by R. Forrest Hopson Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Getting to Lake Tahoe from the major airports in Sacramento, Calif., and Reno, Nev., is fairly easy. From Sacramento, it is about a two-hour drive along scenic Interstate 80 or U.S. 50. Interstate 80, which takes visitors to the northern part of Lake Tahoe, is a bit of a longer but easier drive and it passes the Donner Memorial State Park. The park — which commemorates the emigrants from the East to California in the mid-1800s, including the famed Donner Party, many of whom perished in the winter of 1846-1847 — offers recreational opportunities in the summer and winter. U.S. 50 is a slightly shorter but windier drive that goes through California gold country and ends up at South Lake Tahoe, a city with lots of casinos and ample beaches and recreational activities. From Reno, Lake Tahoe can be reached in less than an hour via Interstate 80 and the Mount Rose Highway. All roads to Lake Tahoe are open year round, with only temporary closures during times of very heavy rain or snowfall. A few local public side roads such as Fallen Leaf Lake Road and Blackwood Canyon Roads are not plowed in the winter.
Overnight accommodations are readily available, including hotels, motels and local bed-and-breakfasts. There are also several U.S. Forest Service and California State Park campgrounds. However, the campgrounds are only open during the summer months and usually close by mid-September. In addition to hiking and geo-sightseeing, the Tahoe area offers plentiful outdoor activities, including skiing, ice skating, boating and biking. Nearby towns also have shopping, nightlife, dining, a thriving arts and music scene and, at casinos on the Nevada side of the lake, gambling.
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