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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Lee Vining in Mono County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Tioga Pass Road

Constructed 1883 & 1910 - Commemorated 2002

 
 
The Tioga Pass Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 23, 2011
1. The Tioga Pass Road Marker
Inscription. Tioga Pass at 9945 feet is the highest automobile pass in California. The road to the pass was constructed in two parts. The first part was a wagon road, 56 miles long, going from Crane Flat on the west side to a silver mine on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada. It was constructed in 1883 at the cost of $61,000. This part terminated a short distance east of Tioga Pass. The mine was closed the following year as it was not profitable.

Construction of the second part from Lee Vining on the east side to Tioga Pass was begun in 1902 and was completed in 1910 at a cost of $63,000. Considered a monument to the skill of the state engineers, it was routed up Lee Vining Canyon and has a maximum grade of 7%. It was a narrow, exciting road with a steep drop off to Lee Vining Creek below.

The original wagon road from Tioga Pass to Crane Flat, now a seldom used toll road, was purchased by the director of the National Park Service, Stephen Mather in 1915 for $15,000. He donated it to Yosemite National Park. The Tioga Pass Road was now complete and automobiles started using it in 1915.

As automobile traffic on the road increased, the need for improvements also increased. Because it was an all dirt road until 1937, maintenance costs were very high. After extensive study the road within Yosemite Park was completely rebuilt
The Tioga Pass Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 23, 2011
2. The Tioga Pass Road Marker
The "Would-Be Miners and Occasional Tourists" marker is to the left.
in 1961 at a cost of $7,000,000. The Lee Vining grade east of Tioga Pass and outside Yosemite was rebuilt from 1965 to 1970 at a cost of $6,600,000.

The Tioga Pass Road today is the most scenic mountain road in all of California and one of the most beautiful park roads in the entire National Park system. This plaque is dedicated to the engineers and workmen that created and maintain this civil engineering masterpiece. It exists today for the use, enjoyment and inspiration of all.
 
Erected 2002 by American Society of Civil Engineers.
 
Location. 37° 56.512′ N, 119° 13.752′ W. Marker is near Lee Vining, California, in Mono County. Marker is on Tioga Pass Road (State Highway 120), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. This marker is 6 miles east of Lee Vining and 2 miles west of the Yosemite National Park entrance. Marker is in this post office area: Lee Vining CA 93541, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Would-Be Miners and Occasional Tourists (here, next to this marker); Bennettville (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named Tioga Pass Road (approx. 2.7 miles away); Yosemite Ghost Mines
Tioga Pass Road image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 23, 2011
3. Tioga Pass Road
The marker is just to the left of the green bridge.
(approx. 4 miles away); Sheriff James P. Dolan (approx. 5.7 miles away); Lundy (approx. 6 miles away); Lee Vining (approx. 6.1 miles away); Upside-Down House (approx. 6.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Lee Vining.
 
Regarding The Tioga Pass Road. Tioga Pass is a seasonal state highway and is subject to winter closing. The highway has been designated as a California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
 
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
 
Tioga Pass Road image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 23, 2011
4. Tioga Pass Road
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 583 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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