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Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120

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Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 10:29AM
From the park's FB page. A landslide has closed the Big Oak Flat Rd. (120) from Foresta Junction to the El Portal Rd junction. There are major structural problems and the road is closed indefinitely. There is NO access to Yosemite Valley on highway 120.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 10:29AM by hotrod4x5.
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 10:56AM
More:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/bofrdclosed12.htm



Date: January 23, 2012
Due to a large rockfall that occurred at approximately 11:30 last evening, the Big Oak Flat Road (the continuation of Highway 120) is closed in Yosemite National Park. The road is closed between the Foresta Junction on Highway 120 (Big Oak Flat Rd.) and the Highway 120/140 (El Portal Road) Junction.

Yosemite Valley remains accessible via Highway 140 (El Portal Road) coming from Merced/Mariposa and via Highway 41(Wawona Rd.) coming from Fresno/Oakhurst. The Tioga Road remains closed. Foresta Road, between Foresta and El Portal, is not accessible.

Yosemite National Park remains open.

With a winter storm currently in the park, chain restrictions are in place on some park roads . For 24 hour road and weather information, please call (209) 372-0200.

The Big Oak Flat Road will remain closed indefinitely.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 11:40AM
Quote
hotrod4x5
More:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/bofrdclosed12.htm



Date: January 23, 2012
Due to a large rockfall that occurred at approximately 11:30 last evening, the Big Oak Flat Road (the continuation of Highway 120) is closed in Yosemite National Park. The road is closed between the Foresta Junction on Highway 120 (Big Oak Flat Rd.) and the Highway 120/140 (El Portal Road) Junction.

I know this is a nitpick, but the road geek in me couldn't let it pass without mentioning. That portion of the Big Oak Flat Road is NOT part of Highway 120. Highway 120 turns east onto Tioga Road at Crane Flat.

Some maps, especially older state highway maps (like those from the 1960's) list that portion of the Big Oak Flat Road as the continuation of Highway 41. In those maps Highway 41 enters the Valley from the south via Wawona Road then turns north at the El Capitan crossover and heads out of the valley on Big Oak Flat Road before terminating at its junction with Highway 120 at Crane Flat. (But this is subject to debate because the terminus of Highway 41 isn't clearly listed in most state documents.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 01:20PM by plawrence.
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 12:27PM
Quote
plawrence
I know this is a nitpick, but the road geek in me couldn't let it pass without mentioning. That portion of the Big Oak Flat Road is NOT part of Highway 120. Highway 120 turns east onto Tioga Road at Crane Flat.

Right. There is no junction of highways 120 and 140, and Foresta is not on route 120. The map link they post on the announcement website is useless.

More interestingly, does anyone know where the avalanche is? The steep stuff is lower down, but the soil bared by fire is up by Foresta. The slide should be visible from somewhere on Wawona Road. A photo would be most welcome...
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 01:34PM
More than likely rock fall occurred between Tunnel #2 and Tunnel #3. At least that is my best guess on
what they said. Almost assuredly it is east of Tunnel #3. If the weather forecast is true then I'll try to
get a click-click from west of Wawona Tunnel this coming weekend.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 12:43PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
hotrod4x5
More:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/bofrdclosed12.htm



Date: January 23, 2012
Due to a large rockfall that occurred at approximately 11:30 last evening, the Big Oak Flat Road (the continuation of Highway 120) is closed in Yosemite National Park. The road is closed between the Foresta Junction on Highway 120 (Big Oak Flat Rd.) and the Highway 120/140 (El Portal Road) Junction.

I know this is a nitpick, but the road geek in me couldn't let it pass without mentioning. That portion of the Big Oak Flat Road is NOT part of Highway 120. Highway 120 turns east onto Tioga Road at Crane Flat.

Some maps, especially older state highway maps (like those from the 1960's) list that portion of the Big Oak Flat Road as the continuation of Highway 41. In those maps Highway 41 enters the Valley from the south via Wawona Road then turns north at the El Capitan crossover and heads out of the valley on Big Oak Flat Road before terminating its junction with Highway 120 at Crane Flat. (But this is subject to debate because the terminus of Highway 41 isn't clearly in most state documents.)


Ya know that makes sense. 120 doesn't go to the valley. It goes over Tioga pass.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 11:39AM
Ouch!

I've never been in on 140. How much is that going to add to my travel time from Sacramento? Can I just take 49 from Moccasin down to 140?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 11:43AM by qumqats.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 11:50AM
Quote
qumqats

Ouch!

I've never been in on 140. How much is that going to add to my travel time from Sacramento?


Usually it's only about 5 to 10 minutes longer (time-wise), excluding any backup due to the one-way, one-lane portion of the Highway 140 around the Merced River rockslide area.

The reason: one tends to travel a lot faster down Highway 99 to Merced. And Highway 140 between Merced and Mariposa is pretty quick too.

While in the spring, summer, and fall, I usually take Hwy 120 into Yosemite, in winter months I usually opt for Hwy 140 because there's always a lot less ice and snow on the road compared to Highway 120.

