Central California - May/June 2009

Yosemite National Park - Tioga Pass Road 2



Tioga Pass

After leaving Tenya Lake you begin the final ascent up to Tioga Pass. The grade steepens and you travel thru more Alpine forest with small lakes and streams. Just before you reach the pass you encounter another small meadow (Dana Meadows) with spectacular views of the tallest peaks. You then reach the eastern park entrance located right at the top of Tioga Pass (elevation 9945ft). So the trip thus far has been a ~45mi rollercoaster ride for an elevation gain of ~3700ft



One of the small lakes along the way.


Dana Meadows


Another shot from Dana Meadows


The eastern entry to Yosemite National Park at the top of Tioga Pass. This view is looking west, back into the park.




The Scary Part

After you show your pass to the ranger at the gate (they are trying to catch people that enter the park when the gate is unmanned), you begin the trip down the eastern flanks of the Sierra. The road is not real steep, and you pass two more beautiful lakes. Then things get really hairy! The road between the pass and the base of the mountains drops ~3100ft in ~12mi! The road is not too narrow, and it is relatively straight. But on one side you have rock walls and the other side is a several hundred foot near vertical drop. And long stretches have no shoulder on either side and no guardrail! I drove this stretch of road a total of 4 times (2 up, 2 down). The uphill drive was not so bad since you had a whole lane between you and the chasm. The downhill ride, with the drop a foot or so from the passenger side of the car, generally involved a high pucker factor!




Ellery Lake on the east side of the pass.


A nice stream alongside the road.


Looking down the east side of the pass. You can see the roadway on the left side of the image, and also the diagonal line in the mountain running across the center.


Looking west, back up into Tioga Pass.



San Francisco

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Waterfalls

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Tioga Pass Road 1

Tioga Pass Road 2

Mammoth Lakes – Fire…

Mammoth Lakes –  ... and Ice

South on US395

Moonrise at the Golden Gate


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All images copyright ©2009 by Al Hann

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