Page 1 of 1

Access to Yosemite in April; which entrance?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:12 pm
by archive
Author: Chris
Date: 01-04-07 11:03

We're planning a trip to Yosemite in mid-April. We're coming from Southern Oregon on I-5. We can't decide whether to fly and rent a car or drive the full way. I understand the North Entrance will still be closed at that time. What can you recommend for the best, easiest entrance in April? Thanks.

Re: Access to Yosemite in April; which entrance?
Author: Dan Anderson
Date: 01-04-07 12:03

The northwest entrance, Highway 120 via Manteca and Groveland is open all year,
as are highways 140 and 41.

Howver, the Tioga Road (also Highway 120) connecting to US 395 on the east side is closed in winter. The Tioga Road usually opens between late May to early July, depending on the amount of snow.

For an greater Yosemite area map, click on "lodging" at the top of this webpage.

So I recommend Highway 120. April is early spring. Snow storms are unusual then. Although there is still snow on the ground on higher parts of the road, the road is free and clear. In the mornings and in some shady spots there may be some ice, so be careful.

If you want to avoid all snow or ice (or most of it), the lowest and warmest access route is Highway 140 through Merced. This is the route most tour busses take.

Late April advice

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:54 pm
by archive
Author: George (205.232.76.---)
Date: 03-14-04 21:53

Taking a trip to Reno in late April, and I'm planning on driving down to Yosemite to see the park for a 1-2 days (midweek). Never been to the park before. A local (NY) travel person suggested driving 99 south and coming in via 140. Question: Am I better off taking 140 or 120? I won't be an a 4-wheel drive, probably just a compact rental car. I'll probably stop at a hotel outside the park the first night, then head in early in the morning and snap as many pics as I can in the valley.

Re: Late April advice
Author: Dan Anderson (10.11.12.---)
Date: 03-14-04 22:17

140 is the "All Weather Highway" through the Merced River canyon. You don't need a 4-wheel drive, just common sense to not speed when it's icy (usually in the early mornings). There's a few hotels just outside the park in El Portal--see

120 is a lot higher, but this time of year is OK unless there's a late season snow storm.

Re: Late April advice
Author: George (205.232.76.---)
Date: 03-14-04 22:33

Thanks so much for the quick response.

Two more real quick questions.

Does taking 140 add a significant amount of time to the trip (from Reno), compared to 120?

Also, coming in from Reno, is taking 49 instead of 99 something to consider?

Thanks again.

Re: Late April advice
Author: Dan Anderson (10.11.12.---)
Date: 03-14-04 22:44

I recomend taking 99 to 120 from Reno in Winter (in Summer 120 is open to US 395, but not in Winter).

49 is scenic and historical--it goes through a lot of old gold mining country in the foothills, but it will add several hours to the travel time--it's a slow, narrow road with 1 lane in each direction.

Taking 140 will probably add an hour to the trip, since you have to drive further south on Highway 99 to catch it.

Re: Late April advice
Author: George (205.232.76.---)
Date: 03-14-04 22:49

Thank you so much for the info. It's greatly appreciated.

Re: Late April advice
Author: Erika (
Date: 04-28-04 08:04

I was just there the 18th and 120 was closed because of snow. Well, it wasn't closed but chains were required. I took 140 for the first time. It's about 30 miles longer but cut a hour off the trip. NO HIGH ROADS and a better view.