(Also, if you're a member of Costco, there's a Costco right off of Highway 99 in Merced that sells gasoline at a very low price. A great place to fill up your tank before you head into Yosemite.)



avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 12:50PM
I tried 140 in the early AM just before Christmas, and my thinking is there's a lot more frost-caused ice along 140 (lots of shade once past Midpines), but of course the elevation is much lower so storm-caused ice is less common.

The frost-caused ice should only be a real issue if going in the early AM, otherwise the main issue w/ 140 is the already-mentioned one-lane section.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 12:53PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 11:53AM
Quote
qumqats

Can I just take 49 from Moccasin down to 140?

You could, but that would be a longer way to get to Highway 140.

Your best bet from Sacramento is just to take Highway 99 to Merced and then get on Highway 140. As I mentioned in my previous post, it will only add about 5 to 10 minutes of drive time (depending on the traffic conditions of Highway 99).


avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 12:55PM
Looks like it's safe to assume that this isn't blocking access to the Tioga Road from the Central Valley and places like Groveland, so even if it takes a long time to repair, you can still get to Tuolumne Meadows and the High Country from the West this summer.

Getting to the Tioga Road from the Valley or from 41 will be a long workaround if they don't finish the repair by the time they open the Tioga Road.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 01:25PM
Quote
vdrummer

Getting to the Tioga Road from the Valley or from 41 will be a long workaround if they don't finish the repair by the time they open the Tioga Road.


Maybe they could widen and pave the portion of Foresta Road between Foresta and El Portal. wink


Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 02:15PM
http://on.fb.me/wfBV1Z

Link to an image from their FB page. I can't see it here at work, it's a blocked site. Pounding head on desk



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 02:22PM by hotrod4x5.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 02:24PM
Here's the photo:

avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 02:48PM
I'd guess a couple of months at least to get that fixed. Also guessing that a lot depends on stability of rocks all around there. Might get it done before June. We could start a pool for guessing the opening date - - -
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 04:54PM
More photos of the slide posted on Yosemite National Park's Facebook page:

Quote
Photos from Yosemite National Park Facebook page


Looking downhill toward the junction with the El Portal Road. This is below the third tunnel, and just around the corner from the stop sign (where you could normally turn left to Yosemite Valley or right to El Portal and Highway 140).



Looking straight down at the slide area. That boulder is the size of a two-story building.



A view to the west, uphill.



A view east, downhill toward Yosemite Valley. Note the abrupt drop-off where the slide cut away the Big Oak Flat Road.



The road is not only buried but has completely disappeared in places.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 04:59PM
I think "indefinitely" may mean just that regardless of funding.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 05:10PM
Also noted on the park's Facebook page, that two-story boulder could potentially fall further and damage, if not take out, a portion of Hwy 140 below.
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 08:52PM
There is a short article about the rockslide in the SF Chronicle. The park spokesman is quoted as saying best case is two weeks and the worst two months to reopen.

Seems a little optimstic to me, but at least it seems it has a high priority to get fixed. Unless something else happens, I wouldn't worry too much about access in the summer.

Also, the article says the slide is about 1,000 ft 'north of the valley floor' which I take to mean the 140 junction. The scary thing is that block is now between Big Oak Flat Rd and highway 140, so let's hope it doesn't go any further and close that road too.

Article here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/23/BAMB1MTCJ9.DTL
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 09:05PM
Quote
buster
There is a short article about the rockslide in the SF Chronicle. The park spokesman is quoted as saying best case is two weeks and the worst two months to reopen.

Seems a little optimstic to me, but at least it seems it has a high priority to get fixed. Unless something else happens, I wouldn't worry too much about access in the summer.

Also, the article says the slide is about 1,000 ft 'north of the valley floor' which I take to mean the 140 junction. The scary thing is that block is now between Big Oak Flat Rd and highway 140, so let's hope it doesn't go any further and close that road too.

Article here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/23/BAMB1MTCJ9.DTL

Wow, 2 months worst-case in the middle of winter? Oh man, that's good to hear.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 09:34PM
Quote
mbear
Wow, 2 months worst-case in the middle of winter?

It's winter? If so, then why was I at Glacier Point in shorts and a t-shirt last week?
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 09:39PM
Quote
eeek

It's winter? If so, then why was I at Glacier Point in shorts and a t-shirt last week?


Because you're crazy? wink

I was at Glacier Point about three weeks ago, and while it was nice and sunny, with temps in the 40's, I still needed a light jacket.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 09:46PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
eeek

It's winter? If so, then why was I at Glacier Point in shorts and a t-shirt last week?


Because you're crazy? wink

I was at Glacier Point about three weeks ago, and while it was nice and sunny, with temps in the 40's, I still needed a light jacket.

I found it quite warm in the sun. Though I will admit to seeing some people that appeared to be dressed for the arctic.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 09:42PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
mbear
Wow, 2 months worst-case in the middle of winter?

It's winter? If so, then why was I at Glacier Point in shorts and a t-shirt last week?

Can't answer that one, but until our hemisphere tilts back towards the sun I'm calling it winter.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 24, 2012 07:10AM
Quote
eeek
It's winter? If so, then why was I at Glacier Point in shorts and a t-shirt last week?

