This Road Trip Passes the Highest Peak in the U.S., the Lowest Point in the Country, Ghost Towns, and National Parks

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Driving on Highway 395 isn’t just a road trip; it’s a tour through diverse landscapes linking California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. With ghost towns, national parks, vibrant ski resorts, and more, this highway guarantees an unforgettable adventure. Connecting the highest peak to the lowest point in the country, here are your likely stops while cruising the Sierra Nevada mountain range along Highway 395.

Death Valley National Park and Convict Lake

Take the first stop on your road trip adventure at Death Valley National Park. Behold the captivating salt flats of Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the US, and encounter one of the hottest spots on the planet.

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Next, explore Convict Lake, a pristine oasis in California celebrated for mirroring the nearby peaks. Pause to capture the serene beauty, embark on a hike, or enjoy a leisurely boat ride. This tranquil location makes for a perfect break on your road trip.

Mammoth Lakes Basin and Yosemite National Park

Continuing on your road trip journey, arrive at the Mammoth Lakes Basin, housing lakes like Mary, Twin Lakes, Mamie, George, and Horseshoe. Admire the ever-shifting natural palette— wildflowers in spring, flourishing greenery in summer, and vivid hues in fall.

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After that, the famed Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, beckons with its awe-inspiring landscapes. During your road trip, witness climbers conquering Half Dome, feel the power of Yosemite Falls, and relish the serenity of Tuolumne Meadows.

Bodie State Historic Park and Lake Tahoe

Step into history at Bodie State Historic Park, a perfectly preserved gold rush-era ghost town. Walk the streets frozen in time, peek into homes with set tables, and consider a ghost tour for an added unique experience in your entire road trip journey.

Then find the famous Lake Tahoe, with its distinctive blue hue, straddling California and Nevada. Whether hiking, biking, or paddling in warmer months or enjoying world-class ski resorts in winter, Lake Tahoe is a must-visit destination, making a perfect stop on your road trip.


Conclude this leg of your road trip journey in Reno, the “biggest little city in the world.” Beyond its famed casinos, explore an arts district, indulge in fantastic dining, and experience the harmony of nature and culture in the Riverwalk District. Reno offers a fitting end to a spectacular Highway 395 adventure.

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The United States is full of places to have unique road trips, and a trip along Highway 395 is the perfect way to explore the variety that the Western United States has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.