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[Yosemite]

Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

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Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Postby oldworld » Mon May 01, 2017 10:47 am

Hi all,

I plan to visit Yosemite around a week from today. I'll be traveling in an old VW Vanagon that struggles on grades >6%. Like 40mph struggle.

Does anyone know if the road leading to and from Yosemite are two-laned or at least have two lanes for the steepest sections so that people can pass?

Thanks.
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Re: Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Postby AlmostThere » Mon May 01, 2017 1:17 pm

You'll probably do best on the 120 route into the park. Any of the approaches will work, as there are many pullouts for you to use to let people by. Thank you for being considerate from someone who has spent many teeth-gnashing hours behind some guy in an RV who ignores pullouts for miles....
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Re: Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Postby oldworld » Tue May 02, 2017 12:35 pm

Thanks, for the reply! I'll try my best to not be a major annoyance to the poor souls behind me.
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Re: Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Postby Phil » Tue May 02, 2017 2:36 pm

Hey, as a heads up, on 120 coming in from Oakdale, you're going to have one big grade up from the town of Moccasin at Lake Don Pedro to the top of the hill a few miles short of Groveland. Don't try to take Old Priest Grade from the cut off at the bottom of that hill. After that, a few miles past Buck Meadows, beginning at the bridge over the Tuolumne River, you're on a long and consistent grade all the way up to the Big Oak Flat entry station. Plenty of pull outs and wide shoulders for the most part along the entire route though.

***And overall, coming in from the south on 41 isn't too bad either. You still climb consistently, but the gradient is less steep.
Last edited by Phil on Tue May 02, 2017 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Postby Dave_Ayers » Tue May 02, 2017 5:09 pm

For going to the Valley, I'd go in via Highway 140 with a slug van. Highway 120 goes over 6300 feet while 140 stays below 4,000 and the max slope is less on 140 also. If you get directions in Google Earth, then right click on the route you can get an elevation profile for each route and compare for yourself. Note that it takes some finagling to get GE to use the 'New' Priest Grade section
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Re: Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 02, 2017 5:11 pm

The grade descending into the canyon on 140 has few pullout opportunities....
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Re: Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Postby Phil » Tue May 02, 2017 7:49 pm

Ha! I never would've thought that so much ado could be made on getting to the park, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g610 ... .Park.html
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Re: Two lane roads? Concerned about slow van and % grade.

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 02, 2017 7:56 pm

And the fun part is, you don't know what to expect -- there is a flood warning in the valley right now as the weather's heated up. And then this weekend temps are dropping and there's a chance of snow above 7000 feet. So, bring chains, and a boat? :shock:

Once you're in the valley floor they are doing roadwork to fix where the flooding earlier in the year damaged the road. Check the road conditions by calling the park regardless of when you come... with more precip on the way, just might find one route or the other closed again.
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