Sonora Pass Road Trip Photos – A Scenic California Drive

If you ever have a chance to take a drive up California’s scenic SR108, I definitely recommend it. I took the following photos on a Sonora pass road trip in June, soon after the road opened for the season.

SR108 Snowy Peak in June - Sonora Pass Road Trip
My Sonora Pass Road Trip

As you wind through the dense Stanislaus National Forest, soon you’ll come upon scenic Kennedy Meadows and Dardanelle. I believe it was around here that I took this long exposure photo of the bridge over Eagle Creek.

Bridge over Eagle Creek, long exposure - Sonora Pass Road Trip
SR108 bridge over Eagle Creek

It’s quite surreal to drive here so quickly from the summer heat of Sonora. The air begins to cool quickly, and before you know it, there are patches of snow on the side of the road. Suddenly BOOM…there’s Night Cap Peak, covered in snow.

Night Cap Peak view from the road - Sonora Pass Road Trip
Night Cap Peak View From SR108

As I continued up the road near the summit, the surroundings became more rocky and scenic.

Rocky cliffs near the summit of SR108 road
Rocky cliffs near the summit

There looks to be some excellent roadside climbing and bouldering around here.

Late afternoon sunburst over the mountainside street.
Sunstar effect in a pine tree

While in general you won’t see many tourists on this route, the turnouts near the actual summit of Sonora Pass may be the exception.

Summit – Sonora Pass Road Trip – A Scenic California Drive

Toiyabe national Forest Sign Near The Summit
Toiyabe national Forest Sign Near The Summit

I noticed that the roadside landscapes change quite dramatically once over the top. The valleys and fields are lush and vibrant – at least at this time of year.

Open road and double yellow line - Sonora Pass Road Trip
Open road and double yellow line

The super high elevation (over 9,000ft) on such a short drive is a testament to just how quickly your car ascends on this trip. The town of Sonora, what feels like just a stones throw away, is only at 1,800ft.

Yellow "Icy Conditions" Road Sign on SR108
Icy Road Sign, Not Applicable on This Warm Summer Day

If I had to choose, I prefer the scenery on the second half of this journey.

High Sierra Mountain Scenery
High Mountain Scenery

Keep an eye out for wildlife along the road – I saw a coyote in broad daylight once. I believe that trip was in October.

Expansive Views out to the Eastern Sierra, Sweetwater Mountains
Expansive Views out to the Eastern Sierra

Although you may think that’s all this gorgeous mountain route has to offer, I have more for you. I actually think the following Sonora Pass landscapes & mountain waterfalls are even better. Happy traveling!

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About My Photos

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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.