If you’re traveling up the 120 route into Yosemite looks like you can expect a little longer drive than you’d planned. CalTrans is doing some emergency roadwork at the bottom of Priest Grade, a narrow winding section of road just below Big Oak Flat and Groveland.
NPS:The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will be closing State Route 120 in both directions at the bottom and top of New Priest Grade Road beginning at 6:00 p.m. on April 4,2006, it is expected that the road closure will last for at least one month. Traffic will be diverted on to Highway 49, to Greeley Hill Road (J132), to Smith Station Road (J20) and then back on to Highway 120.
The NPS bulletin doesn’t say whether or not you’ll still be able to go up and down Old Priest Grade but if you’re
not used to driving in the mountains, I’d stick to the alternate route. Construction is expected to take a month at least. If you do plan on taking the alternate route, Smith Station Road meets 120 east of Groveland and Big Oak Flat. If you’re planning on staying at the historic Groveland Inn or one of the other B&B’s in Groveland you’ll need to turn left and backtrack. If you’re just heading into the park or you’re staying at West Gate Inn, Evergreen Lodge or one of the inns closer to the park, turn right.