Cause you have a full-time winta coat? tongue sticking out smiley

Cause you could drive der? tongue sticking out smiley

(dats what we callz a double Zinger)

Looking at cdec... it was 52 degrees on the 13th at Tuolumne Meadows.
Old Fart and I were up at Sunrise Lakes... that's something like 1200 ft.
closer to the sun so it felt like 70 up there... had to get in the shade it
was so hot to eat lunch.
The 14th was nearly as warm at GP.

I been telling peeps for too long now that Sierra winter is so mild. But they
just keep telling me I'm nuts. Time to put the snowshoes in da car.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 09:30PM
Quote
buster
There is a short article about the rockslide in the SF Chronicle. The park spokesman is quoted as saying best case is two weeks and the worst two months to reopen.

Seems a little optimstic to me, but at least it seems it has a high priority to get fixed. Unless something else happens, I wouldn't worry too much about access in the summer.


It's hard to believe that the road damage could be fixed in two weeks since some of the road's foundation was stripped away by the rockfall. Though I could see them maybe opening the road to traffic in a relatively short timeframe if the westbound lane wasn't damaged so they could implement one-way, one-lane controlled traffic through the rockslide area.

It's probably a very high priority to get the road fixed because of pressure from the tour bus operators and DNC. Lot of the rooms at the Yosemite Lodge are booked by tour operators whose buses are too large to navigate through the rockfall detour of Hwy 140. Since that rockfall, these tour bus operators based out of the San Francisco Bay Area having been using Hwy 120 exclusively. Now they'll be forced to take Hwy 41 from Oakhurst into the valley. A significant and costly detour in time and money.


avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 05:56PM
Crap; that looks terrible.Pounding head on desk

Then again, it would give me an excuse to hike up Snow Creek.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 06:00PM by mbear.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 03:07PM
Son of a bitch; this kills my summer plans if this road isn't fixed and I can't use YARTS for high-country access.

Or am I overreacting and are closures like this a normal thing that is fixed reasonably quickly? I just remember a rockfall like this shutting down the Angeles Crest Highway for what seemed like 4-5 years back when I lived in LA.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 03:21PM by mbear.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 03:21PM
Quote
mbear
I just remember a rockfall like this shutting down the Angeles Crest Highway for what seemed like 4-5 years back when I lived in LA.

It only took that long to fix it because of funding issues.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 03:26PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
mbear
I just remember a rockfall like this shutting down the Angeles Crest Highway for what seemed like 4-5 years back when I lived in LA.

It only took that long to fix it because of funding issues.

Which sadly doesn't put my mind to rest at all given this country's toxic political climate.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 03:28PM
Depending on the weather between now and summer, I would think that the Park Service will be able to construct at least temporary repairs to allow the road to be open for summer. But I think this is most dependent on the weather. If the weather from now until summer remains wet and stormy, that could delay any needed repairs.

On the other hand, if the road is still closed by the time of your visit, you could either camp at the Tuolumne Meadows CG and take the Tioga Road shuttle to the trailheads it serves. Also I wouldn't be surprised if YARTS still decides to run summer bus service from Mammoth Lakes into Yosemite even if it has to take the long way around via Hwy 120 to Hwy 49 to Hwy 140. That would allow you to stay at a motel in Lee Vining and take the YARTS Mammoth Lakes bus up to the Yosemite High Country.

Still, I'll speculate by the look of the slide that at least a temporary workaround should be in place by summer.


avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 03:48PM
Quote
plawrence
Depending on the weather between now and summer, I would think that the Park Service will be able to construct at least temporary repairs to allow the road to be open for summer. But I think this is most dependent on the weather. If the weather from now until summer remains wet and stormy, that could delay any needed repairs.

On the other hand, if the road is still closed by the time of your visit, you could either camp at the Tuolumne Meadows CG and take the Tioga Road shuttle to the trailheads it serves. Also I wouldn't be surprised if YARTS still decides to run summer bus service from Mammoth Lakes into Yosemite even if it has to take the long way around via Hwy 120 to Hwy 49 to Hwy 140. That would allow you to stay at a motel in Lee Vining and take the YARTS Mammoth Lakes bus up to the Yosemite High Country.

Still, I'll speculate by the look of the slide that at least a temporary workaround should be in place by summer.



Hope so. I'm doing the trip on a budget and am thus needing the cheap service between Merced and TM that taking the YARTS 140 and then the YARTS 120 would provide. I'm planning on starting a backcountry trip at TM; I guess I could add a few days and start in the valley or Glacier Point, though I'd rather not have to do a workaround like camping in Illilouette the first night if the HappyIsles->LYV, HappyIsles->Merced, and GlacierPoint->LYV permits are all taken before I can reserve mine.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 03:49PM by mbear.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 24, 2012 07:21PM
Quote
plawrence


Still, I'll speculate by the look of the slide that at least a temporary workaround should be in place by summer.



Perhaps the workaround will be the Old Big Oak Flat Road!Head roll
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 03:46PM
Quote
mbear
Son of a bitch; this kills my summer plans if this road isn't fixed and I can't use YARTS for high-country access.

