Getting To Lake Tahoe California: Transportation

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Transportation

Both North and South Lake Tahoe are easily accessible via car, train, bus, and plane. 

Overview

The North and South shores of Lake Tahoe are easily accessible by car. North Lake Tahoe is serviced by Amtrak’s California Zephyr Train and bus service is available from the Bay Area to South Lake Tahoe. Reno and Sacramento International Airports are your best bet for commercial flights. Several airport shuttle options are available. Once in town, both the South and North shores are serviced by several public bus lines.

Driving

Both South and North Lake are accessible by car.

  • From Sacramento - To get to South Lake Tahoe from the west take US-50 for approximately 100 miles until you reach South Lake.
  • From Reno - Take I-580/US-395 South towards Carson City. Follow 395 for approximately 36 miles, always heading towards Virginia City/Carson City/South Lake Tahoe. Then merge on US-50 W and continue on for approximately 27 miles into South Lake.
  • North Lake Tahoe from South Lake Tahoe - From South Lake you’ll head out of town on US-50\South Lake Tahoe Boulevard. Continue on this road for approximately 15 miles, where you’ll turn left at NV-28. Follow this around until you reach your desired location. Also, taking CA-89 around the western shore is another option, but this road is not as well maintained, and maybe closed seasonally.

Flying

  • Reno International Airport (RNO) - Reno International Airport, approximately an hour and a half north of South Lake, is the Tahoe’s closest airport. The airport is serviced by Alaska, Horizon, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, United, US Airways, and Allegiant Air charter flights.
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF) - If you can’t catch a flight in to RNO, Sacramento International is your best bet at approximately two hours west of South Lake Tahoe. The airport is serviced by Delta, Hawaiian, Southwest, US Airways, Alaska, American Airlines, Continental, Frontier, Horizon Air, JetBlue and United Airlines.

Car Rentals

Car rentals are widely available in the Lake Tahoe Area, including at both Reno and Sacramento International Airports, in town in South and North Lake Tahoe, and in the surrounding communities such as Carson City and Truckee. If you want the freedom to explore Tahoe at your own pace, it’s a good idea to rent a car.

Shuttles

  • Airport Shuttles - South and North Lake Tahoe Express provide a shuttle service between the airport and many of the area resorts.
  • Free Shuttles - Many area resorts and casinos will provide free shuttle service to guests from Reno International. A few provide free shuttles from Sacramento.

Public Buses

  • Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) - The TART public bus services North Lake Tahoe. The bus runs 7 days a week from 6am to 7pm. Stops are available throughout town, just look for the TART signs on the side of the road. Connections are available to both the Greyhound and Amtrak stations at the Truckee Depot. Ski racks are available during the winter, and bike racks are available during the summer.
  • BlueGo - BlueGo offers a variety of ski shuttles, OnCall buses, trolleys, and bus services throughout South Lake Tahoe. The busses operate 24 hours a day ,7 days a week, with lead times ranging from 20 to 60 minutes. Stops are available around town, and by reservation.
  • Bay Area Ski Bus - The Bay Area Ski Bus shuttles mountain-goers between the bay area and many popular Tahoe area resorts. Trips are available to Tahoe 3-4 days per week and destinations change depending on the day. Tickets prices vary depending on the day's destination and include your bus ticket, lift ticket, continental breakfast, and after-ski snacks.

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