Leather and Canvas Fetish
Join Date: May 2007
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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