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Tioga pass? What's it like?(9 posts)

Tioga pass? What's it like?PseuZQ
Aug 27, 2003 12:33 PM
Thinking of trying this in a couple weeks. Anyone here ridden it? I've seen the stuff posted at the Chain Reaction website, which was helpful, but I'd be interested in anyone's first-hand accounts.

Scary as Hlotterypick
Aug 27, 2003 12:43 PM
Just have driven over it and I'd be scared as S to ride over it.

One mistake, one rock and you're dead.

Have fun.
Aug 27, 2003 1:03 PM
I was thinking of going West to East, just to the park gate and back -- not all the way to Lee Vining and 395.
Aug 27, 2003 3:22 PM
Hey I've never ridden it, but if you go west to east you are on the down hill side and going downhill for a long way. scary.

East to west you're on the mountain side plus the climb is east to west. you go west to east, you're downhilling the long and scary part. meaning, east to west, you'll be climbing the scary part and it won't be that scary, just a climb with great views of the sky two lanes away.

going west to east, you'll see the near straight drop off, the eagles or hawks flying way, way below you and a guard rail about 2 feet high, about 3 feet from you. Down hilling for miles. now that's scary.

Like the cowboys said. Go west young man.
Aug 27, 2003 3:34 PM
I find nothing scary about downhilling for miles. I usually find it to be incredibly fun. That's one reason I climb mountains in the first place. I wouldn't want to do Tioga, though. There's too much traffic and too much crap on the road from falling rocks, and last time I was there (two years ago), I don't remember seeing any guard rail for most of the way. That's fine if you're in the Alps, where drivers aren't out to kill you, but not in the USA. Most people heading down Tioga are heading home and they don't want to wait for you.

Find a better pass. Monitor Pass (Hwy 88 or 89, I forget) is up 395 almost at the Nevada line, and you'll probably be alone on it. It's a better climb and descent. Go down the other side, turn around and come back. That's 7,000-8,000 feet in maybe 30 miles!
Aug 27, 2003 4:42 PM
I don't mind long climbs or descents either, otherwise I wouldn't seek them out. I've done Monitor (super fun, you're right)I was just looking for something different to do while there's some Indian summer left.

Any other suggestions are welcome. Basically looking for something I can do in a day, out of the Bay Area but not too far out.
Aug 27, 2003 8:58 PM
This might not be long enough or tough enough for you.....but I rode from Yosemite Valley up to Glacier Point a few years ago. I did it in mid-May, the very first day that the road was open for the summer, with snow still on the ground (not on the road, though). Beautiful ride, 4,000+ ft of climbing, and probably 60 miles round trip. I recommend it! Just watch out for cars & RVs!
Ridden only from the east, but driven it many timescory
Aug 27, 2003 1:07 PM
I've only ridden from Lee Vining (east side) to the summit. That sounds impressive and the pictures look good, but it's actually a pretty nice ride. You climb 4000 feet or so in 10-12 miles (I'm going from memory, could be off a little), but the visibility is good and most drivers are so nervous they're going pretty slow.
Never ridden the west slope, but I've driven it dozens of times. From Yosemite Village to the top must be >60 miles/5500 feet of gain, but you climb a lot more than that--in a couple of places you go WAY down into canyons and have to come out. Road is good but the shoulders are narrow to non-existent, and drivers are often distracted. Speed limit is only 35, though.
I have a couple of friends who've ridden from Reno to Yosemite every October for several years, but they've only gone east-west, too--they meet their families in the valley and drive home. They say to carry water, because there isn't much along the way, especially after the high country campgrounds close after Labor Day.
Traffic drops off dramatically after Labor Day, and fall color doesn't usually develop in the valley until at least mid-October. The Tioga Road is open until the pass closes in the first snow, usually late Oct-early Nov, but it can vary a lot. Check w/Caltrans or the park HQ before you go.
I haven't ridden Tioga Pass, but...Lon Norder
Aug 27, 2003 1:15 PM
A spectacular ride is from Crane Flat (where 120 splits off from the road to Yosemite Valley) to Toulumne Meadows and back. It's about 80 miles.