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“Change is the only constant in life” – Heraclitus, Greek philosopher 

The Tioga Road Rehabilitation is in full swing this summer. For everyone looking to escape to the High Sierra, take note of our Tioga Road Tips: 

Tioga Road under construction - dirt road with car ahead trees on both sides

Tioga Road in the construction zone, June 2022. Pictured: Dirt road through a tall line of conifers.

Tioga Pass is the highest pass across the Sierra Nevada at 9,943 ft (3,031 m). If you are traveling from sea level and planning on hiking in the High Sierra, you may feel some effects from the elevation. We encourage everyone to stay hydrated and safe! 

Weather can change quickly in the mountains. We recommend packing extra layers and rain gear just in case. 

During the week you should expect to sit and wait when driving across Tioga Pass this summer — pilot cars are guiding groups through the construction zone and you could be waiting anywhere from a quick 15 minutes up to 30+ minutes around Tuolumne Meadows. There is no parking along the road in the construction zone. Please follow signage for parking areas in Tuolumne Meadows as they may change over time. On weekends there are no pilot cars, just be mindful of the dirt road with loose rocks. What is the construction doing? As part of the Tuolumne River Plan, this work will improve the visitor experience while protecting the Tuolumne River watershed. 

**Speaking from a Conservancy staff member’s recent experience: If you pee before you are sitting in the line of cars, it will make the wait much more enjoyable. Having snacks is also recommended. 

Sunrise Parking Lot

Newly paved parking lot at Sunrise Lakes photographed mid-June 2022. Pictured: A parking lot in nature with many cars.

The Tuolumne Meadows store, Wilderness Center, and Visitor Center and Conservancy Bookstore are all open. Plus, there are new parking lots at Sunrise Trailhead and along Tenaya Lake to enjoy. 

Looking for a scenic picnic spot? Along Tioga Road there are picnic areas at Tenaya Lake and at Yosemite Creek with tables to gather around. Please remember to keep food within arms reach at all times and to carry out waste if trash containers are not available.

There is no longer parking at Cathedral Lakes Trailhead. Cathedral Lakes Trailhead is being relocated to the Visitor Center parking lot. Plan on following signage and directions from staff.

Wildlife is active along Tioga Road. Please be mindful of the speed limit especially in wildlife crossing zones, and especially so at dawn and dusk. 

View from Olmsted Point, off Tioga Road, on November 1, 2020. Pictured: Polished granite slopes, Tenaya Canyon, Clouds Rest and Half Dome

With Glacier Point Road closed this summer, Olmsted Point is the go-to vista point for sunset and sunrise viewing. If you bring a pair of binoculars, you may be able to spot hikers as they ascend Half Dome.  

A friendly reminder that on Tioga Road there is approximately 60 miles (97 km) between the available gas stations (Crane Flat Gas Station and Lee Vining) and an even longer distance for those looking for electric car charging stations along Tioga Road with lots of hills to climb.

The Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows Hikers Bus is running this summer. Save yourself the gas money and hop on the bus to visit Tuolumne for the day. Yosemite Hospitality runs the shuttle and tickets can be reserved online. 

Park visitors need a reservation to enter the park between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week including travelers looking to drive across the park. Visitors entering the park outside of these peak hours are not required to have a reservation. You can remain in the park during peak hours if you arrive during non-peak hours. Reservations are required for all users, including annual and lifetime pass holders. Each reservation is valid for three days. Learn more in our 2022 Yosemite Reservations blog post.

Are there any other helpful tips or trail recommendations you would add to our list? Please let us know!


Map of Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite. Tioga Road is highlighted where construction may occur throughout the season.