3 days Yosemite or Lake tahoe
Replies: 35 - Last Post: Nov 15, 2012 11:38 PM Last Post By: ianw6705
Nov 13, 2012 8:23 PM
306 of those 7 years were in Chicago--hardly "local Midwest roads" and I saw plenty of people do spectacular spins and collisions on Lake Shore Drive, which is very well cleared. Year 7 was in northern Indiana, where I got acquainted with things such as driving on a solid sheet of ice and driving in white out conditions. I completely disagree that common sense is enough for bad winter conditions, given OP thought 4WD meant winter driving would be fine. Ever seen a Texan try to drive after an ice storm in Austin? It is truly ugly.
In either case, OP is capable of weighing your opinion against the others and making up his or her own mind.
Nov 14, 2012 12:38 AM
31It's my impression that California & Western Nevada winter driving and weather is not normally
nearly as cold or severe as midwestern weather and road conditions. I live in the southern Cascades
in California and have lived in Yosemite in the southern Sierra. Typical temperatures are lows in
the 20's or 30's and highs in the 40's and 50's, occasionally we get lows in the teens and very
rarely zero or slightly sub zero. Western Nevada would be a little colder. It is typically very dry
here with low humidity. Yes we get some black ice but in 24 years of winter driving I've never had an unexpected slide or spin because of unseen black ice. I think winter driving conditions are substantially different than in the midwest with much different weather. Roads here dry up really fast because of
the low humidity, greatly lessening the chance of ice.
Nov 14, 2012 5:54 AM
32I frequently drove from Berkeley to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite during the winters when I lived there for 10 years. If the driver is prepared by carrying snow chains for his rear tires and knowing that he must slow down considerably when driving on slick, snowy roads, then I recommend the drive. I have been through Las Vegas during a snowstorm in December -- it does snow there. I do not recommend driving through Death Valley when there is snow -- there are miles and miles of isolation on the road and you may not have cell phone access to call anyone in case of emergency. Highway #395 as far as Mammoth Ski Resort is well-plowed and maintained during the winter; not so further north toward Lake Tahoe, and I have noted that all of the access roads to South Lake Tahoe were closed a few days before I drove on one in April 2008. There are heavy cross-winds that blow snow across Highway #395, which may surprise drivers by making the road slick in spots.
I happen to love agricultural areas and do not find the route through Bakersfield to be boring. I have driven that route many times when I lived in Pasadena, Los Angeles County. I am currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and all of the major Interstate Highways here are closed down the minute they become icy and we have 65+ mph winds because these people do not know how to drive in such conditions. Tractor-trailer trucks seldom use chains unless they are required, so there are many jackknifed/overturned truck rigs, including in California.
California's Sierra Nevada is already accumulating snow. New Mexico's ski resorts are already opening, and more will open next week on Thanksgiving weekend. We are getting early snowfalls this year.
Nov 15, 2012 4:42 AM
33As a warm-climate dweller, I personally find driving in and around US snowy country both fun and exciting ... trekker makes it sound very attractive as well ... but sadly, the chance of snow on any random or particular day in December - around Las Vegas or Death Valley or lots of Hwy 395 - is very slight indeed.
And as a tourist OP you can take your time and drive with care ... you are not a half-crazed New Mexican toked up on meth, and with a dozen places to get to before close of business, whatever the weather!
Nov 15, 2012 9:30 AM
34oh my gosh! Thank you all on your input! I really appreciate all of your help!
With less than a month to my trip (finally!), excitement is filling up and i believe my vacation planning turned out the way it is with most of the credits going to all you awesome people out there!
A final thank you and honestly, I pray for relatively snowy weather:)
Nov 15, 2012 11:38 PM
San DiegoBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$16.00 per night
San FranciscoBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$285.00 per night
San FranciscoBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$172.00 per night