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I was thinking of a day trip from Bay Area to Northstar on Friday after July 4th. I've never actually been to Tahoe on July 4th weekend but I heard from one person the whole area gets insanely crowded and should be avoided. Any thoughts from people who have been there?

I'm not sure outbound traffic will be too bad on Fri am (probably most people up there already), nor will return traffic be too bad Fri pm. And I don't know if the mountain itself would be any more crowded than normal... I feel like most of the holiday crowds are probably families and tourists and such.

Sorry if this is a dumb question. But I learned the hard way to avoid ski resorts on President's Day in the winters.
 

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I think you should be able to roll into Northstar fairly easily on Friday. Nstar will be busier than usual, but not crazy.

Just make sure you don't go into Downtown Truckee (or Donner Pass Road) or Kings Beach.
 

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Mammoth doesn't have any trails open and is way harder to get to from the Bay Area with holiday traffic or not.
Having driven to Mammoth many times I find there is almost no traffic driving over 88 to 395 and down to Mammoth. It may farther but the drive is easier than sitting on 80 or 50 for hours stuck in traffic just to get those last 20 miles into Tahoe.
 

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Avoid Tahoe on or around July 4th, it's insane up there. Not worth it.
Definitely true but it's a family vacation cluster f*ck and those people sleep in. If you get up early you can at least avoid crowds while heading to the trails. From what I've seen biking doesn't get crowded the way ski resorts and the lake do. You will hate yourself driving around town in the afternoon though.
 

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We always drive over 108 to 395 this time of year as it is further south and never has traffic. You go over the second highest pass in the Sierra and the Marines training on the east side are fun for the kids to see. Lots of forrest service roads to explore as well and great fishing although the streams are running too high right now.
 

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South Lake report, but I know I will not even attempt to drive though town or to the north side of the lake till next week.

Been a steady steam of folks coming in every day, town is packed, thought 9am this morning would be a good time to stop by the grocery store, it was nuts decided I could last a few more days.

Last Saturday Big Meadows parking was parked out pretty early.

To make things even funner there is road work coming into South lake, one way traffic coming off Echo Summit, Bus tried to to route around traffic on Johnson pass road and got stuck on a corner along with 50 cars stuck behind it, sheep following there phone app recommendations to get around traffic.
Bus stuck on Johnson Pass Road at Echo Summit | South Lake Tahoe - SouthTahoeNow.com

There also in the middle of building a round about at the 50/89 intersection as you roll into town that's slowing things down,
 

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Hella Olde
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Beautiful drive, too.
Beautiful drive, too.
A beautiful, beautiful drive. Just a tremendous drive, probably the most beautiful drive of any presidency.
The Mammoth area is amazing if you like geology. Great area to drink beer. I would always hit either Sonora or Tioga pass early AM and never had a traffic issue. Too bad Mammoth pressed Pause on the Kamikaze Gravity Games they've done in Sept for many years....won't be making the trip this year.
 

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NedwannaB
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South Lake report, but I know I will not even attempt to drive though town or to the north side of the lake till next week.

Been a steady steam of folks coming in every day, town is packed, thought 9am this morning would be a good time to stop by the grocery store, it was nuts decided I could last a few more days.

Last Saturday Big Meadows parking was parked out pretty early.

To make things even funner there is road work coming into South lake, one way traffic coming off Echo Summit, Bus tried to to route around traffic on Johnson pass road and got stuck on a corner along with 50 cars stuck behind it, sheep following there phone app recommendations to get around traffic.
Bus stuck on Johnson Pass Road at Echo Summit | South Lake Tahoe - SouthTahoeNow.com

There also in the middle of building a round about at the 50/89 intersection as you roll into town that's slowing things down,
Thanks for update TBC. I got my Tahoe fix last wkend contemplated heading back up glad I reconsidered....
 
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