Highway 89 in California

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Highway 89


Highway 89 winds through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, up close to Lake Tahoe, past numerous state parks and over summits of beauty, making it a scenic drive not to miss.

  • Highway 89 winds through the Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • Start out near Truckee and wind along Lake Tahoe’s western shore
  • This two-hour drive takes 2 hours
  • Stop at the Emigrant Trail Museum for a taste of history
  • Launch a boat from Tahoe State Recreation Area
  • View Emerald Bay at the overlook

Overview

Highway 89, from Truckee, California to its junction with Highway 395, offers a scenic drive of incredible landscapes, pristine lakes and towering peaks. The views of Lake Tahoe are breathtaking and not to be missed.

Driving Directions

This section of scenic drive on Highway 89 begins just went of Truckee, California, off of Interstate 80, and proceeds south along the west shore of Lake Tahoe, traveling over Luther Pass and ends just north of Topaz, California at the junction of Hwy 89 and California Highway 395.

Time/Distance

California Highway 89, from Truckee to the junction of Highway 395, is 80.6 miles in length and takes about two hours to drive.

Highlights

Highway 89 CA provides not only panoramic vistas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but gives the visitor the opportunity to experience many adventures at stops along the way.

  • Donner Memorial State Park
    Here you’ll find the Emigrant Trail Museum, Pioneer Monument and numerous places for picnicking and camping. Put a boat into Donner Lake, fish or hike the trails. It’s a great spot to enjoy the Sierra Nevada beauty.
  • Tahoe State Recreation Area
    On the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, this park covers 55 acres and gives you easy access to the lake. Camp out, have a picnic, go boating. The fun never stops.
  • Lake Tahoe
    As you drive along Tahoe’s western shore, you will marvel at the views and the fresh mountain air.
  • Sugar Pine Point State Park
    Extensive hiking trails invite you into the forest. One of the main attractions here is the Ehrman Mansion, a home built in 1903 and furnished in period style. Visit the wildlife preserve with exhibits and the lighthouse. Take the biking trail all the way to Tahoe City, a 10-mile biking adventure.
  • Emerald Bay State Park
    Emerald Bay, a Lake Tahoe inlet, is three miles long and one mile wide, with a lookout in the park from which you can enjoy the views of this pristine bay.
  • Luther Pass
    On Highway 89, you’ll travel over Luther Pass at an elevation of 7,740 feet, surrounded by the Toiyabe National Forest and views of the Sierra beyond compare.

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