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Thread: Las Vegas to Truckee, via Carson City???

  1. #1
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    Las Vegas to Truckee, via Carson City???

    How could one ride from Las Vegas to Carson City without going through Death Valley in the Summer? Are there any high elevation routes where it might be cooler?

    From Carson City to Truckee should be mostly in the mountains? Correct?

    Thanks
    RoyB....
    2007 BMW K1200R Sport (abs),2007 Suzuki dl650 V Strom (abs),2004 Honda VFR (abs),1972 Honda Trail 90,
    2001 Moto Guzzi V-11 Rosso Mandello

  2. #2
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    It's easy to avoid Death Valley, but starting in Las Vegas in the summer is going to be hot in NV whichever way you turn.

    You could take US95 north the whole way to Carson City, but I'd probably cut west on US6, CA120 to US 395 at Lee Vining. 395 is pretty, and you could take CA89 west over Monitor Pass, then north on CA88/NV88 back to US395 and north into Carson City. Or, from the CA89/CA88 intersection, turn left (west) onto CA 88, then north on CA89 over the Luther Pass into Lake Tahoe. From Stateline to Incline Village (around the west arc of the Lake) is pretty built up for my taste.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  3. #3
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    You do not have to ride through Death Valley to reach Carson City from Las Vegas. US 95 will run you up the West side of Nevada all the way to your desitination, and you stay east of DV. It does get hot in the summer, even though you will be at elevations around 6k ft at times. You can check the temps for Las Vegas, Beatty, Tonopah, and Hawthorne to get an idea of what to expect.

    The route suggestion by dbrick is a great one, and you would only be in the heat for a short time. The views and road are great, and something to experience.

    bob

  4. #4
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    dbrick has some very good suggestions, I'm an ex-Northern Nevada guy, and lived south of Carson for many years.

    That stretch up to through Tonopah can be deadly hot in the summer, but the alternatives to get to 395N are not good. As he suggests, take 6 at Coaldale Junction to go west to Lee Vining. That Monitor pass route is a good one too, that's the number one rated motorcycle road in the Destinations Highway book for N. California. Then my suggestion would be CA 88/ NV 88 towards Carson City. A few miles short of Minden/Gardnerville, turn west on NV 207 (Kingsbury Grade) which will deposit you in the Tahoe Basin just north of the south shore Casino area. North on US50 a few miles to NV 28 to Incline Village and on into California where you'll turn north on 267 at Kings Beach...and you're darn near to Truckee. Kingsbury has some very nice views of the Carson Valley ( boo hoo, I wanna go back! )

    If you definitely need to go to Carson City for something, I might suggest a detour from there up through Virginia City on NV 341, which intersects a few miles east of Carson off US 50E. Continue on 341 down the Virginia Range, then cross 395 and take 431 (the Mt. Rose Highway) which also leads to Incline Village.

    Not sure what bike you're riding, but some of those gas stations are a LONG distance apart in the Nevada Desert country...don't run dry!

    Oh, he was also very correct about the west side of Tahoe...I've ridden that area many times in the past and will (hopefully) never go back. Once you get past the casinos on the Nevada side, the road is much more open along that east side.

    Cheers,

  5. #5
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    Do as the desert creatures do. Avoid the heat - leave Vegas really really early - use of Seabeck's route is a good one. You can be headed up into Sierra's by noon. The 95 route isn't all that scenic anyway.
    Beware of NHP anywhere near Tonopah - I have been stopped near there that last two times I went thru. They are bored rookies looking to collect taxes. It is a shame, as a lot of that road could and should be run Autobahn style.
    Even though there isn't all that much traffic out in that desert, a lot of the drivers are near comatose. Keep your eyes peeled whenever any traffic approaches.

  6. #6
    franze
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    I basically did this section in June.

    I headed west on Nevada 266, about 16 miles north of Scotty's Junction. This becomes CA 168 and eventually ends up in Big Pine. This route is HIGHLY recomended. Make sure you're gassed up because there is no service for about 80 miles.



    It takes you over Lida Summit. There can be a HUGE temperature swing between Nevada Desert/Death Valley and Big Pine/Bishop.

  7. #7
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    +2 on the comments above...avoid the heat as much as possible by traveling in the early AM. And at night those desert highways/moutain passes can get very cold, very quick. I pulled out of Riverside in 90 degree heat late one October afternoon, and in Bishop a few hours later the time/temp signs all said 32.

    Even in the middle of summer those passes can get chilly, at 8500' in the Sierra's in mid july while fighting a small lightning strike fire, out 2 quart canteens froze solid. Sometimes a bit tricky dressing for that environment.

    Good luck, have a great ride!

    Bill J

    PS. Never had the pleasure of NV266, that looks like a blast off the beaten track!

  8. #8
    franze
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeabeckS View Post
    +2 on the comments above...avoid the heat as much as possible by traveling in the early AM. And at night those desert highways/moutain passes can get very cold, very quick. I pulled out of Riverside in 90 degree heat late one October afternoon, and in Bishop a few hours later the time/temp signs all said 32.

    Even in the middle of summer those passes can get chilly, at 8500' in the Sierra's in mid july while fighting a small lightning strike fire, out 2 quart canteens froze solid. Sometimes a bit tricky dressing for that environment.

    Good luck, have a great ride!

    Bill J

    PS. Never had the pleasure of NV266, that looks like a blast off the beaten track!
    I wanted to take NV266 because I read that there was a good chance of seeing some wild mustangs in the canyons. No such luck. On this particular trip I had to stop in Bishop and get a hotel room because I was soaked and freezing! The next day ( June 5 ) I saw cars with fresh snow as I went through Yosemite. Here's a trick I came up with for that extra warmth. Hockey socks are mostly synthetic fibers so they retain heat when wet and the exposed forearms is wear you really need the extra layer. This shot was from the Lido Summit.


  9. #9
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Thanks for the hockey socks tip! On my R11S my arms do tend to get chilled...and find that once my arms get cold it's hard to stay warm overall.

    I don't get down that far south in the Sierra's anymore...but next time I'm down that way I'll check out 266. I lived in Northern Nevada for about 30 years, and rarely saw any mustangs on the open range, but when I did, it was mostly in northern Washoe County, and primarily in the area between Gerlach, NV and Cedarville, CA, Nevada Route 447. That road is paved, but fairly low quality, no big deal though for a GS rider!

    Cheers, Bill J

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