Tioga Pass

During our recent trip to Yosemite Lakes RV Resort and Yosemite National Park, we took a day trip up Tioga Pass. Winding through beautiful mountain country of the Sierra Nevada and serving as the east entrance point of Yosemite National Park, Tioga Pass is the highest Pass in the state of California. Centered in the middle of lakes such as Tenaya Lake and Tioga lake as well as many trails leading to some of the most extraordinary views in the park. With closures during the winter due to snowfall, this is a must stop during the summer!

We began our day after a yummy breakfast. Even with it being high in the mountains, it was fairly warm and the kids were ready to go swimming. Our day was a blast and we saw some of the most beautiful views. We began by taking highway 120 leading into the west entrance of Yosemite but shortly after forked left to begin up Tioga Pass. The road winds up and through the mountains opening up with views of Half Dome and Tenaya Lake.

We stopped for some sight seeing along the way before making it to a special swimming spot at Tenaya Lake. We were surprised how quiet the lake was and soaked in the view while swimming. This lake is all fed from snow melt and if you look to some of the far mountains you can see some left over snow from the winter. Afterwards we continued on to Tuolumne meadows.

With deer running out into the meadow, salt springs within walking distance, and the beautiful Tuolumne river, we spent some time exploring. There is near by camping as well as a market, post office, and restaurant. We walked along the trails and learned some of the history of the land. Many deer in the area will get up close and it truly is a unique experience!

Following along the highway you head on to Tioga Lake, Dana Point, and down the pass to Lee Vining Ca, home of Mono Lake. I recommend taking the whole day to truly soak in all the stops, lakes, and trails that are available. Mono lake and Lee Vining is also a beautiful area, being a unique salt lake.

Tioga Pass is stunning with its purple lupine, valley floor views, and wildlife. Although it is a bit different from the valley floor, it’s still as beautiful and another must see while visiting Yosemite National Park. There is also a lot of rich history and I recommend exploring Tuolumne Meadows. The kids had a blast hiking and see the wildlife as well as some old cabins. Although we live within driving distance, Yosemite always catches my breath with its beauty. The mountains are my home and being able to have our children grow up exploring these lands makes my heart happy.

Learn more about Yosemite National Park here.

Learn more about Tioga Pass here.


Christian Mulkey

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