Touring the Scenic Byway

The Scenic Byway is gearing up for a busy summer. Even though the French Fire of August 2014 affected portions of the Byway as far as 13 miles inside the fire perimeter, some areas were untouched or lightly burned, while some were more severely burned. The Forest Service took precautions during the fire, and immediately afterwards, to mitigate hazards along the Byway by felling hazardous trees, cleaning culverts and posting warning signs. Upcoming events are:

• Saturday, June 20: Byway Geology with Tom Burdette. This tour will highlight interesting geological features along the Byway which traverses very diverse areas, from table tops to domes, discussing the origins and other information on the several geologic formations visible on the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway and elsewhere in the Sierra Nevada. The tour begins 9 a.m., at Spring Valley School and heads up the Byway from there. Bring a lunch, sunscreen, and water. There is no charge.

• Saturday, July 11: Wildflowers of Mountain Meadows, with Joanna Clines, Forest Service Botanist, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. A driving tour along the Scenic Byway with a bit of walking to and within meadows between 6,000 and 7,000 elevation, no strenuous hiking. Visiting a few places within the French Fire to discuss fire ecology and see some post-fire flowers. Lunching at Graveyard Meadow, in view of common native wildflowers of Sierra meadows. Travel to McCreary Meadow to see more and different flowers. Bring your lunch, snacks, drinking water, sunscreen, sturdy shoes or boots you don’t mind getting wet/dirty. Optional: camera, binoculars, notebook, wildflower books/apps. Meet at the North Fork Forest Service Office.

• Saturday, Oct. 3 is the 22nd annual Grizzly Century bike ride along the Byway which brings hundreds of riders to the area. Three routes are planned: 25 miles around Bass Lake, 60 and 100 miles deep into the Sierra National Forest along the Byway. Cyclists experience the Byway first hand and at a slower pace than motorists. The bicycle ride is a major fundraiser for the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway enabling improvement projects along the Byway to enhance traveler experiences. Check the Grizzly website (

for more information.

• Byway Audio Tour CD includes 15 audio tracks from several local Byway experts to guide you on a tour of the Byway as you travel from one point of interest to the next. Includes music interwoven with the talks to enhance your Byway experience. A small map of the Byway is also included in the CD case. Tour CDs are $12 each. T-shirts and tour CD are available for purchase locally at Jennie’s Garden in downtown North Fork and online at the Byway website. The tour CD is also for sale at the North Fork Visitors Center.

The Sierra Vista Scenic Byway Association is a non-profit corporation with the charter to promote and improve the recreational facilities on the Byway. Volunteers handle administration of the association, conduct Byway tours and coordinate with the Forest Service to maintain and improve the Byway. The Byway Association Board of Directors meets on the second Monday of each month at the Forest Service facility in North Fork at 5:30 p.m. All Byway Association members are welcome (and encouraged) to attend the monthly board meetings.

Visit website ( to join as a Byway member or renew annual membership, and to keep up on Byway events. The Sierra Vista Scenic Byway Association is a 501c(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

- Sierra Vista Scenic Byway Association