Hikes Around Groveland

SMITH PEAK NEAR BUCK MEADOWS
CLINTON ROAD/ OLD FERRETTI RANCH
NORTH BOITANO ROAD
YOSEMITE ACRES MORGAN DRIVE
YOSEMITE VISTA ESTATES  -FERRETTI ROAD
WAGNER RIDGE
YOSEMITE SPRINGS ROAD- OFF OLD HIGHWAY 120
 
INDIAN CREEK
LUMSDEN ROAD
BUCK MEADOWS
 
FORESTA FALLS
CARLON FALLS NEAR EVERGREEN ROAD

PINE MOUNTAIN LAKE

UPPER AND LOWER SKYRIDGE ROADS -UNIT 15
BIG CREEK RAILROAD GRADE -UNITS 4 & 10  
MCKINLEY WAY, NONPARIEL WAY, POINT VIEW DRIVE -UNITS 4 & 10
WELLS FARGO DRIVE, MUELLER DRIVE -UNIT 2
SUNNYSIDE WAY, BUTLER WAY, HILLHURST CIRCLE -UNIT 8
 
SMITH PEAK NEAR BUCK MEADOWS
From Mary Laveroni Park in Groveland drive 7+ miles East on Highway 120 to the entrance to the USFS Groveland Ranger District headquarters. Turn right, and pass the district office building in .2 miles. Go another .3 miles to the entrance to The Pines USFS campground, and turn right. You can park just outside the campground if it is open and you don’t want to pay a fee. The asphalt road soon becomes a tan-colored gravel road. Travel .4 mile (on 1S16) to where you see a dirt road intersecting on the left. This is your return loop road. Pass it and in another 100 feet cross a cattle guard. Walk up this gravel road for about a mile to a saddle where five roads intersect.
Walking up this section of road took me 35 minutes of steady climbing, which is a good workout without much huffing and puffing. If you decide to drive this portion up to Smith Peak, two-wheel drive will be fine. There are some ruts, but easily maneuvered around. Enjoy the lovely views to the East of Pilot Ridge and Yosemite peaks.
At the “five road” intersection, take a short jaunt North up the rough dirt road to your left a few hundred feet to take in the view of Smith station and Burch Meadow to the Northwest. A great place for sunsets here. Elevation is about 3600 feet.
(Note: I prefer to walk UP a road that has loose gravel or rocks, and DOWN dirt or paved roads where there is less chance of slipping and falling. That strategy works perfectly here, because the return part of the loop to the East is dirt and gentler slope.)
Back to the “five-road” intersection. You will see the Smith Peak lookout tower directly up the hill due South. If you want to go to the top, walk up this road about ¼ mile, go around the usually locked gate, and check out the views.
Go back down and take the dirt road to the Southeast. This is 1S15. Travel about half a mile, then turn left and go downhill on the return loop road 1S50Y.
This road gently winds down to the road you came up on, 1S16, and wherever you parked your car.
Lovely views to the East. This area was burned in the 1987 Stanislaus Complex Fire, and you can see charred remnants of it. Re-planting has been extensive, and the young pines and firs rank thickly up to 25 feet high already. Once they grow larger, they will block the views, so enjoy these views for the next decade or so.
 

CLINTON ROAD/ OLD FERRETTI RANCH  3 miles round trip at 3000’ elevation

If you like meadow views and a pond, this is a nice walk. Best in spring when grass is green, although in winter months the large oak tree branches are impressive. It is a paved public road going through private property, so be considerate of “No Trespassing” signs and stay on the road. I have never seen anyone patrolling it, though, and the Long Gulch Ranch that it runs through is 1100 undeveloped acres owned by out-of-area people.

Park on the Northeast side of the intersection of Ferretti Road and Clements Road, at the East end of Pine Mountain Lake. Walk West on Ferretti Road to Clinton Road, about 1/8 mile, and turn left (South). In about ½ mile the road makes a sharp turn to the left and you will see some houses in PML to the West. The road here follows the old Ferretti Road about 1/8 mile then turns back to its original southerly direction, running by an old holding pond. Continue south to the end of the road

When you reach the big oak tree on your left-about 200 feet away-it looks bigger when you walk up to it, the road ends at 20 acres owned by the Heuers. Turn around here and go back the way you came. About 2.5 miles round-trip. (this route is described also in the Barhydt book“Hiking Between Groveland and Yosemite” as “Old Ferretti Ranch”).

