Headed to Yosemite from SoCal? Here’s the detour you need to take

Water cascades down the face of Upper Yosemite Falls after a 2014 storm.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Storm damages have temporarily closed California Route 41 just south of Yosemite National Park, forcing northbound park visitors to make a detour through Mariposa and El Portal.

That detour, which could remain in place through March 10, takes drivers up State Route 49 from Oakhurst to Mariposa, then into Yosemite Valley via El Portal on State Route 140, adding 22 miles of mountain roads to the journey.

Because storm damages have also temporarily shut Big Oak Flat Road (State Route 120) and Tioga Road is closed for the season, State Route 140 from Mariposa is the only way into the valley, the park’s website said.


The Caltrans closure of State Route 41 (also known as Wawona Road) is at Summerdale Campground, 0.8 mile south of the Yosemite National Park entrance. The closure, which began five days ago, is expected to continue through 11:59 p.m. March 10, the Caltrans advisory said. (Wawona Road remains open within the park.)

For northbound travelers to Yosemite, the detour means that the 51-mile journey from Oakhurst to the Majestic Yosemite Hotel in Yosemite Valley becomes a 73-mile journey via Mariposa and El Portal.

Representatives of park concessionaire Aramark [; (888) 413-8869] said Yosemite Valley lodgings and other businesses are operating according to their usual seasonal schedules.

The park’s Big Trees Lodge (formerly the Wawona Hotel) is on schedule to reopen for the season on March 31, spokeswoman Lisa Cesaro said. The Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area (formerly Badger Pass) is due to close April 2.

In addition, the park’s Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, which was due to reopen in spring, is now to reopen in fall 2017, the NPS said.

Drivers are advised to carry chains anywhere in the park and check weather and road conditions before entering the area. Park spokeswoman Jamie Richard said the valley was dusted with up to an inch of snow Monday morning, with intermittent flurries through the day.

The National Weather Service forecasts mostly clear skies on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Travelers can check road conditions with Caltrans or the National Park Service.


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