Tioga Pass Rd

The starting point I picked is at the beginning Tioga Pass Rd at the corner of Big Flat Oak Rd. There's a parking lot and a gas station. It's worthwhile to make a little side trip to Toulumne Grove to look at the really big trees. You can also start outside the park and save some money, fee for bicyclists is $10 only.

The starts somewhat unspectacular as climb through the mostly pine forest. Shortly after you pass the turn-off to White Wolf you pass a ridge and the road opens. First you pass Yosemite Creek and after climbing another ridge you reach Olmsted Point - one of my favorite spots in Yosemite

Now you keep moderately climbing pass along Tenaya Lake and various big granite domes. Eventually you reach Toulume Meadows where you can restock on drinks and food. From there it's just a few kilometers to Tioga Pass which is comparatively unspectacular compared to all the scenery you just passed.

As you pass Tioga Lake the scenery starts to change, the other side of the Sierra is much drier and the rocks are of a different kind. You have a long descent down to Hwy 395. Don't miss Lake Mono and the Tufa structures.

The Yosemite National Park web site provides a reasonable map - no elevation lines though. Note that Tioga Pass is closed for most of the year due to snow. Usually it opens late May, early June. As I write this on June 14, 2006, the pass is still closed and no opening date available.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Big tree in Toulumne Grove

View to Yosemite Valley from Olmsted Point

Mono Lake