NORTH BOITANO ROAD   3.4 miles round trip
From the Highway120-Ferretti Rd intersection in Groveland, travel approx 4 miles on Ferretti to North Boitano Road, just across the street from Down to Earth Nursery. Turn left (North) and cross the cattle guard. You are passing through the old “Gookin Ranch”, which is privately owned. As you go North, look Northeast to see Duckwall Mountain- this is the mountain across the Tuolumne River that is the closest snow cap visible from Groveland after a snowfall. The paved road narrows to one lane. There are grassy shoulders here if you don’t want to walk on asphalt. You will pass the old Gookin ranch house; cows are usually grazing around here, and the road is fenced on either side. Don’t trespass-stay on the road easement. Just past the house is the big old barn with a foundation of rocks. In spring the gnarly branches of the tall old oaks are dramatic-later on they are leafed out. About 1.3 mile from the first cattle guard is a large circular gravel “turnaround” area at the end of the paved portion of Boitano Rd. Go about 500 feet further to the entrance of a large Spanish style stucco house, and turn around there. Locked gates will stop your progress shortly.
Places to park: at the large flat area on the South side of Ferretti Road, just past Down To Earth; or the circular gravel area at the end of the pavement on No Boitano Rd.
No loop, all the offshoot roads are private property. If you start at Ferretti Rd, go all the way to the end and come back, it is about 3.4 miles. This is another easy paved walk through private property that is very pretty in Spring.

YOSEMITE ACRES ON MORGAN DRIVE  2.5 mile loop at 3000’ elevation
This is a paved walk through a subdivision of 5-acre parcels located just Southeast of, and adjacent to, Pine Mountain Lake. From Groveland drive East on Highway 120 1.7 miles to White’s Gulch Road and turn left. Drive .5 mile to the intersection of White’s Gulch with Mountain Springs and park your car. Walk East .1 mile to Morgan Drive and turn left. Follow Morgan Drive its entire length of 1.8 mile to its intersection with Alice Lane, where its name becomes White’s Gulch Road. Go straight on White’s Gulch .6 mile, veer left and stay on White’s Gulch, and back to your car.
To add distance and a lot of hill-climbing, take detours up Alice Lane and Mountain Springs Ct.

YOSEMITE VISTA ESTATES One mile loop at 3,000 elevation
This goes through a small subdivision with very nice views towards Yosemite peaks and pastureland across Ferretti Road. From Groveland go about 7 miles East on Ferretti Road, then turn right on Prospect Heights. This is a Neighborhood Watch area with leash law enforcement. Go up Prospect Heights to the swimming pool and clubhouse on your left and park there. Go West on Prospect Heights which loops downhill and becomes Whispering Pines. When you intersect with the Prospect Heights you entered on, turn left, then turn right on Ferretti Road. Follow Ferretti a short distance then turn right on Parkwood Drive. At the intersection with Rolling Woods Drive, angle left, then back to Prospect Heights and uphill to your parked car.
To lengthen the walk, walk along Ferretti Road, which is very rural along here and gets little traffic.

WAGNER RIDGE Flexible length of 3 to 10 miles round trip
From Ferretti Road in Groveland drive east 2.6 miles to the unsigned entrance to USFS road 1S07 (the left fork is known as Inspiration Drive). Do a 180 degree right turn. Drive to where the road turns uphill and park on the right. (This road is sometimes called Ponderosa or Boneyard), which are connecting roads further South). Follow the road uphill half a mile, pass the driveway on the left with the sign “Diamond 3 Ranch”, then to the Hetch Hetchy power transmission towers. You will pass two more private residences, then be on USFS land. Continue on and enjoy the views of Yosemite peaks to the east and Diablo Range to the west along this ridge. Immediately below you to the right (west) is the Second Garrotte basin. After .7 mile the road surface becomes gravel and winds steeply uphill, then becomes dirt again at the intersection with Second Garrotte Road on your right. Stay left. After a mile you will come to a locked gate straight ahead (address is 7260 Cuneo Rd). Veer right. Shortly you come to a 4-way intersection with signs for Incense Cedar Trail, South Ponderosa Rd, Cuneo Rd, and Wagner Ridge. Go left on Wagner Ridge. You can follow Wagner Ridge Rd (now USFS 2S08) several miles to Smith Station Rd. Once you see the reservoir down in the valley to your right, the distance back to your car will be about 4 miles.

