Don’t forget a quick side trip for shopping at the outlet stores, all the big names are located here.
There are shaded picnic tables and public parking next to the historic 1895 Jailhouse, which is near the west end of town by the Yosemite Hwy120 Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center office.From May to October, the visitor center has a Yosemite National Park Ranger on site to sell park entry passes and offer detailed advice about visiting the park and all that Yosemite has to offer.After a while, SR120 makes a right turn and heads east, while Highway 108 continues on towards the historic area of Jamestown, Sonora, and Columbia and across beautiful Sonora Pass.But that is another journey, we are taking that right turn towards Yosemite National Park, and continuing on our Highway 120 Adventure.State Route 120 in Northern California is about 206 miles long, you could traverse the entire highway from end to end in a day, but why would you when there is so much to see and do along the way?
Let’s take a journey along this historic road, from west to east, and sample just a few of the attractions and recreational opportunities on offer, which by the way includes not only Yosemite National Park but many other unique attractions and beautiful places too! Well known as the ”heart of California” it has always been a major junction in the highways and byways of California’s great Central Valley.
Heading east, SR 120 travels to the former rail town of Escalon, which dates back to the 1920’s and with a population under 10,000 people has some real small town charm to offer travelers.
Here you can visit the Barn for fruit and produce, plus gifts, delicious pies and lots more, and then enjoy a family picnic at Escalon’s very own Main Street Park, the home of a historic caboose.
The first of the classic Gold Rush Era towns you come to on this stretch of SR120 will be Chinese Camp, the site of the Tong War, featuring several historic buildings dating back to the mid 1800’s and mining days including The Wells Fargo Building where miners took their gold for weighing & deposit, and part of the Mark Twain Bret Harte trail.
Next you pass the north arm of Lake Don Pedro, offering all manner of water sports from fishing to jet ski rentals, near the community of Moccasin, where it is great family fun to stop and feed the fish at Moccasin Fish Hatchery.
Founded in 1871 and known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World”, Oakdale is home to not only many world champion cowboys but to several signature events.