I'll be driving up Route 395 in California between Death Valley and Lake Tahoe. I was wondering if there were any must-see stops, that wouldn't take too long to see. Also, is there anywhere good to spend the night along the way, preferably closer to Lake Tahoe? We were thinking of tent camping or a cheap motel!
Route 395 is one of my absolute favorite drives in the state - so few tourists to California ever get to drive this amazing route.
A few highlights include: Alabama Hills, drive the Mt. Whitney Portal road, Manzanar National Historic Site (for WWII history), Bodie State Historic Park (well preserved ghost town), Bristlecone Pines (White Mountain Peak - the oldest trees in the world), Lake Sabrina is well worth the drive from Bishop (California). The Museum Of Lone Pine Film History is interesting. You will probably drive right by the Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center just south of Lone Pine on intersection of the 136 and the 395 as you make your way from Death Valley to Highway 395. June Lake loop.
Deceased Photographer Galen Rowell's gallery Mountain Light Gallery if still in Bishop (pretty sure it is), is worth quick stop. Not much selection of food in these parts "We Toss em, They're Awesome" (Pizza Factory) in Bishop has been a good stop after hiking in the area.
We've pulled off of the 395 on a number of dirt roads from north to south and slept under the stars on public lands. Heading up the 120 5-15mins before you reach the park entrance there are some camping options in campgrounds - for high altitude camping try Saddlebag Lake Campground - its about 10,500 feet. Can fill up on weekends.
Hope this helps :)
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