2012 Sierra Ski-Orienteering Tour
This page offers information on air and ground transportation.
The organizers recommend flying to San Francisco International (SFO) airport. Smaller alternative airports include the following:
- Reno International Airport (RNO)
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
- Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK, not recommended except for regional transportation)
- Oakland International Airport (OAK)
- San Jose International Airport (SJC)
The following table presents ideal driving times from Airport to venues. Note that snowstorms can add 1 or 2 hours driving time, and chains might be required.
|San Francisco International||3 hrs 20 min||3 hrs 30 min||Greatest number of international flights, usually less expensive.|
|Reno-Tahoe International||4 hrs 45 min||0 hrs 45 min||Great for Tahoe area but far from Bear Valley|
|Sacramento International||2 hrs 30 min||2 hrs 00 min||Optimal distance for both venues but often more expensive and fewer flights than SF International.|
|Stockton Metropolitan||2 hrs 00 min||2 hrs 45 min||Small regional airport with very few flights|
|Oakland International||3 hrs 00 min||3 hrs 15 min||Closer than SF International but fewer flights|
|San Jose International||3 hrs 15 min||4 hrs 00 min||Furthest airport|
We recommend that you rent a car that is set for snow conditions to drive to the venues. Your car must have all-wheel or four-wheel drive, or chains or cables. If you do not have those things for your car during a snowstorm, you will be stopped at checkpoints because your car is not safe to drive and it will be a danger to other vehicles. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING:
- All-wheel or four-wheel drive with chains – You will be denied access to highways if you do not have chains.
- Two-wheel drive with chains or cables – At minimum, you must have chains or cables for any Sierra driving. You can request all-wheel or four-wheel drive with rental cars (Suburu cars and many SUVs have them), or you can buy chains or cables (about $70) at automotive stores.
For a list of stores with chains, see the weather page.
We recommend the following airport car rental websites:
- San Francisco International Airport Rental Car Agencies (http://www.flysfo.com/web/page/tofrom/rental-cars/rc-agencies/)
- Reno-Tahoe International Airport Rental Car Agencies (http://renoairport.com/to-from-airport/rental-cars-reno-tahoe-international-airport/)
- Sacramento International Airport Rental Car Agencies (http://www.metrotravelguide.com/car_rentals/airport/smf)
- Stockton metropolitan airport car rental Agencies (http://usa.rentalcargroup.com/stockton_metropolitan_airport.htm)
- Oakland International Airport Car Rental Agencies (http://www.flyoakland.com/car_rentals.shtml)
- San Jose International Airport Car Rental Agencies (http://www.airportrentalcars.com/us-airports/san-jose-intl-sjc/?refid=RPGOOGLECPCARC&refclickid=ARC_AIRPORT_RC_25005)
- Advantage (http://www.advantage.com) (only at San Jose and Reno-Tahoe airports)
- Alamo (http://www.alamo.com)
- Avis (http://www.avis.com)
- Budget (http://www.budget.com)
- Dollar (http://www.dollar.com)
- Enterprise (http://www.enterprise.com)
- Fox (http://www.foxrentacar.com)
- Hertz (http://www.hertz.com)
- National (http://www.nationalcar.com)
- Payless (http://www.paylesscar.com)
- Thrifty (http://www.thrifty.com)
Note: Be sure that you are fully insured for using the car for the time that you are using it.
After our Day 3 event at Bear Valley on Sunday, 29-January, everyone will move from the Bear Valley area to the Truckee area. This is a 235-mile (380 km) drive that takes at least 4.25 hours in ideal conditions. If there are winter storms in the Sierras, the driving will take longer. Highway 4 is closed east of Bear Valley, so you must take Highway 4 to either Highway 49 or Highway 99, go north to Interstate 80, and then go east to Truckee. This minimizes your drive in snow conditions and maximizes your speed on snow-free highways. Using Highway 99 is longer, but faster driving. Using Highway 49 is shorter, but slower driving. Both routes take about the same amount of time (Highway 49 might take 15 minutes less).