The Trip Our eight-day loop through the heart of Yosemite National Park will sample some of the finest of the Yosemite high country. There are numerous one-way trips and loops of varying mileages that hikers can create. Views from the nearby ridge showcase Tenaya Canyon and Mt. These developed areas of the park around Yosemite Valley and Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows essentially split the wilderness into northern and southeastern sections. These lakes are located to the south of Tenaya Lake. After a few miles, take the fork to the right and up the ridge to the High Sierra. Location: 37.82478, -119.277802. The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne ended up being one of my favorite backpacking trips of the year. The trail begins in the B loop of the campground and climbs steadily to a glacier-carved lake at the base of Unicorn Peak. The trail through this area is the famous John Muir Trail, which sees high traffic all season. Near the top of the climb, it passes a spur trail to Lower Cathedral Lake (0.5 mile to lake). There are several creek crossings, including Rafferty Creek (bridged) and Ireland Creek (unbridged). From Tuolumne Meadows you’ll climb nearly 1,500’ to Tuolumne Pass at 10,000 feet for stunning alpine vistas of the rugged Sierra Nevada backcountry. The return hike follows the same route. 1. The hike travels through a range of alpine environments including meadows, forests, and passes. Backpack from Tuolumne Meadows to Devils Postpile on the John Muir Trail. This is the perfect overnight option for anyone who wants to … Hikers will enjoy views of Cathedral Peak and Echo Peak and access to Long Meadow, Sunrise High Sierra Camp, and Sunrise Lakes. This 28-mile, two to four-day backpacking trip includes stretches on many different trails in the park. Beyond Glen Aulin are California Fall (13 miles roundtrip), LeConte Fall (15 miles roundtrip), and Waterwheel Falls (18 miles roundtrip). Turn left to reach the top of Lembert Dome for a spectacular view of Tuolumne Meadows and surrounding peaks. We will have a layover day at Vogelsang Lake. The elevation actually decreases from 8,600′ to 7,800′ on your first day. Accessible with a strenuous uphill 1.2 miles hike from the May Lake parking lot, May … Trails, maps, photos, descriptions, wilderness permits. ", 4.8 miles (7.7 km) round-trip, 1,000-foot elevation gain; 4 to 5 hours, Begin at Tuolumne Meadows Campground near group camp. Hikers have views of the Kuna Crest and Mount Lyell. Hiking down to Half Dome from an overnight backpacking trip in Tuolumne Meadows is a strategy to avoiding some of the crowds. For a shorter trip, walk 1/2 hour each way to the Lyell Fork and "Twin Bridges. Yosemite National Park features some of the most beautiful backcountry in all of the Sierra Nevada. At the Rafferty Creek junction, the trail begins its 1,200-foot ascent to Tuolumne Pass. The GCT is a 33 mile one-way hike that follows the Tuolumne River from Tuolumne Meadows (8600 ft) down to Pate Valley at 4300 ft and then back up to White Wolf (7875 ft). An Adventure Projects staff member will review this and take an appropriate action, but we generally don't reply. Perfect to celebrate your accomplishments while waiting for your ride back to Mammoth. Distance: 14.4 miles (23.2 km) round trip. May Lake. Begin at the Dog Lake parking area (shuttle stop #2, just west of Tuolumne Meadows Lodge). Backpacking Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley It’s no surprise Yosemite is one of the most visited National Parks in the country – the place is beautiful. This chain of three lakes is north of Tuloumne Meadows and provides wide panoramic views of the Cathedral Range. (Shuttle service is available twice per day.). At the Spillway Lake junction, the trail climbs steadily and more steeply to Mono Pass (elevation 10,600 feet). The first two miles of the John Muir Trail are relatively level as they follow the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. Small creek spills into Lyell Fork. We will get back onto the JMT just a few miles (5.6) South of Tuolumne Meadows in Lyell Canyon. Location: 37.797173, -119.262825. Here, the High Sierra Camp, nestled on the mountainside, looks out over gorgeous meadows to the rugged peaks of the Cathedral Range. This hike offers some of the most spectacular high-country views off of Tioga Road. Historic Parsons Memorial Lodge offers exhibits (limited hours—see Yosemite Guide for schedule). 