great place for hot meals. the picnic sandwiches are overpriced and not as good. had some fine elk in a wine reduction sitting at a picnic table outside watching the sunset. the sky was clear and mono lake was at its best. I’d eat there in a ny minute! (and I did another night, too, before we headed down to yo’valley!"
And last time I passed by (3 weeks ago), gas was at $3.49.
I climb in the Eastern Sierras a lot, so I pass this place all the time. It’s usually too close to the beginning or end of a 7 hour drive for me to go in regularly, but the food there is quite tasty, even the generic stuff, like a slice of BBQ chicken pizza, was really good. Can get very crowded on week-ends, but worth a stop.
I second the "must-do" nature of 395 from Lee Vining to Lone Pine. Some other good roadfood places on 395 are Mountain View BBQ in Walker and Burgers at the Whitney Portal store outside of Lone Pine.
I went through Tioga Road from Yosemite Village to Lee Vinning 12 years ago. Tioga Road is one of the most beautiful places in the world. All that was in Lee Vinning back then was gas at $ 1.71 a gallon which was then outragous! I bet it’s $ 3.70 now.
I’m really disappointed—–just got back from a trip to mammoth for a week and if I’d known about this—–it would have been on my "must go" list! Looks great!
My Lord, if only I had that kind of view in Wisconsin!!!!!!!![:p]
The Mango Margaritas, Fish Tacos, and Lobster Taquitos are Great!
Egg White Smoked Trout Omelettes are really good, choose your own ingredients.
The setting is beautiful, a great way to start your day or end it.
Originally posted by BT
I agree with you the scenery on the Mono Lake side is not as spectacular as the scenery actually going through Yosemite, but it’s still pretty interesting (especially the Lake if you know anything about it–history, mineral deposits, brine critters and all that). Anyway, I think if I were going there now I’d take 80 over Donner Pass and then drive south on 395 to this area. It’s longer, but the max elevation is only about 6000 feet.
80 and Donner Pass is the lowest route and so the least scenic – other good alternatives are 50 and 89 or 88, 4, etc – none are nearly as high as Tioga Pass – all are beautiful –
But while in the area, a side trip to Bodie is worthwhile – a real ghost town, in a state of arrested decay – go mid-week, off season (not winter – roads will be snowed under) when it is not crowded and you can appreciate the atmosphere – when I first went there many years ago, the road in was unpaved, there was no parking lot, and we were the only people there – it doesn’t quite come up to that anymore, but is still pretty unspoiled –
I agree with BT on the rating of the ride down (or up)395 and then over the Mountains on 120. Everyone should do it at least once. 120 is a very seasonal road. When they say it is only open in summer that could mean that on JULY 20th it is still closed due to the high snow on the upper slopes! Always check ahead to see if it is open before basing your travel plans on crossing using it.
395 on the other hand is a wonderland. Mono Lake and the ski areas are one major area to visit, but even down in the Owens Valley and the Panamint Mtns you cross some great scenic country. If you have never stopped at Manzanar, just north of Independence, you need to. Manzanar is the site of one of the internment camps that was used to house the Japanese-Americans who were interred during WWII. Then a bit further south , in Lone Pine, head up the side road to Whitney Portal. A really lovely place with great views of the mountain, and even into Death Valley 90 miles east of there. Driving the Alabama hills near there is also interesting. They have place markers out where the famous movie sets were located–GUNGA DIN and several classic Westerns were filmed there.
All in All US 395 is one of my favorite roadtrips.
I’ve driven the Tioga Road years ago (people who haven’t should know it’s only open in summer) but I’m pretty sure this place wasn’t there then. I haven’t attempted it recently partly becasue the peak elevation through the pass is 11,000 feet and I have considerable shortness of breath at that altitude. I agree with you the scenery on the Mono Lake side is not as spectacular as the scenery actually going through Yosemite, but it’s still pretty interesting (especially the Lake if you know anything about it–history, mineral deposits, brine critters and all that). Anyway, I think if I were going there now I’d take 80 over Donner Pass and then drive south on 395 to this area. It’s longer, but the max elevation is only about 6000 feet.
I’ve eaten here twice and the food was pretty good both times. I’m not all that excited about the views, the Eastern Sierra’s aren’t my thing except that there is some really good trout fishing in this area. I always loved the drive up through Yosemite on 120 to get to the high Sierra’s and this area for some great fishing.
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
OK, OK–I’m posting this mostly because I’m fascinated. In my little town in AZ there’s a combo gas station and steak house that some claim is actually good (I’m not a fan of steak anywhere but on a backyard grill). But this sounds wild. Has anybody eaten here?
Tioga Gas Mart
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