Your Scenic Guide to the Great Outdoors
TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes - Off Hwy. 108 Area
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View across the eroded spine outcrops on the PCT north of Highway 108
California State Highway 108 is a most interesting and somewhat less discovered route over the Sierra range. Lying farther south from the San Francisco Bay Area than the main routes to Lake Tahoe, yet north of the Highway 120 main route into Yosemite National Park, Highway 108 traverses a more remote and difficult path than many of the highway passes over the Sierra range. TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes in this section cover a variety of terrain, from high Pacific Crest Trail routes to lower elevation trails that start in expansive meadows, but include sufficient climbs to challenge the avid day excursionist.
Highway 108 peaks with a sharp grade traversing Sonora Pass above 9,000 feet elevation. The road becomes steep and winding as it approaches the pass, and is not recommended for heavy trailers and vehicles that cannot maneuver well on narrow roads. Yet it carries the traveler through a stark and fascinating landscape that feels primitive and foreboding at its crest. The weather can be challenging at this elevation; the rough but appealing terrain seems to bear this out.
Along Highway 108, these TrailPhotos branch out through the Stanislaus and Toiyabe National Forests, and reach into the Carson-Iceberg and Emigrant Wilderness Areas north of Yosemite National Park. Over the Sonora Pass and down to the valley east of the Sierra range, Highway 108 plunges into a semi-arid landscape punctuated by large rocky peaks and Ponderosa Pine forests with plentiful sagebrush ground cover. A few of the TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes for the Off Highway 108 section originate in this eastside area, where grand views spread out from the lightly forested terrain.
The Pacific Crest Trail routes at the apex of this section of the TrailPhotos are quite spectacular with their sweeping views over sharp rocky peaks. The altitude on this section of the PCT can make additional demands on the trail user, requiring them to monitor the weather conditions more closely and pace themselves in this challenging environment. Overall, though, the visitor should find this to be unique and spectacular country.
The trails in the Highway 108 corridor can be accessed easily just off the highway, with the exception of a few trails that require a jaunt off onto side roads, which are paved and easily traversed. The maps below give an overview of these trails' general location.
Off Highway 108 TrailPhotos Area California Location of Terrain Map
The yellow arrow on the Terrain Map above shows the approximate location and viewing direction of the photograph displayed near the top of this web page. The olive colored rectangle on the terrain map outlines the general area of coverage for the Off Highway 108 TrailPhotos area.
Off Highway 108 TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes locations (Red arrow shows approximate location and viewing direction of the photo taken along the PCT North to Wolf Creek Lake trail, shown on the top of this page).
TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes Descriptions
The TrailPhotos.com website has a thumbnail photo index and descriptions of six Off Highway 108 Area trails. Descriptions of these TrailPhoto Guides and TrailPhoto Scenes are available along with purchase information at this Photos: All Highway 88 to N. Yosemite TrailPhoto Guide Trails link for the trails listed below.
The approximate location of these trails is shown on the detailed area map above, matched to the corresponding numbers displayed below.
Off Highway 108 Area
18) Dodge Ridge to Bear Lake 21) PCT South to Leavitt Lake
19) Relief Reservoir Trail 22) Sardine Falls Trail
20) PCT North to Wolf Creek Lake 23) Leavitt Meadows Trail
The National Forest Service maintains websites with extensive information and park maps. These provide an official and useful complement to the detailed TrailPhoto Guides and maps on this website. The applicable National Forests and Wilderness Area for the Off Highway 108 Area are (these links will open in a new browser window):
Stanislaus National Forest - Located on the west side of Highway 108 area.
Toiyabe National Forest - Located on the east side of the Highway 108 area.
Carson-Iceberg Wilderness - Located north of the Highway 108 area.
Emigrant Wilderness - Located south of Highway 108 and north of Yosemite.
Other sources of Highway 108 area information (Opens in new browser window):
State of California Visitors' Information - Includes general information on the Highway 108 area.
TrailPhotos Index Site Map for all TrailPhotos areas and maps.
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