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“Unspoiled beauty and not the crowds” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tioga Pass

Tioga Pass
Yosemite National Park, CA
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Activities: Driving, Hiking
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Owner description: Dramatic drive starting at elevation 6,100 feet outside of Yosemite Valley and finishing 47 miles later atop Tioga Pass.
Waupaca, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Unspoiled beauty and not the crowds”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

We got up early in the morning from LeeVining to start the drive over Tioga Pass. The drive was beautiful - we got out several times and the kids (10& 12) climbed on all the rock formations. This road was not scary at all (we traveled some scary windy sloping roads on our vacation but Tioga was not one of them). The thing that we did not enjoy was Yosemite Valley - our family is a huge fan of National Parks but this one was so crowded (we were there on a Monday) that it took away from the natural beauty of the area. I would suggest Tioga Pass and getting out of your car and exploring along the way and avoid Yosemite Valley (the waterfalls in Columbia Gorge are breathtaking and you are not standing next to hundreds of people)

Visited August 2011
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Rogers, Minnesota
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Towing through tioga pass... Just do it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

I was so scared to tow through Tioga pass that I almost didn't do it. But Mark2's suggestions made it clear that I could. I did and I'm glad I did. To my mind Tioga pass is actually more beautiful than Yosemite valley! And... other passes I towed through before were actually more difficult.

Here's what I took away from Mark2 that was most helpful:

1. When towing uphill Watch your RPMs not your Speedometer. I kept mine at no more than 2500 when climbing. My engine was working like it works at speed on the freeway... I was just going slower.

2. Rely on transmission to slow you when going downhill. Shift into 2 or 1. I barely ever used my brakes... but I could smell that others were....they were burning them. It's okay to wind the engine a little when going down hill it won't get hot because the winding is not from increased combustion. (Down hill max rpm was about 4000).

3. Never brake in the middle of the turn.... If you must brake, break before.

And then from eeek

Since you'll be going about 20 to 30 use often-available turnouts to let faster vehicles pass. Great advice! Don't be jerk with the train of cars behind you! Tioga has so many pullouts that this won't be a problem.

And finally from me:

1. Watch your temperature gage too. If its really getting hot fast.... back off the throttle and go even slower. (I did that and did not have to stop.) If you must stop to cool off... keep your engine running while parked so that that the radiator can cool it for you.

2. Shutting off the air conditioner helped to prevent heat build up in all the mountainous climbs i did while towing.

MY rig: a Coleman sea pine pop up (2,800 lbs) Towed by a 2001 Honda Odyssey

Visited July 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Once is enough!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

My family and I traveled this road for 2 days straight and that was more than enough. I recommend an experienced driver. You have to be prepared for tight turns at fast downhill speeds with drivers on your tail. Oh don’t forget all the RVs going just as fast as you! The turnouts appear with very little notice. So once you miss it your driver has a while before the next stopping point arrives. Yes we took some great pictures but I do not wish to travel that way again. Remember there are no street lights and limited bathrooms. Don’t forget to check the weather before getting on the road.

Visited July 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Afraid of heights?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

C'MON, FOLKS! SCARY drive? No way. BEAUTIFUL drive? Yes way. I freak just climbing a 6-ft. ladder. This is a great road and it's only some 39 miles long. Just don't fall asleep at the wheel (which I can't imagine). I've been over Tioga Pass west-to-east 3 or 4 times. No problem. This is one of the most spectacular drives you'll take. The only problem with Tioga Road is that it's too short. I wish it were 139 mile long!

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Top Contributor
225 reviews 225 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 98 cities Reviews in 98 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Breathtaking views and white-knuckle drive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2011

We drove from Yosemite over the Tioga Pass one week after it opened this year. It is spectacular. The views are magnificant and I recommend the trip unless you are a nervous driver. The descent into Lee Vining is a white-knuckle journey, and I am not a fearful driver. I would have appreciated guardrails...

Going east to west might be less harrowing because you can hug the mountains more. You could also drive just from the Yosemite Valley to say, Olmstead Point, and just not take the road out of the park on the eastern side. If you go the entire route, I recommend using the
pull-offs frequently if anyone is on your tail, and finally stopping for a meal and drink at the
Whoa Nellie Deli at the end of the road.

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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