It’s still possible to reach Yosemite Valley, but the drive will take longer than Modesto-area people are used to because of storm-related road closures.
Work will begin next week on U.S. Highway 120 within Yosemite National Park. Big Oak Flat Road is closed between Crane Flat and Foresta after a large, 100-foot fissure – resembling an earthquake fault – opened in the road. Heavy storms saturated soil, causing it to shift under the road.
We are working as quickly as we can to get the road reopened safely.
Woody Smeck, acting superintendent, Yosemite National Park
“We fully understand that this is a major impact to park visitors and businesses along the highway corridor,” said Yosemite National Park Acting Superintendent Woody Smeck. “We are working as quickly as we can to get the road reopened safely.”
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People still can take Highway 120 into Yosemite through the Big Oak Flat entrance – no entry fee is being charged – and can reach attractions such as the Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias, as well as the Crane Flat area. However, the fissure and roadwork block the way to Yosemite Valley, and park officials don’t know when the road will reopen.
To get to Yosemite Valley from Highway 120, before reaching Groveland, head south on U.S. Highway 49 to Mariposa, then turn east on U.S. Highway 140, or El Portal Road. That’s the only way to Yosemite Valley, Wawona and the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area.
Driving north on U.S. Highway 41 from Fresno won’t work because that access is blocked at Fish Camp, just south of that park entrance, also because of road damage, and motorists must take Highway 49 from Oakhurst to Mariposa for the Highway 140 entrance. Inside the park, however, Highway 41 – Wawona Road – is open and drivable.
All hotels and restaurants in Oakhurst and Bass Lake are open, according to Visit Yosemite Madera County. “Recent rain has been a blessing as the waterways are bursting and are absolutely beautiful to see,” says a release from the group.
Garth Stapley: 209-578-2390