We’re planning to drive from Palisades Tahoe to Crater Lake. Is there more than one route? And is one better? And are there motels within a short drive to spend a night before or after a park visit?
The quickest and easiest route is to take I-80 West from Truckee to Sacramento, then I-5 North to Weed, then US-97 to Klamath Falls for the night. K Falls is 1 hour from Crater Lake. In place of K Falls you could stay on I-5 and spend the night in Ashland, Oregon or Medford. Medford is 1.5 miles from Crater Lake and 7 hours from Palisades.
The most scenic route is to take CA-89 north from Truckee to I-5 at Mt Shasta City, then I-5 north to Weed, etc. This is the shortest and slowest route, because it goes through Lassen Volcanic NP and is a windy mountain road most of the way. You don't want to drive CA-89 after dark, because of potential wild animal vs vehicle encounters.
Another route is to take I-80 East to Reno, then US-395 north to Alturas, then CA-299 east to CA-139, then CA 139 north to K Falls. I haven't driven this route.
You can stay in Squaw valley, north lake tahoe, or truckee for the Lake Tahoe portion.
For Crater Lake, check if the lodge in the park has availability,
Closest then is historic diamond lake resort.
other options after that
The scenic route sounds good, but is the mountain road a difficult drive in the daytime? 2 lane? Paved?
Thank you for your suggestions!
The quickest distance and time wise is Leonord's third option.
Slightly shorter is 395/Susanville/139/KFalls.
I've done both many times, but pulling a travel trailer.
Don't know where you are heading after but there are many hotels off 97 and 62 in the area.
Thank you everyone!