Days: 3-4 Days
Milage: 27 +
Elevation Gain/lost: +6193’/-10864″
Location: Lyell Canyon Trailhead
Trail Head: 37.877371, -119.337989
Google Map:<<click here>>
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Vogelsang Pass >>
Rafferty Creek >>
Cathedral Lakes >>
Tuolumne Meadow is just that; an enormous meadow, very beautiful, but even more so in the spring with the wild flowers. Highway 120 goes through the area, a paved road in very good condition. Bear activity is much higher here. Bears are very active in the campground and all along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River in the Lyell Canyon.
There are very few services in Tuolumne, the basics, really. During the summer, which runs on average from mid-June to mid-September, there’s a campground, small grocery store, grill, post office, small gas station open 24 hours (automated) and visitor center. There’s also a year-round ranger station and seasonal High Sierra Camp with restaurant. It’s the center of the universe for those embarking on long backpacking trips to Glenn Aulin, Vogelsang, and Donahue Pass along the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. Although the Tioga Pass Road (as it is also called) is open from just before Memorial Day to well into October or November, services are available only during summer.