Tioga Pass Road Yosemite
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GALLERY: Tioga Pass Road Yosemite

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SR 120 begins as a freeway intersecting Interstate 5 to extend Interstate 205 through Manteca. In east Manteca the freeway ends at SR 99 and becomes a highway which continues to head east through Escalon, Oakdale and other various small towns. East of Oakdale there are no highly populated areas for 90 miles (144 km) as it heads into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and into Yosemite National Park. After leaving Crane Flat within Yosemite, it is known as Tioga Pass Road (or often simply Tioga Road), and it retains that name as it travels through Tuolumne Meadows and over Tioga Pass at an elevation of 9,945 feet on its 59-mile (95 km) journey to its intersection with U. S. Route 395, at Lee Vining. After a jog to the south along US 395, it continues east as Mono Mills Road, skirting the south end of Mono Lake and providing access to the Mono Lake South Tufa as well as the historical site of Mono Mills before cresting Sagehen Summit and ending with the intersection of U. S. Route 6 at Benton. Both the portions through Yosemite National Park and the stretch south of Mono Lake are subject to winter closure. Usually the highway is open through Tioga Pass by the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, and typically closes for the winter sometime in November.

Every spring, both visitors and locals look forward to the opening of the Tioga Road, a high-elevation pass that crosses Yosemite National Park. Get a glimpse of what it takes to clear snow and ice from a section of the highway known for dangerous avalanches.

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