees hordes of people making the trip form the Bay area to Lake Tahoe to escape all the stresses of city life. This short 3.5 to 4.5 mile drive is an escape route to a whole host of world class skiing resorts, hiking trails and other activities and amenities. Anyone looking to take a weekend break to Laker Tahoe needs to consider two rather important factors. First of all what area of Lake Tahoe do you want to visit (there are many) and secondly what are the road and traffic conditions going to be.
Driving to the South or North Shore?
Lake Tahoe is big, actually it is massive, there is a 72 mile loop of road encompassing the lake and this takes two hours to drive along, this gives you an indication of just how big Lake Tahoe really is. When driving from the bay area to Lake Tahoe there is two main routes that you can choose from to make your trip. The First route consists of taking the I-80 which will get you to Truckee and the North shore. Whereas the other route will take you along Highway 50 and this will get you to the Lake Tahoe South Shore. The route along the I-80 is more of a straight line and will give you more opportunities for pit stops along the way as well have having a greater speed limit.
Both of the routes start on the I-80 and then fork off at Sacramento. If you are heading for the North Shore of Lake Tahoe then you will want to take the west I-80 and follow the signs for Reno NV. If Lake Tahoe’s South Shore is your final destination then you will want to take the Highway 50 and keep your eyes peeled for signs for South Lake Tahoe. Of the two routes the route along Highway 50 is definitely the more scenic with a lot of curved roads and a slower speed limit. Despite the lower speed limit the route along Highway 50 is still faster than driving along the interstate to Truckee and then heading south on highway 89 to get to Lake Tahoe South.
Winter Conditions May Be inPlace
It’s not out of the ordinary for you to encounter snow on the roads during November and March when travelling to Lake Tahoe. For this reason you should always be prepared for winter weather. Make sure you have snow chains for your car in your boot and pack extra water and things like a first aid kit and a flashlight. For a more detailed guide to safety conditions pertaining to winter weather while visiting Lake Tahoe then you can check our winter safety guide.