Or am I overreacting and are closures like this a normal thing that is fixed reasonably quickly? I just remember a rockfall like this shutting down the Angeles Crest Highway for what seemed like 4-5 years back when I lived in LA.

We drove over that section of Angeles Crest Hwy this summer and you could see how massive that slide was, many magnitudes worse than this Yosemite one. It required that the road had to be cantilevered over the canyon and slide area. Plus eeek is right, there was a funding issue.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 03:52PM
Quote
parklover
Quote
mbear
Son of a bitch; this kills my summer plans if this road isn't fixed and I can't use YARTS for high-country access.

Or am I overreacting and are closures like this a normal thing that is fixed reasonably quickly? I just remember a rockfall like this shutting down the Angeles Crest Highway for what seemed like 4-5 years back when I lived in LA.

We drove over that section of Angeles Crest Hwy this summer and you could see how massive that slide was, many magnitudes worse than this Yosemite one. It required that the road had to be cantilevered over the canyon and slide area. Plus eeek is right, there was a funding issue.

That's comforting to hear. I could swear I had seen pics of it where it didn't look like too crazy, but good to know my memory was off.
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 04:38PM
Quote
mbear
Quote
parklover
Quote
mbear
Son of a bitch; this kills my summer plans if this road isn't fixed and I can't use YARTS for high-country access.

Or am I overreacting and are closures like this a normal thing that is fixed reasonably quickly? I just remember a rockfall like this shutting down the Angeles Crest Highway for what seemed like 4-5 years back when I lived in LA.

We drove over that section of Angeles Crest Hwy this summer and you could see how massive that slide was, many magnitudes worse than this Yosemite one. It required that the road had to be cantilevered over the canyon and slide area. Plus eeek is right, there was a funding issue.

That's comforting to hear. I could swear I had seen pics of it where it didn't look like too crazy, but good to know my memory was off.

At first glance it did not look as bad because it was in an area that has had many slides since the road was built. If you got out of the car and really study the area then you realize just how hard it was to reconstruct the road since the slide area was huge and started almost at the top of the mountain and went all the way down the to the bottom of the canyon that is there.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 05:27PM
Ouch!

Much worst than I thought from the original photo! sad smiley
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 05:37PM
It still doesn't appear to be as bad as that truly mammoth rockslide that has rerouted Hwy 140 indefinitely further down the Merced River.

This rockslide on BOFR looks fixable, but it will take some time. My guess it will take at least one month of studying the geological condition of the mountain in and around the rockslide to determine its stability. Then the big question mark is when they would be able to start the repairs of the road itself. I presume they'll have to wait for drier conditions than those of a typical winter and early spring in the Sierras.

But as long as they can safely get one lane open, then at least they could institue a one-lane one-way traffic control using temporary traffic lights on that portion of the road.


Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 23, 2012 11:26PM
Why do people have to speculate on a repair time when they know little or nothing about the situation?
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 24, 2012 01:18AM
Quote
LVRAY
Why do people have to speculate on a repair time when they know little or nothing about the situation?

It's just human nature.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 24, 2012 01:26AM
Quote
LVRAY

Why do people have to speculate on a repair time when they know little or nothing about the situation?


Why not? As Rick stated, it's human nature. wink
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 25, 2012 08:51AM
It looks to me like repairs shouldn't be too difficult. That part of Yosemite is relatively low elevation, dry, intense southern exposure, it gets little snow and what does fall melts fast, there could be runoff in the spring
melt but it doesn't look like a runoff channel to me from the pictures. Weather and traffic won't be a problem. Looking at the pictures of the road base under the pavement pieces make it look damaged not destroyed so it can be rebuilt fairly easily, might need a couple of piles driven or poured to stabilize the damaged section, then the road bed can be repaired and paved. I'm an optimist. I have done roadwork.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 25, 2012 10:04AM
I would be surprised if it wasn't fixed in a month. (and it sure as heck will be fixed by SUMMER)

Of course if they have to do an Environmental Study... then it will take 20 years.



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2012 10:05AM by chick-on.
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 25, 2012 09:36AM
Looking at the 2nd and 3rd big picutres it looks like the roadbed was taken out. It will be interesting to see once they clear off what's left of the roadbed. Hopefully the slide didn't cut too far into the valley bound lane.
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 27, 2012 01:30PM
Set to reopen tomorrow 1/28 morning at 8 am. Big Oak Flat Road ReOpening Wow, that was fast!
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 27, 2012 01:35PM
It's still a gravel surface, but it's two lanes wide. Incredibly fast response; I expected a much longer closure after seeing those photos. Anyone have a more recent photo of the slide area?
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 27, 2012 01:49PM
The current speed limit of that part of BOFR prior to the rockfall was 35 MPH. I wonder if they're going to post a temporary lower speed limit through the area until road is repaved.


avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 27, 2012 02:16PM
Quote
KatyAnderson
Set to reopen tomorrow 1/28 morning at 8 am. Big Oak Flat Road ReOpening Wow, that was fast!
Hey, what can I say; our road crew is good.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 30, 2012 07:56AM
Here's my faux toe:


Also took video of billy driving thru it (pretty exciting) (not)
And shot up and down from road itself if really interested.

