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Re: Public or Private Road?

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New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
August 01, 2012 11:01AM
see http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21203957/developers-plan-build-new-road-into-yosemite-national

A developer of land just northwest of Foresta wants to assert that the Old Coulterville Road is a legal thoroughfare, and wants to resurrect it to connect his land into route 120 inside the park. Among other things, this would bypass the route 120 entrance station.

Ha. Good luck. Now, if they would just fix up the hiking trail part of the old road, too....
avatar Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
August 01, 2012 11:11AM
Quote
wherever
Now, if they would just fix up the hiking trail part of the old road, too....

Had a GPS try to get me to turn onto that part of the road from 140 last year. Couldn't even see where it had been.
avatar Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
August 01, 2012 07:35PM
He's been trying to do this for years now. I believe the road is just North of Hazelgreen Dip. Somewhere in that area. The road probably has not been used in over 75 years or so. It's no longer there.
Public or Private Road?
August 04, 2012 08:49AM
I thought this was interesting as the plaque seems to suggest that the road was at first a public thoroughfare and at lest is counter to the notion that the road at first was a toll road.



Pictures of Old Coulterville Road to Yosemite



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2012 08:57AM by limonjelly.
Re: Public or Private Road?
August 04, 2012 10:49PM
Quote
limonjelly
I thought this was interesting as the plaque seems to suggest that the road was at first a public thoroughfare and at lest is counter to the notion that the road at first was a toll road.

It may have been a county road near Coulterville, where the plaque seems to be, but didn't go into Yosemite at that time. Instead, somewhere east of there it met up with the old Mono Trail, which had branches into Yosemite Valley and across the Sierras to Mono Lake. The Old Mono Trail was blazed for horse traffic in 1857, but was never an actual "road".



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2012 10:50PM by wherever.
Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
September 13, 2012 03:10AM
I have taken this road into Yosemite valley twice from Coulterville. It took about four hours. This includes trying to get around downed trees and taking the wrong loop once.. or twice? It is largely unpaved but there are areas where pavement appears out of nowhere. Bring a chain saw, and your 4 wheel drive if you want to do it. It may take some time, bring food water, blankets, too. You might not see anyone for a long time out there. I think it's called Old Coulterville road, or county 1S12. It lies between the current day routes of 140 and 120.
Either way, start out where the monument is stating it was built in 1874, continue on up. if you can find the correct left turn at Buena Vista Junction, then a hairpin turn down into a seasonal creek bed, into some dense woods and you pop out into Foresta. From there, the old road goes through Foresta, and as you climb back up out of Foresta and toward the 120 descent (which of course did not exist in the day), there on your right is the Old Coulterville Road entrance to the valley floor. It has a few large boulders placed there by the NPS. This is the section of the road that is permanently closed and the rockslide took out the lower third in around 1981. You can see it clearly from the other side of the valley up on Wawona road. I have hiked this part down to the valley floor. I don't think I will again. The last part through the boulder field is particularly difficult and risky. But anyway I have driven in from hwy 49, through Coulterville and through Foresta. I've done it twice, it does go through and it was a lot of fun. And no, there is no entrance gate there. I have never left the park via this route.
avatar Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
September 13, 2012 09:08AM
For someone else thinking about doing this... I highly recommend you snag
a Forest Service Road map of Stanislaus. Since it's forest service the
number of roads in the area is huge. A GPS, your noggin, and a good map
imho are pretty critical. With the rules changes w/r to the forest roads
(they are open much longer into the fall)... they have excellent maps of all
the roads. I can find the link if someone desires.



Picasa Pictures
avatar Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
September 13, 2012 07:56AM
Neat post...thanks BanjoDave!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
September 13, 2012 10:43AM
NPS Coulterville History

Brief summary, for those that are interested. The Doc was Ma-Cleaned out of his life savings.
Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
October 13, 2012 03:41AM
This has been going on for years. For a time, Mariposa County even was on this landowner's side, but I believe they have backed away from the whole mess. It's a fascinating saga that goes back to the history of the Old Coulterville Road (and Trail before that), and its originally intended alignment from Hazel Green to Crane Flat (rather than its final alignment, through Merced Grove and Foresta). I've done some field exploring in that area and have actually traced the abandoned road that runs from the Old Coulterville Road at Hazel Green Ranch (which is only about 500 feet from the New Big Oak Flat Road just inside the park boundary, though you'd never know it due to the forest screening) eastward over to where it runs into and eventually parallels the modern Big Oak Flat Road over to near Crane Flat, whereupon it diverges to the north of the modern roadway and swings over to meet the Old BOF Road at Crane Flat.

In no way can this road be considered a "highway". It clearly hasn't seen usage since most likely the 1930s -- if even then. It was abandoned as part of the Coulterville Road shortly after it was constructed in around 1870 after the Merced Grove was discovered. The backers of the Coulterville Road decided to reroute their road through the big trees. The abandoned segment of road was likely used for some time by local residents as a means of getting from the Coulterville Road at Hazel Green over to the BOF Road at Crane Flat, but I don't believe that the road was ever hard surfaced. This area was not added to the Park until the 1940s, so it is likely that the road was completely abandoned no later than that time.
Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
October 13, 2012 09:45AM
The whole region between SR120 and south to the Merced River is a maze of dirt and jeep roads with enough not even on the topo that it can be difficult to ascertain where one is. Except locals and hunters, not many people go there. A real adventure doable with low wheelbase AWD is to cross the old Briceberg Bridge, then climb the steep nasty grade out of the canyon, hope one can eventurally figure out how to wend north through the dirt roads and reach SR120. At the Hazelgreen Dip while surveying for fall Pacific dogwood pics, I've wandered all the way up to the park boundary where there is a fence. Just beyond there was a ranch where I could hear dogs barking and power saws.



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2012 09:47AM by DavidSenesac.
Re: New road into Yosemite National Park rebuffed
October 13, 2012 10:59AM
If you hop that fence (the fence is the park boundary), and go another 20 yards or so, you will hit the Old Coulterville Road. Just to the left of where you strike the road is where the junction with the abandoned spur road connecting Hazel Green to Crane Flat used to be. A rusted locked gate across that road is buried in the underbrush. If you turn right on the Old Coulterville Road, a hundred yards or so will take you to Hazel Green Ranch, a private inholding in the National Forest (and the source of the dog barks and power saw noises you heard). The Old C Road passes through the ranch (which is where John Muir camped on one of his excursions) and continues west over to the "Five Corners" junction with several other Forest Service roads (part of the maze you describe).

I've never wandered through the HG Ranch property (it IS a private inholding, after all), but the rest of that area is fine to explore as the fence only separates NPS from FS land. It's all public.
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