Considering the route?

Conditions: Contact the United States Forest Service for road condition updates, particularly for whether those pesky downed trees have been cleared.
Weather: The county keeps county roads clear starting May 1. Heat is the killer, so late spring or early fall are best. Water refills can get dicey in the fall. Given the portions over 5,000′, winter is not advised.
Water: Bring a water filter, Steri-Pen, or iodine. The only water is creek water for the majority of the ride.
Communications: Cell service is not consistent, and there are very few people in the back country. A satellite communicator like a Garmin InReach gives one some security with satellite texting and an emergency help button. Downloading an offline version of the region through Google Maps also provides user-friendly navigation without cellular connection.
Bike/tires: I used a gravel bike with a good climbing ratio. Tires were 42 cm in front, 35 cm in back, both fast-rolling knobbies. The combination worked for 98% of the route, ignoring the downed trees. The 2% was the exceedingly steep and mushy climb out of Little Nellie Falls toward Foresta, and a few mountain bike-level bumps along the Foresta-El Portal descent.
Options: A rider can opt for the Foresta to El Portal single track descent (mind that second bridge!) or the Foresta road up to the road to Yosemite Valley. The single track is the most technically challenging riding on the route, and one should stay vigilant for poison oak and snakes. As someone highly reactive to poison oak, I rode it and was fine but did a Tecnu decontamination at the end of the ride as a precaution.
Add-ons: For those with time and talent, this can be turned into a multi-day bikepacking trip mustering out of the Merced Amtrak station. A bit of urban and rural riding will get one to Coulterville. Alternately, one can connect at the station to YARTS — Yosemite Area Regional Transit — to reduce the road mileage. YARTS takes reservations and bikes, reservations recommended.

Have you or someone you know been involved in a bicycle crash? Curious about your rights? Are you a lawyer handling a bicycle crash who wants more information on how to get the best result for your client? Contact Bicycle Law at 866-VELOLAW (866-835-6529) or info@bicyclelaw.com.

Bicycle Law’s Bob Mionske is licensed to practice in Oregon, its affiliate Coopers LLP has lawyers licensed in California, and either can affiliate with local counsel on bicycle cases across the country to make sure cyclists get the benefit of lawyers who focus on the issues specific to bicycle incidents.

Considering the route?

Conditions: Contact the United States Forest Service for road condition updates, particularly for whether those pesky downed trees have been cleared.

Weather: The county keeps county roads clear starting May 1. Heat is the killer, so late spring or early fall are best. Water refills can get dicey in the fall. Given the portions over 5,000′, winter is not advised.

Water: Bring a water filter, Steri-Pen, or iodine. The only water is creek water for the majority of the ride.
Communications: Cell service is not consistent, and there are very few people in the back country. A satellite communicator like a Garmin InReach gives one some security with satellite texting and an emergency help button. Downloading an offline version of the region through Google Maps also provides user-friendly navigation without cellular connection.
Bike/tires: I used a gravel bike with a good climbing ratio. Tires were 42 cm in front, 35 cm in back, both fast-rolling knobbies. The combination worked for 98% of the route, ignoring the downed trees. The 2% was the exceedingly steep and mushy climb out of Little Nellie Falls toward Foresta, and a few mountain bike-level bumps along the Foresta-El Portal descent.
Options: A rider can opt for the Foresta to El Portal single track descent (mind that second bridge!) or the Foresta road up to the road to Yosemite Valley. The single track is the most technically challenging riding on the route, and one should stay vigilant for poison oak and snakes. As someone highly reactive to poison oak, I rode it and was fine but did a Tecnu decontamination at the end of the ride as a precaution.
Add-ons: For those with time and talent, this can be turned into a multi-day bikepacking trip mustering out of the Merced Amtrak station. A bit of urban and rural riding will get one to Coulterville. Alternately, one can connect at the station to YARTS — Yosemite Area Regional Transit — to reduce the road mileage. YARTS takes reservations and bikes, reservations recommended.