I'm planning a tour to visit some relatives in Reno. I'll probably leave from SF or Sacramento, but my question is: what is the shortest route over the sierra nevada, in terms of elevation gain? I understand most of the passes are around 9000 feet. This isn't daunting to me if stretched over 2 days, but I am wondering about the amount of up-and-down, which would make it more like 11-12000 or more. My memory of driving over 80 is that its fairly direct in terms of elevation gain; any backroads of a similar nature, ie not much gain/loss but a steady grade?