Rush Creek Lodge is easy to find, situated just half a mile from the Park’s Highway 120 west entrance, providing an ideal launching point for exploration into all parts of Yosemite.  The resort is a 3 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area along scenic Highway 120, the most direct route to Yosemite from the Bay Area, offering year-round access to the Park. This highway offers convenient access to the lodge from all parts of California. Highway 120 also offers easy access to Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows and the rest of Yosemite.

Remember that when road tripping through the great outdoors it’s best to keep plenty of water in the car and keep your gas tank fueled up.  Traveling east on Highway 120 the closest gasoline is 9.5 miles inside the Park at Crane Flat gas station.

Navigation System Warning

Please note that GPS navigation systems (often found in rental cars) and online sites such as Mapquest and Google Maps can be unreliable in our area. If you have any questions about the best route to Rush Creek Lodge, please see the directions below or call/email us before your trip. We wouldn’t want you to get lost or waste valuable vacation time trying to find us!

From the San Francisco Bay Area

From downtown San Francisco, take I-80 East across the Bay Bridge. After the bridge, merge onto I-580 East. Continue for about 45 miles then merge onto I-205 East towards Tracy/Stockton. At the junction of I-205 East and I-5 North, take CA-120 East and follow signs to Manteca.

At Manteca, take CA-99 North and exit immediately to stay on CA-120 East. Continue on CA-120 East to Oakdale (note that CA-120 makes a left-hand turn in the middle of Oakdale). 26 miles beyond Oakdale, turn right at Yosemite Junction and continue on CA-120 East through Groveland.

1/2 mile before the entrance to Yosemite (22.5 miles beyond Groveland), the entrance to Rush Creek Lodge is on your right hand side.

From the San Francisco International Airport

Exit the airport and take US-101 South towards San Jose. Continue for about 7 miles and merge onto CA-92 East to Hayward, crossing the San Mateo Bridge. Look left for a beautiful view of San Francisco!

Merge onto I-880 North towards Oakland. Proceed 3 miles and merge onto I-238 East to Castro Valley/Stockton. Proceed 3 miles and merge onto I-580 East and begin following the “San Francisco Bay Area” directions above.

From the Sacramento Area

Take CA-99 South to Manteca. Exit onto CA-120 East and begin following the “San Francisco Bay Area” directions above.

From Redding (Northern California)

Take I-5 South through Sacramento and Stockton. Exit onto CA-120 East and begin following the “San Francisco Bay Area” directions above.

From the Los Angeles (or Fresno) Area

Recommended Route
Take I-5 North to CA-99 North. In Merced, take exit 186C, merge onto E 16th Street, then turn right onto G Street. After 7 miles, keep right as G Street splits into Snelling Road. Follow Snelling Road to CA-59 and turn right. Continue onto J16/Merced Falls Road until you reach CA-132E and turn right.

After 10 miles, turn left onto CA-49 North/Golden Chain Highway. Follow for 150 feet, then turn right onto Greeley Hill Road/Main Street. Take Greeley Hill Road/J20/Smith Station to CA-120 East and turn right.

The entrance to Rush Creek Lodge is on your right hand side on CA-120 East, 1/2 mile before the entrance to Yosemite.

Highway Route
Take I-5 North or CA-99 North to CA-120 East towards Manteca/Sonora and continue following the “San Francisco Bay Area” directions above.

Scenic Route through Yosemite Valley
Take CA-99 North towards Fresno, then take CA-41 North into the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. Unless you have a national parks pass, there will be a $20 entry fee that will cover trips into the Park for you and all occupants of your vehicle for seven days.

Head North on CA-41 through the Park, and follow signs for Yosemite Valley destinations. Once you enter the Valley, take this opportunity to enjoy the scenic views of Half Dome, El Capitan and some of the tallest waterfalls in the world.

When you’re ready to head to the lodge, follow the signs to CA-120 West. Stay on CA-120 until you exit Yosemite National Park.

1/2 mile after exiting Yosemite, the entrance to Rush Creek Lodge will be on your left hand side on Highway 120.

From the Lake Tahoe Area

Take CA-89 South to I-395 South. Make a right onto CA-120 West and enter Yosemite National Park (note that Tioga Pass located on CA-120 closes each winter – please see below). Continue to Crane Flat and make a right following the signs towards San Francisco. Exit the Park.

1/2 mile after exiting Yosemite, the entrance to Rush Creek Lodge will be on your left hand side on Highway 120.

From Mammoth Lakes

Take I-395 North. Make a left onto CA-120 West and begin following the “Lake Tahoe Area” directions above.

Seasonal Closure of Tioga Pass

Please note that Tioga Pass, located on CA-120 on the EAST SIDE of Yosemite National Park (near the Nevada border) closes each winter. While closing and opening dates vary from year to year, Tioga Pass typically closes in mid to late November and reopens in mid-May. This closure does not affect travelers coming from the west (e.g. Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, etc.). During winter months, guests traveling from the east side of the Sierras will need to cross the mountains either north or south of the Park. You can use this link to see the history of opening and closing dates for the Tioga Road, and visit the National Park Service Current Conditions page for current status.

Yarts

Rush Creek Lodge serves seasonally as an official YARTS stop from May 15th through September 29th. YARTS is a local transportation provider that services the Yosemite area, which means you can sit back and enjoy the views, not the road. YARTS users are encouraged to reserve their seats in advance for guaranteed seating.

Learn all about the YARTS details here.

Airports

There are a variety of commercial airports serving the region.  Public transportation is available in some areas (such as Amtrak rail service and YARTS bus service), however you will need a car to get to Rush Creek Lodge during early spring, fall and winter seasons.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Service for many major airlines
170 miles west of Rush Creek
Approximately 3.5 hour drive

Oakland International Airport (OAK)
Service for many major airlines
155 miles west of Rush Creek
3 hour drive

San Jose International Airport (SJC)
Service for many major airlines
160 miles west of Rush Creek
3.5 hour drive

Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
Service for many major airlines
160 miles north of Rush Creek
3 hour drive

Merced Regional Airport (MCE)
Daily commercial service to/from Los Angeles on Great Lakes Airlines
95 miles southwest of Rush Creek
2 hour drive

Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH)
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego through Alaska Airlines
100 miles southeast of Rush Creek
2.5 hour drive using Highway 395 and Highway 120 Tioga Road spring through fall, road closed in the winter.  Learn more from our section on Seasonal Closure of Tioga Pass.

Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
Service for several major commercial airlines
135 miles south of Rush Creek
3 hour drive