National Geographic : 1966 Jul
National Geographic, July, 1966 along its grades; a financial panic developed before mining operations could begin. Yosemite became a national park in 1890. From its earliest days hardy visitors traveled the Tioga Road, sometimes unhitching horses and hauling wagons over "difficult stretches" with block and tackle. Automobiles came, and with them improvements, and finally, in 1937, paving. But the Tioga Road-particu larly a 21-mile central section-remained a narrow roller coaster, skirting steep ravines, squeezing between trees, widening only oc casionally so approaching cars could pass. A postwar boom in travel and larger auto mobiles multiplied problems. House trailers sometimes wedged between trees. Overheated cars stalled on steep grades. Inexperienced drivers stopped in panic beside steep dropoffs, freezing at the wheel until a park ranger or friendly motorist came along to drive them to easier ground. New Road Preserves Park Values Years before, the Park Service had studied relocation of Tioga's central section. Now Mission 66 provided funds to carry out the construction. But the proposed route cut into the higher Sierra ridges more than the old road did, and in a place or two crossed granite formations that told tales of glacial action. Lazing in the lupine, a coed from California's Long Beach State College studies amid the lush beauty of Sequoia Na tional Park. Bashful leopard lily (right) mantles Sierra meadows, together with Queen Anne's lace, shooting stars, and fleabane. Tunnel Log proves a neat solution to a weighty problem. When a shallow-rooted giant 275 feet tall crashed across this Sequoia Park road in 1937, park officials decided to bur row through rather than clear.