Dis more interesting to me (taken from same spot as one higher on yur compooter screen)




Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 27, 2012 02:00PM
Wow, that was insanely fast.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 30, 2012 11:13PM
This weekend... To get to the valley from SF: 120 or 140?
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 30, 2012 11:50PM
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 06:45AM
Quote
Paris92
This weekend... To get to the valley from SF: 120 or 140?
Whichever is shorter and faster
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 07:09AM
Is the only goal to get to the valley ASAP? Or do you want a scenic drive?
Have you ever been on 140? Is The Davey Llama giving tours in Mariposa?
Is checkin time so late you can/want take your sweet time?

Which way do I go? In summer - Almost always 120 via Old Priest Grade
(unless forced to... never Priest Grade)
So far this year have gone in 120 every time... came out 140 once just for fun.
Sometimes go in 140 because I just don't want to have any inclining of a
chance of having to put chains on.

So, you make the call.

Just a point... I've heard people ask rangers a number of times now... and they
tell them 140 from valley to SF. I just keep quiet and thank them... one less
road boulder to deal with... tongue sticking out smiley their reasoning is that 140 is less windy...
uh... dunno about that..

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 07:35AM
Quote
chick-on
Almost always 120 via Old Priest Grade
(unless forced to... never Priest Grade)
I blame everyone having a GPS in their car for the amount of traffic on Old Priest Grade. It used to be so much better when everyone would just go up New Priest Grade and they didn't know it even existed. Damn GPS! On another note, you ever stop at Priest Grade Station since it reopened? I never have cuz when I get there, I'm close to my friends' place so I get coffee or food there. Just curious if it was any good..


Quote
chick-on
Sometimes go in 140 because I just don't want to have any inclining of a
chance of having to put chains on.
Hah, that's what 4x4 is for, just downshift and keep going!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 07:48AM
Quote
oakroscoe
Quote
chick-on
Almost always 120 via Old Priest Grade
(unless forced to... never Priest Grade)
I blame everyone having a GPS in their car for the amount of traffic on Old Priest Grade. It used to be so much better when everyone would just go up New Priest Grade and they didn't know it even existed. Damn GPS! On another note, you ever stop at Priest Grade Station since it reopened? I never have cuz when I get there, I'm close to my friends' place so I get coffee or food there. Just curious if it was any good..

Quote
chick-on
Sometimes go in 140 because I just don't want to have any inclining of a
chance of having to put chains on.
Hah, that's what 4x4 is for, just downshift and keep going!

Give Old Priest Station Cafe a go. Ate there many times now. Always been very good.
Talked about a bit here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,22614,22614#msg-22614

and more recently here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,50093,50113#msg-50113

My car GPS tells me to stay on 120. Maybe the newest ones say different.
And yes, I don't need a GPS... but you don't really need that iPhoney either do you?
And no, I didn't go to work yet... I was reading Jack Main Canyon thread
and wondering why I bother... (I'm a Real Man of Genius)

tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
February 01, 2012 01:09PM
Quote
chick-on

Give Old Priest Station Cafe a go. Ate there many times now. Always been very good.

Seconded... the food (esp. the burgers) there is good, although the service at times has been leisurely... not a problem when it's a nice warm summer evening and you're sitting on their deck watching the sun set across the central valley, getting ready to leave the Sierra and re-join the rat-race on the drive home...

Priest Station also has a surprising amount of history behind it... Original proprietor William C. Priest was also one of the builders of the Tioga Road, who eventually sold the road to Stephen Mather, who in turn donated it to the government. The current owners of Priest Station--the Anker family (including well-known mountaineer Conrad)--are descendants of the original owners.

The steep drop-off that Old and New Priest Grade ascend is also a major reason for the Hetch Hetchy system having been built, well, in Hetcy Hetchy Valley. The drop from Priest Reservoir--which is on the hill behind Priest Station--to Moccasin provided sufficient hydroelectric capacity that sales of electricity could be used to offset the project's cost. In fact, Moccasin powerhouse was up and running for years before the first water was delivered to the Bay Area. You can also see some remnants of the old Hetch Hetchy railroad grade near the bottom of Old Priest Grad and to the left/east of the road between Priest Station and Big Oak Flat.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
February 01, 2012 03:33PM
Quote
basilbop
Quote
chick-on

Give Old Priest Station Cafe a go. Ate there many times now. Always been very good.

Seconded... the food (esp. the burgers) there is good, although the service at times has been leisurely... not a problem when it's a nice warm summer evening and you're sitting on their deck watching the sun set across the central valley, getting ready to leave the Sierra and re-join the rat-race on the drive home...

Is the Cafe open during the winter months?

I ask, because I drove by there about two weeks ago on a Monday night around dinnertime (about 6:30 pm) and the place looked closed, with no lights and no cars parked outside.


avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
February 01, 2012 05:27PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
basilbop
Quote
chick-on

Give Old Priest Station Cafe a go. Ate there many times now. Always been very good.

