Tioga Pass Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Tioga Pass


Climbing Tioga Pass by bike: Come for the climb . . . stay for the most beautiful place on earth!

Explore this Climb

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Climb Summary

Cycling Tioga Pass - one of the greatest bike climbs in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

Ride 12 miles to 9,945’ gaining 3,272’ at 4.9% average grade.

Visit our Cycling Yosemite National Park page

US Top 10 Most Epic Bike Climb

 "Tioga" is named for an Iroquois and Mohawk term meaning "where it forks".  The most spectacular part of Tioga Pass may be the sheer drop off that is dramatically obvious when you look back at the viewpoint (see Google Streetview, below) at mile 8.3.  

Cycling on Tioga Road (Hwy 120)

Tioga Pass is the beginning of the 75 mile journey from Hwy 395 westbound into Yosemite Valley (it is one of 4 routes (Gateways into Yosemite - Hwy 120/Groveland from the north, 49/140/Mariposa from west  and Hwy 41/Oakhurst from the south are the other 3).

The eastern Park (Eastern Gateway) entrance is right at Tioga Pass at almost precisely the 12 mile mark of the climb.  The crux of the climb begins at mile 4 and the next 5 miles average 7.4% compared to the 4.6% average for the full climb.

Cycling Tioga Pass - beginning of climb - cyclist on bike with roadway sign; hwy 120 sign

The climb is on Hwy 120 to the park entrance

Mono Lake is in your rearview mirror as you begin the climb.


Climb is in Inyo National Forest (1,903,381 acres; est. 1907)

The amazing rock formations . . . and . . .

. . . sheer cliffs along the climb make this an epic cycling adventure . . .

. . . with some amazing photo opportunities!

cycling Tioga Pass - cyclist passing flowers, roadway and mountains

Awesome!  9,000’ . . .

. . . .Hey!  You still have 945’ to go!!


Tioga Lake - 1 mile from the park entrance and finish


Enter the park just past finish of climb.


                                                         And the No. 1 reason to start your climb early . . .

We recommend beginning this climb in the early morning to avoid the Yosemite Valley-bound traffic which always includes some, if not many, RV’s and trailers, which may include rentals driven by tourists inexperienced with such a vehicle.

Food/Fluids:  There is nothing along the first 12 miles of the route, but food/fluids are available, if you are continuing on towards Yosemite Valley, at Tuolumne Meadows Grill and the Tuolumne Meadows Store (mile 19.3) and Crane Flat Gas Station (mile 58.6).

That’s a wrap!!


PJAMM’s Yosemite NP Climb Page

Aerial drone photo Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley - El Capitan + Half Dome

Photo - from upper left clockwise:

El Capitan; Western Entrance; Tioga Pass; Hetch Hetchy Dam; Glacier Point (middle)

Viewpoints between Lee Vining and Yosemite Valley:  This route includes so much of what Yosemite has to offer: Tioga Pass (beginning of ride),  Lembert Dome (mile 18.5)  Tuolumne Meadows (miles 19-20)  


 Lembert Dome


Tuolumne Meadows

Tenaya Lake (miles 26.5 to 27.5)   Olmstead point (mile 29.2 - views of Half Dome  and a great viewpoint on the way back into the valley which is one of the few points where you have excellent views of both El Capitan and Half Dome.  


Tenaya Lake      


 Olmstead Point


                                                    El Cap and Half Dome on the way down to Yosemite Valley

Fee to enter the park:  As of June, 2015, the fee to enter the park on a bicycle was $15.  We purchased the $80 All-Parks Pass which gives us access for the year into all National Parks.  

Roadway surface and traffic:  The roadway is excellent throughout, but the road is narrow and there are many wide vehicles on the road after the early morning hours -although this route is closed to commercial vehicles.