The long and winding road out of Sonora

Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Following meeting up with the Tour of California 2012 in Sonora, we decided to head towards Reno for a few days. The route from Sonora to Reno was via Sonora Pass and through the beautiful Stanislaus National Forest.

Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Sonora Pass

Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

For about 80 miles, Hwy 108 winds its way up from Sonora, through the forest to Sonora Pass and then down the opposite side, arriving at Hwy 395.

Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

With an elevation gain of 7799 feet from Sonora to Sonora Pass, the drive is one of countless switchbacks, hairpin turns and grades up to 25%, – a scenic, but not a casual drive (at least for the driver or the automobile).

Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

However, there are numerous places to pull to the side and capture a glimpse of the beauty that still remains relatively untouched in the Sierra Nevada – mountains, forests, valleys, giant Sequoia, craggy rocks and snow-capped peaks.

Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Sonora Pass is the 2nd highest pass in the Sierra Nevada at 9624 ft and is located in the 900,000 acre Stanislaus National Forest which lies on the northwestern border of Yosemite National Park.

Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Sonora Pass, Stanislaus National Forest, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media