YOSEMITE SPRINGS ROAD OFF OLD HIGHWAY 120
From downtown Groveland drive on State Highway 120 about half mile to OLD Highway 120 (until 1978 this was the only highway, now it is a County road). Turn right and go 1.3 mile to Yosemite Springs Road, across the street from Yosemite Pines RV Park and campground. Turn right and park somewhere on the wide shoulder. Walk South on the gravel and dirt road, past a very long, large garage and about 4 houses. Near the  address sign of 10746 (there’s a concrete driveway and a gate on the right), the road gets some 3-foot deep ruts and it is difficult to turn around in a car-that’s why I suggested parking near the paved County road.

Take note of the huge old oak on your right, then the meadow and pond on your right. Climb steadily up the hill- detour around fallen trees and then find the road again. At the top of the hill, turn left on Second Garrotte Road. Views are expansive up here-you can see the Central Valley and Duckwall Mountain above the main stem of the Tuolumne River. The “Creek” fire swept through here in 2001 and burnt some of the forest, but recovery is well under way. Second Garrotte turns into Ponderosa Way and veers to the left (don’t take the right turn on Boneyard), and goes through US forest service land, with beautiful views of Yosemite to the East. Go as far as you like, then turn around for a round trip back the way you came. OR for a complete loop, keep going all the way back to Highway 120, turn left and go to Old Highway 120, turn left, then go back to your car at the intersection with Yosemite Springs Rd (about a 5 mile loop).

INDIAN CREEK TO TUOLUMNE RIVER

This is not a pleasure cruise! The hike took me 3 hours round trip. On the map it looks like only 1.5 miles down to the river, but with all the switchbacks it is probably longer.

From Groveland go to the intersection of Ferretti Rd and Clements, the road to the PML Equestrian Center. Turn left and drive North about one mile where you will reach the border of PML marked by tall posts on either side of the road. There is a sign that says Graham Ranch. The Grahams had 1100 acres that they divided into 40 and 80 acre parcels in 1981. The road narrows to one-lane, but is still paved. Travel .1 mile to where the metal corrugated barn is on your right and the road veers left and turns into gravel. Travel .3 mile to a where a dirt road is on the right. You will see a sign to the right saying “TRAIL”  then another sign says “WARNING: MT LION AREA” and a third sign says “INDIAN CREEK TRAIL – PRIVATE PROPERTY – STAY ON TRAIL”. Drive a few hundred feet and park without blocking the trailhead. You are starting at 3000 foot elevation and the Tuolumne River is down below at 1100 foot.

The first part of the trail is moderately steep and rocky, with some wet areas in Spring that can be slippery. It levels out a little through an open area with oaks, then goes uphill for a short way. About 1/3 of the way down you come to a flat vehicle turnaround. Look for the continuation of the trail sharply to the right and steeply downhill. From here it is all downhill switchbacks.Parts are rocky- you will need sturdy shoes with excellent traction.I took my fox terrier, and she loved the hike, but there are some reasons this is not the best place to take your dog. Ticks are number one. Throughout the hike I picked ticks off her fur, and at the end pulled about 15 more that had started to attach to her. Even though I had just given her a dose of Frontline tick repellent! Also, some parts of this trail are rocky, and dogs risk getting cuts on their paws. Lastly, there is lots of poison oak along the trail. You can easily avoid touching it, but if your dog gets in it and you get it from their fur- well that’s hard to avoid.

At the bottom you can cross Indian Creek to get down to the river, or angle steeply downhill before the creek if the creek flow is too high. Best time for this hike is winter, after a dry spell so it is not too muddy and slick. Don’t do in summer unless you are a masochist for heat. The trail mostly faces Northeast, so will be shadier in evening. I started at 5:30 pm, stopped to take pictures, and didn’t allow enough time before it got dark. I arrived back at my car at 9 pm, and the only way I could still see was by the rising full moon. This was a major time miscalculation! Spring has lovely flowers and flowing water, but mosquitos and ticks are active. Use insect repellent.

