Tioga Pass

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Tioga Pass
Dana Meadows from Mount Dana.jpg
The Tioga Pass area (including Tioga Pass Road), from Mount Dana trail
Elevation9,943 ft (3,031 m)
Traversed by SR 120
LocationMono / Tuolumne counties, California, United States
RangeSierra Nevada
Coordinates37°54′40″N 119°15′29″W / 37.91111°N 119.25806°W / 37.91111; -119.25806Coordinates: 37°54′40″N 119°15′29″W / 37.91111°N 119.25806°W / 37.91111; -119.25806
Topo mapUSGS Tioga Pass
Tioga Pass is located in California
Tioga Pass
Location in California

Tioga Pass (el. 9,943 ft. / 3,031 m.) is a mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada of California. State Route 120 runs through it, and serves as the eastern entry point for Yosemite National Park, at the Tioga Pass Entrance Station. It is the highest highway pass in California and in the Sierra Nevada.[1] Mount Dana is to the east of the pass. There are several trailheads into the Yosemite backcountry which begin at Tioga Pass, including the trail to the Gaylor Lakes to the west/northwest, and the rough trail to the summit of Mount Dana. Dana Meadows is immediately south of the pass alongside the highway, as the pass itself is roughly angled north/south as opposed to east/west. Dana Meadows contains several small lakes.

This pass, like many other passes in the Sierra Nevada, has a gradual approach from the west and drops off to the east dramatically, losing more than 3,000 feet (910 m) by the time the road reaches U.S. Route 395.

Tioga Pass is named after Tioga Mine, whose name came from the Tioga River in New York: Tioga is an Iroquois and Mohawk term meaning "where it forks".

The pass is subject to winter closure, due to high snowfall, normally from around the end of October until the end of May the following year, though these dates are subject to considerable variation. In heavy snow years, the road has closed in early October, and has remained closed as late as early July. In light snow years, the road may remain open until December and open as early as April.[2][3]

Tioga Pass is the most direct route from Bishop or Mammoth Lakes, California to Fresno, Merced, and Stockton. There are four highway passes to the north, between Yosemite and Lake Tahoe, but none to the south for about 200 miles (320 km), until Sherman Pass in southern Tulare County.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tioga Pass in California". AllTrips. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  2. ^ "Tioga Road Opening & Closing Dates". National Park Service. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  3. ^ "Tioga Pass Road Opening and Closing Dates". Mono Basin Clearing House. Retrieved May 8, 2008.

External links[edit]