Ebbetts Pass Road Trip: HWY 4’s Scenic Byway Is Calling You

I don’t think many people realize that this humble highway passing through Stockton, California actually continues up and over the beautiful High Sierra. Indeed it does, and these photos of my Ebbetts Pass road trip in summer prove it…

Open Road at Ebbetts Pass
Open Road at Ebbetts Pass

This “scenic byway” is located between SR108 to the south, and CA-88 to the north. To me, the road is at its most scenic where it narrows just after Lake Alpine. The area shown below is called “Cape Horn”, and it’s quite nice.

Winding narrow road through forest, portrait
Small Mountain Highway 4, in the high Sierras of California

I pulled the truck over here at the Pacific Grade Summit, just after Mosquito Lakes. Some breathtaking high Sierra views up here.

Parked Truck at Pacific Grade Summit - Ebbetts Pass Road trip
Parked @ Pacific Grade Summit

As you can see, it pays to drive carefully. This may not look like a two way road – but it definitely is! This corner is especially dangerous, because I imagine that these sweeping views distract drivers as well.

Audi tourist wagon driving on HWY4 Mountain Road
Beautiful (but deadly) Blind Turns

While I do like having a truck to haul my gear, I must say I was a bit jealous of this biker on his classic Harley. What a day for a ride…

Motorcycle Rider Pulled Over - Ebbetts Pass Road trip
Ride Of A lifetime

The Cape Horn area also features a few primitive sites where you can pull over and do some car camping. I imagine if you show up during the week, scoring a campsite with a great view shouldn’t be a problem…

SUV car camping site on roadside
SUV campers

Yes, this route provides quite the picture perfect joy ride…I found some dirt forest roads that looked like a lot of fun if I had a jeep like this. My truck isn’t 4 wheel drive, and it’s so light that the back tires spin out easily.

Weekenders Driving in jeep - Ebbetts Pass Road trip
4X4 Jeep adventurers

Anyway, enjoy…and be sure to check out my main gallery for Ebbetts Pass landscapes as well!

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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.