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Old 10-30-2007, 07:10 PM   #1
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Which Yosemite entrance?

Did a search, but couldn't find any recent info.(doesn't mean it's not there )
Now that our usual route into Yosemite Valley via 140 and El Portal is too tight for us due to the slides, we're trying to decide whether to go from Santa Cruz (Monterey Bay area) waay up 5 (zzzzz) to 120 at Manteca and through the Big Oak Flat entrance, or go across the valley to 41 and up through Oakhurst and Wawona. That looks more direct map-wise. Does any one have any experience with the different routes, especially coming from our area?
Many thanks,
Janet
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:17 PM   #2
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My experience is mostly with Hwy 41. If it's more direct, I would go that way. You should have no problems.
Dave
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
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Janet,

I think that the south entrance is higher in elevation than the north entrance. Depending on road conditions, the south entrance may have a better chance of temporary road closures. The north entrance will take you by the Hetch Hetchy dam, John Muir's failure to protect the valley.

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Old 10-30-2007, 07:25 PM   #4
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Thanks Dave and Bill. We're going up this weekend and have a good weather forecast, so we'll go in on 41.
Janet
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:32 AM   #5
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Hi,

Going up thru Oakhurst and Wawona are very nice, however it is a fairly good drive from Wawona to the Valley floor in Yosemite. Some of the roads are pretty curvy, but if you have been in thru El Portal you will do fine. Have you ever been through Groveland and on Hwy 120. It is a good road and maybe quicker than going 41 ~ except for that icky steep, steep very curvy grade just before Big Oak Flat. Any road cams in the area? All the roads are tricky pulling a longer trailer.

You have few options at this time of year, I am sure at first snow Tioga pass will close?!

Good luck, and take pictures!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson)
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:04 AM   #6
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Conditions on 10/24

Went in via 41 and out via 120 to the east (Tioga) last week (10/24 - 10/26)with our 19 foot Bambi. No big problems, some construction delays on 120 just after leaving the valley floor. Decent into the valley on 41 is steep with some tight curves, we took it slow and easy and we were fine. Paid $3.81 for premimum in Wawona and saw $4.41 for premium in El Portal.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:28 AM   #7
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We will definitely post our impressions of the route we end up taking. We may end up going in through Wawona and out through Groveland.
We'll be staying in the valley, but next trip (late spring/early summmer) we hope to go up to Tuolomne and over Tioga to the Eastern Sierras. (We'll see if I've controlled the gasping and handle-gripping enough by then. For some reason Terry finds it distracting.)
I love all the photos I unearthed from the threads and posts that turned up on my "search". Beautiful and inspiring!
Thanks very much for the helpful info.
Janet
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:18 PM   #8
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We did end up going through the Wawona entrance on 41, and although fairly windy, it was smooth, well-banked, and a comfortable tow. An easy 4&1/2 hr. drive from the coast. The descent into the valley was spectacular and this will probably become our new route.
The "Upper Pines" campground is the only one that's open this time of year and is "first come..." but arriving on a Thurs. gave us a huge amount of choices and we landed a beautiful and quiet spot. Lots of room for larger rigs.
Turns out the 140 (El Portal entrance) is definitely out of the question for anything over 28' overall, since the turns on the bridge bypass are sharp and narrow 90 degrees, next to unforgiving sheer granite walls.
Will post on the campground review thread.
Will also be posting on the "dead battery" thread. Drat.
Thanks again!
Janet
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:32 PM   #9
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Janet,
So jealous. I have not been there in 25 years. I would love to go back. Enjoy the trip! Take lots of pictures.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:38 PM   #10
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Yosemite and Seacliff

Hi Janet, didn't we meet you two weeks ago at Seacliff Beach? (We have the two Jack Russells.) Finally joined Airforums. You may recall we live in Twain Harte, and use the northern route for Yosemite. The only challenging part is New Priest Grade, which is manageable. One time we hit snow on Mother's Day! Glad you enjoyed it. Larry
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:46 PM   #11
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Yes, Larry, that was me! So glad you joined the Forums. You're going to find some great info. and entertainment here. Be sure to post some photos of your gorgeous rig and those lovely dogs!
Look forward to seeing you on the road.
Janet
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