HWY 108 – Sonora Pass

Posted on: November 27th, 2012 by CRASH 1 Comment


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HWY 108 links the central valley in California to the east side of the Sierra Mountains. It is an outstanding route to get over the mountains during non-snow times. You will rarely, if ever see large vehicles on this road unless the drivers are new or just stupid. Season truck drivers avoid 108. It is steep, tight and serpentine road. It is technically challenging. Newer riders or those lacking confidence should avoid it. It can be done, but it can take an emotional and physical toll on some riders.

West to East is a great ride to the summit at 9,624 feet. Stop at the summit turn out and you get about 50 more feet or so of altitude too. The east side is much twistier and steep. I prefer to ride East to West since going up the steep twistys is a lot more fun than going down.

This is one of the great roads of California. Patrols are hit or miss and usually depend on the time of year. There are lots of little towns down low and up high camp grounds and vista points to stop at. The east side passes a Marine Training base not too far from HWY 395. You may see choppers flying around or pass Marines on maneuvers that always look longingly as you wizz by.

This road should be on everyone’s bucket list to ride.

One Response

  1. Dennis says:

    This is a truly great road. I’ve driven it a few times, twice in my Mazda 3. The last time was in June 2014 and there were three of us: a BMW M Roadster, a Miata and my Mazda 3. Stop at Pinecrest on the way up for a short break and a snack. When you get to U.S. 395, continue south to Tioga Road and then go up to Tioga Pass and through Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite. There are good places along the way for a picnic lunch. Allow yourself time to wander around Tuolumne Meadows and soak up the grandeur of this special place.

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