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Best route from Lake Tahoe to Sonora

Strood UK
Level Contributor
142 posts
102 reviews
Best route from Lake Tahoe to Sonora

Hi my wife and I are travelling from LakeTahoe to Sonora in early October, first time visitors to California. Google maps shows three main options. Which route is the best all round, taking into consideration views etc?

Looks like a choice between 88, 4 or 108. Any help appreciated, at the moment I'm thinking 4.

Thanks

5 replies to this topic
South Lake Tahoe...
Level Contributor
11 posts
117 reviews
1. Re: Best route from Lake Tahoe to Sonora

Hi there

It completely depends where you're staying around Lake Tahoe. North Lake is one thing and South Lake Tahoe a completely different one. Let us know.

Best

Peter

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
33,343 posts
6,456 reviews
2. Re: Best route from Lake Tahoe to Sonora

I would suggest driving highway 49 to 88. This will take you through some historic gold rush towns including possibly a stop at Columbia.

http://www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com

88 is a pretty drive over Carson Pass. Its a good road. There are some places just take it slow around the pass area, but in general a good road. Caples Lake is on this route. Its a scenic lake with good trout fishing.

Continue on to 89 if you plan to go to South Lake Tahoe. This is a pretty forested area.

If you want to drive a bit further down highway 88 before going to Lake Tahoe, a cute place for a meal is Sorenson's

http://www.sorensensresort.com/

For some photos of Caples Lake

http://capleslakeresort.com/summer/

In regards to the other roads, they are fine to take, but a bit more of challenge in terms of driving.

88 is an all weather highway and the fall colars in October can be spectacular (depends when in October but in their height its superb.)

have a good trip.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
33,343 posts
6,456 reviews
3. Re: Best route from Lake Tahoe to Sonora

Note: If you need to drive on to North Lake Tahoe, the Nevada side is very pretty in the afternoon for views.

Long Barn...
Level Contributor
4,717 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: Best route from Lake Tahoe to Sonora

I travel from Lake Tahoe to my home just about monthly. During the winter I take hwy 88 and in the other times of the year I use all three routes. If I am in North Lake Tahoe I simply use Hwy 89 along the west shore to Meyers and then use Hwy 89 over Luther pass to the Hope Valley.

You are favoring Hwy 4? I really like this route, but be warned that for about 25 miles or so, the road gets very narrow, has three hairpin curves on an incline and has a 24% grade. It is a lightly traveled road. You will drive through Markleeville which is an interesting small town and worth stopping for a cup of coffee. This road passes three lakes and is very scenic. In my opinion it is the most scenic route of the three listed (hwy 108 is the second best). I like to stop at Lake Alpine lodge for lunch if the timing is good. The best part of this route is that you will pass Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This is a very worthwhile stop to see the giant Redwoods. There is a nice self tour walk that is about an hour. Once again this is very worthwhile.

I use Hwy 108 as it is a scenic drive also. It has a 26% grade and sharp curves.

I usually use Hwy 88 in early October. Why? This is fall color season. The changing Aspen trees are just beautiful. The best viewing area is west of the hwy 89/88 junction. The fall colors change at different times each year, but your driving time is usually a very good time to see the fall colors in Hope Valley. Hwy 88 is by far the easiest drive of the three if that is of a concern.

As a side note- You will also see some fall colors using Hwy 4 and Hwy 108, but the Hope Valley is by far the best.

Long Barn...
Level Contributor
4,717 posts
10 reviews
5. Re: Best route from Lake Tahoe to Sonora

Too late to edit my above post, but it looks like Mimi thinks you are traveling from Sonora to Lake Tahoe. Simply reverse her directions to make sense of it.

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