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Old 04-09-2016, 05:09 PM   #1
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Best road to Yosemite

Got a trip coming to Yosemite. I will be coming from southern California, probably going up I-99.

I was thinking of cutting off at Merced to hwy 140 to Mariposa, then getting on hwy 49 into Groveland. From there then I would get hwy 120.

Is this RV friendly? Last time I drove to Yosemite I took 120 out of Manteca and what I did not like was all the switch backs for about twelve miles.

Hwy 49 is the one that I am really interested on. I got a 38' diesel pusher pulling a 2013 CRV Honda.

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Old 04-09-2016, 06:56 PM   #2
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I've done all the routes into Yosemite in a 40' DP.

If you're coming from southern CA, you should take Rt. 41 through Fresno up to Yosemite.

The switchbacks going into Groveland can be tough. Not so bad uphill, but downhill is hairy.

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Old 04-09-2016, 09:18 PM   #3
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Rt 41 probably closest, but I prefer to go to Merced and take 140 as it has no downhill into the Valley and less traffic. 140 has a length restriction, but I thinkyou are OK.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:56 AM   #4
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140 & 41 are the routes I'm most familiar with. For those visiting via car, I suggest 41 because, after you exit the tunnel, a careful entry to the vista point will allow visitors to see the geologic significance of the park. 140 is what we us in our gas 37' pulling the Honda. However, our last few visits we have stayed at either Lake McClure or the fairgrounds at Mariposa. So I haven't taken this bigger coach into the valley floor. I always suggest to those traveling off of Ca's freeways to download the Mountain Directory app. There is at least one short stretch of 49 that seemed as though it went straight down.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:47 PM   #5
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I believe I took J20 down from Groveland last time I was at Yosemite to Coulterville. I just remember getting that road right at Groveland where we had stopped to eat and I did not want to drive down 120 to Manteca because of all the switchbacks. IF it was J20 I do remember that it was not a bad drive at all going down. I was thinking of taking that same road back up to Groveland then I would just drive a few miles to the Thousandtrails RV park and leave the coach there and just drive to Yosemite valley on the toad.

I am trying to avoid getting into the old Priest hwy. Not sure which that is, but I have read that it is a bear on a motor home. LOL
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Old 04-10-2016, 02:58 PM   #6
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I took CA 49 from Mariposa to CA 120 towing my 21 foot travel trailer about four years ago. It is without a doubt the worst road I have ever towed over and I am used to towing in the mountains. Some of the hairpins were so tight I had to slow down to 5 or 10 mph to stay on the road. Generally it is two narrow lanes with no shoulders. Quite a bit of it has 400 to 800 foot drop offs next to the "no shoulders." I would not consider this part RV friendly.

The easiest highway into Yosemite Valley is 140; no real steep grades, no tight turns, no tunnels.

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