Flowers along the way: Purple and white lupine, Wild hyacinth, Chinese houses, Lessengia thistle with light blue round flowers, Birds eye gilia, Fairy lantern, mariposa lily, red-orange Indian paintbrush, orange Stonecrop in the rocks (picture above)

LUMSDEN ROAD TO TUOLUMNE RIVER

This requires driving down a gravel road with hairpin turns. Make sure you have good brakes and fearless passengers. But this Forest Service-maintained road gets you down and up out of the Tuolumne River canyon without the strenuous hiking of the route described below. 4-wheel drive or all-wheel recommended for better traction, although plenty of 2-wheel drive vehicles use it.

Take Ferretti Road East 9 miles from its intersection with Highway 120 in Groveland, OR 1 mile Northwest from its intersection with 120, between Smith Station Road and the Buck Meadows USFS headquarters. Turn right and follow the road over the cattle guard and head down into the canyon on USFS 1N10 (this number is on the map, but I didn’t see it on the road itself). The first two miles are steep-use your vehicle’s lowest gear to avoid over-heating your brakes. The grades lessen as you get closer to the river. At 4.7 miles you reach the river rafting launch site and a rest room. At 4.8 miles is the Lumsden Campground, at 5.1 miles you reach the South Fork bridge. Just before the bridge is a parking area and an area now closed to camping. To your right, going up hill past a locked gate is a trail. If you follow it all the way up you will reach the trail head of the Buck Meadows hike described below. Go up this trail about a mile and turn around and go back. Once back at the car, walk across the bridge. (About 2/10 mile from the South Fork bridge is the entrance on the right to Lumsden Bridge campground).Follow this rough road (not recommended for driving) along the Tuolumne River about a mile to where another bridge crosses to the North side of the river and goes to the Sonora area.

You can tailor your own walk in this area to suit your own distances, using a combination of the Lumsden Road and the trail.

BUCK MEADOWS TO TUOLUMNE RIVER

Beautiful spring flowers, spectacular canyon views, and the goal of reaching the confluence of the South Fork and main stem of the Tuolumne River. Downside is the hike back is a strenuous uphill climb with a 1500+ foot elevation gain. Drive to Buck Meadows restaurant, about 9 miles East of Groveland. Park in a large flat area East of the restaurant, and follow the road East then curving North, through a Forest Service gate. You will see picnic tables on the other side of the creek at a little-used USFS campground named Lost Claim. The trail is mostly a road for about a mile going down to the Hetch Hetchy adit because it is accessed for maintenance by San Francisco’s water dept. then it becomes more of a trail for the next mile down to the river. The USFS # is 1S01. The trail ends at the locked gate at the other end, and just past that is the South Fork bridge just above the confluence of the South Fork with the main stem of the Tuolumne River.If you have someone drive a vehicle down the Lumsden Road described above, they can pick you up and you don’t have the long climb out.

FORESTA FALLS

From Groveland to Foresta the drive is 39 miles. You will pay at the Park entrance station on Highway 120, unless you have an annual pass.
Some of the mile stones are:
Groveland to Cherry Lake Road = 13.5 miles.
Groveland to Yosemite entrance station = 23.7 miles
Groveland to Crane Flat = 31 miles
Groveland to Foresta road turnoff = 37 miles.

Just before the turnoff you will see views to the right over an open valley. Turn right on the turnoff labeled Foresta. Follow the two-lane paved road .8 mile, where it turns into a one-lane road. Go another 1.3 mile to two large barns on your right. At a “Y” veer left and follow the now dirt road past several houses. Park several hundred feet past the last house, off the road. You will hear Crane Creek tumbling below you on the left (Southeast) unless it is late in the season and all dried up. Walk down this road downhill about half a mile to a hairpin turn overlooking the old McCauley Ranch. Continue downhill another ¼ mile to the bridge over Crane Creek, where Foresta Falls is. Another ¼ mile downhill and you are at the boundary of the National Park and Stanislaus National Forest. From this point you can see several hundred feet down to the Southwest to the Merced River and the small town of El Portal, which is inside the Park boundary. This road – in the Forest called 2S84 – continues about five miles down to El Portal.

Along this short hike in May we saw lots of birds and wildflowers. An immature golden eagle, a Northern pygmy owl, scarlet tanager, towhees, wrens. Around the waterfall was alum root with sprays of pink flowers, and wild azalea. In drier, sunnier areas were colomia (umbels of pale peach, pink and white), globe gillia (pale blue puffballs), sulphur pea (orange), and farewell-to-Spring, a pink Clarkia, as well as several kinds of lupine: lavendar, purple, white, and harlequin.

