Tioga Pass Road Climb

October 2, 2010, another Bucket List road bike climb, Tioga Pass.  Starting from Lee Vining in the Eastern Sierra, along Hwy 395 at Mono Lake, we climbed the 3500’ to the top of Tioga Pass road just below the 10k foot mark.  The top is also the entrance to Yosemite National Park.  From there we continued out to Tenaya Lake at mile 28.  The route climbs steeply from Lee Vining, but then drops a couple thousand feet towards the lake, so we’d have some climbing on the way back too.

The day before the ride we cached some water at the top of the climb.  Campgrounds in the high country had already closed for the season, and water was shut off, so we’d need this water, as we did not have any SAG support.  The ride went well, and was actually pretty warm on the first bit of the climb.  As we reached the entrance station, some white clouds were starting to form, but we didn’t think much of it.

At Tenaya Lake, the far point, the clouds were starting to look a little more threatening.  Within a few miles of our return, we got hit with rain and hail.  While not fun, it was an adventure.  The most exhilarating part was the descent down the Tioga climb.  Fifty-five miles later we were back safely in Lee Vining, wet, cold, and dirty.


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