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Old 01-15-2020, 04:49 PM   #1
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Up 395 in March

We are planning on leaving LA in mid-March and heading up 395. We eventually want to get to San Francisco. Is this a bad idea? If not, where would we cross over the Sierras? All the way up to I-80? Are there any other roads that cross that would be passable that time of year? Thanks for any help. Joe
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:24 PM   #2
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120 in Lee Vining going west but trailer towing not recommended however due to steep climb. Driving up to Reno probably best bet. Stop in Lake Tahoe and enjoy the stop.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:49 AM   #3
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hello Joe, your besy bet will be I80. because of time of year, it'sthe best bet because of weather and road for towing. good luck. kurt
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:45 AM   #4
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Go as far north on 395 as you can. It's a great drive!
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:38 AM   #5
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I would not expect 120 to be open. The 50 will likely be open unless there has been a stretch of bad weather. However, it often is choked with traffic including trucks. Highway 4 is suggested to be a bad choice through the Sierras, so we have never tried that route. It is not so bad once you are on the West side and down in the valley. We use it as a back door into the Bay area. CA-88 is an alternate, but may or may not be open. It's on our list to try. Call ahead before you try, but it could be a good option if the weather is clear. See link below for a prior discussion.

The best solution is I80. If you can't get through on I80, you just can't get through.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...-198863-2.html

Hope you have a good trip. Pat
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:51 AM   #6
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In March most of the passes will be closed.
Seven of the 22 Sierra Nevada mountain pass roads close for the winter. They are:

Donner Pass, Donner Pass Road
Monitor Pass, CA 89
Ebbetts Pass, CA 4
Sonora Pass, CA 108
Tioga Pass, CA 120
Minaret Summit, CA 203
Sherman Pass, Sherman Pass Road closed.

Traveling up 395 from L.A. the first pass that you can cross over the sierra will be Hwy 207 near Minden. That will be the Kingsbury grade. They usually keep this open. However is steep and curvy.
I have and would take HWY 50 from Carson City to Sacramento. It is a good road with lots of scenery and things to do.
The alternative to get to San Francisco would be the boring drive over hwy 80 out of Reno.
395 N. has some very nice natural "hot springs" around Bishop,CA. There will still be snow and some access will be restricted to 4x4 high clearance vehicles. Get the book "Touring Hot Springs California and Nevada". If you are lucky enough to find them you may have them all to your self. That time of year is awesome, especially if you don't mind a hike in the snow to a nice Hot Spring.

There are some very nice places to camp on the East side around Bishop also. Most open the 1st of March. Like Rock Creek, Palisade, East Fork, even up to Convict Lake campground. These are nice well kept campgrounds. There is also some BLM land that is free dispersed camping in the area.

Best wishes on you journey. Let us know how it turns out.


-Dennis
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:42 AM   #7
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For the most up to date road conditions always check with Caltrans.
https://roads.dot.ca.gov/

-Dennis
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:08 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone! It may just boil down to road conditions at the time. Thanks for that link on California roads. We really want to do the drive, so we'll probably find a way.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:36 PM   #9
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Weather permitting.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ke-198254.html

I mentioned kingdbury as i forgot rickset29's better advice post #4, option 3.


Note the directions are from SLT to 395, so you'll need to reverse the directions. From the 89 junction you'll turn L and over the pass on hwy 50 to Placerville> Sacto is a great drive.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:37 PM   #10
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Weather permitting.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ke-198254.html

I mentioned kingdbury but rickset29's advice is better...post #4, option 3.


Note the directions are from SLT to 395, so you'll need to reverse the directions. From the 89 junction you'll turn L and over the pass on hwy 50 to Placerville> Sacto is a great drive.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeeagle66 View Post
We are planning on leaving LA in mid-March and heading up 395. We eventually want to get to San Francisco. Is this a bad idea? If not, where would we cross over the Sierras? All the way up to I-80? Are there any other roads that cross that would be passable that time of year? Thanks for any help. Joe


Two years ago we drove up 395 and found in late June, highway 120 was closed. Plan on going over I-80 safe. Stop in Lone pine see the movie museum, stop in Bishop eat at the German Bakery, stop in Lee Vining drive out to the lake see the secret naval base that was there from war II to around 1960, also there was a great deli just off on 395 on 120 at the gas station. See Bodie ghost town near Bridgeport.
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