Touring - Fresno to Yosemite?
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04-13-08, 07:46 PM
I was reading on another forum (from a non cyclist) that riding Route 41 from Fresno to Yosemite through Oakhurst, is pretty much of a death wish. Is this true?
There are a number of back roads but they sure take you out odf the way.
04-13-08, 08:50 PM
What are you planning?
If this is part of a larger tour, then there are a few options.
CA 41 sucks. CA 140 is really nice, plus it follows the Merced Valley into the park.
Albeit with a big climb from El Portal thru Arch Rock.
You can access CA 140 from either Chowchilla or Merced.
From Catheys Valey there is a back road called the Old Highway which has very little traffic.
If you are willing to do 4 miles of dirt, White Rock Road is incredible.
Route description - http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=3Tzut&page_id=18685&v=HH
Another option is from Madera thru Raymond to Mariposa.
This is a little hillier than the above option, but closer to Fresno.
Again - very light traffic.
Some pix - http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=3Tzut&page_id=26287&v=RW
04-14-08, 08:55 PM
Not a part of any tour but a tour in itself. I thought I would like to do YNP and SNP. Most likely this will be 2009 now. I understand June is the best month for waterfalls and wildflowers. I'm really not read to go in June this year.
I thought about the Merced route. It's kind of out of the way from Fresno but I think there is a train from Fresno to Merced that I might be able to use.
Thanks for the help.
You may be able to take alternate transit all the way to Yosemite. A while back ('01 ish??), I took a combo of trains and bus from Sacramento to yosemite bug hostel (through Fresno/Merced). I think the link between amtrack and yosemite bug was the the YARTS bus system (it was a greyhound sized bus, so should be able to take a bike). I was backpacking the John Muir, so didn't look into bike stuff...
-Might be worth looking into, you might be able to do a shorter/practice cycle tour in the parks this summer.
04-15-08, 11:13 AM
A compromise is to sideskirt Hwy 41 for the first half by taking backroads then hop on 41 during the second half of the trip.
Starting at Fresno, head north to Millerton Lake (there's a campground here) using N Friant Rd. (I actually started from nearby Clovis and used Auberry and Millerton Rd)
Continue north using Oneal Rd to O'neals, then North Fork Rd (or alternate Rd 223) to Bass Lake (campground here). My memory is kind of foggy so don't quote me here.
From Bass Lake, you'll take Bass Lake Rd. to the intersection of Hwy 41, then all the way up to Yosemite. From that intersection, I believe it's about 40 miles to Yosemite Valley. (I guess you could take more backroads almost all the way up to Yosemite, if you were determined enough)
Why do this route? You'll stay off 41 for the first boring half where the cars are speeding along at freeway speeds. There's some nice scenery and camping along those backroads. You can get a super early start at Bass Lake and miss most of the 41 traffic coming into Yosemite. (Although I wouldn't attempt it during summer weekends.)
The only drawback is you'll need a good map and you'd better like climbing :).
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