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.

Spring wildflowers near Olmsted Point - Tioga Road Photos
Tioga Road Passing Through the High Sierra

Index – Tioga Road Photos

Tuolumne Grove

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.

Dead Tunnel Tree along hiking trail at Tuolumne Grove.
“Tunnel Tree” – a dead Sequoia tourists can walk through

Lukens Lake

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!

Lukens Lake Shore and grass in Summertime
Lukens Lake, a Short Hike along Tioga Rd

May Lake

May Lake involves a longer, steeper climb, but it’s still not too bad. Incredibly picturesque, with a quaint summer camp too boot.

May Lake & mountains View from Mount Hoffman Trail
May Lake View from Above

Mount Hoffman

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.

Pink Wildflowers at shore of May Lake, with Mount Hoffman Peak in Distance
Mount Hoffman View, With Wildflowers at May Lake

Olmsted Point

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.

Alpine Pine Trees on Granite Slabs Above Olmsted Point - Tioga Road Photos
Alpine Pine Trees on Granite Slabs Above Olmsted Point

Tenaya Lake

Possibly the most famous lake in the high country, Tenaya Lake sits right along Tioga Road.

Tenaya Lake & Granite Valley View From Above, Taken from near Olmsted Point - Tioga Road Photos
Tenaya Lake & Granite Valley View From Above

Indian Rock

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!).

Indian Rock Natural Bridge Formation, with Valley View - Tioga Road Photos
Indian Rock Natural Bridge Formation

Tuolumne Meadows

Also found right along Tioga Road, Tuolumne Meadows is a particularly nice stop, especially in early summer right after Tioga Pass opens.

Tuolomne Meadows Boulders and Marsh Pools - June
Tuolomne Meadows – Boulders and Pools in June

Cathedral Lakes

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.

Creek pools below jagged Cathedral Peak - Cathedral Lakes Trail - Tioga Road Photos
Cathedral Peak with Shallow Creek Pool

Lembert Dome

Another roadside stop is Lembert Dome – it’s a brief climb if you want to see the views from the top.

Lembert Dome & The Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River
Lembert Dome & Dana Fork Tuolumne River

Gaylor Lakes

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.

Gaylor Lakes View

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

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!)

Puppy Dome view of Sunset over Yosemite Valley
Setting Sun View From Top of Puppy Dome

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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.