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Bishop/Yosemite Driving tips


jhc
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I am heading out with a friend for Bishop this Saturday night or Sunday and am wondering if anyone's got any tips or other advice on which route to drive. I want to spend as little time on the road as possible, but don't want to get stuck in the snow on some 8,000 foot pass.

Thanx in advance,

Jake Choiniere

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Go 395 through Reno. Passes are lower and roads are usually better. I lived in Reno for a few years and know passing through your other alternative is through the pass going south of Tahoe towards Strawberry and that one is sketchy with snow.. Teh cliff of death looms. I doubt any pass south of there will be open unless you go way south to bumfuck Egypt.

Another question is are you going to Yos or Bishop? 2 different animals and the Tioga pass will be closed for sure. Have a nice long waste of time drive around if you decide to go to both.

I guess you can figure the rest out on your own. Do a http://www.google.com search for the raod info.

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Interstate 80, U.S. 50 and State Route 88 are the only trans Sierra Highways open this time of year to get you to 395 for the trip south to Bishop. We are supposed to get snow in the mountains this weekend so Interstate 80 out of Sacto is the best bet to get over the hill. It is the best plowed, 50 goes right through South Shore Tahoe and is therefore slower and 88 tends to have some avalanches closures if the storm is heavy enough. Have a good trip.

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quote:

Originally posted by jhc:
Thanks,

I think we are just going to boulder at Bishop for the week. My big question is where should I cut over to 395?

bend oregon....go through kalamath falls...or you can cut over at weed, ca....

though i would recommend purchasing yourself a road atlas is you seriously have these questions....not being mean just realistic.

[ 03-20-2002: Message edited by: erik ]

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quote:

Originally posted by erik:

bend oregon....go through kalamath falls...or you can cut over at weed, ca....

though i would recommend purchasing yourself a road atlas is you seriously have these questions....not being mean just realistic.

[ 03-20-2002: Message edited by: erik ]

Thanks again,

I have a big map book, but the Caltrans website and hotline only tell me if a road is closed, no info about conditions on open roads through the mountains. Things could be "open" but 30 mph the whole way...

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quote:

Originally posted by jhc:

Thanks again,

I have a big map book, but the Caltrans website and hotline only tell me if a road is closed, no info about conditions on open roads through the mountains. Things could be "open" but 30 mph the whole way...

Caltrans website will tell you current chain conditions - i.e r1 (2wd needs chains or snow tires)r2 (4wd w/snow tires or 2wd with chains)r3 (everyone chains - "The highway is usually closed before an R3 condition is imposed")

If they don't have restrictions - traffic moves at 70.

The beta others gave about the highways is right - if you take I5 and swing over use 80. 50 will be slow, 88 slower(but you can go to Kirkwood!)

Carl

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I disagree with taking 80 over from Sac. That is bs in winter. All the smart truckers go 395 from Oregon because it is better. I worked in a warehouse Grocery Store in Reno and our drivers would take the drive from Near Portland every day and always took down 395. It is quicker and better in the winter. Pick it up in Oregon.

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I second the suggestion above- I've had good luck with time and traffic (lack of) taking I-5 to Shasta City, then take California 89 east to California 44, then take 44 south to Susanville where you hit 395. 89 is a little windy but 44 is wide open going past Mt. Lassen and usually very little traffic. Not as many cops either. I think 97 is a slower, and lots of police. 89/44 is a diagonal route so it's pretty direct.

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Check out Travertine Hot Springs, about a mile off 395 just south of Bridgeport CA. Inquire locally. Nice free camping nearby and a great spring. Nice stop either heading down, back or both!

Alos, a lot of great springs outside Bishop. Ask any local and they can tell you where.

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Thanks for the tips, the trip was completely awesome!

We took 89 from Shasta to 44 to 395. 14 hours to get down there, 16 to get back. We definitely saw a number of dead deer on the side of the road near Lassen, Ray wasn't kidding!

After that week of sun and dryness it sure is a bit of a let down to see the rain and gray skies again. In the groggy moments before full wakefulness this morning I was imagining that I would feel the crisp desert air and morning sun on my face when I poked my head out of the blankets, and I was thinking about what I was going to climb after I ate my oatmeal...

I hope I can get out there again soon.

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