Yosemite's best drives give you some of America's best scenery through your windshield. Engineers have put in miles and miles of access to some of the finest mountain scenery anywhere, and visitors rightly flock to drive through Yosemite from all directions.
Three different highways converge from the west into Yosemite Valley. Each has its commendable points. Visitors coming from Los Angeles always take Highway 41, through the famed Wawona Tunnel where the tunnel exit reveals a startling, sudden view of the length of Yosemite Valley. Bay Area traffic usually arrives on Hwy. 120, where the Valley is also revealed at a dramatic height. South Bay and central Californians may come in the middle route: Highway 140, which follows the Merced River Canyon. A winter advantage of Route 140 is that it stays below snowline almost all the way in, and in the spring has miles of wildflowers.
In summer, the Glacier Point Road is well worth the 16 miles, to get out to stand on the rim of Yosemite Valley. Also in the summer, the historic Tioga Road brings travelers up through many miles of vast coniferous forest, then out into the bare granite landscape of domes and peaks near Olmsted Point, Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows and to Tioga Pass. This is the highest highway pass in California.
Over the pass is a tremendous plunge down Lee Vining Canyon to Mono Lake. Along the east side of the Sierra Nevada runs Highway 395, a stunning parallel to the immense eastern escarpment of the range.
P.O. Box 577
45 miles through the park's northern portion...
Big Oak Flat Road and Tioga Road
Follows changing scenery, from east to west...
Scenery along this State Scenic Highway in Inyo County is typical of high desert meadows, with peaks of the Sierra Nevada visible in the west... read more
The route cuts through the Owens River Valley with the high mountain ranges of the eastern Sierra Nevada as a backdrop... read more
This U.S. Forest Service Scenic byway loops through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, climbing to more than 7,000 feet. It provides views of Ansel Adams, John Muir and Kaiser Wilderness Areas... read more
Scenic highway along oak woodlands... read more
P.O. Box 577
A dramatic overlook from the rim... read more
North end of Evergreen Road