CARLON FALLS NEAR EVERGREEN ROAD  2.2 miles roundtrip at 4300’ elevation

A pleasant shady hike at any time of year, but for best appreciation of the waterfall, go in late Spring. From Groveland, drive 24 Miles East on 120 to Evergreen Road and turn left.

Travel about .7 mile to the Carlon picnic area, cross the bridge and park on the Northeast side of the bridge over the South Fork of the Tuolumne River. Follow the trail past the old foundation of the Carlon Inn, then through a fence opening that separates the Forest Service property and a sign indicates you are entering Yosemite National Park. The trail becomes narrower and winding, sometimes coming close to the river, sometimes climbing the hill above it. Once you get to the falls area, several trails lead down to the rocks along the river below the waterfalls. Trillium, delphinium, wild ginger, wild currant with pink flowers, alders, willows, horsetails, old growth trees: cedars, sugar pine, Douglas and white fir.

PINE MOUNTAIN LAKE

UNITS 1 & 5: MUELLER DRIVE, PLEASANT VIEW DRIVE, TANNAHILL DRIVE
UNIT 2: WELLS FARGO DRIVE, MUELLER DRIVE
UNITS 3 & 4: CRESTHAVEN, LONGVIEW, CRESCENT WAY, ROCK CANYON
UNITS 4 & 10: BIG CREEK RAILROAD GRADE
UNITS 4 & 10: MCKINLEY WAY, NONPARIEL WAY, POINT VIEW DRIVE
UNIT 8: SUNNYSIDE WAY, BUTLER WAY, HILLHURST CIRCLE
UNIT 12: CLIFTON, YORKSHIRE, HILLCOFT
UNIT 13: BRECKENRIDGE ROAD, RIDGECREST WAY
UNIT 15: UPPER AND LOWER SKYRIDGE ROADS

 

UNITS 1 & 5: MUELLER DRIVE, PLEASANT VIEW DRIVE, TANNAHILL DRIVE     2 Mile loop
Park at the pool parking lot above the Country Club on Mueller Drive. Go East on Mueller towards the lake.
Turn right on Pleasant View and follow it all the way around to Tannahill.
Turn right on Tannahill, then right on Mueller, then back to your car at the pool. To add interest, visit the courts along the way: Moonlight, Mount Jefferson, Dunn (beach and dock and restroom here) Fountain, and Dyer.

UNIT 2: TIP TOP COURT, WELLS FARGO DRIVE, MUELLER DRIVE      2 miles in a loop

Park at the end of Tip Top Court in Unit 2. Walk down to Jackson Mill and turn left, then left on Mueller and right on Wells Fargo. Walk the length of Wells Fargo about 1 mile to the intersection with Mueller Dr. Turn left, then go back to your car, about another mile. To add length and interest, take the loop roads off Wells Fargo: Mokelumne Circle and James Circle.

Highlights: The sound of water in Big Creek in Winter and Spring. The views of hills to the North and East. No tough uphill sections. Good at any time of the year.

UNITS 3 & 4: ROCK CANYON WAY, CRESTHAVEN, LONGVIEW, CRESCENT     3.3 miles loop
Mostly sunny and south-facing, so don’t go in mid-day summer heat. Park at Fisherman’s Cove. Turn left on Rock Canyon, then right on Pine Mountain Drive. Enjoy views of the lake along both of these streets. Pass the Lodge Beach and turn left on Cresthaven Drive. Walk to Longview Street and turn left. Longview has nice mountain views. Turn left on Pine Mountain Drive then left on Crescent Way. Pass the tennis courts. At the intersection of Crescent and Rock Canyon, you can choose to take the hiking trail through the strip of greenbelt, or stay on the roadways. Turn right on Rock Canyon and return to Fisherman’s Cove. There is a restroom, kids play area, dock, and picnic tables at Fisherman’s Cove, but no swimming.

UNITS 4 & 10: BIG CREEK RAILROAD GRADE       Up to 4 miles round-trip
Since this is not a loop you can easily shorten or lengthen your walk, from 1 mile to 4, depending on where you turn around. This is an easy pleasant unpaved hike, very level because it is on the old Hetch Hetchy railroad grade. The rails were removed at least 60 years ago. It is also used by mountain bikes.

