About the Site
Yosemite National Park (12)  


Park History

Yosemite Valley

Merced River

Half Dome & El Capitan

Yosemite Peaks

Glacier Point

Yosemite Falls


Yosemite Village

Valley in Snow

Wawona Area

Mariposa Grove

Tioga Road

Tenaya Lake

Tuolumne Meadows

Plants and Animals


Tioga Road

There is a great road, known as the Tioga Road, which runs east and west through the park, and which provides access to the high country and Yosemite's eastern entrance.

This road provides access to the beautiful scenery of the high country, as well as providing a "behind the scenes" look at Yosemite Valley. Below is such a view of Half Dome from Tenaya Point.

The picture below shows Tenaya Canyon and Half Dome from Olmstead Point, named after the famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead who served as chairman of the first board of commissioners which managed the Yosemite Grant signed by President Lincoln.

The great glacier moved down the Tenaya Canyon on the way to Half Dome and Yosemite Valley.

The Tioga Road affords easy access to the High Sierras in the eastern, upper section of the park. A small section of the road can be seen below. Although this is a well-paved, modern road, improving it to this state was very controversial when the idea was proposed.

This route began as an Indian trail and was later used as a route for shepherds leading their flocks. The lure of gold and other minerals led to its establishment as a rough wagon and mining road. It was first opened to the public in 1916. However, it was dust and unpaved until 1937. The road was last realigned, and dedicated, in 1961. Construction of the road through such a formidable landscape required a great deal of blasting through the rock, as can be imagined from the section shown below.

The Tioga Pass lies at an altitude of 9,945 feet, making it the highest auto pass in California. It is open only during the summer months as it covered by snow during other parts of the year. It may be lined by snow even into July. The picture below shows the mountain known as Clouds Rest.

Glacial Erratics, which are stones which were left behind by the receding glaciers, can be found throughout the park, including in the area of Yosemite Creek Valley.

Another view of the Sierra mountains, seen from the road, can be seen below. The first white visitors to the area, Joseph Walker and his party, moved east along the Indian trail which existed approximately along the current route of the Tioga Road, on their way to the first siting of Yosemite Valley.

Below is a view of the Merced Valley.

Lying Head, Dana Meadows, and Mt. Dana are seen in the photograph below.

The view below shows Kuna Crest and Mammoth Peak, which reaches an altitude of 12,117 feet, in the area of Tioga Pass.

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  • All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2013

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