Tuolunme Meadows Area

Key information: Tuolunme Meadows Area

    ·       This lovely area at the head of the Tioga Road in Yosemite’s north-east is the heart of some of its best upland walking.

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  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 13,000 ft
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.



This lovely area at the head of the Tioga Road in the Yosemite NP’s north-east is the heart of some of Yosemite’s best upland walking.

To Vogelsang High Sierra: follow the John Muir Trail south from Tuolunme up through Lyell Canyon, then fork up west into the Cathedral Range, to Tuolunme Pass and on to Vogelsang (and on to the hyper-lovely Gallison Lake), if energy allows.14 miles round trip. Strenuous. You can make longer walks out to Merced Lake in the upper Little Yosemite Valley (15 miles one way) and on to Yosemite Valley.

From near Tioga Pass (the eastern entrance to the Yosemite Park), walk to Mount Dana (13,060 ft, the second-highest in Yosemite) and on to Kuna Crest. 4 miles to Mount Dana. A day return walk.

Murphy Creek: (We plan to give more – contributions welcome!)

Cathedral Range: Take the John Muir Trail south to the harshly beautiful Cathedral Lakes (3.5 miles) then on to the Sunrise area and destinations such as Half Dome and Yosemite Valley for much longer walks (very long one-day walks, or camp at Sunrise). You can also join the Clouds Rest Trail.

Elizabeth Lake: (We plan to give more – contributions welcome!)

Glen Aulin and Cold Canyon: follow the Tuolumne River up through spectacular canyons to stunning Waterwheel Falls (16.5 miles return) and onward.

Young Lake(s): You can approach the beautiful Young Lakes via Dog Lake and then high meadows, or Glen Aulin, in 6 miles or so. Makes a good circuit.

Mono Pass: climb to Mono Pass in 3.7 miles or so, and further on if you wish.

The beautiful Gaylor Lakes, from Tioga Pass. (We plan to give more – contributions welcome!)

This can be tough walking in high, remote mountains with uncertain weather. Beware thunderstorms, get off high ground, domes especially, if one approaches. Beware bears in backcountry. Come fully prepared.

See our Yosemite page for more general and practical information and photos.

We want to tell more - please send us your ideas, suggestions, experiences and photos.

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Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.


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