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Old 06-26-2016, 10:12 AM   #1
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What is the easiest way into Yosemite?

In 2014, the family and I went to Yosemite and came in the east entrance. Going down in the west seemed like it may be the easiest way to come into the park however...

My current setup is less "tow friendly" in regards to a much smaller cooling system and a LOT less gearing... Going up in our last TV we didn't quite overheat but it got very warm on an 80 degree day...

I had over 4 gallons of coolant and 4.56 gears in my last TV...

Current TV has 2 gallons of coolant capacity and 3.73 gears...

We are going again in August but I am worried about our new setup... Less cooling, worse gearing, heavier trailer all makes me worry...

Which would be the best way into the park without stressing my TV too much? I can probably do it no problem as long as I keep the speed WAY down but I don't want to back traffic up too much!

Our trip route is going to heavily depend on which direction we come from...

Sorry if my post is all over the place... Lack of sleep last night...
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:01 AM   #2
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Well if you came in from the east last time (Tioga Pass, Hwy 120) you know how difficult it is to tow up that grade; however, that's the most scenic route in my opinion. Hwy 395 is closed at Lee Vining right now due to a large forest fire, although it should be opened in August

Hwy 120 from the west is long and has a series of towable switchbacks that are challenging right off of hwy 49.

Hwy 41 from the southwest is long and winding and if you get car sick easily, I wouldn't recommend it.

Hwy 140 out of Merced is probably the easiest to get into the park from through Mariposa. None of the routes are easy if you are towing and it can seem like it takes forever because Yosemite is such a remote National Park.

Last time we vacationed there, we took hwy 120 from the west and stayed at Yosemite Lakes campground just outside the west gate. It was still a good 45-50 minute drive from the campground to Yosemite Valley though. Good luck and hopefully you will still see some good falls with the prosperous winter we had this year.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:06 AM   #3
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Route from Mariposa -> El Portal via CA140 is a slow climb, but not much downhill. From Oakhurst several steep climbs (about 5900 ft, then back down to around 4000 ft. Both are curvy. I haven't taken the northern route for many years, not sure about the CA120.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:17 AM   #4
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140 without a doubt ... climbs are less steep, drops are not as fearsome, and there are fewer tight switchbacks. Sure glad we have the diesel ... as DW, I don't white-knuckle this route. We live near SF and going 140 actually takes less time than going 120! Big hint, if you aren't camping in the valley floor, like the locals - use YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) and enjoy the air-conditioned scenery while someone else does the tough task of driving ~ lots of stops in the valley floor.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips guys... I am not too worried about the switch backs as I am towing a 17 ft trailer behind a Jeep Wrangler... I can do very tight turns without a problem... Only thing I am worried about is getting too hot!

At least my motor is ALL aluminum so if I do overheat, there is less chance of warpage vs having an iron block

Thank you guys a ton! I will be taking 140 from the west...

And Nukeneck, is 395 closed north or south of Lee Vining? We were going to take that to Bodie if possible... Bodie is our main reason for going to the area so I may have to pass Yosemite if it's closed! :O
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:02 PM   #6
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It's closed north of Lee Vining, but I would assume by August it should be reopened. It's unfortunate because that drive along 395 is some of the most beautiful along the eastern sierra
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