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Sierra Vista Scenic Byway

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Quick Facts
Designation: USFS Scenic Byway
Length, One-Way: 100 Miles (166.67 Kilometers)
Time: Approximately 5 Hours

General Information

Description - This U.S. Forest Service Scenic byway loops through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, climbing to more than 7,000 feet. It provides views of Ansel Adams, John Muir and Kaiser Wilderness Areas. It meanders for 100 miles through outstanding scenery of the Sierra Mountains. Visitors will see domes, majestic peaks, and sheer canyon walls. Evidence of glaciation is present along the byway in the natural phenomenon of Globe Rock, Arch Rock, and Beasore Meadow.

Attractions - Leading to scenic vistas and great fishing holes, this area is accessible from early spring until late fall. The road starts south of South Fork near Castle Peak and loops around the perimeter of the Ranger District. It ends up in the Mariposa Ranger District intersecting with Highway 41 outside the forest. Several small campgrounds, including Fish Creek, Rock Creek, and Soda Springs are located along the route. Fishing is popular early in the season, while deer hunting is excellent in the fall. The road is the gateway to the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Along the way you'll find the Mammoth Pool Reservoir. At an elevation of 3500 feet, offers many recreation opportunities. The lake allows for fishing, boating, and waterskiing. There are also many hiking trails around the lake. One of the campgrounds is only accessible by boat, making for an interesting camping trip.

Recreation - The Sierra Vista Scenic Byway is known for it's archeology, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic attractions.

Climate - The High Sierra generally experiences warm, dry summers and cold, snowy and wet winters. Weather can change rapidly during all seasons of the year. Elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation. This precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, it comes mostly in the form of snow. A snowpack from 5-10 feet or more is usually present from December to May at elevations above 6,500 feet. Winter temperatures below zero and summer temperatures above 100 degrees indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce spectacular thunderstorm activity. It is wise to pack for any season with clothing that can be "layered," ready to peel off or add on as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.

Location - This byway is located in the High Sierra Region, northeast of Fresno.

From South Fork take Forest Road 81, which is also called Minarets Road. Follow it north until you come near the Clover Meadow Campground. Here the road turns into Forest Road 7. This will bring you south-southwest until you meet up with Forest Route 10. This intersection is right on the border of the Mariposa and Minarets Ranger Districts. On 10, you will continue to head south-southwest until the road leaves the Forest and intersects with Highway 41.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Sierra Vista Scenic Byway
ICON Viewing Scenery Sierra Vista Scenic Byway

More Information

Additional Information:
California Scenic Byways - California offers one All American Road, two National Scenic Byways, and well over 50 state and National Forest designated scenic byways.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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