Two summers ago, my friend Ryan and I left OC for Sandpoint, Idaho and had an amazing adventure going through central Nevada and then up through the entire state of Idaho. Truly remarkable the difference between these two great states. In three weeks, I will be taking a trip up to Sandpoint to meet Ryan and his family, this time I will be driving solo in my Subaru Outback.
To not take the same route, I am looking at taking the 395 North through Death Valley and Yosemite. Then heading for Tahoe and Reno. Then making my way Northeast towards Idaho and up. Here is my general plan as of today pending what amazing suggestions I gather from this forum.
120 West ti Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite
Back out to 395 North
89 to Tahoe
89 to 80 to Reno
80 to Elko NV
225 North to Idaho
93 North to Idaho
84 to Boise
55 North to 95 North through Idaho
95 looks like it will take me to Sandpoint
Another option is leave Reno and head for Winnemuca, then 95 North through Southeast Oregon and into Boise. Although, I am not finding much of anything on that highway through searching.
Although I would love to explore this route for 14 days, it looks like I will have 3-4 max. So here are some of my thoughts and questions. I would love to see more of Death Valley, but I will be solo and it will be the end of June which means HOT. So, maybe a quick side off the highway drive but no real exploring. I am thinking of stopping in Yosemite for the first nights sleep and then spending some time exploring Yosemite the next day. Good idea? How is that Tioga Pass entrance? I keep reading horror stories of people waiting hours to gain entrance to the park during the summer. Thoughts? After exploring half day I will leave Yosemite and head for Tahoe roughly 3 hours away and spend the night. Suggestions? The next morning explore Tahoe a little and head into Nevada.
My plan to get from Tahoe to Boise is up in the air. I have gone through most of NV and the Northern part of the state is a little desolate and boring (no offense to NV lovers). So, I am probably going to push through a long day of driving after Tahoe or Reno to get north. Thoughts? If I take the 80 from Reno to the 95 it looks to be an 8 hour day.
Once in Boise, I am looking at the 95 the entire way up through Coeur d Alene to Sandpoint. Thoughts? Looks to be an 8 hour day.
The main goal for the trip is to spend time on the lake in Sandpoint for July 4th. I'd like to get there in 3-4 days and meet everyone else who will already be there or will be flying in town. My way home will be more direct taking the 15 south through SLC to see a friend, into Vegas and home. With limited time but a love for scenic stops, I would like to hear what you all think!
My time isn't locked in place, I can stretch if need be just don't want to spend a ton of extra money on hotel nights if possible.
Would love to hear your thoughts!