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Old 08-15-2015, 12:48 AM   #1
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Lee Vining to Flagstaff

Wrapping up our trip West and headed back East towards Flagstaff. Anyone experience with taking CA 120 E from Lee Vining to US6 to US 95 S to I-40? Noticed a sign on CA 120 E about recommending semis with kingpin to rear axle 30'+ to take a different route. I could go 395 S to Barstow to I40 E but would like to avoid steep grades on I 40 around Mojave. Thanks for suggestions.
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:39 AM   #2
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My recollection of CA120 through Mono Mills is it being pretty tame. It's been several years since I've been through there but I can't remember any horrendously steep grades or hairpin turns. Are you sure the sign you noticed wasn't for the section of 120 going over the Sierra west of Lee Vining (Yosemite area)? ...that's a twisty road for sure.

And I think you'll miss the Mojave and Tehachapi area if you do decide to stay on US395 as it comes out on CA56 just west of Barstow, doesn't it? ...no grades on CA56 from there to Barstow.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:03 AM   #3
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theroc - thanks for your insight. The sign I mentioned is at the turn off 395 to CA 120 E. We went to the South end of Mono Vista lake and saw it yesterday. My concern is driving a 38' DP pulling a toad, not sure how to translate kingpin to axle length. (Being from Texas we have some hills no Mountains except around Big Bend). As for 395 S, it runs into 58 west of Barstow to I 40. The Mojave grade is East of Barstow headed to Flagstaff. We drove that on our trip out and a had a few high temp alerts pulling up the grade (plus it was 108 air temp). That's the area I would like to avoid headed back.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:21 PM   #4
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With our 40' motorhome towing, we took 120 east from Lee Vining to Hwy 6. It was a gorgeous short drive. It's not steep but it's curvy. We had no issues with it and would recommend it. The rest of your route is fine.
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Old 08-15-2015, 03:33 PM   #5
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I agree with twogypsies. I think you will be fine. There may be some curves where you may have to hug or go over the fog line but I can't remember it being an exceptionally curvy or narrow road.

The KPRA 30' advisory will still allow buses and motorhomes under 40' to use that roadway. Attached below is the CalTrans District 9 map for motorhomes and buses.

The CHP officer I asked about toads some years ago told me that motorhomes towing a car are not considered to have additional length as the car will track with the vehicle towing it. I'm not sure if this was his personal interpretation or if it's actually addressed in writing somewhere. If an interpretation, it could be a bit "iffy" legally, I suppose.

Pertaining to I-40 eastbound from Barstow, I now think I know where you're talking about. I believe you're referring to Mountain Springs Summit just west of Needles. When you said "Mojave" I just assumed that you were referring to Tehachapi Pass between Tehachapi and Mojave on CA58. I never considered Mountain Springs Summit that steep of a grade as I'm originally from the Pacific Northwest but I suppose with the temperatures in the summer (could be 120 degrees or more at times in that area; one of the hottest places in the country), it could cause some overheating with some vehicles.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf calif busmap-dist 09.pdf (433.6 KB, 7 views)
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