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  1. Default LA to Mammoth to San Francisco - Advise Appreciated

    The discovery of this website was illuminating -- but also raised concerns over our Spring Break road trip. Beginning to think we bit off more than we can handle :) We will leave early in the morning for Mammoth from LA. Ski for a few days in Mammoth. Leave early in day for what now sounds like, a harrowing, long drive from Mammoth - 395-88-50-80 - to San Francisco and surrounding area for college tours.
    Wondering about and looking forward to any tips or advise regarding any of it!

    Especially the following -- but appreciate any tips and insight on all of:
    1. Breakfast and gas stops between LA and Mammoth;
    2. midway food and gas stops between Mammoth and SF (figure Nevada side good for gas and thinking midway is Carson City?);
    3. road conditions/issues for Mammoth to Tahoe to SF - know the weather is a huge factor;
    4. alternative route in winter;
    5. time involved on the Mammoth to SF leg -- read pretty scary stuff about that!

    Thanks so much,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi Casper, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Good to hear that the site has been illuminating. If it helps to make your trip more enjoyable and safer, all the better.

    Never having driven in that area in winter, I can however give you some general advice. As for fuel stops, you will find that these are generously distributed along your route. I always fill up once I have used more than half the tank. That way, no matter what happens, you are not likely to be stranded without fuel.

    You should not have any problems finding a variety of food outlets at regular intervals along your route.

    The weather will be a big factor as to whether your trip to SF will be pretty scary stuff The one thing to remember on a road trip is, when it becomes pretty scary stuff, that you get off the road, and sit it out till conditions improve, or check into a motel, and call it a day. Chances are a good night's rest and a new day will make the driving enjoyable again.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It depends on what part of LA you are leaving from - you would want to take either I-5/CA-14/US-395 or I-15/CA-395 north. Either way, there is PLENTY of food and gas. If you take CA-14, the town of Mojave where it meets CA-58 is a good stopping place. If you take the other way, Kramer Junction where US-395 meets CA-58 has a truck stop and fast food. There's a much wider choice in Victorville/Adelanto after you get off I-15 onto US-395.

    The next good place to take a break is in Bishop, and fill your tank. Last chance for comparatively cheap gas till you get to Nevada. Gas today in Bishop is $4.23, and it's $4.76 in Mammoth, $4.99 in June Lake, $5.09 in Lee Vining, and $5.29 in Bridgeport.

    I would not make this trip without having a set of tire chains. You may be required to have them or be turned back.

    The best way from Mammoth to SF that is maintained all year is 395 north to Minden, hard left on NV-88, right on NV-207 up the Kingsbury Grade to US-50 through South Lake Tahoe to Sacramento. This is 330 miles, and with decent weather and minimal traffic should take you about 7 hours. Gardnerville/Minden is a good fuel stop and has plenty of food. Gas today is $3.87.

    Your alternative, if the Tahoe area is getting clobbered, is go back south and take CA-58 to Bakersfield, then up CA-99 or I-5 to SF. This turns it into a 550 mile drive and will take 10 to 12 hours.

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