Yosemite Roads Photos – Editorial Infrastructure

Without a doubt, Yosemite roads feature some of the most jaw dropping scenery the state of California has to offer. Here are some photos from behind the wheel, from the valley on up to the high country.

Pink Flowers on Tioga Pass Roadside - SR120
Pink Flowers on Tioga Pass Roadside

Tioga Pass

When coming in from the west on SR120, take a left on Tioga Pass before you reach the valley. You won’t regret this stunning alpine drive!

Driving Tioga Road Near Olmsted Point - Yosemite roads
Driving The Granite Wonderland

Here you see the open road stretched out to Tenaya Lake in the distance. The granite scenery up here is truly unforgettable.

Tenaya Lake & Granite Mountain View - SR120
Tenaya Lake & Mountain View

Here’s a closer view, with a nice curve in the road. The pavement is well maintained up here. Well, I suppose it’s that way everywhere in the park.

Yosemite Valley Roads

When it comes to the roads in Yosemite Valley, it just doesn’t get any better. However, you pay for this incredible scenery, as these routes are often completely jammed during peak season.

140 (El Portal Road)

One way road near "Arch Rock Entrance"
“Arch Rock Entrance”

Talk about roadside beauty! Here you literally get to drive right through it. In my opinion El Portal Road is the most beautiful park entrance. The street splits and narrows, leading your car right through giant boulders that hang over the route.

HWY 120 (Big Oak Flat Road)

Fall colors along Big Oak Flat Road
Roadside color

If you’re on 120, you can continue to the valley rather than turn onto Tioga Road. Here there is some nice roadside scenery past Crane Flat, particularly in the fall. This route is known as “Big Oak Flat Road”.

Wawona (HWY 41) – Yosemite Roads

Wawona Road (HWY 41) at Tunnel View
Tunnel View Crossing

Wawona is known as Highway 41, and it takes you past Tunnel View, and out the south of the park. You can opt to take Glacier Point Road up along the way, if you prefer.

Glacier Point Road

Glacier Point Road Hairpin Turn with Half Dome View - Yosemite roads
The most beautiful turn in the world?

Not a bad view along this route, eh? For obvious reasons, this may very well be the most famous stretch of road in the park. This hairpin turn with Half Dome view is just minutes from the top of Glacier Point.

Snowy Yosemite Roads

Driving a snowy stretch of SR120 road before plowing - near Crane Flat
Drive Carefully, and use Chains

Generally the roads stay open and are plowed through the rough winter months. However, during bad storms there is a chance that they’ll close.

Usually you are required by law to carry chains during the snow season. Whether or not you actually have to put them on along the side of the road, that is another question. Always check for updates as you drive (flashing lights on signs)

Tire tracks in snow, near Carlon Falls Trailhead - Yosemite roads
Tire tracks in snow on Evergreen Road

I think I took the photos above during a brief weekday period where the plow had not come through yet. I’m glad I had chains for my tires at this time. Also be sure to check my Yosemite road trip photos.

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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.