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Route 88--Carson Pass Highway



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Quick Facts
Designation: California State Scenic Highway
Designation: USFS Scenic Byway
Length, One-Way: 59 Miles (98.33 Kilometers)
Time: 70 minutes @ 50 mph


General Information

Route 88 winds through the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, crossing the summit at Carson Pass to the eastern slope
Copyright: - California Scenic Highway Program
Route 88 winds through the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, crossing the summit at Carson Pass to the eastern slope
Description - This byway winds through the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, crossing the summit at Carson Pass to the eastern slope. It travels along alpine forests and meadows, with spectacular views of lakes and mountain peaks, and features volcanic landscapes.

Attractions - This route is in two pieces. The first portion begins at the Amador County line as Kirkwood Meadow rises over Carson Pass and then drops down the eastern slope to a junction with Route 89 at Picketts. The second segment begins at Route 89 at Woodfords and travels along the Carson River to the Nevada State line.

The scenery of the first segment is predominately that of heavy forests topped by rocky mountain crags with an occasional glimpse of a mountain lake. The second portion gives the motorist a view of nearby meadowland with distant views of forested mountainsides at higher elevations and dense desert-like brush at lower elevations.

It travels along alpine forests and meadows, with spectacular views of lakes and mountain peaks and features interesting volcanic landscape. Fishing, camping and hiking, horseback riding, and skiing opportunities are located along this route.

Recreation - The Route 88--Carson Pass Highway is known for it's 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 - The Carson Pass Highway is located in the High Sierra Region, south of Lake Tahoe beginning on Route 88 at the Dewdrop Ranger Station. Follow 88 east past Kit Carson and on to the Nevada / California state line.

Steep and mountainous at times. Chains may be required or partial road closures can occur during winter storms.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Route 88--Carson Pass Highway
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Route 88--Carson Pass Highway
Yes


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.

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

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