Discover the Breathtaking Yosemite National Park Tioga Pass in 5 Stunning Vistas

Yosemite National Park’s Tioga Pass is a must-visit destination for state park touring enthusiasts. The pass, which is the highest elevation highway in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and all of California, offers stunning views of the park’s high country. Tioga Road, a section of Highway-120 that cuts across the northern part of Yosemite National Park, connects US-395 near Mono Lake with Big Oak Flat Road on the west side of the park. The highest point along the drive is 9,945 ft above sea level, located at the Tioga Pass Entrance to Yosemite National Park.

Discovering the Highlights of Tioga Pass

For those looking to explore the area, there are plenty of things to do and see along Tioga Pass. Just outside of the Tioga Pass Yosemite entrance are a pair of beautiful alpine lakes, Tioga Lake and Ellery Lake, which offer campsites and pullouts for road-trippers on their way into the park. These lakes provide a peaceful respite and the opportunity to take in the stunning mountain scenery.

Tuolumne Meadows

One of the most popular stops along Tioga Road is Tuolumne Meadows, a vast alpine meadow surrounded by granite peaks and domes. This area offers a variety of hiking trails, including the Tuolumne Meadows Loop, which takes visitors through the heart of the meadows and past the Tuolumne River. Visitors can also explore the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, a smaller version of the more famous Mariposa Grove, located just off Tioga Road.

Lembert Dome and Siesta Lake

Another must-see attraction along Tioga Pass is Lembert Dome, a massive granite dome that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Hikers can tackle the challenging trail to the top of the dome, which provides panoramic vistas of the Tuolumne River and the high country. Nearby, Siesta Lake is a picturesque alpine lake that is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and relaxing.

Tioga Lake and Ellery Lake

As mentioned earlier, Tioga Lake and Ellery Lake are two beautiful alpine lakes located just outside the Tioga Pass Yosemite entrance. These lakes offer a variety of recreational opportunities, including camping, hiking, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy the stunning mountain scenery and wildlife that can be found in the area.

Tioga Pass Valley Overlooks

Along the Tioga Road, there are several scenic overlooks that offer breathtaking views of the Tioga Pass Valley. These overlooks provide the perfect opportunity to stop and take in the stunning vistas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the surrounding landscape.

Accessing Tioga Pass

Yosemite National Park Tioga Pass

The Tioga Pass Entrance is open for the 2024 Summer season in Yosemite National Park, and a reservation is required to drive a vehicle into the park between 5 am and 4 pm this weekend. Cycling is allowed on Sunday, June 9, and the road is scheduled to open on Monday, June 10, at 7 am.

For those looking to camp in the area, reservations are available up to five months in advance and are strongly recommended. If campgrounds are full, visitors must find a campground elsewhere to stay in. If all open campgrounds in the park are full, visitors must leave the park to camp or sleep in their vehicle.

Costs and Fees

In terms of costs, a 7-day vehicle pass to Yosemite National Park costs $35, while a 1-year vehicle pass costs $70. For those traveling by foot, horse, or non-commercial vehicle, the cost is $20 for a 7-day pass or $40 for a 1-year pass.


Yosemite National Park’s Tioga Pass is a must-visit destination for state park touring enthusiasts. With its stunning alpine lakes, granite domes, and breathtaking overlooks, the Tioga Pass offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors to the park. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual road-tripper, the Tioga Pass is sure to leave a lasting impression.


  1. TripAdvisor: Tioga Pass – All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) –
  2. Flying Dawn Marie: First-Timer’s Guide to Tioga Pass (Yosemite National Park) –
  3. National Park Service: Tioga and Glacier Point Roads Plowing and Road Opening Update –

Leave a Comment