Author Topic: MI to Yosemite NP in May  (Read 2536 times)

Online bmc5733946

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MI to Yosemite NP in May
« on: February 07, 2015, 01:51:10 PM »
I'm considering a trip from East Lansing, MI to Yosemite National Park starting May 15th, need to arrive in YNP by May 25th.  Want to camp some and motel some, it's 2,500 miles I'll have ten days, so only need to make 250 miles a day. Considering taking US 36 from Hannibal, MO to Denver, and then ? to Us 50 south of Provo, UT. I'm seeking input on routing, roads, camping, motels, weather, etc.
This will be my first long trip in decades. I'll be riding my 1989 Mille GT. The bike and I are both older. The bike may be in better shape than I. I do have some physical issues hence the extended time frame for the distance. I'd also like to see some of the country as I travel. If this part of the trip pans out I may try to make it back to the national in June by returning through Canada. I have great ambitions and many questions about my ability to carry out these plans.

Brian
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Online pehayes

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Re: MI to Yosemite NP in May
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2015, 02:09:00 PM »
For starters, you're going to have to cross the Sierras to see Yosemite Valley.  The dominant, logical crossing is CA-120, Tioga Pass.  Depending on the remainder of our wet season, that pass may or may not be open.  See here: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tiogaopen.htm

Surely you could pass at other, more robust highways such as I-80, Donner Pass which are lower and busier and remain open all year except for specific storms.   But, other passes such as Donner will extend your mileage.  Regardless, there is plenty of beautiful scenery along CA-49 at the western base of the mountains.

My recommendation across Utah is US-50.  From Ely, NV take US-6 south to Benton, CA and then join CA-120 into Yosemite.  Your longest fuel stretch is about 180 miles from Ely to Tonopah on US-6.  With a headwind or an active throttle wrist you may stress your fuel capacity.  I have literally reached Tonopah and stalled for fuel starvation in downtown.

You can PM if you want lots more detail.

Patrick Hayes
Fremont CA

Online bmc5733946

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Re: MI to Yosemite NP in May
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2015, 02:46:40 PM »
Patrick thanks for that info, that's my desired path. I have read about the pass on 120 and will wait till I am near there to make a decision. These things are the reasons I gave myself so much time for the trip. Still need to find a quiet way to get from Denver to US 50, I don't like freeways and will pretty much have to run them from home to Hannibal, MO, about the first 500 miles or so. Trying to keep to two lane or divided highways that aren't limited access as much as possible. I am investigating ways to carry extra fuel on this trip, my range is right about 150/160 miles around here sooooo.
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Offline Guido Valvole

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Re: MI to Yosemite NP in May
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2015, 10:17:00 PM »
What Patrick said. We have had rather bizarre weather the past few years, now is the first real rain since Thanksgiving. It may run late, or not. Even in a "normal" year, it's possible to get snowed on somewhere in the Sierra Nevada on any day of the year. And "normal" seems to be a statistical fallacy…

Tioga Pass iirc is the highest vehicle pass in the Sierra. It's not necessarily unusual for it to be snowed in until mid-June or even July. 80 over Donner and 50 south of Tahoe get plowed but chains are still required, no idea how that works with a bike. Being a native Californian, if the temperature is less than my age, no thanks!  :BEER:  West slope foothill roads like 49 are good, especially before Winnebago season. Plenty of campgrounds around.
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Re: MI to Yosemite NP in May
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2015, 10:17:00 PM »

Offline charlie b

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Re: MI to Yosemite NP in May
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 01:11:20 PM »
First time we went up US395 and then on CA120 through the pass.  That was later in the year so all was clear.

Second time we went across on CA178 (souther end of the Sierras) then north to Fresno, then on CA41.  That way we avoided the passes.  The stretch to Fresno wasn't that great, but, we were trying to avoid cold weather at the time.  Passes were closed.  Heck, a lot of the roads in the NF were still closed, but, that was in late March.  When we came out rode up CA49 which was a really nice little road.  A lot of cool little towns.

And some of the roads in UT are really nice.  If you cut south out of Denver then you can go through southern UT instead, or, just cut south once in UT from CO.  Lots of great roads in that area as well as a lot to see.  Again, check for mountain passes, esp in CO through the rockies.  Seems like every E-W highway goes through a higher elevation pass at some point.  Most of them are well maintained.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 01:20:55 PM by charlie b »
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Offline M0T0Geezer

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Re:
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 06:17:27 PM »
Would you be interested in a ride along buddy?
I have an '04 Breva 750. I am 74  yet used to long trips.
Best not to ride alone at any age.
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Offline creaky99

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Re: MI to Yosemite NP in May
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 08:51:33 PM »
If you have plenty of time with no particular schedule, I'd suggest that you drop south off US50 at Texas Creek, CO on CO 69 south to Walsenburg. From there, US 160 (scenic hwy) west all the way to Durango.  Then, take US 550 north to Montrose and you are on US 50 again.  Might take a while, but it is great riding, there is plenty to see, plenty of great places to visit and loads of Kodak moments to capture. Three years ago, a buddy and I started at Gunnison, CO, rode US 50, US 6 and CA120 into Yosemite, we were not disappointed. As long as you are at Yosemite, don't miss King's Canyon/Sequoia NP.
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