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Re: RV driving to Yosemite

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RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 08:56AM
Hey Gang

Taking my 35ft National Dolphin to Upper Pines tomorrow and want any feedback on the drive. Coming from So Cal up 5fwy, 41, them 140. Any driving restrictions on height, length, etc. to be concerned with? Tunnel restrictions?
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 09:02AM
You can check road conditions, just in case there are any closures or construction. This is also useful for chain conditions when it gets colder.

http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

The restriction at 140 is at the one-way control over the emergency bridge that bypasses the Ferguson rockslide.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sierra/conditions/ferguson.shtml



I've seen some pretty large vehicles make it past the bypass bridge, and 45 ft is the limit. Just take it slow and you should be OK.
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 09:35AM
thanks for the info Y_P_W
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 09:57AM
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btnme
thanks for the info Y_P_W

No problem.

I also wanted to clarify that it's actually two bridges. They set up two bridges to access an old road across the Merced River from the slide area. The traffic is controlled in each direction via automated traffic lights. The paths onto and off of the bridge are at a right angles, so that's what the length restriction is about. I guess 45 ft was a number they came up with, although it really depends on the vehicle and the driver. Here's a picture I found of one of the bridges (with cars waiting) on Flickr:



http://www.flickr.com/photos/10577595@N00/1768456132/

I remember one delivery truck that was a bit over the 45 ft limit clipped one of the bridges a few months after they opened it.
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 10:43AM
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y_p_w
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btnme
thanks for the info Y_P_W

No problem.

I also wanted to clarify that it's actually two bridges. They set up two bridges to access an old road across the Merced River from the slide area. The traffic is controlled in each direction via automated traffic lights. The paths onto and off of the bridge are at a right angles, so that's what the length restriction is about.

Actually, the original bypass bridges were built at 90 degrees, and they had a restriction of 28 ft! Now they are built closer to 45 degrees and so that is why longer vehicles can make it over.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 12:06PM
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hotrod4x5
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y_p_w
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btnme
thanks for the info Y_P_W

No problem.

I also wanted to clarify that it's actually two bridges. They set up two bridges to access an old road across the Merced River from the slide area. The traffic is controlled in each direction via automated traffic lights. The paths onto and off of the bridge are at a right angles, so that's what the length restriction is about.

Actually, the original bypass bridges were built at 90 degrees, and they had a restriction of 28 ft! Now they are built closer to 45 degrees and so that is why longer vehicles can make it over.

OK. I haven't been on 140 since 2007. I used 41 or 120 since then.
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 09:39AM
5>41>140 doesn't seem right. Go 5>99>Exit Minturn Road to Le Grand. Make a right on Le Grand Rd, then go through the tiny town heading north on Cunningham Rd. Finally, make a right on 140. This cuts off 1/2 hour or more because you bypass going through Merced.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 09:55AM
Quote
btnme
Hey Gang

Taking my 35ft National Dolphin to Upper Pines tomorrow and want any feedback on the drive. Coming from So Cal up 5fwy, 41, them 140. Any driving restrictions on height, length, etc. to be concerned with? Tunnel restrictions?

It seems to there there's a highway or two missing from your route. I'd take 5 then cross over to 99 at 152. Go north to Merced then take 140 to Yosemite. Avoid Wawona Rd in the park. It's being rebuilt and you can expect at least a half hour delay. There are usually several spots on that road with a half hour delay.

The bridges bypassing the rock slide will be no problem for your rig.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 10:22AM
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Dave
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btnme
Hey Gang

Taking my 35ft National Dolphin to Upper Pines tomorrow and want any feedback on the drive. Coming from So Cal up 5fwy, 41, them 140. Any driving restrictions on height, length, etc. to be concerned with? Tunnel restrictions?

It seems to there there's a highway or two missing from your route. I'd take 5 then cross over to 99 at 152. Go north to Merced then take 140 to Yosemite. Avoid Wawona Rd in the park. It's being rebuilt and you can expect at least a half hour delay. There are usually several spots on that road with a half hour delay.

The bridges bypassing the rock slide will be no problem for your rig.


Actually, looking at a map, one can drive I-5 to SR41 to SR 140... but it's beyond me why anyone would want to go that way. (He is talking about going up the Wawona Road and hitting SR140 inside the park.)

