High Sierra Photos: Beauty Beyond Yosemite

While Yosemite is obviously a jaw-dropping destination, the greater high Sierra (outside the park) has plenty more to offer. I intend on adding to this page as time goes by, but below are some of my favorite (non-Yosemite) high Sierra photos. Feel free to pin or click through each section for more images…

Donnell Reservoir and Dam on Highway 108, Sonora Pass
Donnell Reservoir in the Sierras

Index of High Sierra Photos

Sonora Pass Landscapes

Distant view of illuminated mountain tops, taken from Sonora Pass, Highway 108 - High Sierra Photos
Distant view of illuminated mountain tops, taken from Sonora Pass

Just north of Yosemite National Park, you’ll find Highway 108, also known as Sonora Pass. This state route is the 2nd highest mountain pass in California, and home to some incredible high Sierra scenery. Here are more Sonora Pass Photos.

Sonora Pass Waterfalls

Long Exposure falls on Sonora Pass - Stanislaus River and Deadman Creek - High Sierra Photos
Falls along the Stanislaus River – Highway 108 Roadside

Although Yosemite gets most of the attention, Sonora Pass offers some pretty stunning smaller waterfalls along the Stanislaus River and Deadman Creek. If you visit on a warm day just after the pass opens for the season, the snowmelt feeds the falls – and you’ll be in for a real treat! Here are more photos of Sonora Pass waterfalls.

Ebbetts Pass Photos

Beautiful Sunset clouds over Mosquito Lake - Ebbetts Pass - High Sierra photos
Sunset on Mosquito Lake – Ebbetts Pass

Yet even further north of Highway 108, you’ll find Highway 4, otherwise known as Ebbetts Pass. Even though I generally prefer Sonora Pass, Ebbetts Pass does have some incredible features. The scenic one lane stretch just after Lake Alpine is particularly memorable. Without a doubt (and despite the name), Mosquito Lake was also a highlight for me.

Here are more of my Ebbetts Pass photos.

Granite Gorge Photos (Tuolumne River)

Granite Gorge pool in late afternoon - Tuolumne River
Granite Gorge pool in late afternoon

Certainly, this swimming hole on the Tuolumne River is one of the Sierra’s best kept secrets. Granite Gorge is a river canyon tucked away south of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Be warned: Heavy flow seasons are not safe to swim, and there are rattlesnakes and a lot of poison oak on the long, hot trail. Still want to go? Yeah, you’re a badass.

More Granite Gorge photos

Lake Tahoe – High Sierra Photos

South Lake Tahoe Boathouse - Long Exposure with December snow - High Sierra Photos
South Lake Tahoe Boathouse – Long Exposure

Although I don’t have a lot of Lake Tahoe pictures yet, I did snap a few a during December of 2017. Unquestionably, this famous lake is the highlight of the northern Sierra. I hope to come back and capture the lake with clear skies someday. In the meantime, you can check out my Lake Tahoe photos here.

Looking for lodging? Check out my Yosemite Hotels page.

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.