The Best Sierra Road Trips, in Photos

Although these mountain passes are closed seasonally each year, when they’re open, you’d be hard pressed to find a more scenic drive. These are my photos from the best Sierra road trips I’ve taken so far…you’re welcome to pin them, and keep in mind you can click through to see more.

Highway 120 road with fresh Yosemite Snow - late storm in May - Best Sierra Road Trips
Highway 120 with fresh Yosemite Snow

Photo Index – Sierra Road Trips

Yosemite Road Trip – From San Francisco

My Yosemite road trip route starts in the Bay Area, crosses over Altamont Pass, then continues from the San Jaoquin Valley to the Sierra foothills. While I’m sharing these photographs altogether, full disclosure: They were taken on different trips throughout the seasons.

Northside Drive in October - autumn Sierra road trips - Yosemite
Northside Drive in October – Yosemite (Click for more)

Although this may seem like an inconsistent approach, I actually thought it would be good to show how much the scenery on the road can change over the course of a year.

Sonora Pass Road Trip (HWY 108)

Sonora Pass and Majestic, Snowy Mountain Peaks - June
Sonora Pass and Majestic, Snowy Peaks (Click for more)

Highway 108 (also known as Sonora Pass) is a stunning mountain crossing. This well maintained 2 lane road takes you up to 9,623 feet in the high Sierra. I believe it was early June when I photographed my Sonora Pass Road Trip…soon after opening.

As you can see, there was still plenty of snow on these beautiful peaks.

Ebbetts Pass Road Trip (HWY 4)

Ebbetts Pass Road at Scenic Mosquito Lakes - Highway 4, California
Ebbetts Pass Road at Scenic Mosquito Lakes (Click for more)

Yes, Sonora Pass was incredibly scenic. However, just to the north, HWY 4 certainly gives it a run for its money. Otherwise known as Ebbetts Pass, this charming route becomes increasingly beautiful once you reach Lake Alpine.

The center divider disappears and the road narrows – providing a much more intimate and picturesque trip. See more from my Ebbetts Pass road trip.

Sierra Road Trips – HWY 395 to Death Valley

Truck parked at the Alabama Hills, with sunrise on Mt. Whitney - Best Sierra road trips
Parked at the Alabama Hills, with sunrise on Mt. Whitney (Click for more)

This is quite a long route, especially if you’re coming all the way from the Bay Area. Still though, it includes so much stunning California scenery that time will undoubtedly fly by.

Heading through Yosemite on Tioga Pass, it was October, so I stopped in the eastern Sierra for some “leaf peeping”. Although Lundy Canyon and June Lake were certainly stunning, I was excited to change things up and continue down 395 to the Alabama Hills and Death Valley.

More photos of my Highway 395 Road Trip

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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 (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.