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Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

Greater Sydney...
10 posts
Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe


I really need help please. We're not living in Nth America so I am relying on forums and Lonely Planet guides for info.

We are a family of 2 adults and 2 boys aged 11 who will be leaving the GC on 30th December to come to Lake Tahoe.

Does anyone have recommendations on the mode of transport that is the best way to travel? If by car, how many hours and which route is best? I know it is about 10 hours, so are there any good places along the way to stop? We have been to Yosemite twice, so looking for other suggestions.

If by plane, which airport would you leave from - Falstaff to catch a flight to Sacramento and then hire a car or ?

Also, other than skiing and snowboarding, what options are there in Winter? Can you go walking and snowmobiling?

12 replies to this topic
Goldfield, Nevada
Level Contributor
11,178 posts
34 reviews
1. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

Can you get a flight to Reno, Nevada?

Greater Sydney...
10 posts
2. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

Is this the closest airport to the lake?

Level Contributor
11,479 posts
1 review
3. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

Fly Las Vegas to Reno using Southwest Airlines. You'll have to go to their site. Multiple flights daily.

The it's about an hour's drive to Lake Tahoe, depending on where you are going. You'll want to rent a 4WD vehicle for Lake Tahoe in winter, with snow / winter tires if possible

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
33,320 posts
6,456 reviews
4. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

In terms of walking and snowmobiling it depends upon if we have snow or not.

Yes, there will be place to walk, but if we have snow in some places, snow shoes may be needed. You can rent them.

There may be snow mobiling if there is enough snow.

There will definitely be skiing as some resorts make their own snow and will be open.

There are also boat ride you can take on the lake.

For exploring, one can do day trips to Reno or to Virginia City.


Reno airport is very small. All but one of the car rentals is located in the self park garage. The car rental counters are in the airport for these.

Its possible that Reno may be icy or snowy as well. Suggest looking at the weather forecast so you know what weather to expect. Its also possible it will be dry.

Weather can change very quickly in this area so just be aware of that (i.e. in a few hours.) So its good to check the weather forecast for that too.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
14,420 posts
120 reviews
5. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

How are you getting to Grand Canyon? I hope you are going to actual Grand Canyon and not trying to fly over the canyon or visiting Grand Canyon West.

Anyway, actually driving through Death Valley and up to Tahoe is an option at that time of year. Eastern Sierra roads can close any time for chain control (so maybe think about renting an AWD/4WD, you shouldn't need chains in most conditions - by which I mean, if chain controls go to that level, just find a warm place to stay until the road is plowed, it is rare that at that time of year during the day time you'd have to use chains...at night, a different story).

You can't fly direct from Flagstaff to Reno/Tahoe International, but you can fly from Flagstaff to Phoenix to Tahoe. At least AFAIK, maybe someone else knows of a small airline that does this route (American Airlines flies from Flagstaff to Phoenix to Tahoe).

Edited: 04 August 2018, 23:49
Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
Level Contributor
21,972 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

We fly to Reno in winter for skiing. Most of the car rentals there are ready to drive in snow, if any on the ground. From there it's a 45 min drive to Incline Village at the lake. We stay at the Hyatt with family. A free shuttle comes to the lobby every 20 min to take you a mile up to Diamond Peak for boarding or skiing. Also able to get to 12 ski areas from Incline.

You'll pass the Mt Rose ski area on way, there is also Northstar about a half hour and more.

Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,159 posts
102 reviews
7. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

>>Is this the closest airport to the lake?<< Yes

>>Also, other than skiing and snowboarding, what options are there in Winter? Can you go walking and snowmobiling?<<

While skiing and riding are the primary draw to the area in the winter there are plenty of other activities, the same kind you find at major ski resorts; snowshoeing, ice skating, zip lines, tubing, xc skiing, snowmobiling. Most of these are centered at 3 of the largest ski areas; Northstar, Squaw Valley and Heavenly. All three are good choices for families. The lake cruises also operate year round - if that interests you.

Greater Sydney...
10 posts
8. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

Thanks for letting me know the type of vehicle we will need and the airport. So helpful.

Greater Sydney...
10 posts
9. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

Thanks for pointing out so much info of which I had yet to even consider. Is it best to rent the car before we arrive? Will the resorts be busy at that time of the year? We will be there over New Year. Thanks so much.

Greater Sydney...
10 posts
10. Re: Grand Canyon to Lake Tahoe

WOW - so many options! Even though we have been to Yosemite twice our family has not seen snow other than slush when we were there. Which area would you say is the best for kids? If you’re on one area, are the others accessible to you. Or are they many driving hours away? I hadn’t even heard of a lot of these activities so had to google. So excited! Also, would three days be enough to give us a taste of snow activities. (We won’t try skiing). What would be the nicest place to stay for a family? Thanks for your help.

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