Author Topic: SF -> Yosemite in 2 days  (Read 2231 times)

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Offline slioch

SF -> Yosemite in 2 days
« on: July 15, 2012, 01:50:03 pm »
I'm looking to hop on Bart (Dublin/Pleasanton) and ride up to Yosemite (actually Mather, CA--about 20 miles before the entrance on Hwy 120) in 2 days. I've ridden Hwy 120 many times (auto), but have a chance coming up in a couple weeks to ride my bike up this route.

I have a couple specific questions though after researching a bike friendly route. It looks like after Oakdale Hwy 120 is the only route up which isn't that pleasant.

How much out of the way would the Hwy 140 / Hwy 49 route end up being? Is it much better better than the Hwy 120 route?

Where would be a good overnight stop for the Hwy 140 route?

Any great recommendations from folks who have done this route before?

I'll be biking the first week in August--so the weather could get pretty hot,

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Offline aggie

Re: SF -> Yosemite in 2 days
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 02:28:53 pm »
I ridden on Hwy 140 out of Mariposa and it's not too bad.  There is a little bit of traffic but not as much as the 120.  I haven't ridden on 49 so can't say.  There are several hotels in Mariposa but it might be a bit far.  Looks like there are a couple of places in Coulterville on 49.

Offline slioch

Re: SF -> Yosemite in 2 days
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 11:12:46 am »
Thanks--It looks like there's an alternative route which is slightly longer (about 10 miles overall). That skips hwy 120 for the most part out of Merced (google bike map link below). But it appears to follow J16 out of Modesto, then Yosemite blvd--I haven't taken this route, but this looks promising (if the traffic is less and there's a shoulder to ride on). Anyone have any experience on this route?,+CA&daddr=37.566652,-120.5285588+to:Mather,+CA&hl=en&ll=37.716418,-120.899048&spn=1.718538,3.004761&sll=37.687624,-122.319717&sspn=0.421663,0.487518&geocode=FQhKPwIdUGi7-CkxIonWXOaPgDFXQPaOhHwyOw%3BFbw4PQIdUuHQ-CmnsX-BqiKRgDFISzRb3hIsIg%3BFW4JQgIdfinb-Cn9NDflFt-WgDGslEA-90KZLw&oq=mat&dirflg=b&mra=ls&t=m&z=9&lci=bike&via=1

Offline cgarch

Re: SF -> Yosemite in 2 days
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 07:09:45 pm »
A couple of comments, you seem to be mixing your highways and cities up a bit. CA120 runs out of Manteca -> Oakdale -> Yosemite. CA140 runs out of Merced -> Mariposa -> Yosemite. More importantly CA132 heads east out of Modesto ->Coulterville. I've driven (not ridden) all of these routes and would have these comments. 120 has some of the better shoulders and paving of roads in that area. I just drove it Friday. The only ringer is the climb at Mocassin to Groveland. Every highway leaving the valley seems to have one of these climbs but at least the grade, though long, is reasonable. 120 does have a fair amount of traffic.

140 is out of your way, pure and simple. It is a more exposed climb to Mariposa with little services. There is a great hostel though as the road drops down to the Merced River, Yosemite Bug. It would make a great overnight stop. The real drawback is that while you would have lower elevations to achieve to get to the park, you would then have to climb out of the park to at least 5000 ft. to make it to Camp Mather on the park road which does not have any shoulder - that is not attractive (to me at least). For this reason alone you would be better served to go 120. Not to mention that I doubt you could do this in 2 days on this route.

Your recently proposed route is an attractive option. While I've not traveled Keyes Rd., I have traveled CA 132 (Aug 2011) to Coulterville (which you will hook up on) and continued on to connect to 120 on J132. 132 has not seen much improvement since its construction but then it has little traffic. It is the classic undulating road to the Sierra. The kicker is that that nasty climb out of the valley here is much worse. The climb to Coulterville is steep (I'm going with 16%-20% grades) and exposed and the road that continues beyond has a similarly steep climbs in it. Again few services on this route.

For my money, I would take 120. And since you only have 2 days, 120 makes more sense.

Edit: I would think twice too about riding 140 up to Mariposa and then turning north on 49 to get to the Priest Grade climb. That just adds a whole lot more climbing (to 2300' on 140 or so) that you could avoid by sticking to 120 (gradual climb from Oakdale to China Camp to Mocassin), not to mention going the long way around.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 12:40:25 am by cgarch »

Offline slioch

Re: SF -> Yosemite in 2 days
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2012, 02:57:51 pm »
Thanks for the great advice. Just finished the ride (Thur/Fri). Ended up overnighting in Oakdale, then following Hwy 120 up, turning off at Cherry Lake Road. I ended up picking one of the hottest days this summer to do the ride (over 100 both days)--so it was loads of water and electrolytes. I also made a point of starting super early (well for me) to beat the heat.

The climb up Cherry Lake Road wasn't a lot of fun as once the steep grade finished up, the climb still didn't let up for a couple more miles...

Anyways thanks much--I think getting this feedback (for me) made the difference between considering the ride and actually going through it!