Tioga Pass Resort combines exceptional services with unbeatable access to the High Sierra. TPR is a four-season rustic mountain resort located in California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada -- the most spectacular region of one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in the world.  

 

Located at 9641 feet elevation, TPR is surrounded by the lakes, rivers, meadows and mountains of Yosemite National Park, the Inyo National Forest, and the Mono Basin National Scenic Area.  The lodge and cabins, built from 1914 through the 1980s, provide charming, rustic accommodations, paired with

delicious fresh foods. TPR -- pristine winter snow, spring snowmelt, summer wildflowers, and golden fall colors .

 

Tioga Pass -- Early History

 

 The first people who visited the Tioga Pass environs were the Mono Paiute, who lived in the Mono Basin, and the Miwok, who lived in Yosemite Valley, both as long ago as 10,000 years ago.  Early non-Indian travelers such as Joseph Reddeford Walker and John Muir encountered these Indians high in the Sierra

during their travels.  Walker, who crossed the Sierra in 1833, is believed to have traveled west of Tuolumne Meadows, near Tioga Pass.  

 

While tourists began crossing  Tioga Pass to Yosemite Valley as early as the 1850s, the first real interest in the area was sparked by mining.  

 

It started when Lieutenant Treadwell Moore came to the area in 1852 while looking for the Miwok; he took some rock samples home with him that revealed gold.  Inspired by the samples, George W. “Doc” Chase formed a small party that traveled to “Tioga Hill” in 1860.  Exploration thereafter picked up pace -- one map names the area “Brown’s Pass” (Britton & Co. 1861-62) and another “MacLane’s Pass” (Josiah Whitney, 1865).   

 

Hand-in-hand with mining came sheep grazing (known as “dinner on the hoof”) which occurred as early as 1857.  Grazing continued until 1984, when Inyo National Forest grazing allotments were closed in light of the reintroduction of the bighorn sheep.  

 

After the discovery and naming of the Tioga Mines, the pass was finally named Tioga Pass, after Tioga County, New York, the origin of many of the local mineworkers.  The name “Tioga” is taken from the Iroquois language, and means “where it forks,” “at the forks,” “swift current,” or “a gate”.

 

 

 

 

Al Gardisky and Tioga Pass Resort

 

Albert J. Gardisky first came to Tioga Pass in 1914; he constructed Cabin 1 that year, and began mining and trapping.  Gardisky quickly learned, however, that he could make a better living providing food and shelter to the growing number of travelers crossing through Tioga Pass.  

 

By 1916, Gardisky, together with a mule and a block and tackle, had completed Cabins 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the Main Lodge.  When the winter of 1920 crushed the flat roof on the Main Lodge, Gardisky re-built the roof into its current two story A-frame.  The cold storage room was added in the 1920s, as was the first “Old Kitchen”.  By the mid-1920s, “Camp Tioga,” as it was known until 1951, provided travelers with roadside food and lodging not unlike today.  Gardisky lived at the resort year-round from 1914 to 1935, and wintered in Lee Vining until he passed on in 1943.

 

After Gardisky’s death, his relatives, believing Al had hidden his “treasure” in one of the buildings, tore apart the floorboards of all of the buildings.  Finding nothing, they quickly sold Camp Tioga to Gerald and Eunice Younge.  The Younges didn’t take to the resort, and sold it six months later to Hal and Edna Bergland.  During their fourteen years at TPR, the Berglands re-roofed and added bathrooms to the cabins, built “modern” infrastructure, constructed the Café and new kitchen additions, built (with Lee Vining local “Frenchy” Davis) the stone fireplace (travertine stones were taken from the Mono Basin, crystal from Maul and Treble Lakes, obsidian from the Mono Craters, and the exterior granite from the Blue Slide on Tioga Pass Road).  During their ownership,  the Berglands also built the Saddlebag Lake Resort.  In 1957, the Berglands sold the Tioga Pass Resort to Raymond and Margaret Yawman (the Berglands kept the Saddlebag Lake Resort), who operated the resort until 1963.  

 

 In 1963 Neil and Georgia Kelly took over, and for 31 years the old “Camp Tioga” was slowly molded into the “Tioga Pass Resort” of today.  In 1994, Kelly sold the resort to Tioga Pass Resort, Inc., a company headed by Bob and Claudette Agard, who had managed the resort for Kelly for several years.  Among other things, the Agards were responsible for starting the first winter operation at the Tioga Pass Resort.  

 

In 2002, Tioga Pass Resort, LLC, a company formed by a group of  outdoor enthusiasts headed by John Landsberger, Michael Entin, and Ron Cohen took over operation of  TPR. Our goal is to cement TPR’s reputation as the first and finest Eastern Sierra resort.  We hope you enjoy the improvements we have instituted!  

 

Welcome to TPR!