120 Closed Due to Road Work at Priest Grade

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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.

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2 commentsOn 120 Closed Due to Road Work at Priest Grade

  • Thanks for the update! I usually take the Old Priest grade verses the New Priest Grade. Funny but The New Priest Grade seems more dangerous to me because of the curves and I only take it when hauling trailers because of the steepness of the Older road. When I travel down the Old Priest Grade I put my truck in low and only use my brakes in a couple of spots. Another note: The Highway Patrol really watches how people drive these roads and give tickets to anyone crossing the double yellow lines or speeding. It is good to be safe and use common sense when driving to Yosemite and the surrounding areas anyway. I have had deer jump out right in front of me both by Feretti Road near the Groveland Ranger Station and Alongside Lake Don Pedro. There is definitely a different set of rules driving in the mountains verses the city and by people relaxing a bit and not try to save a few minutes they will make the drive more safe enjoyable for all! Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now. heh.

  • This road problem has now been corrected and the 120 route up Priest Grade from Moccasin is open. Travelers are no longer experiencing construction delays.

    The 140 landslide is causing detours for folks trying to get into the Park from the Mariposa/Merced route. Other gateways (41 & 120) are picking up the overflow. Travelers should expect some additional delays at the gates.

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