Tioga Road Photos: A Scenic, Alpine Highway
Tioga Road (also known as Tioga Pass, or Highway 120) is the highest mountain pass in California, and one of my favorite drives in the world. There are gorgeous alpine lakes and many granite features to check out along the way. Enjoy some of my favorite Tioga Road Photos.
Index – Tioga Road Photos
- Tuolumne Grove
- Lukens Lake
- May Lake
- Mount Hoffman
- Olmsted Point
- Tenaya Lake
- Indian Rock
- Tuolumne Meadows
- Cathedral Lakes
- Lembert Dome
- Gaylor Lakes
- Puppy Dome
Although you can spend hours driving over Tioga Pass, the beautiful Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoia Trees is basically right off the main road to the valley.
Although Lukens Lake may not have the iconic granite features that the high country does, it’s a nice short hike on your way up to it!
May Lake involves a longer, steeper climb, but it’s still not too bad. Incredibly picturesque, with a quaint summer camp too boot.
Mount Hoffman sits above May Lake, and you can continue hiking up to the peak. In fact, the May Lake picture above was taken from the Mount Hoffman trail. It’s a bit of a workout getting up there…but the views from the top are quite expansive.
Although rock climbing isn’t exactly good for toddlers, the granite landscapes around Olmsted Point are perfect for the whole family to explore. This photo was taken from above Olmsted Point turnout. It features beautiful panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and Tenaya Lake.
Possibly the most famous lake in the high country, Tenaya Lake sits right along Tioga Road.
Indian Rock is a fascinating natural bridge overlooking Half Dome and Yosemite Valley. However, it may not be worth a long hike to see by itself. Luckily you can continue from here to stunning North Dome (or even upper Yosemite Falls if you’re feeling ambitious!).
Also found right along Tioga Road, Tuolumne Meadows is a particularly nice stop, especially in early summer right after Tioga Pass opens.
Cathedral Lakes is a strenuous hike, but it’s one of my favorites. As you can see, majestic Cathedral Peak makes the long hike worth it.
Another roadside stop is Lembert Dome – it’s a brief climb if you want to see the views from the top.
Certainly, Gaylor Lakes is one of Yosemite’s best kept secrets. After a short but steep climb, the trail reveals stunning views of Gaylor Peak and Mount Dana. Even though it was late summer in this picture, there were still patches of snow on a few of the peaks.
I hope to come back here in early summer just after Tioga Road opens. Surely it will be at its most green and beautiful then.
Tioga Road Photos – Honorable Mention
Puppy Dome is a brief walk from the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center. While it’s not as impressive as its more famous cousins, rock climbers love it (and there’s a great swimming hole at it’s base!)
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About My Photos
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– 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.