Sonora Pass? Why Not Toga?
Sonora and Not Tioga
You may have wondered why the PCMCR only officially goes into Yosemite National Park through Yosemite Valley but doesn't go over Tioga pass. Those who have ridden both should come to realize why, but if you're sitting in your easy chair at home in Vermont, you may be wondering.
I routed the PCMCR over Sonora pass for several reasons, but one of the top ones was Sonora is just so much find to ride. Compared to going through Yosemite national park, with its slow speed limit and even more leisurely tourists, it's just not that much fun. Beautiful, yes, fun, not so much. When your behind some guy that wants to count all the leaves on the trees it can be a bit of a drag.
I consider Sonora pass a destination road, one where I will go just to ride the road. It's steep, and with little traffic compared to Tioga pass. I like to ride it at least once a year. Living in Fresno, I can take off in the morning, ride up high 99 and take off at Merced along Highway 59 to Sonora. I stop at Sonora or Long Barn for gas, and they go over Sonora. Then go along the PCMCR through the town of Walker and take high 89 up and over Monitor Pass, and then ver off the PCMCR and go over Ebbetts Pass. It's just about a 500-mile day from my house, but it a fun one.
The return trip is along another great motorcycle road, High 49 from its junction with high 120 to Mariposa sometimes called the western dragon. Altogether, some the best 500 miles you can ride out of Fresno.