Scenic Byway Open

June 4, 2012: Last week the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway opened, a 100-mile road that twists and turns through remote areas of the Sierra National Forest

Courtesy Photo

Last week marked the opening of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, a 100-mile road that twists and turns through remote areas of the Sierra National Forest and offers views some compare to those of Yosemite National Park (hence its nickname “Secret Yosemite”).

“We’re very excited that the Byway opened up just in time for Memorial Day Weekend,” said Jarrod Lyman of the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau in a press release. “The Sierra Vista Scenic Byway is an excellent place for people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in a much more individual setting.”

The byway closes each year during the winter and then reopens once maintenance crews have had a chance to remove most of the remaining snow and make it safe for tourists to travel.

“The Byway has sweeping panoramic vistas of the Sierra Nevada’s granite peaks. It boasts lush meadows with a large array of plant and animal life, unique rock formations and historical attractions. It really is an amazing journey,” Lyman said.

Recreation areas along the byway give travelers a chance to stop and bike, camp, and/or boat. Be sure to check out Mile High Vista, which overlooks Mammoth Pools and grants unobstructed views of the high country. Then there’s Globe Rock, a massive boulder perched atop a rock pillar. Check out the Jones Store around feeding time for a juicy hamburger and slice of pie.

Visit Sky Ranch Road, an unpaved section at the byway’s west end, to see the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoia. Also on Sky Ranch Road just north of Kelty Meadow campground, you’ll find the trailhead for the Fresno Dome Hike, a short, 1.6-mile trip offering views of the San Joaquin Valley.