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Traveler on Sierra Vista Scenic Byway - photo courtesy Visit California

Sierra Vista Scenic Byway Listed As “Hidden Gem”

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – Adventurers looking for the spectacular scenery of Yosemite National Park without the crowds — there is a road less traveled right in your back yard.

The Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, recently featured as a California “Hidden Gem” by Visit California, is a 100-mile stretch of road from North Fork — the exact center of California — to Sky Ranch Road just south of Yosemite. One can also access the Byway by taking Beasore Road from Bass Lake.

Mile High Vista – Photo by Linda Jones

The Byway passes by granite domes, glaciated peaks and high mountain meadows, and features breathtaking vistas all along the way.

Lush green grass spotted with wildflowers beckons explorers, and now is the perfect time to enjoy a spring drive along a section of the Byway.

Just a few of the features along the way are the Jesse Ross Cabin, the Mile High Overlook, Mammoth Pool Reservoir, Mammoth Mountain, Balloon Dome, Arch Rock, Globe Rock, Shuteye Peak and the Minarets. There are a host of secluded campgrounds, and a wealth of opportunities for anglers.

Jesse Ross cabin – photo by Kim Lawson

At the farthest reaches of the Byway the pavement ends, but it is still a decent road for your passenger car (once the summer weather arrives.)

You’ll likely want to finish your adventure with a walk and a bit of quiet contemplation in the grandeur of the giant sequoias in Nelder Grove. Stroll along the one-mile Shadow of the Giants Trail, and rest in the shade of one of the world’s largest sequoias — the Bull Buck Tree, estimated to be about 2,700 years old.

On your way down the west side, be sure to stop in the the Jones Store for tri-tip and of course, pie. It’s a tradition for travelers along the Byway.

Globe Rock – photo courtesy Sierra Vista Scenic Byway

All visitors are advised to be aware of current road conditions along the Byway before heading out. Some sections are unpaved. For current road conditions contact the Bass Lake Ranger District Office in North Fork at 559-877-2218 extension 0.

Due to high volumes of snow this winter, visitors are warned that the Byway has sustained road damage in some areas, and some sections will not be accessible in early spring. Please drive with caution.

For more information and details on the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, visit https://www.sierravistascenicbyway.com or visitcalifornia.com.

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