Seconded... the food (esp. the burgers) there is good, although the service at times has been leisurely... not a problem when it's a nice warm summer evening and you're sitting on their deck watching the sun set across the central valley, getting ready to leave the Sierra and re-join the rat-race on the drive home...

Is the Cafe open during the winter months?

I ask, because I drove by there about two weeks ago on a Monday night around dinnertime (about 6:30 pm) and the place looked closed, with no lights and no cars parked outside.



Monday closing is traditional for many restaurants.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
February 01, 2012 09:27PM
That's true. But what about the Priest Station Cafe? Is it open during the winter months or not? Or maybe just for lunch or weekends? Does anyone know the hours of the Cafe?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/2012 09:27PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
February 01, 2012 09:55PM
Yes it is open (it was open the 3 times I drove out 120 this year)
Couldn't see it from 140 the other time. wink
Unlike Buck Meadows Restaurant Priest seems to be open reliably.
If you really want to confirm and find their hours do a quick google
search and give them a call. (but they definitely were open last Sunday)
I'll look again this weekend...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Priest Station Cafe
February 01, 2012 10:55PM
Thanks for the data points.

I just did a quick check on my calendar, and it was actually on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 17th (not a Monday, as I stated earlier) that I drove by it around dinnertime on my way home from Yosemite. And it definitely looked closed then. So maybe it's only open for dinner during the weekend and not weekday nights during the winter months. (But according to Yelp, they're supposed be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner (and Friday thru Sunday, for breakfast too).

And talking about restaurants that never seem to be open when I'm in the area, is anyone familiar with Dan's Smoke Pit, a BBQ joint in Oakdale? Allegedly they serve up some pretty good BBQ. They're supposedly open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday thru Saturday, but every time I've stopped by they have been closed with no sign of life. I even tried calling them during their supposed business hours, but no one answered the phone, and worse I couldn't leave them a message because the voice mailbox was full. Not a good sign.

But there's no posted sign in and around their business that they've gone out of business. Maybe they're on a long sabbatical. Who knows.


avatar Re: Priest Station Cafe
February 02, 2012 07:29AM
I've never seen that BBQ place open either.
On related note... The Oakdale Cafe is no longer in business.
Kind of a bummer. When not flying solo I'd be forced to
stop for a sit down breffy... and that was the top choice.
I guess it'll be Denny's from now on...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Dining in Oakdale
February 02, 2012 10:00AM
For sit-down dining in Oakdale, I prefer Ferrarese's Deli over Denny's, though the Oakdale Denny's is fine when every other restaurant is closed (like when having dinner at 12:30 AM in the morning ). And of course, when it's open, there's always the Beer Hut (aka Shively's Bar & Grill) located just outside of Oakdale. wink

.
avatar Re: Dining in Oakdale
February 02, 2012 02:01PM
McDonalds is open 24/7



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Dining in Oakdale
February 02, 2012 02:16PM
Yep, and back in the day when wi-fi was scarce, they were last and first chance. The dollar menu rocks. Mmm, a couple of McDoubles and a salad with the entire bag of sauce. 5 minute pit stop, 3 bucks and tax. Varoom, chomp chomp. Y'all can hate me if you want, eat my dust!

For those with adult palates, I hear catfish fridays at Shiveley's is a treat. I've never checked out the menu at Girls Girls Girls, but their chef must be awesome, on weekends they are packed.
avatar Re: Dining in Oakdale
February 02, 2012 11:57PM
Quote
chick-on

McDonalds is open 24/7

But their dining room is only open until 11:00 PM. wink

If I stop in Oakdale for dinner – regardless how late it is – I would prefer to eat at a table, not in my car. smiling smiley

.
avatar Re: Dining in Oakdale
February 02, 2012 06:43PM
Quote
plawrence
Oakdale Denny's is fine

Then it must be better than the Ridgecrest Denny's.
avatar Re: Dining in Oakdale
February 02, 2012 11:54PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
plawrence
Oakdale Denny's is fine

Then it must be better than the Ridgecrest Denny's.

It is.

The quality of Denny's is highly variable between its restaurants. The one in Oakdale is one of the better ones. (Still, during normal restaurant hours, there are better dining options in town.)

By the way, Ridgecrest has a very good French restaurant: Mon Reve.

.
avatar Re: Priest Station Cafe
February 11, 2012 09:17PM
Quote
plawrence
Thanks for the data points.

I just did a quick check on my calendar, and it was actually on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 17th (not a Monday, as I stated earlier) that I drove by it around dinnertime on my way home from Yosemite. And it definitely looked closed then. So maybe it's only open for dinner during the weekend and not weekday nights during the winter months. (But according to Yelp, they're supposed be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner (and Friday thru Sunday, for breakfast too).

I just noticed that on their Facebook page, the Priest Station Cafe does state that they're only open for dinner during the weekends in the winter, though they open for lunch daily, year-round.

Here's what they state on their Facebook page:

Quote
Priest Station Cafe Facebook Page

"Open for Lunch daily, year-round. Serving dinner year-round on weekends, and daily in the summer. Breakfast served weekends year-round."

