Tenaya Lake Day Trip
This will be a ride & climb, and you need to pack your lunch, drinks, etc. as there are no food services at Tenaya Lake Picnic Area. The climbing part is of course optional. This could be one of the prettiest, most interesting and challenging rides of the year, especially if you take the effort and energy to climb up at least partway up Tenaya Peak. I have established two routes, an all-pavement route for street riders which takes you on 140 into Yosemite Park, then back east on 120 to Tenaya Lake. The GS riders will take the (mostly easy) dirt road from Briceburg to Kinsley and then Forestry Service Road 20 in to Hardin Flat and 120 to Tenaya Lake. Our ride will stay together as far as Briceburg, then regroup again at Tenaya.
Destination: Tenaya Lake, near the top of Tioga Pass & Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite Park
Depart at 8:00 AM and head south on Old Middlefield to 101 south and stay on 101 to Alum Rock. From Alum Rock we will take 132 over Mt. Hamilton and down the other side, down Del Puerto Canyon Road to Hwy J 17 through Turlock, then continue through Snelling (road changes to Hwy J 16) to Hornitos, and the Hornitos Road/Old Toll Road all the way to Mt. Bullion, where we join Hwy 49 south into Mariposa. (I'll make maps....) Mariposa is the first big stop and the first gas stop.
Stop in Mariposa at the junction of 49 and 140 and gas up, we are going to head North on 140. This is a rest stop but not a lunch stop. That won't be till Tenaya Lake!
Going north on 140 we take the turn-off north at Briceburg over the river and onto Bull Creek Road. We follow this to a righthand turn onto Forest Service Road 20 just after Kinsley, andstay on this until we rejoin Hwy 120 /Hardin Flat Road. These roads are easy dirt roads, maybe not so good for an LT or any bike with a fairining but doable on a regular naked streetbike.
Follow Hwy 120 through the Park in the direction of Tuolumne Meadows/East Gate/Lee Vining, and watch for Tenaya Lake on your right, shortly after the Clouds Rest Overlook.
We'll be stopping at the picnic area at the south end of Tenaya Lake, eating our bag lunches by the water. Everyone who brought hiking shoes, shorts and plenty of energy can walk up the ridge to the summit of Tenaya Peak with me. Don't eat too much or you'll be too sleepy to climb!
Last time I made this hike only one rider accompanied me, and we saw a bear on the way up! Estimated hike time is 1.5 - 2.0 hrs up and down, there is nothing hard or technical, it is just a direct ascent up the rocks, no trail to follow, but keep the lake on your left and you can't get lost....
After we rest and eat and drink, we'll return all the way to the Bay Area on Hwy 120, probably getting home around 7 or 8 pm.
If you don't want to climb, after you've eaten, visited with friends and napped in the sun you can easily return the rest of the way home via Hwy 120 on your own.