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Route 4--Ebbetts Pass Road

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Quick Facts
Designation: California State Scenic Highway
Length, One-Way: 60 Miles (100.0 Kilometers)
Time: 2 hours @ 50 mph

General Information

Ebbetts Pass Road winds through the stunning High Sierra
Copyright: - California Scenic Highway Program
Ebbetts Pass Road winds through the stunning High Sierra
Description - This road winds through the High Sierra past alpine meadows, lakes, pine forests and scenic vistas. Several national forests provide recreational opportunities and incredible scenery. The byway also leads past Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Attractions - Route 4--Ebbetts Pass Road courses through both Calaveras and Alpine Counties from east of Arnold to State Route 89. Travelers will experience forests of aspen, cedar, pine, fir, and tamarack; cross high mountain meadows; skirt around glacial lakes; and parallel mountain streams. The scenic route winds above the canyon of the North Fork of the Stanislaus River, over Pacific Crest Summit, down into Hermit Valley to cross the Mokelumne River, rising again to go over Ebbetts Pass, dropping, finally, down along Silver Creek and the East Fork of the Carson River.

Except for several miles near the beginning, which are within Calaveras Big Trees State Park, the route lies entirely within the Stanislaus, El Dorado, and Toiyabe National Forests.

Throughout the length of the route are a number of spectacular vistas of far-off mountain peaks with intervening canyons plunging several thousand feet below the highway.

Recreation - The Route 4--Ebbetts Pass Road 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 - Ebberts Pass Road is located in the High Sierra Region, about half way between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park.

Calaveras County: From east of Arnold to the Alpine County line.
Alpine County: From Calaveras County line to State Route 89.

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

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Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Kevin Bukata (Tucson, AZ)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: On a trip that included Death Valley and the PCH, traveling Route 4 was the highlight! With incredible views intimately close, we did not see another person until we were well out of the mountains. Traveled in early November just before closure and found temperatures below 10F at the pass. Of all there is to see in CA, I cannot wait for a return trip on Route 4.

Filed By: Carey Vogt (Visalia, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: I went over, west to east, on May 10th. One day later it was closed due to snow storm. About 10 miles on each side of summit (I don't remember excatly)the road becomes 1 lane. I encountered 3 vehicles traveling in the other direction. The small amount may have been due to it being a Monday. There was still a lot of snow, but road itself was clear, and in good condition. Due not take this route if you are in a hurry, but if you have the time, it is the "road less traveled" for sure.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Route 4--Ebbetts Pass Road
ICON Viewing Scenery Route 4--Ebbetts Pass Road

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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