8 miles (12.9 km) round-trip, 1,000-foot elevation gain; 4 to 6 hours. Yosemite Valley is the heart and soul of … An easy 4 miles long loop hike traverses both forks, Dana & Lyell, of Tuolumne River and provides great scenic views. Glen Aulin is a popular forested gully to the northwest of Tuolumne Meadows. Hikers ascend through forests to Ireland and Evelyn Lakes. The return hike follows the same route. Don’t miss the spectacular view of Mono Lake and Bloody Canyon: from the pass, hike a bit farther toward Upper Sardine Lake. JMT027. The Tioga Road, which provides the only access by car to these hikes, usually opens around late May or early June, depending on conditions. Surprisingly, however, most people stick to a few main trails – namely the John Muir Trail between Yosemite Valley – Tuolumne Meadows – Donahue Pass and the High Sierra Camp trails leading to Merced Lake – Vogelsang – Sunrise. Trails: Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park is a large, open subalpine meadow graced by the winding Tuolumne River and surrounded by majestic peaks and domes. Little Yosemite Valley and Half Dome. Parking lot at Tuolumne Ranger Station; best place for long-term parking. Tuolumne Meadows is the hub of the Tioga Road area of Yosemite. This is a popular area that provides access to various alpine environments in the Cathedral Range. Distance: 6 miles (9.6 km) round trip. Hike Option: The trail continues to the south, crossing the Tuolumne Meadows Footbridge. Cross the highway and skirt the western base of Lembert Dome on Old Tuolumne Road, which travels across the northern fringe of Tuolumne Meadows. The Big Turn Spaced along a loop at six-to-10-mile intervals, the five High Camps are a series of comfy canvas tents, complete with beds and mattresses, along with restrooms (some camps also have showers). Length 7.2 miElevation gain 1548 ftRoute type Point to point We left a parks pass on the dashboard with a note saying “Please don’t tow, Backpacking” just in case. The trails are still more heavily travelled than many others in the Sierras, but the scenery is unbeatable. From Tuolumne Meadows, hike northwest along the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River until you reach the start of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River and the spectacular Waterwheel Falls, aptly named for the effect created by this cascade in times of peak water flow. Dana and Lyell Forks of Tuolumne River merge into the river somewhere near the Tuolumne Meadows campground. 7 miles (11.3 km round-trip), 1,000-foot elevation gain; 4 to 6 hours. One of the most famous hikes in the world, this classic trek on the John Muir Trail is popular for both its incredible scenery and generally declining elevation. Soda Springs—carbonated, cold water bubbling out of the ground—is protected within a log enclosure. The trail rises steeply for 0.75 mile to a signed junction. Begin at Mono Pass trailhead, on the Tioga Road six miles east of Tuolumne Meadows (shuttle service is available twice per day). Polly Dome Lakes are located to the north of Tenaya Lake, just past Polly Dome. You begin your trek at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor’s Center, then make your way along flat meadows and meandering streams along the Pacific Crest Trail. To reach Dog Lake, continue straight at the junction. Starting near the shores of Tenaya Lake, this trail travels through sub-alpine forests until reaching the lakes. Highlights: Lakes. Leaving from Tenaya Lake, this route ascends through forests towards Sunrise Lakes but continues on to the summit of Clouds Rest. Yosemite’s north country is remote and rugged. Vogelsang is a region of high-altitude lakes and peaks. From Devils Postpile, we all piled into one car and then drove our second car to Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center (about 1 hour 30 minute drive), to pick up our permits before 10am. ), Distance: 20.6 miles (33.2 km) round trip. Whatever the destination, hikers should be prepared for long distances, few people, and creek crossings. It was quite challenging with a demanding amount of elevation change, but around every corner was another giant waterfall or enticing swimming hole, all surrounded by the granite cliffs that Yosemite is known for. As the map above shows, hiking in the opposite direction means climbing from Tuolumne to Vogelsang. Sunset isn't until 8:18 pm so that's a … The Tioga Road usually closes sometime in November. The area is popular with rock climbers. We Offer a Variety of Trekking Tours … Highlights: Lakes, Waterfalls, High Country, Distance: 12.6 miles (20.3 km) round trip. (Public transportation may be available to help you travel between starting and ending trailheads. Does anyone have any good suggestions for about a 20-ish mile loop where we wouldn't … So … Interested trip members will have the option of summiting Clouds Rest, Half Dome, and Vogelsang Peak. One-way fare for one is $3. Campsite along Lyell Fork. The trailhead starts at the Lembert Dome Picnic Area (shuttle stop #4), about 1.3 miles east of the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center. Begin at Tioga Pass Entrance Station. The route features many waterfalls and swimming holes, best trafficked from late spring to early fall. A ~38 mile backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness near South Lake Tahoe. The rest of the hike is seemingly flat through the forest until you reach Tuolumne Meadows. