California 120 [Locator Map]

Route 120

A "mainstream" super-twisty. Lots of traffic, lots of diverse scenery, and lots of twisties.

Section Covered:
Moccasin, CA to Lee Vining, CA (and optionally on to the Nevada Border).

158 km (optionally, 237 km)

Ratings:   Rankings:
Scenic Impact 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Overall Score: 7.6
Twistiness 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Fun-to-Drive: 7.6
Surface Quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
Traffic 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rankings and ratings explained

California 120 [Detail Map]
California 120 is a great road, offering sections of amazing twistiness, a huge variety of fantastic scenery, and superb road quality. Too bad that 50,000 other people want to gawk at the same scenery, too. The western part of this road is the main way that Bay Area residents get to ultra-famous Yosemite National Park, and the eastern part of the road is the only road in Yosemite that crosses the Sierra Nevada. As a result, its a busy road. If you can go when everyone's away (like really early in the morning on a weekday in the off season), then you'll improve your enjoyment of this twisty road immensely.
California 120
The road is at its twistiest at the western end, from its start to the Yosemite National Park Entrance. From within the park, the road offers more scenery but less tight twistiness (although its still good). As the highway winds its way into the Sierra high country, you are treated to wonderful high Alpine views. The descent down into the desert east of the Sierras is a well-paved, higher-speed sweeper type of arrangement. If you choose to continue on past Lee Vining, highway 120 become an open desert highway, with straight stretches interspersed with some tight bits and some fun "dips".

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