October 2005 – I read lots of horror stories about Highway 120 into and inside the park. One RVer described it as a road that would give the co-pilot nightmares for weeks!
It’s true that it is a relatively narrow, winding road with uncomfortable inclines in places – and you should definitely pay attention to the signs advising to turn off the A/C to avoid overheating.
But if you take it slow and pay attention, it is a gorgeous drive into a perfectly amazing park – well worth the trip!
Every time I see this picture, I laugh out loud. My mom was like a little kid saying, “Look, Malia – we’re higher than the clouds!” It was moments like this that I was extra special glad to be a fulltime RVer just so I could share things like this with my mom.
After the entrance to the park, this is the first tunnel you come to, about 14.5 miles down the road. Notice the clearance is given at the curb. After getting through this tunnel, there’s a big pulloff to the right with great views of the gorge and the falls.
A couple of miles later, there’s another tunnel listing a 10’4″ clearance at the curb. Since the height of my rig is listed as almost 12 feet, I didn’t think I’d make this road with the motorhome, but I kept seeing the big tour busses on the road that I knew were even taller than me. When I asked at the visitor center, the ranger said it’s done all the time by busses and RVs of all sizes. His advice was just to hug the yellow line and go slow.
Just past that, this is the one that really scared me – another 10’4″ clearance, but with a windy road in front so it’s hard to see if someone is coming before you get there. I was glad the road was not crowded when I drove down it in the RV.
July 2016 Update: A helpful reader sent this information she got from a ranger in Yosemite: “All tunnels within Yosemite National Park accommodate vehicles that abide by California legal limits. If your vehicle is under 14 feet tall and less than 45 feet long, you will be able to fit easily through all tunnels as long as you stay in your lane of traffic (Walls are dramatically lower at the curb/sidewalks inside the tunnels.)”
Like I told her, I had heard basically the same thing during my earlier visit, and I also noticed the tunnels were short enough to see if anyone else is coming from the other side, so it’s easy to hug the center line.
All Malia’s Miles Yosemite National Park pages: