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Merced River Scenic Highway Road Trip

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The Merced River Scenic Highway (SR 140) is one of the main entrances into Yosemite National Park. It follows the course of the Merced River as the river winds through steep canyons within the Sierra National Forest. The highway takes you right to the park’s heart, Yosemite Valley, while offering spectacular views of such landmarks as El Capitan and Half Dome.
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From Mariposa SR 140 heads north to Midpines, surrounded by ponderosa pines, then begins a steep, winding descent to the Merced River Valley. The highway follows the river—popular with anglers—for about 20 miles to Yosemite’s Arch Rock Entrance, just past El Portal. Appropriately named, it’s a great photo op and the first taste of the park’s abundant scenic riches.