Along Pine Mountain Drive in Unit 13, park on the Northeast side of the bridge that crosses Big Creek,  just before it empties into Pine Mountain Lake. Walk around the gate and follow the dirt road through the greenbelt below Units 4 and 10 alongside Big Creek. After half a mile the trail turns South, and runs along the Creek for another couple of miles through a mix of private and Forest Service property. Enjoy the sound of the water, especially in spring. It dries up in Summer and Fall. White Mariposa lilies with red centers were profuse in late May, along with lupines. After a mile you will see a large house on the other side of the Creek- it is on 25 acres off of Morgan Drive in Yosemite Acres. Another half mile and you will see another house near the Creek on the South side-this is at the end of Lytle Loomis Road off of Highway 120.
You can also access the trail by parking below the intersection of McKinley and Nonpariel at the “deadend” of McKinley’s West end (in front of the green gate-see picture above). Go south across the greenbelt about 200 feet to the trail.

UNITS 4 & 10: MCKINLEY WAY, NONPARIEL WAY, POINT VIEW DRIVE     2 miles in a partial loop.
Lovely views and very little traffic characterize this walk. And it is mostly level.
Go to the end of McKinley Way in Unit 10, at the far Southeastern corner of Pine Mountain Lake. Walk back .4 mile to the intersection with Nonpariel Way and turn right. Walk .2 mile to the intersection with Point View Drive and turn right. Go up the hill and follow Point View all the way to its second intersection with Nonpariel, a distance of .6 mile. Turn left and travel the remaining .9 mile back to your car.

Add more distance by exploring the two courts along the way: Knollcrest Court and Rock Court. If you want a longer walk of 4 or 5 miles, add it to the Big Creek railroad grade hike above.

 

UNIT 8: SUNNYSIDE WAY, BUTLER WAY, HILLHURST CIRCLE

Unit 8 has great loop walks. It also has a lot of shade from tall trees, and at the top of hills some wonderful mountain views. It is a good mix of up, down and level, with plenty of climbing. The low point is at Mills and Sunnyside, at 2650 elevation, and the high point is the top of Hillhurst, about 3050 elevation.

Walk 1: is 1.5 mile and takes about 40 minutes. If you follow this route you are going uphill the first half and downhill or level on the way back to your car. Park at the end of Jonny Degnan Ct, off of Butler Way. Walk up Jonny Degnan and turn left on Butler. After ¼ mile turn left on Hillhurst Circle, and walk the length of Hillhurst. Views from Hillhurst towards Yosemite are spectacular. You will see, and hear, a portion of Highway 120 East of Groveland down below. At the end of Hillhurst, turn left on Butler. At the intersection of Butler Way and Butler Way, turn right and follow the road back to Jonny Degnan.

Walk 2: This adds another mile, for a total of 2.5 miles. Start at the same place on Jonny Degnan and follow Hike 1, but instead of turning right at Butler and Butler, turn left and go to Sunnyside Way. Turn right on Sunnyside and follow it to Mills St, then turn right. Follow Mills back to Butler, then turn left and go back to Jonny Degnan. Bring a copy of the map, and it will be much easier than it sounds. This is one big loop, with the only part traversed twice being Jonny Degnan Ct. To add distance and interest, go to the end of each of the cul-de-sacs along the way, including Hondo Ct, Alcan Ct, & Buckskin Ct. A nice walk at any time except mid-day in the heat of summer.

UNIT 12: CLIFTON, YORKSHIRE, HILLCOFT    3 Miles in loops

You will see almost all of Unit 12 with this walk, just take a map or this set of directions to keep track of the turns.
Park at the Equestrian Center on Clements Road.
Follow Clements Road South and turn right on Jimmersall.
Turn left on Hemlock, then left on Woodside.
Turn right on Hemlock, then left on Hillcoft (nice views toward Duckwall Mtn).
Turn left on Hemlock, then left on Yorkshire.
Turn right on Clements, then left on Clifton (nice views toward Yosemite), then back to the stables and your car.
To add a little length and interest, visit the courts along the way: Iris, Owl, and Larkspur.