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. We did a little more homework and found out that the YARTS shuttle runs from White Wolf to Tuolumne Meadows at 6 pm and arrives at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center at 6:45. There are also several trails radiating out from the meadow. We started in Tuolumne Meadows, staying at Nelson Lake the first night and Lower Cathedral Lake the second night. Hiked in reverse requires climbing more than 5,600 feet, but start in Tuolumne Meadows and this beautiful walk is mostly downhill. There is an unofficial, unmarked spur trail that leads to the lakes. This route was planned by Elizabeth Wenk and I had the good fortune to be able to tag along with Lizzy and her two kids. It can be hiked from either direction, but all of my research said it was optimal to leave from White Wolf. Closed Loop We could hike North from Voglesang High Sierra Camp through Tuolumne Pass for the hike back down to Tuolumne Meadows, where we could also continue our hike South on the JMT down Lyell Canyon. Hoffmann. This is a long loop that visits the most popular areas of Yosemite’s high country. This classic portion of the High Sierra Loop includes visits to the Vogelsang, Merced Lake, and Sunrise High Sierra Camps. Added by The Outbound Collective Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is a 46.7 mile backpacking loop in Yosemite National Park. Allow four hours for a leisurely four mile (6.4 km) roundtrip visit to both Dog Lake and Lembert Dome. But there is a big advantage to going counter-clockwise. Directions: From Groveland, CA, travel east on Hwy 120 into Yosemite National Park. Distance: 11.4 miles (18.3 km) round trip. Tuolumne Meadows Hikes Tuolumne Meadows is Yosemite’s best-kept secret. Distance: 10.4 miles (16.7 km) round trip. Tuolumne Meadows Lodge to Vogelsang Camp is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. Tuolumne Meadows: Soda Springs and Parsons Lodge (easy), Begin at Lembert Dome parking area (shuttle stop #4). Highlights: High Country, Lakes, Waterfalls. There are views of Rafferty, Fletcher, and Vogelsang Peaks. Elevation Gain: 600 feet … Lyell Canyon is located to the southeast of Tuolumne Meadows. Options listed below involve additional cross-country navigation. 7.2 to 11.5 miles. This route follows the Tuolumne River through a deep canyon that leads from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to Tuolumne Meadows. Day 1-Elizabeth Lake Trailhead (Tuolumne Meadows Campground) to Nelson Lake (9,605 fe… Cathedral Lakes are nestled at the foot of Cathedral Peak. The official trail ends at the first lake situated below Ragged Peak, but a well-used informal trail continues to the second and third lakes. Since parking at the trailhead is limited, consider taking the shuttle bus. An out-and-back overnight would be 10.9 miles. From the trailhead, climb steadily to a ridge with views of the high Sierra including Mt. Shuttle service (for a fee) is available in the Tuolumne Meadows are from approximately mid June through mid-September. The return hike follows the same route. 2 miles (3.2 km) round-trip, 500-foot elevation gain; 2 hours. Trailhead: Lyell Canyon or Rafferty Creek. Early in the season, the trail can be muddy in places (please remain on the trail even if it's muddy). Trailhead: Rafferty Creek or Cathedral Lakes. Several creeks combine here at the mouth of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. Tuolumne Meadows Author: Helen (63.122.243.---) Date: 04-15-02 13:20 We're thinking of doing a 3-day backpacking trip in Toulumne over Memorial Day Weekend. This region is very well travelled, as it sits on the Pacific Crest Trail and provides excellent access to the northern half of Yosemite. Highlights: This popular Half Dome backpacking trip offers a comprehensive Yosemite experience for those seeking an authentic wilderness adventure. Begin across the road from the Dog Lake parking area (Tuolumne Meadows Shuttle Stop #2). Starting at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, you can hike the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise. Walk along the gravel road and pass the locked gate (signed Glen Aulin and Soda Springs). There are views of various peaks and many lakes to enjoy. Ascend the final uphill above higher Sunrise Lake and come down on the other side of Sunrise Mountain. That’s a rough first day! Seasonal services include a visitors center, wilderness permit center, store and cafe. Return via the same route. At the ridge crest, the trail drops 200 feet to Middle Gaylor Lake. This loop traverses over Rockbound Pass and Dicks Pass on its way to the beautiful Lake Aloha. Dana and Dana Meadows with its scattered ponds. Follow the Tuolumne River as it drops to Glen Aulin. Gla cier Point Loop. The return hike follows the same route. hiking brochure and map for Tuolumne Meadows, Learn more about good places to see wildflowers. At Crane Flat (approx. Day 1: Hike north on the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail from the trailhead near Tuolumne Meadows' Wilderness Permit Center and the Tuolumne Lodge. The High Sierra Camp loop follows trails linking Tuolumne Meadows to Vogelsang, Merced Lake, Sunrise, May