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The Tioga Road; a History 1883-1961 (1961, 1980) by Keith A. Trexler


The Tioga Road Today

One of several interpretive signs at Olmsted View
[click to enlarge]
One of several interpretive signs at Olmsted View

The Tioga Road today is the most scenic route in all California and one of the most outstanding park roads in the entire National Park System. It has been carefully designed and built to display the dramatic park values of the Sierra Nevada. The road is the highest trans-Sierra crossing with an elevation of 6,192 feet at Crane Flat and reaching 9,945 feet 46 miles later at Tioga Pass. It is designed for leisure travel (commercial trucking is not permitted), with numerous turnouts and overlooks where the park visitor may stop in safety to enjoy the superb scenery. At each of these vista points, the visitor will find interpretive signs which introduce and acquaint him with that which he views. The interpretive texts, which have been carefully prepared by the park’s naturalist staff, have met a hearty welcome from park visitors.

Sections of the old Tioga Road have been retained “as is” for those lovers of the old west who like to get away from the main route. One such section leaves the new road just east of the White Wolf intersection and winds and twists five miles clown to Yosemite Creek where the visitor will find the same primitive quality campground which has served travelers on the old Tioga Road since it was first constructed. An additional two mile section of the old road climbs via Snow Flat to the May Lake Trail Junction. Other shorter sections still serve the primitive campgrounds along the old road, all of which have been retained.

What has the visitor’s reaction been to the new road? It has been favorable and has drawn expressions such as “Now you can see something,” “What a relief,” “It’s a pleasure to drive it,” are common. The greatest number of visitor bouquets are probably received on the numerous vistas and turnouts with their interpretive facilities which help the visitor to understand and appreciate the natural features and park values.



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