 UNIT 13: RIDGECREST WAY, BRECKENRIDGE ROAD, PINE MOUNTAIN DR.     2 miles in a loop
Park on Bluebell Court. Turn right on Breckenridge Road, then right on Little Valley Road, then right on Pine Mountain Drive. When you come to Ridgecrest Way, turn left. Follow Ridgecrest its entire length, then turn right on Pine Mountain Drive, then left on Breckenridge, and back to Bluebell Court. To add length, visit each of the courts along the way: Myer, Mountain Springs, McGraw, Trapper, Shooting Star, and Marina. This walk has lots of beautiful Manzanita with rich red-brown bark. The best views are at the tops of Myer and Mountain Springs courts.

UNIT 15: UPPER AND LOWER SKYRIDGE ROADS     2.2 miles loop

This is the best paved hike in PML. Both streets are one-way and get very little traffic. It is mostly shady because of the tall trees and North-facing slope, with views of the lake through the trees. And it is a complete loop with no backtracking and duplication of scenery. Because of the two-way Miner’s Camp Rd connecting the two roads, you can easily vary the length of your loop hike. Start anywhere you can find a parking place on the PML right-of-way; two good places are at the Eastern end of Lower Skyridge (in front of 15-56) or on Upper Skyridge across the street from 15-40, just before the North end of Miners Camp Road. The entire loop is 2.2 miles. All of the gradients are long and gentle, just enough to get your heart rate up.

 

Highway 120 Driving Distances East of Groveland (printable pdf)

Start: Mary Laveroni Park in downtown Groveland. Travel East on Highway 120:

0.1 mile to Elder Land, turn left
0.5 mile to Tenaya School, turn right
0.8 mile to first Old Highway 120, turn right (loops back to Highway 120)
1.8 miles to White’s Gulch Road, turn left
2.4 miles to Eastern Old Highway 120, turn right
2.7 miles to Inspiration Drive, turn right
3.0 miles to Alice Lane, turn left3.1 miles to Lytle Loomis Road, turn left
3.5 miles to Sugar Pine Ranch Motel, turn left
3.6 miles to Sprague Road, turn left
4.4 miles to Sprague Road Wast, turn left
4.4 miles to Sprague Road East, turn right
4.8 miles to Big Creek Shaft Road, turn left
5.9 miles to Hells Hollow Road, turn right
6.5 miles to Smith Station Road, turn right
7.3 miles to Ferretti Road East, turn left (loops back to Highway 120 in Groveland)
7.7 miles to turnoff to US Forest Service Groveland Ranger Station, turn right
10.0 miles to first Hamilton Station Loop, 10.3 miles to second Hamilton Station Loop
10.3 miles to Moore Creek Road- take second Hamilton Station Loop and continue South
10.6 miles to Yosemite Westgate Lodge and Buck Meadows Restaurant
11.7 miles to Rim of the World Vista Point on left
12.3 miles to Packard Canyon Road, turn right
13.3 miles to Rainbow Pool, turn right
13.5 miles to Cherry Lake Road, turn left (goes to San Jose Camp, Hetchy Hetchy Reservoir,                                        Cherry Lake, Camp Tawonga, Evergreen Lodge, Camp Mather)
16.6 miles to Sawmill Mountain Road, turn left
16.9 miles to Hardin Flat Road, turn right
18.2 miles to Yosemite Lakes Drive, turn right
19.6 miles to South fork Tuolumne River bridge, no turn
20.6 miles to Golden Arrow Road, turn right, intersects with Hardin Flat Rd. (elevation 4000 feet)
22.1 miles to Hardin Flat Road East entrance, turn right
22.7 miles to Evergreen Road, turn left, goes to Evergreen Lodge and Camp Mather
23.7 miles to Yosemite National Park entrance station, go 24 miles to Yosemite Valley
31.0 miles to Crane Flat gas station and intersection, turn left to go to Tuolumne     Meadows and                              Tioga Pass to Hwy 395, go straight to Yosemite Valley
37.0  miles to Foresta Road turnoff, turn right
42 miles to intersection with Highway 140, turn left to Yosemite Valley, right to El Portal
44 miles to intersection with Highway 41, turn left to Yosemite Valley, right to Wawona

48 miles to Yosemite Valley/ Yosemite Village

Highway 120 is also known on some maps and signs as Big Oak Road, or the Northern Yosemite Highway. The section from Crane Flat to Lee Vining (Highway 395) that goes through Tuolumne Meadows is known as the Tioga Pass Road. It is closed in winter for at least 5 months due to snow.