Highway 120 is the Northern Gateway to Yosemite. The last major town before reaching the park is Groveland, located about 40 minutes outside the main gate. Groveland’s downtown consists of a half mile stretch of historic buildings, including the Iron Door Saloon and The Groveland Hotel.
In 2013 the Rim Fire devastated the Stanislaus National Forest which is adjacent to the northwestern part of Yosemite National Park. I ventured down Cherry Lake Road in hopes of getting a better look. There were many forest service roads that I was hoping to ride on, but most were closed with caution of falling rocks. As I continued down the road I saw more and more scorched trees. Since the last time I was here in October, there’s more grass growing and it looks like it’s starting to come back to life.
Since it was a holiday weekend, the park was packed with visitors. I found a nice spot on the river that gave me a great view of Bridalveil Fall.
I fit in all that I could for a day trip to Yosemite. I’m looking forward to coming back in the spring to camp, and explore the roads that have been closed all winter.
Words & Photos: Nick Johnson