Btmne, recommend following Dave's route or, better yet, just take SR99 when it splits off from I-5 a few miles after dropping down through Grapevine Canyon from the Tehachapi Mountains.
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 10:41AM
DO NOT go through Merced! Follow my directions posted above. Merced takes way too long as you go through city streets and traffic.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 12:04PM
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hotrod4x5
DO NOT go through Merced! Follow my directions posted above. Merced takes way too long as you go through city streets and traffic.


Works for me.
(My post was meant to elucidate the better interstate/highway route. I have never gone through Merced on my way to the park.)


Also, aside to hotrod4x5: My apologies, I did not notice the "5>99>" part of your post when I first scanned through it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2010 07:58PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 08:49PM
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hotrod4x5
DO NOT go through Merced! Follow my directions posted above. Merced takes way too long as you go through city streets and traffic.

I go through Merced all the time. It's no problem. The back roads would take longer.
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 08:52PM
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Dave
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hotrod4x5
DO NOT go through Merced! Follow my directions posted above. Merced takes way too long as you go through city streets and traffic.

I go through Merced all the time. It's no problem. The back roads would take longer.
Tomaaato Tomahhhto.... to each his own. I went through Merced once, I will never do it again. The roads I mention are deserted and 50-55 is easy.
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 05, 2010 04:13PM
There is also the option for the 41 route to turn left onto 49 and head out through Mariposa to end up on 140 heading into the park. In fact, this is how my hiking group gets around the delays on 41 inside the park currently, when we head up to dayhike. 99 to 41 to 49 is fairly straightforward and fast - 41 is a freeway through Fresno and becomes two lane north of town, but remains a relatively quick drive until just after Oakhurst, where it becomes a winding curvy mountain route. But that's after the turnoff on 49, which is at the first light in Oakhurst.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 05, 2010 04:44PM
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AlmostThere
There is also the option for the 41 route to turn left onto 49 and head out through Mariposa to end up on 140 heading into the park. In fact, this is how my hiking group gets around the delays on 41 inside the park currently, when we head up to dayhike. 99 to 41 to 49 is fairly straightforward and fast - 41 is a freeway through Fresno and becomes two lane north of town, but remains a relatively quick drive until just after Oakhurst, where it becomes a winding curvy mountain route. But that's after the turnoff on 49, which is at the first light in Oakhurst.

That is a faster way to the Valley even when there is no construction on the Wawona Road (hwy 41) in the park.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 10:58AM
Sorry, I missed that post above, I thought only driving it with detours/delays in the summer was being discussed.
I'm a creature of habit, and have always taken 41 in all the way from Oakhurst. You've given me something to think about.
For what it's worth, per Mapquest:

Oakhurst to Yosemite Village via 41: 47.37 miles, 1 hour 26 minutes.
Oakhurst to Yosemite Village via 49 to 140: 71.02 miles, 1 hour 44 minutes.
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 11:14AM
Mapquest, googlemaps and their brethren frequently lie. smiling smiley

You can drive 10 -20 mph faster on 140 than you can on 41. (I can drive even faster, but my car corners real well. winking smiley )
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 05:59PM
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PineCone
Sorry, I missed that post above, I thought only driving it with detours/delays in the summer was being discussed.
I'm a creature of habit, and have always taken 41 in all the way from Oakhurst. You've given me something to think about.
For what it's worth, per Mapquest:

Oakhurst to Yosemite Village via 41: 47.37 miles, 1 hour 26 minutes.
Oakhurst to Yosemite Village via 49 to 140: 71.02 miles, 1 hour 44 minutes.
90 minutes from Oakhust to the valley sounds about right to me.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 07:10PM
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hotrod4x5
90 minutes from Oakhust to the valley sounds about right to me.
Add to that at least a half hour of road construction delays and another half hour for slow RVs that refuse to pull over. Also, mapquest/google maps, does not take into account the speed limit in the park is 45mph and on 49 it's 55.

I wanted to rephrase my last sentence in a much nicer manner:

I drive the roads in Yosemite on a daily basis. I average about 400 miles a week on my work truck. I know the roads and how fast they are - or aren't.

