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Old 07-11-2012, 05:58 AM   #1
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Yosemite Advice

Can you drive a 40' motor home towing a Jeep through Yosemite on rte. 120? We will go from Yosemite to Vegas, and it looks like it will be shorter to take 120 to 395 to 266 to 95. But I'm not sure about the roads in a big rig. Any advice would be appreciated. thanks!

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Old 07-11-2012, 07:30 AM   #2
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I lived in that area for 25 years. Traffic in Yosimite Vally (Half Dome, El Cap, etc) is absolutely AWFUL in the summer time. It will take you forever to climb out to 120 from YV due to the amount of cars. There's a couple tunnels with both height and length restrictions if you're not already in Yosimite. Wawona Tunnel and El Portal Tunnel. Need to check on that. When you head up to 120 from YV, the road is in ok shape, two lane with quite a few switch backs, sharp curves and short steep climbs. Heavy forest near the top Can be a deer hazard so keep a sharp eye out for game in the roadway. Once you get on top, the Tuolumne Medows area is beautiful. The grade down the other side to Lee Vining is fairly steep and long. Some places you're right on the edge of the canyon. Can be hard on brakes if you're not experienced with your mountian driving. The only other option is to come back down the hill on 41 to 99 and catch 58 at Bakerfield and go across to LV. Much easier drive but longer and hotter (Mojave in July...ugh!!). Probably about the same amount of time though since you're on freeways most of the way. Been on 395 many times. Can be slow due to trucks. Much pretttier than 99 tho lol. Oh yeah....plan your fuel stops. No fuel between Wawona and Lee Vining. 395 can be a bit fuel challlenged also, but not if you plan it out. Good Luck

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Old 07-11-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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Where are you starting your trip?

We have traveled over Tioga Pass in Yosemite NVivian our 36 MH with toad twice. If you are not used to mountain driving you may not like the trip. If you are coming in on 120 from Groveland, you will miss all of the tunnels. 120 from the valley turn off to Lee Vinning is a beautiful drive. It will be congested especially around Tuolumne Meadows. The trip from Groveland and over Tioga will probably be around 2 hours. Dropping down off of Tioga to Lee Vinning we used 3 rd gear with the exhaust brake. Don't be fooled after the grade flattens out because the last mile is down hill with a stop sign on 395. It will take a lot of brakes if you don't plan ahead. I don't worry about cars behind me as there are plenty of places they can pass a MH descending the grade at 30 mph....... if they want to.

Like above, 99 to 58 to I-15 will probably be faster and easier on the equipment and nerves, if you dislike narrow winding roads.

Travel safe.
Tom, Patty, Hannah "The Big Dog" and Abby Kat, Indianapolis, Indiana 2000 36' FDS 72232 Our Photos
We live out in our old van. Travel all across this land. Drive until the city lights dissolve into a country sky, me and you - hand in hand.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:37 PM   #4
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I've done that trip (in reverse). It may be shorter in miles, but it will be much, much longer in time. Most of 120 through the park is 35mph -- if traffic allows for it. And at 40' there will be very limited places to stop along the side of the road just to take in the view. As others have said, it is beautiful, but you will have to catch the views while driving. And at 40', you need to be comfortable with tight, winding sections (more accurately, your passenger has to be happy right on the edge of some drops!)

Unless it's your only chance to ever see Yosemite, I wouldn't recommend it.

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...and F-Troop: Fearghus, Fiona, and Frankie (Cairn Terriers)
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:43 PM   #5
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Just came back from Yosemite this past weekend and I do not recommend it.

We stayed at Yosemite Lakes RV park which is 5mi from the park, but I would not drive my 38ft through the park.
Sonny,Ilana,Michelle and Alex - Hollister California
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:16 AM   #6
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thank you all

I am new to iRV2 and must say it is wonderful. Thank you all for your replys. I did not expect such detailed outlines of the drive! Wow!

We will be there the middle - end of October, so traffic souldn't be an issue, but now I'm starting to worry about snow. So I think we'll plan on the drive down to I-15. We'll just tour the park in our Jeep. Thanks again this really was helpful!!

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