Whether you’re planning a Lake Tahoe summer getaway to play in the water, cash in at the casinos, or simply enjoy the mountain air, driving there any time remotely close to peak commute hours, especially on a Friday, can be enough to make you reconsider your plans. What many Tahoe enthusiasts don’t realize is that it’s entirely possible to reach the Lake Tahoe area comfortably and hassle free on the Capitol Corridor. On Capitol Corridor trains, there’s room to stretch out, free wi-fi, and a Café Car serving light meals, snacks, wine, beer, spirits, and other beverages. The best part is you won’t waste hours slogging through traffic in a cramped car.
Seamless Train-Bus Connection
While most people think of the Capitol Corridor as a commuter train between San Jose and Sacramento, the service in fact covers a much broader area of Northern California when you consider the network of dedicated buses that seamlessly connect to it. Passengers can travel on the Capitol Corridor to reach many popular destinations, including North and South Lake Tahoe.
The beauty of riding the Capitol Corridor to Lake Tahoe is that even though it involves taking a train to Sacramento and then a connecting bus the rest of the way, there’s no need to book the two separately. Technically it’s the same service, and whether you’re booking online or at the train station, you only need to make one reservation for your entire journey. We provide ample time between connections (though not so much time that you’re sitting around for too long), and will hold the bus if your train is running late.
North Lake Tahoe
For North Lake Tahoe, passengers can take one of three daily trips from the Bay Area to the historic town of Truckee, considered the “gateway to the Sierra.” A destination in itself, Truckee boasts award-winning restaurants, artisan shops, and accommodations ranging from quaint bed and breakfasts and economical motels, to luxury resorts. And on Thursday evenings from mid-June through August, downtown Truckee fills with food vendors, merchant displays, live entertainment, and family fun for the popular Truckee Thursdays Festival.
If your plans take you beyond Truckee, you can always rent a car or connect with Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) –www.laketahoetransit.com, 800-736-6365 or 530-582-4964 – with service to the lake’s north and west shores. Visit www.truckee.com for more information about visiting North Lake Tahoe.
South Lake Tahoe
If you like combining outdoor recreation with vibrant nightlife and time in the casino, then South Lake Tahoe is the perfect spot. The Capitol Corridor has one bus connection each day to South Lake Tahoe, and there are two stops – the South Y Transit Center and Stateline. The Stateline stop is conveniently located by South Lake’s popular casinos, most of which offer shuttles to the major resorts and hotels. You can learn more about visiting South Lake Tahoe at www.tahoesouth.com/getting-here.
Planning Your Trip
This article was originally posted in June 2015 and has been updated.