Map to Florence Lake and Muir Trail Ranch
(For a printable version, see the bottom of this page.)
 

Getting to Muir Trail Ranch from various places in California

From San Francisco, Sacramento: Take State Route (SR) 99 south to Madera. At Cleveland Ave exit, turn left onto Cleveland and immediately get in the right-hand lane so you can turn right on Gateway. Go south on Gateway to Yosemite Ave, SR 145. (We checked out this route on April 30, 1999, and could not find a sign on Gateway that indicated Yosemite Ave was State Route 145. Someone probably stole it and it’s hanging on the wall in his den next to the Bud Light sign he stole from a bar.) Turn left (east) on SR 145 about 15 miles, cross SR 41 at signal. You’re now on Road 145; continue 3 miles to Road 206. Turn right and continue to Friant. At stop sign, turn left, go past Millerton Lake to stop sign at Auberry Rd. Turn left to town of Prather. At stop sign, turn left onto SR 168. Follow signs to Huntington Lake.

From Los Angeles: Go north on SR 99 to Kingsburg, which is about 30 miles south of Fresno. Take the Kingsburg/Sanger exit (to Pine Flat Lake and Huntington Lake) and go north on 18th Ave (it becomes Mendocino Ave). At Adams Ave, turn left, go half a mile, turn right on Academy Avenue. Go north, turn right on Tollhouse Rd. Follow signs to Huntington Lake.

From Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo: Take SR 41 to Fresno. Exit at the Kings Canyon National Park exit, Fwy 180 east. Exit onto Fwy 168 East to Clovis and Huntington Lake. Take the freeway till it becomes a two-lane road, Highway 168, and follow the signs to Huntington Lake.

From Yosemite National Park: Take SR 41 south. Between Fish Camp and Oakhurst, turn left on Road 222 to Bass Lake and North Fork. As you approach Bass lake, Road 222 veers to the right to Bass Lake, so stay on the main road which changes its name to Road 274 and heads to North Fork. Right turn at stop/yield sign in North Fork, cross the creek, go left through North Fork till you see the left turn sign for Road 222 to Auberry. (When we last checked, the sign was missing. So from the yield sign mentioned above, go one mile and you’ll arrive at the left turn pocket to Road 222.) You’ll drop down in elevation and cross the San Joaquin River. Then you go up, up, up. At the stop sign, head on through Auberry about 4 miles to stop sign at SR 168, turn left and follow signs to Huntington Lake.

Once you’ve arrived at Huntington Lake, the real adventure begins! First, check to see that you have plenty of fuel for your car, because Rancheria Marina is the last place to get it (a pump takes dollar bills day or night). If you need fuel, stay on SR 168, going a quarter mile past the Florence and Edison Lakes turnoff. Say hi to the nice folks at Rancheria, fill ’er up, then go back to the turnoff, turn left, and head up the hill on Forest Service Road 80, the Kaiser Pass Road. At the junction of SR 168 and the Kaiser Pass Road is the Eastwood Ranger Station if you need info.
Drive up the nice two-lane road for about 5 miles, and you’ll come to the one-lane portion. Relax, it’s only another 17 miles to Florence Lake on some really interesting road!
On the way, you’ll pass the last Ranger outpost, the High Sierra station. A mile past that is the turnoff to Mono Hot Springs and Edison Lake. Just breeze on past and head straight (figuratively speaking, of course) the remaining 7 miles to Florence Lake.
Check in at the Florence Lake Store. Offload your stuff where they tell you to, and park your car in the lovely paved Trailhead Parking lot.

Getting to the Ranch by other means: If a three-hour drive from Fresno isn’t your cuppa, you can fly into the ranch by helicopter, which takes about 25 minutes from Fresno/Clovis. But you’ll miss the really neat ferryboat ride, and the hike or horseback ride. Since the ranch is private land, there is no need to get permission from other agencies to land there. You do have to get our permission, however.Tell the pilot you want to go to Blayney Meadow (most local flyers know where it is).
Another fine way to arrive at Muir Trail Ranch is to hike in from Bishop over Piute Pass. Or up from Mt. Whitney on the PCT. Yosemite is a popular starting point for a hike, too, via the Muir Trail. In fact, you can get to the ranch from almost anywhere in the world. (Exceptions include: Federal prison, the grave, and the belly of a lion.) Once you get here, though—you’ll know you’ve arrived at a truly remarkable place. Leave your troubles behind, but don’t forget to bring your manners.

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