Entrance to Yosemite National Park
In early May of 2015
Entering Yosemite National Park via Tigoa Pass 120. The road to the main gate is 11 miles up a winding, steep incline. The maximum elevation that I noticed was 9000 feet above sea level. I drove three days to get to California. I stayed two days at the Mammoth Lakes, California Best Western. A very nice hotel, however I got a room with not a very nice view. The view over looked part of the roof and air conditioning units. However it was a good room, nice hotel and very friendly and helpful staff.
The first day I headed to Bodie, California. A California State park that is a ghost town. Second day, I headed to Yosemite National Park. I was amazed at the natural beauty there. The steep inclines stressed the car I had at the time. It was a Hyundai Genesis Sports Coupe. The car had enough horse power (348 HP). I could tell it was laboring on the steep inclines.
Steep Inclines that lead to the main gate
I think the peak elevation was about 9000 feet above sea level. A very scenic drive outside the park (getting to the gate) also inside the park. I should have planned to say closer to Tigoa Pass if I wanted to see all of the park. Since I stayed at Mammoth Lakes, that was about a 30 minute drive just to get to Tioga Pass 120.
Unfortunately, I was fatigued from the cross country driving from Chicago. Also the 35 minute morning drive from Mammoth Lakes up Route 395 just to get to the main entrance of Yosemite. I did not get to the center, and did not get great photos. However I was there! I turned around at Yosemite Creek.
All downhill from here
Driving out of the park, was more easy on the car. It was mainly downhill. The entrance I uses was Tioga pass in the High Serra’s in Northern California. Lots of people were speeding to get out of the park. I can see how Tioga Pass could be closed due to snow fall or rock slides. The road was carved directly next to steep cliffs of sheer rock.
If I ever have the opportunity to go again to explore the park more. I would probably book a motel near the parks entrance. Not at Mammoth Lakes.