Highway 120 through Yosemite National Park

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fhoghvn

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Aug 9, 2016
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Hi,

We will be driving through Yosemite National Park this July starting on the east side.  We will be traveling in a 29 foot class A, towing a small motorcycle trailer.  We  will be taking Highway 120 and would like to know if this is a good road for a 29 foot motorhome? 

Thanks,

Fred
 

Old_Crow

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Are you planning on taking the whole rig into the Valley, or camping somewhere else and riding the bike in(my recommendation)? 
If you're just passing through on 120, you should be okay(as long as you aren't in a hurry), but I wouldn't take a rig that big into the actual Valley, especially in the middle of the high season.  Unless you have reservations, there are no campsites available, parking is limited and the roads are narrow and crowded with people trying to drive and sight-see at the same time. There are also a couple of tunnels on the entry road that have limited height clearance.

Personally, if it was me, I'd camp at any of the Forest Service campgrounds off 120 between the park entrance at Big Oak Flat and Groveland .  Our preferred campground is Pines campground, behind the Groveland ranger station.  We were there for most of this past November, and most nights we were the only rig in the campground.  It's about a 40 mile ride from the Valley floor.


 

Old_Crow

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SeilerBird said:
I would not take a C towing anything on 120. You would have no brakes left after descending to Lee Vining.

I read it as he was coming east to west.  The descent isn't quite so bad going that way.  A motorcycle trailer, even with a big 'Wing or Harley on it shouldn't be a problem, especially for the Class A he says he'll be driving. 

I pulled a 5x8 utility trailer with 2 Harleys on it behind my 29' Sportscoach and never noticed it.  The Jeep was a different story.
 

SeilerBird

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Old_Crow said:
I read it as he was coming east to west.  The descent isn't quite so bad going that way.  A motorcycle trailer, even with a big 'Wing or Harley on it shouldn't be a problem, especially for the Class A he says he'll be driving. 

I pulled a 5x8 utility trailer with 2 Harleys on it behind my 29' Sportscoach and never noticed it.  The Jeep was a different story.
You are correct, it is east to west. I still would not recommend it. A nasty steep grade.
 

Lou Schneider

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Check the pass status before you start out.  The pass has been closed by the snowpack until as late as July 1 and this year's snowfall is on track to be a heavy snow year..

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/seasonal.htm

If the pass is open, you'll be climbing about 5 miles of continuous 6% -8% grade for a 3000 ft. change in elevation between the start of the climb and the 9300 ft. summit.

Gear down (likely to first gear) so the engine can rev up during the climb and you should be fine.
 

Arch Hoagland

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I'm with SeilerBird on this one. Unless fhoghvn is well experienced in mountain driving I'd recommend going some other way.

Plus we are getting a ton of snow in California this year and who knows when 120 will open.
 

Old_Crow

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Arch Hoagland said:
I'm with SeilerBird on this one. Unless fhoghvn is well experienced in mountain driving I'd recommend going some other way.

Plus we are getting a ton of snow in California this year and who knows when 120 will open.

Yeah, there is the whole snow thing.  We're set to manage the hosts at some campgrounds near Bishop this year.  I've been watching the snowfall pretty closely as some of my campgrounds are set to open at the end of April.

I, personally wouldn't be afraid of the pass, but then I've been driving over that pass since I was 17.  My first couple of trips over it were in an old(was new at the time)style Toyota Land Cruiser, pulling a 16' Aristocrat TT.  Learned from my old man how to gear down and spare the brakes real quickly.
 
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