.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 08:15AM
Quote
Paris92
This weekend... To get to the valley from SF: 120 or 140?
There's about 18 miles difference. Going 120 will be on slower country roads. 140 will be more freeway and probably a bit faster.
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 10:29AM
Quote
Dave
Quote
Paris92
This weekend... To get to the valley from SF: 120 or 140?
There's about 18 miles difference. Going 120 will be on slower country roads. 140 will be more freeway and probably a bit faster.
According to google maps, 99 to 140 into the park is 4 miles shorter.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 10:37AM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Quote
Dave
There's about 18 miles difference. Going 120 will be on slower country roads. 140 will be more freeway and probably a bit faster.
According to google maps, 99 to 140 into the park is 4 miles shorter.
It depends on where Google vs Yahoo maps believes the "park" is. I used "Yosemite Village" as the destination and the "Livermore Airport" as the starting point since anyone coming out of the Bay Area has to pass by there anyway. 140 could be shorter, but I'd say it's definitely faster to the Valley.
Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 10:50AM
Quote
Dave
Quote
hotrod4x5
Quote
Dave
There's about 18 miles difference. Going 120 will be on slower country roads. 140 will be more freeway and probably a bit faster.
According to google maps, 99 to 140 into the park is 4 miles shorter.
It depends on where Google vs Yahoo maps believes the "park" is. I used "Yosemite Village" as the destination and the "Livermore Airport" as the starting point since anyone coming out of the Bay Area has to pass by there anyway. 140 could be shorter, but I'd say it's definitely faster to the Valley.
Yes, of course, that is true. It used the same destination, in fact, it offered a third alternative, all in the same results page.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 12:55PM
Quote
hotrod4x5

According to google maps, 99 to 140 into the park is 4 miles shorter.

Actually from the Bay Area taking Hwy 120 is about 22 miles shorter than taking Hwy 140 according to Google Maps. And according to Google Maps taking Hwy 120 is about 30 minutes faster than taking Hwy 140.

The problem you had with your above estimates is that you didn't verify the initial route that Google Maps labeled as Hwy 120. For some odd reason, Google Maps routes its default Hwy 120 route option as taking Hwy 120 only to Mocassin and then taking Hwy 49 from Mocassin to Mariposa and then taking Hwy 140 up into Yosemite. That option is four miles longer than taking Hwy 99 to Hwy 140.

But if you change the suggested "Hwy 120" routing of Google Maps so the route stays on Hwy 120 until Crane Flat (and then take Big Oak Flat Road into Yosemite Valley), you'll see that taking Hwy 120 versus Hwy 140 is actually 22 miles shorter in distance, and according to Google Maps, about 30 minutes faster.


Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 01:37PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
hotrod4x5

According to google maps, 99 to 140 into the park is 4 miles shorter.

Actually from the Bay Area taking Hwy 120 is about 22 miles shorter than taking Hwy 140 according to Google Maps. And according to Google Maps taking Hwy 120 is about 30 minutes faster than taking Hwy 140.

The problem you had with your above estimates is that you didn't verify the initial route that Google Maps labeled as Hwy 120. For some odd reason, Google Maps routes its default Hwy 120 route option as taking Hwy 120 only to Mocassin and then taking Hwy 49 from Mocassin to Mariposa and then taking Hwy 140 up into Yosemite. That option is four miles longer than taking Hwy 99 to Hwy 140.

But if you change the suggested "Hwy 120" routing of Google Maps so the route stays on Hwy 120 until Crane Flat (and then take Big Oak Flat Road into Yosemite Valley), you'll see that taking Hwy 120 versus Hwy 140 is actually 22 miles shorter in distance, and according to Google Maps, about 30 minutes faster.


Oh I didn't notice that!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 10:36AM
There's not too many stretches of 120 where you have to slow below 50mph, and many where you can go over 65mph.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 11:00AM
120 is faster. Been there... done that... x100

Map it with maps.google.com from 120/99 split to Big Oak Flat/140 split... 130 v. 107 miles
As qumquats said... there are stretches of 120 that are 65. And nearly ALL of the rest of the
road minus OPG you can go 60. Unless there are road boulders in the way.
120 is faster. 120 is quicker.

QITNL said it in the least words... I was just giving some options...

And on 140 you have the "up to 15 minute delay" bridge
On 120 once you hit the park entrace psychologically you are there too...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 01:17PM
Quote
chick-on
...And on 140 you have the "up to 15 minute delay" bridge
I've never had to wait 15 minutes. Nice scenery though. Why rush?

Quote

On 120 once you hit the park entrace psychologically you are there too...
Then a long way to the Valley. Besides, when you come in through Arch Rock you get to see several nice waterfalls on the way.

The best way to get to Yosemite is on the back roads. I can go all the way from Mariposa to the Bay Area with only 10 miles on a main road. I love taking Patterson Pass Road. Near the crest I stop and dig up a few fossil oyster shells from the Oligocene, about 28 million years old. That's also a great road to spot many kestrels.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 01:26PM
Quote
Dave

I love taking Patterson Pass Road. Near the crest I stop and dig up a few fossil oyster shells from the Oligocene, about 28 million years old. That's also a great road to spot many kestrels.

