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Hwy 50 on Monday

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm going to Sacramento on business this Sunday evening. I'm able to ski one day which is Monday and was going to go to Sierra at Tahoe on Monday. The current forecast is for snow 2-4inches Sunday night w/ snow likely on Monday, but little accumulation. I'm renting a mid size car and am wondering how Hwy 50 typically is in those kind of snow conditions. I would of course prefer not to deal w/chains.I'v driven in Utah and colorado a bunch when it's snowing and typically they do a pretty good job of keeping the road plowed well enuf to travel.
post #2 of 7
When Cal trans hangs out the chain req sign, if you dont have 4 wheel drive you have to hang iron. I have a front wheel drive Grand Am with Blizztec snow ice tires, assnine Cal trans still forece me to chain up, when we drive ove to Sac
US 50 can and does get the chain law often, go here for the current Cal trans road report http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/hi.htm
post #3 of 7
You have a pretty good chance to make it up without chains. Right now the forecast shows a split system that is weakening from Hwy 50 to the south. In other words, more snow is likely on 80. Chain controls come in flavors. Level 1 will check for all season M+S tires. Lots of people start applying chains because they don't know the difference. Level 2, is chains or 4x4 with snow rated tires.

Update: more recent forecast includes winter storm watch sunday night into monday. West slope may be hit harder than Tahoe. If you need chains, signboards along HWY 50 will advise well in advance as you pass through Sacramento, El Dorado Hills and Placerville. Worst case, if chains are required, buy them along the road. Figure on $29 to $39 just about anywhere.
post #4 of 7
And you canhave a 'chain monkey' put them on for a $20.00 bill
post #5 of 7
Those chain monkeys are great, the first time I went to Tahoe 5-6 years ago was in a huge storm and we had a compact rental car. I did'nt fancy getting chains on after 14hrs flying from England and 4 hrs driving so was real glad to see those guys at the chain control. We always rent a 4x4 now. Flew in to Reno this year much better drive than fron SF even in the middle of the big New Year storm. Got in just before the road closed. The 50 was closed for 2 days!
post #6 of 7
I know about the road being closed, my wife works in so. lake tahoe, said all her guest were stuck, couldnt leave, couldn't get in. I was stuck in Reno waiting for Donner to open to trucks.
I dont trust chain monkeys, i see lots of lost chains, after they put them on for people.
post #7 of 7
Just my two cents' worth, but years ago when I used to live in the Bay Area (before coming home to New Zealand) I got advice from the folks on rec.skiing.alpine that the better road was highway 80. Unless you're going to south shore resorts, if you go via highway 50 you then have to go up the western short of the lake, and that road is often closed during storms due to avalanche conditions. You may still be required to use chains/4WD on highway 80, but at lesat it goes straight to Truckee and getting from there to Tahoe City is easy. Have fun!
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