Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, California

Sierra Vista Scenic Byway


The beautiful Sierra Vista Scenic Byway winds its way through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with meadows filled with wildflowers, peaceful forest settings, outdoor recreation and many unique spots to visit.

  • Travel the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway through the Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • Access this scenic drive south of Yosemite National Park
  • This 100-mile drive takes you past many incredible sights
  • The Mile High Vista gives you views into the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • Hike to Arch Rock

Overview

The Sierra Vista Scenic Byway provides the traveler with outstanding scenery, such as massive granite domes, towering peaks, pristine rivers and gorgeous mountain meadows. It’s a drive that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Yosemite National Park, since it is so nearby.

Driving Directions

This scenic drive begins two miles north of North Fork, California, about 31 miles south of Yosemite.

To take this scenic drive, follow Minarets Road where it intersects with Italian Bar Road and head south, then continue as it turns north again. At Bowler, continue on the now dirt road, leading to Beasore Road, where it is paved once again. At Cold Spring continue to Sky Ranch Road. It will bring you back out on California Highway 41, south of Fish Camp.

Time/Distance

The 100-mile-long Sierra Vista Scenic Byway takes about 5 hours to travel, but allow time to stop and take in the wonders of this incredible region.

Highlights

You’ll find opportunities for a number of activities along this Byway, including fishing, hiking, rock climbing and camping. There are also important sights you shouldn’t miss along the way.

  • Redinger Overlook
    Get a wonderful view of the San Joaquin River Gorge, seeing how it was carved by the river over the years.
  • Ross Cabin
    This cabin was built in the 1860s, possibly the oldest residence in the county. It’s an interesting stop to see the methods used in the log assembly and how it was constructed.
  • Mile High Vista
    Look over the beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with about 15 peaks ranging more than 10,000 feet high. You’ll be able to see Balloon Dome, Fuller Buttes and the San Joaquin River Gorge. Signs will help you pick out the features.
  • Mammoth Pool
    Except for deer migration season (1 May through 15 June), you will find boating and fishing on this reservoir is the best. You will also discover hiking trails so you can experience some of this woodland up close and personal.
  • Arch Rock
    A short hike brings you to this amazing rock feature formed by the erosion of centuries. There are signs that explain the process. You also will have some nice views from the area.
  • Jackass Meadow
    Pull into the parking area and walk the boardwalk to see this popular meadow. If here in the spring, you’ll be treated to marvelous wildflower displays. Read the interpretive signs to learn about the wildlife here.
  • Cold Springs Summit
    This is the highest point on the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, at 7,308 feet. Here you can continue on Beasore Road to Fresno Dome and Nelder Grove and finish the scenic route, or choose to turn south towards Bass Lake.
  • Fresno Dome
    This lovely spot offers some spectacular views, with interpretive signs along the way giving the visitor fascinating geological information.
  • Nelder Grove
    These Giant Sequoia trees are truly amazing, with 106 mature Sequoias mixed in with pines, firs and cedars. You can take a self-guided trail along Nelder Creek.

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