I agree, Patterson Pass Road is a great scenic road to travel on.

BTW, can one still drive on Old Coulterville Road from Coulterville to Foresta? Or are the gates usually closed and locked?

.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2012 01:28PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 01:46PM
Quote
Dave
The best way to get to Yosemite is on the back roads.

Old Coulterville Road? Grinning Devil
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 01:49PM
Sigh! I was only contending the 120 is faster...

Everything is subjective.... thus my original questions for Paris:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,50619,50948#msg-50948

tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 04:26PM
While we are on directions to, or from, Yosemite; go to google maps and get directions from Yosemite to Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 04:42PM
Quote
Dave
While we are on directions to, or from, Yosemite; go to google maps and get directions from Yosemite to Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

How are llamas with oars?
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 06:15PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Dave
While we are on directions to, or from, Yosemite; go to google maps and get directions from Yosemite to Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
How are llamas with oars?
Rowing is beneath their dignity. They will allow you to row and they will give directions.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 08:06PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
eeek
Quote
Dave
While we are on directions to, or from, Yosemite; go to google maps and get directions from Yosemite to Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
How are llamas with oars?
Rowing is beneath their dignity. They will allow you to row and they will give directions.

Kind of like a wife. (And there has to be an animal husbandry joke in there somewhere!)
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 08:39PM
You'll be doing it wrong though.

(no matter how you do it)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
February 07, 2012 08:27AM
Going 140 to/from SF blows for one big reason: 99
I'll take 120 unless I want to try to spy Z Half a Dome from Turlock.
(no dice on Sunday)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
February 07, 2012 11:14AM
Quote
chick-on

Going 140 to/from SF blows for one big reason: 99


When I take Hwy 140 to or from Yosemite, I usually avoid traveling on Hwy 99 except for the two miles that Hwy 140 joins Hwy 120 through Merced since I usually take Hwy 140 all the way to I-5. Not nearly as fast as taking Hwy 120 or taking Hwy 140/Hwy 99 to Hwy 120, but it's a lot more of a scenic drive traveling through the heart of the Central Valley. A worthy stop along the route, if you have extra time, is Great Valley Grasslands State Park, an excellent place for birding and wildflower viewing during the appropriate times of the year.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
February 22, 2012 02:07PM
Quote
chick-on
120 is faster. Been there... done that... x100

Map it with maps.google.com from 120/99 split to Big Oak Flat/140 split... 130 v. 107 miles
As qumquats said... there are stretches of 120 that are 65. And nearly ALL of the rest of the
road minus OPG you can go 60. Unless there are road boulders in the way.
120 is faster. 120 is quicker.

QITNL said it in the least words... I was just giving some options...

And on 140 you have the "up to 15 minute delay" bridge
On 120 once you hit the park entrace psychologically you are there too...

Got this letter from DNC this morning:

Travel Advisory: For Guests Visiting February 29, 2012 – Early April 2012

Please be advised that Yosemite National Park will close the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) within the park at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, to repair road damage caused by a rockslide on January 22, 2012. The closure will be in effect 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and is expected to last until early April.

The road will be closed between the Foresta Road junction on the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) and the El Portal Road (Highway 140) junction. This means that it will not be possible to travel between Yosemite Valley and Foresta Road or between Yosemite Valley and Crane Flat.

Yosemite National Park remains open and Yosemite Valley is accessible via Highway 140 (El Portal Road) coming from Merced/ Mariposa and via Highway 41(Wawona Road) coming from Fresno/Oakhurst. For guests traveling from the Bay Area, the Highway 140 route is commonly referred to as the year-round Yosemite highway, which adds approximately 20 minutes in drive time to your Yosemite visit and is a regular access point to Yosemite in winter by many winter visitors.

For 24-hour road and weather information, please call (209)372-0200. For up-to-date park information, please join us at Facebook.com/YosemitePark or visit the National Park Service page at Facebook.com/YosemiteNPS.

Enjoy your Yosemite National Park experience!

Sincerely,
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 01:23PM
Quote
Paris92

This weekend... To get to the valley from SF: 120 or 140?

For me it would depend on the weather.

If the roads are clear and the days are dry, then Hwy 120 would usually be the quicker route.

On the other hand, if there's rain and snow between now and the weekend, then I would usually take Hwy 140 to avoid having to use chains or having to travel on top of packed snow (even when there's no chain requirement).

Even though Google Maps suggests that taking Hwy 140 would add about 30 minutes to your trip versus taking Hwy 120 straight through, my experience is that – on average – it only adds about 5 to 10 minutes to my drive into Yosemite, depending on the traffic conditions of Hwy 99 and the backup wait at the one-lane section of Hwy 140.
avatar Re: Big Oak Flat Road closed, no access to the Valley on 120
January 31, 2012 09:42PM
Gonna try 140. Have not been that way since the trip when I climbed Half Dome about 12 years ago. Left from San Jose that time, via Los Banos.
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