Now, to add a bit more..... as I was corrected; the speed limit on hwy 41/Wawona Road, in the park, is 35mph. Don't forget that more buses come in the South Entrance than any other. Those tour buses do not pull over and go about 5 to 10mph below the speed limit. The DNC shuttles don't go any faster. Then you have a bunch of motor homes, add in some road work, and you have a mess.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2010 08:42PM by Dave.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 07:17PM
Quote
Dave
Also, mapquest/google maps, does not take into account the speed limit in the park is 45mph

Acutally it's 35 on Wawona Road.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 07:19PM
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eeek
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Dave
Also, mapquest/google maps, does not take into account the speed limit in the park is 45mph

Acutally it's 35 on Wawona Road.
Oops, you're right. Llama
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 07:30PM
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Dave
Quote
eeek
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Dave
Also, mapquest/google maps, does not take into account the speed limit in the park is 45mph

Acutally it's 35 on Wawona Road.
Oops, you're right. Llama



35 for Dolphins.

45 for llamas.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 07:31PM
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szalkowski
35 for Dolphins.

45 for llamas.

Mach 2 for Chick-ons?

avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 07:37PM
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eeek
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szalkowski
35 for Dolphins.

45 for llamas.

Mach 2 for Chick-ons?


What you can't see is that a llama is flying that thing. He put the chicken out there so it would cook on re-entry.
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
March 26, 2011 06:52PM
We also have a large RV and would like to take a similar trip. Have clearance and road conditions change much since this post?
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
March 26, 2011 07:19PM
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Marksm
We also have a large RV and would like to take a similar trip. Have clearance and road conditions change much since this post?

As you can see from the dates on posts this thread is from July 2010.

Check current road conditions at nps.gov/yose - you'll see that the roads are open, somewhat, and only from 7 am to 7 pm. There are chain requirements. You may want to call to see if they are letting people camp. Call the number on the website for the most current info. A news bulletin:

March 24, 2011
Yosemite National Park Open with Limited Services
All roads into Yosemite National Park have reopened this morning, pending weather and safety along the roadways. This includes park entrances via Highways 120, 140, and 41. The park is open to visitors until 7:00 p.m. this evening. Reservations for rooms in the park will be honored this evening. The Hetch Hetchy Road and the Badger Pass Road will remain closed until further notice.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 07:18PM
Quote
PineCone
Sorry, I missed that post above, I thought only driving it with detours/delays in the summer was being discussed.
I'm a creature of habit, and have always taken 41 in all the way from Oakhurst. You've given me something to think about.
For what it's worth, per Mapquest:

Oakhurst to Yosemite Village via 41: 47.37 miles, 1 hour 26 minutes.
Oakhurst to Yosemite Village via 49 to 140: 71.02 miles, 1 hour 44 minutes.
As I pointed out already, 49 has a higher speed limit than 41. Even with no road construction the 41 route takes longer since it's a windier road with more traffic - and RVs that refuse to pull over. Plus, you get to see Arch Rock, Grouse Creek Falls, Cascade Falls, Wildcat Falls (if you know where to look) and great views of the Merced River all the way. The Cascade Falls picnic area is great! It has a nice swimming beach and none of the crowds you'd get in any of the Valley picnic areas.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 03:31PM
Avoid highway 41 in the park unless it's a weekend. There is construction going on that'll really slow you down.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 04, 2010 05:49PM
Whatever method you take into the park do as suggested and come up on 99 from SoCal. No need to waste time driving east from I5.



Old Dude
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 08:50AM
In the off-season (not the peak summer months) and with no construction on Hwy. 41, which do you guys think would be
the fastest route into the Valley from Oakhurst: staying on 41, or taking 49 through Mariposa to 140 into the Valley?
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 09:33AM
Quote
PineCone
In the off-season (not the peak summer months) and with no construction on Hwy. 41, which do you guys think would be
the fastest route into the Valley from Oakhurst: staying on 41, or taking 49 through Mariposa to 140 into the Valley?


See post above:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26884,26919#msg-26919
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
July 06, 2010 09:53AM
49 to 140 is a few miles longer than 41 for me. BUT, it's faster because the road is not so winding and slow to navigate, no real slow curves, and if you are heading up to the pass instead of making the valley your destination, it's much easier - no need to slowly make your way around the valley before heading up to Tioga. When I have a car of motion-sickness-prone people the 140 entrance is much preferable....
Re: RV driving to Yosemite
March 26, 2011 07:19PM
We also have a large RV and would like to take a similar trip. Have clearance and road conditions change much since this post? Maybe I should ask this after the storm season has passed. Many roads have issues now.
avatar Re: RV driving to Yosemite
March 26, 2011 08:48PM
140 has the temp bridge by the rockslide and there is a max length allowed. Check that out. You may have to come in from the south or north.



Old Dude
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