Oakdale and Tracy Bypass
(SF Bay Area to Tioga or Sonora Pass)

Revised July 2005 - please send updates to the webmaster

home See Driving Directions > San Francisco Area for context and how to get here.
east Northern Sierra Trailheads (Lake Tahoe, Sonora Pass, Tioga Pass)
southeast Western Sierra Trailheads and Central Valley Highways
info GPS waypoints: download GPX file
Local resident Simpkins asked me to remind everyone to obey speed limits in rural neighborhoods:
"It's safer for everyone, and as residents we appreciate the consideration." Fair enough!
Contributor Mike McDermitt showed me the Rodden Road bypass of downtown Oakdale.
Contributor Lisa_Barboza suggested the macro bypass including Tracy, my StreetPilot filled in the details.

This file shows you to the western approach for Tioga Pass and Sonora Pass.

There are three GPS routes in this file: The first route (OAKDALE NORMAL) represents the best choice for light traffic days. It is 19 miles shorter than the MACRO BYPASS route but may be faster when Tracy, Escalon, and Oakdale have stop-and-go traffic. The second rout (OAKDALE BYPASS) just gets you around the town of Oakdale, using Rodden Road to the north. The third route (MACRO BYPASS) winds around farm roads to avoid most towns, skirting south of Oakland and Tracy, and skirting north of Modesto.

First, the standard route along Hwy 120 - OAKDALE NORMAL:

Take I-580 east from Livermore, then I-205 past Tracy. Follow the Hwy 120 signs through a jog north on I-5 and then Hwy 99 at Manteca. Cruise through Escalon to Oakdale (waypoint 108120) where Hwy 108 and Hwy 120 join for a while, then choose Sonora Pass (Hwy 108) or Tioga Pass (Hwy 120) at Yosemite Junction (waypoint 108120). Oakdale is the best place for gas and food.

Detour just around Oakdale, on Rodden Road - OAKDALE BYPASS:

This route will be faster only if there is major congestion from holiday traffic or an accident. Follow the directions and map above to Manteca, then cruise on through Escalon but leave Hwy 120 before Oakdale, at 26 Mile Road (waypoint 26MIRD). Make an immediate right on Gilbert, and follow Rodden east along the north side of the river. The route rejoins Hwy 120 via Lancaster (waypoint LANCST) just before the 4-lane section starts east of Oakdale. Note that the bypass means you will not see much in the way of filling stations or services past Escalon! As above, choose Sonora Pass (Hwy 108) or Tioga Pass (Hwy 120) at Yosemite Junction (waypoint 108120).

This map is a close-up of the area around Oakdale, see the map above for context:

The Big Detour - skip Tracy, Manteca, Escalon, Oakdale - MACRO BYPASS:

This route is 19 miles longer than OAKDALE NORMAL, and will be faster only if there is major and widespread rush hour congestion!

Here's an overview of the route:

Take I-580 east from Livermore, and stay on it toward I-5 at waypoint 205580, avoiding Tracy. Before reaching I-5, turn west on Hwy 132 (waypoint 132508), and head for Modesto.

Cross I-5 at waypoint 132005, and turn left (north) on N Gates Rd about halfway to Modesto (waypoint GAT132). Follow Gates north, then turn east (right) on Bacon Rd (waypoint BACGAT). There are lots of farm roads here, but they don't all go through! Go one intersection east on Bacon, then turn north (left) on Dunn Rd (waypoint DUNBAC). Go one intersection north on Dunn, then turn east (right) on Kiernan Ave (waypoint KIRDUN).

You have to go over Hwy 99 in Salida, and while there are a couple of turns close together it's not all that confusing. Go SE on Salida Blvd (waypoint SALKIR), then turn left (NE) on Broadway (waypoint BROSAL) toward the obvious overpass (waypoint BROD99). Bear east, once again on Kiernan, at waypoint KIRBRO. (Kiernan does NOT go under the freeway, but it looks like it does.)

Continue east across Hwy 108, where Kiernan changes name to Claribel Rd (waypoint KIRNAN). Stay on Claribel until you turn left (north) on Smith Rd (wayopint CLARIB). Jog left (west) on Warnerville Rd between waypoints SMITHR and WARNER, then continue north on Stearns Rd. Turn right (east) on Sierra Rd (waypoint STEARN) until it ends at Wamble Rd (waypoint SIERRA), then go north (left) to Hwy 120 at waypoint WAMBLE.

You have two choices at WAMBLE: You can turn right (east) on Hwy 120, or you can cross the highway and take Orange Blossom (waypoints WAMORG and ORANGE) and Lancaster Rd (waypoints LANCS2 and LANCST) to avoid another 2 miles of Hwy 120. The Lancaster option requires crossing the highway twice, so it's probably not all that great!

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