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Old 06-15-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

We will be heading to Kirkwood, CA for a wedding in July and then on to Newport beach for 2 weeks.
Any recommendations for things to do/see along hwy 50 in Nevada to break up the drive? We'll leave on Sunday after the wedding to drive to SoCal along 395. Any recommendations for camping along 395 with some facilities? (I've been over-ruled on any boondocking).

Thanks
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

If you rule out boondocking, you're not going to have much fun on Hwy 50. The only 'rv parks' that I've ever seen along 50 are dismal sun blasted wastelands with clueless RVers parked shoulder to shoulder.

The cafe/casino right on the Utah border is a reasonable place to eat. Great Basin NP, about 30mi further in Baker is nice. Cheap camping if you can find a spot. Don't know if they take reservations.

Past Ely and just over the Sacramento Pass, look for the ranch on the left with all the deer antlers on the gate post.

Between Eureka and Austin, you can visit Spencers Hot Springs. It's on graded dirt road about 5 mi off the hwy. A good place to soak off the road dirt and enjoy the scenery. I'll give you detailed directions if you're interested.

In Austin, visit the Opera House, International Hotel / Serbian Restaurant. No real Serbian food, just burgers, fries, standard breakfast, etc but the building is historical (oldest hotel in Nevada ) and interesting. All of Austin had wooden sidewalks until about 5 or 10 yrs ago. The cemetery on the west edge of town is interesting if you're into cemeteries at all.

Just east of Fallon, look for the giant sand dune orv area on your right. Watch the sky, sometimes the Navy puts on a nice impromptu air show for you. It's the site of the Navy Top Gun school. After that, it's nada all the way to Reno, which is also nada in my opinion.

Have a great trip.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:22 PM   #3
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

Haven't been there in years Gary but Glass Creek Campground is a pretty neat place. It's a few miles north of the Mammoth Mtn. turnoff directly across from a Caltrans depot. The entrance is a dirt road right off 395 but the campground is very deep so your not right next to it. I don't need to tell you all the great stuff to do in the area.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

Great report Viejo. I concur. One must enjoy the lovely loneliness of the desert if he wishes to travel Hwy 50. There are great sights to see, but only if you like visiting tiny towns and out of the way places. And what Sportsmobiler doesn't like to do that?

For extra fun on Highway try to guess the number of cars you will pass on the highway and then count them as you go.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBGary
We will be heading to Kirkwood, CA for a wedding in July and then on to Newport beach for 2 weeks.
Any recommendations for things to do/see along hwy 50 in Nevada to break up the drive? We'll leave on Sunday after the wedding to drive to SoCal along 395. Any recommendations for camping along 395 with some facilities? (I've been over-ruled on any boondocking).

Thanks
I've been over-ruled on the no boondocking issue too a few times.

But the drive down 395 from Tahoe is spectacular and there are a few good camping spots along the way.

By far my favorite "official" USFS campground along 395 is Onion Valley outside of Independence. Coming south, that would be a good spot to overnight before heading down to OC. No hook ups, but the usual water and well maintained pit toilets. There is a camp host during the summer.


Onion valley is about 15 miles west of Independence. You climb about 6,000 feet in that distance. It is a very scenic high alpine campground. Beautiful setting in a meadow valley with lots of water. No big RVs can make it up the steep road. It is very popular with backpackers heading into the backcountry.

Have a fun trip.

Rob
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

I was thinking about my comments; that my list of attractions on Hwy 50 was a pretty sorry bunch of nothing. Then Mac's reply solidified it for me.

The big attraction on Hwy 50 is NOTHING. It's one of the best places in the lower 48 to see vast, magnificent vistas of NOTHING. It's an acquired taste.

Most folks, especially in July, just put the foot hard on the gas pedal and crank up the A/C to MAX.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

ON 395 in the town of Lone Pine there is a stop light or a blinking light I cant remember, anyway go west there about 3 miles to Movie Road< its where they filmed most of the John Wayne Westerns turn right the road turns to dirt in about 300yards and you can camp anywhere its super cool with some Crazy Rock formations.

It's called Alabama Hills, Google it.

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Old 06-15-2011, 09:04 PM   #8
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

We've got a place in Kirkwood and right now bring your skis! We had 18" more inches of powder on memorial day! There's a cool little bunch of cabins call Sorensens ( www.sorensensresort.com ) it's just east of Kirkwood maybe 20 miles might be fun for a night. Don't forget to hit the Kirkwood Inn on 88, just outside the resort. The wild flower festival is late July and worth a day of partying, but after you hit 395 turn up the radio and hope you stay awake......
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:53 AM   #9
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

Wow! Thanks for all the info. I love driving across long stretches of nothing, so I'll be enjoying the scenery.
Viejo- I would definitely be intersted in the hot springs. Sounds like a great way to break up the trip.
I'm still not sure if I should pack skis too! Bikes are always included. Looks like Kirkwood got all the snow we were hoping for over this way, but we still have decent conditions in the high country.
Greg-The wedding is at a place called 'The Hideout', just 12 miles from the ski area. We're staying at the resort though. Hoping it will be open for riding.

Camping any place along 395 sounds great since its one of my favorite areas, but being near Mammoth. Priceless! I could probably sneak a few lift-assisted runs (if they open by then).

Gary
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:33 AM   #10
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Re: Hwy 50 in Nevada and 395 south from Tahoe

I haven't heard about the hide out, but that may be for a reason..... Keep an eye on the kirkwood web cam ( www.kirkwood.com ) It will pretty much tell you all you need to know. We had over 800" this year and there is plenty of snow left. Summer finally showed up, so you should be fine for biking in july. They should be running at least some of the lifts in july for the bike trails...... let us know when you get close and we'll show you around.

Greg
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