(Written by Bill)
I have lived in California my entire life and just recently learned of this special place. It’s a little different direction then we typically take, but very interesting none-the-less.
The town of North Fork happens to be the geographical center of California. It has a population of just under 3,400 and an altitude of 2,638′ (804m). The town itself is quiet and is not at all touristy. The real attraction happens to be the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway which starts near the community of North Fork and meanders for 100 miles through the Forest highlighting some of the most beautiful scenery and views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The Scenic Byway takes about 5 hours to drive and ends near the community of Oakhurst.
Be aware there are no gas stations or grocery stores along the entire route so make sure you fill up the car and bring along drinks and snacks. Although a majority of the road is paved, you will come across two sections that will be dirt, maybe 1-2 miles (does not require 4 wheel drive). The road is typically open from May to November and I’m betting you won’t see many people as you drive this beautiful scenic stretch of byway (it’s truly a hidden treasure).
There are many attractions to see along the route, such as Nelder Grove (giant Sequoya’s), Glob Rock (a hugh rock balanced on a small pedestal), Jackass Meadows, Ross Cabin, Mammoth Pool, Arch Rock to name a few.
Here are some links with more detail about this wonderful byway:
1) Video from the LiveWell Network
2) More information about the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway
3) Map of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway
Hope you have an opportunity to visit this gorgeous location. If you like driving in the beautiful mountains with little or no traffic, this is the place to go.
Hope you enjoy, bill