Yosemite National Park, CA (PRWEB) June 14, 2006
Visitors to Yosemite National Park accustomed to arriving via its western entrance at El Portal will be using alternative routes for at least six months. A rock and soil slide last month closed a 600-foot section of Highway 140 eight miles west of El Portal.
Officials from the National Park Service and its concessionaire, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., state that Yosemite is open for business as usual and is easily reached by automobile via two commonly used state highways. Both Highway 120 from the northeast through Groveland and Highway 41 from the south through Oakhurst remain open and free-flowing for visitation into Yosemite with no restrictions. Visitors can still take Highway 140 to Mariposa and from there swing south on historic Highway 49 to connect to Highway 41 through the town of Oakhurst and into the southern entrance of the Park.
During the first week of May 2006, large rocks and soil above Mariposa County’s Highway 140, one of three major thoroughfares into Yosemite, began falling onto the Sierra foothill roadway and into the adjacent Merced River. The Ferguson Rockslide, as it is now known, eventually covered a 600-yard section of the highway with an estimated 2-3 million cubic yards of material. CalTrans crews worked hard to curtail the extent of the impasse and further slides.
The only section of Highway 140 that is currently closed to all traffic is the small section covered by the rockslide, which is located 20 miles east of Mariposa and 8 miles west of El Portal. It is open from Merced at Highway 99 through and beyond the picturesque and historic town of Mariposa, with continuing routes out of Mariposa into Yosemite via Highway 49 southeast to Highway 41 north, and via Highway 49 north to J20 northeast to Highway 120 east. Highway 140 is also open from Yosemite Valley west downstream into the Merced River canyon through and beyond the town of El Portal.
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., the authorized concessionaire in Yosemite National Park, reports that all lodging, dining, recreational activities, shopping and transportation services are operating under their normal schedules. Thanks to another heavy winter snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite has exceptionally spectacular displays of thundering waterfalls, lush green meadows and wildflowers. Updates on the Highway 140 closure and plans for re-opening are available online at http://www.YosemitePark.com/140. Information on tours and events in Yosemite National Park may be found at http://www.YosemitePark.com/summer.
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. is an affiliate of Delaware North Companies and is the authorized National Park Service concessionaire responsible for lodging, dining, guest recreation, retail stores, and transportation in Yosemite.