Lake, and Glen Aulin High Sierra Camps. This is one of the busiest trails in the Tuolumne Meadows area. From the summit, there are views of the High Country, Tenaya Canyon, Half Dome, and Yosemite Valley. Dog Lake and Lembert Dome: 4 miles (6.4 km) round-trip; 4 hours. This route is often used to access Clouds Rest, which overlooks Half Dome and Tenaya Canyon. Several access points open these wilderness areas to backpackers: Hetch Hetchy and White Wolf Campground in the north, Wawona Campground and Bridalveil Creek Campground in the south. Distance: 13.6 miles (21.9 km) round trip, Trailhead: Young Lakes via Dog Lake or Glen Aulin. Lembert Dome: 2.8 miles (4.5 km) round-trip, 850-foot elevation gain; 3 hours. Dog Lake: 2.8 miles (4.5 km) round-trip, 600-foot elevation gain; 3 hours. Yosemite Valley – Yosemite Loop Trail. You climb from 8,600′ to 10,300′ and end up sleeping over 10,000′ on your first night. Following the Pacific Crest Trail north from Tuolumne Meadows, this hike descends to Glen Aulin and then ascends through meadows and forests to the remote and alpine McCabe Lakes. Once the road opens, trails can remain wet and/or snowy for a few to several weeks. This trail passes through Lyell Canyon, along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. This historic, trans-Sierra trail climbs gently at first from the Mono Pass parking area, through wet meadows and rushing creeks. Along the route you are treated to amazing scenery with highlights including: alpine lakes, granite peaks, meadows, waterfalls, and expansive views of El Dorado National Forest. The return trip follows Rafferty Creek back to Tuolumne Meadows. Begin at Cathedral Lakes trailhead, 1/2 mile west of the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, Shuttle Stop #7. Distance: 29.6 miles (47.6 km) round trip. Why you should go: A two-day trek that delivers a highlight reel of the best … The trail climbs steadily to Upper Cathedral Lake. The trail to the lakes goes through alpine meadows and forests. JMT028. Hikers pass by waterfalls of the Tuolumne River and have mountain views at McCabe Lakes. Trip Overview: The 33 mile Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River backpacking trip is considered one of the highlights within Yosemite National Park. Tuolumne Fall and White Cascade are four miles from the trailhead. Lyell Canyon via the John Muir Trail (easy), 8 miles (12.9 km) round-trip, 200-foot elevation gain; four hours, Begin across the road from the Dog Lake parking area (shuttle stop #2). A path winds to the bridge below and continues on to the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center. Backpacking is a great way to get away from the crowds of Yosemite Valley. Polly Dome Lakes. Begin at Tuolumne Meadows Campground near group camp The trail begins in the B loop of the campground and climbs steadily to a glacier-carved lake at the base of Unicorn Peak. Then you have to hike in at least 4 miles to camp. We will hike past alpine meadows and camp by pristine lakes surrounded by 12,000-foot peaks. 13.8 miles (22.2 km) round-trip, 1,400-foot elevation gain; 8 hours. The YART stop is at the General Store, which also happens to serve food and has an excellent selection of ice-cold beer. Overshadowed by the popularity of nearby Yosemite Valley, most visitors to the park never take the time to explore this beautiful and spacious high-alpine clearing. From Tenaya Lake, cross Tenaya Creek and soon begin climbing up to the Sunrise Lakes. Tuolumne Meadows Backpacking Trip | Wildland Trekking Explore Yosemite's Breathtaking Tuolumne Meadows with Wildland Trekking! This easy and flat hike take you to encircle the area and enjoy surrounding scenic views of Lyell Canyon and Lembert Dome. Follow the signs to Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, another 160 feet higher in elevation. The top of Pothole Dome offers rewarding views looking east across Tuolumne Meadows; the lower section of the hike traverses a series of cascades in the Tuolumne River; and the last section of the loop skirts the western edge of Tuolumne Meadow with views of the surrounding mountains reflected in pools in the Tuolumne. 11 miles (17.7 km) round-trip, 800-foot elevation gain; 6-8 hours. Along the south side of the road, facing the meadow, are a visitor center, a campground, a cafeteria/convenience store, and a gas station/sporting goods store. A major thoroughfare, the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails combine in this canyon’s open, grassy fields. Spectacular Kuna Creek cascades down the side of the east canyon wall near the eight-mile mark. Enjoy granite peaks, alpine meadows, and magnificent lakes. Hike beyond the camp to Vogelsang Lake (0.5 mile, 280-foot elevation gain) or to Vogelsang Pass (1.5 mile, 600-foot elevation gain). This hike begins in Lyell Canyon but leaves the Canyon at Ireland Creek. Head S on John Muir Trail section of Pacific Crest Trail; follow JMT signs throughout this hike. We elected to do a two-night semi-loop (more of a U-shape) in mid-July.