Caltrans Warns Drivers Heading to South Lake Tahoe on New Year’s Eve

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- New Year's Eve revelers already in South Lake Tahoe packed the fun. Those who kicked off their 2017 celebrations at the SnowGlobe Music Festival earlier this week had no problem on the roads.

"The traffic wasn't bad at all," Morgan Waller said.

But visitors heading up the hill Saturday have to pack something else.

"Make sure to pack plenty of patience because you're going to need it," said Deanna Shoopman with Caltrans.

If you're used to a two hour drive on Highway 50 from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe, Caltrans warns drivers to prepare for something else, "Four hours, five hours, six hours to get up there."

Snow flurries in the mountains Saturday may slow cars down. Shoopman said if you're stuck in traffic the least you can do is be prepared.

"Make sure you leave with a full tank of fuel, make sure your windshields wipers are in working order, make sure you have blankets, you can carry food, water," Shoopman said.

Driving up is one obstacle, but leaving Sunday or even Monday is another. Caltrans says extending your trip even one day can help you beat the rush.

"Wait as long as you can if possible, the return traffic will be heavy," Shoopman said.