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Hiking later in the summer provides safer stream crossings but also brings very hot temperatures and lower flow in the Tuolumne River (and thus less spectacular waterfalls). After you cross the Pate Valley bridges, there are a variety of good campsites near the Tuolumne River in Pate Valley. With the Hiking & Trekking tour Yosemite Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Waterfall Fall, you have a 5 days tour package taking you through Tuolumne, USA and Yosemite National Park,. Lembert Dome viewed from near the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers Campground in Yosemite National Park, Cooling down in the Tuolumne River with a view of Colby Mountain, in Yosemite National Park, After setting up camp we cooled off in a large swimming hole at the base of California Falls, Jump to Day 2: Pate Valley to Grand Mountain, Jump to Day 3: Grand Mountain to California Falls, Jump to Day 4: California Falls to Tuolumne Meadows, adidas Outdoor Terrex Fast R Gore-Tex Shoe, Minus33 Merino Wool Kancamagus Midweight Bottom, Minus33 Merino Wool Chocorua Midweight Crew, Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles, Higher resolution version of the overall map for Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne (, a quick drying long sleeve hiking shirt (, small amount of duct tape for gear repairs, small plastic water bottles filled with whisky . Mather campground, indicated by a red flag, is on the left side of the map and is located within Grand Canyon Village. We forded the Tuolumne River and found a nice, private campsite on the south side of the river. If completing the route in 2 or 3 days, expect a more difficult hike. You will want to secure a permit as early as possible to do this hike in June, July, or August. Day 2: 6.9 miles; +2,060 feet / -1,120 feet; Pate Valley to Grand Mountain. We value your privacy and do not share your personal information. We had to get back to the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center by ~10 am in order to catch the 10:27 am YARTS shuttle back to our car at White Wolf. Logistics: If you have a wilderness permit, you may camp at one of the Yosemite backpackers’ campgrounds the night before and night after your wilderness trek. This website participates in affiliate marketing. Overall this hike is fairly tough because it involves a long, steep descent. Smedberg Lake. There are three lodging options within the park – two in the busy Grand Canyon Village, and one more remote campground, Desert View Campground, 25 miles east of Grand Canyon Village. If you are lucky enough to catch sunset here, head down to the lake and watch the reflections shimmer on the water’s glassy surface. The photos can’t do it justice; it is just so vast and unreal, I was blown away. The peak hiking season for this trek is generally late June through early August. Scout the Sites You Want in Advance. Separated from Mather Campground by 26 miles (42 km) Desert View Campground is also indicated by a red flag, on the far right side of the map. Not far from the bottom, a creek meets the trail. Permit applications can be easily submitted online (info here) and the cost is $5 per confirmed reservation plus $5 per person on the permit. When you click a link and make a purchase, a small portion of the sale helps support the blog. Bear spray is not allowed and hanging food is illegal throughout Yosemite. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Start and end in Tuolumne! The road to the White Wolf campground was closed due to COVID-19 at the time of our hike, so we had to hike an extra ~1 mile from Highway 120 to the White Wolf Trailhead. This portion of the trail is the highlight of this trek and provides near constant views of the river as well as many views of towering canyon walls and countless waterfalls. There are some excellent campsites to be found at Ten Lakes. Trip Overview: The 33 mile Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River backpacking trip is considered one of the highlights within Yosemite National Park. The name alone, Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, brought joy to my heart and called to me. The trail follows the Tuolumne River as it slowly ascends up Tuolumne Meadows. At ~6.5 miles you reach Soda Springs and then cross Tuolumne Meadows on your way back to the Visitor Center. Upon reaching Tuolumne Meadows at the end of the our trek, we caught the YARTS bus at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center and took the bus back to our car at White Wolf. Prior to submitting an application for a permit, check the Yosemite National Park trailhead map and trailhead permit availability report (if applying fewer than 24 weeks before your start date). The hike begins at White Wolf Trailhead at the end of White Wolf Road, off of California State Route 120. Two years ago while hiking in the Ten Lake Basin we had a dramatic view into this canyon. Supplies: There are very active black bears in the Yosemite National Park, so you need to bring a bear canister to store food and scented items. Our group was so spellbound, that we stopped over and over again to take photos and revel in the beauty we encountered. The Wildland Trekking Company: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River 7/6/2015 - 7/9/2015 - See 297 traveler reviews, 296 candid photos, and great deals for Yellowstone National Park, WY, at Tripadvisor. So, we got off to a very early start hiking in the morning (~5:45 am) and hiked the 8 miles back to the visitor center. If you have the courage to brave cold water, take a break and jump in! Rattle snakes are quite commonly encountered in the several miles of trail before and after Pate Valley, so be aware and keep your eyes on the trail. View looking back at the Hetch Hetchy Reservior. This allows you to take advantage of the many swimming and fishing holes along the Tuolumne River. Note that each trailhead has a designated direction you must hike. A backpacking trail follows along this section of river with trail heads accessing the canyon at Tuolumne Meadows and White Wolf Campground on the Canyon’s south rim. Enjoy a sunset over the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. After setting up camp, we cooled off by floating around the Tuolumne River. It seems around every bend you are greeted by another enchanting waterfall. ( Log Out /  The images in this report are from a trip in mid August 2020. This section boasts some of the most interesting and diverse mushroom growths I have seen. Length 57.7 mi Elevation gain 11,509 ft Route type Loop You need a permit when overnighting. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. This campsite was exposed to the sun, but had a great view of Grand Mountain and Colby Mountain and had a scenic swimming hole nearby. You likely will want bug spray because the mosquitoes can be out in force in certain areas of the trek. Alternatively you could start at Glen Aulin and hike east to west. As you descend switchbacks to the canyon floor, there are tremendous views of the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne. Day 4: 8 miles; +1,240 feet / -410 feet; California Falls to Tuolumne Meadows. World's Greatest Waterslide and Swimming Hole Then, the trail begins to steeply climb away from the river as it traverses around the Muir Gorge. If you can get your hands on that or someone knowledgeable on mushrooms, this area is a great place to see a huge variety and learn about ’em. For a day hike to the canyon, you should start from White Wolf Campground. The climb is also very exposed to the sun, so it is best tackled early in the day. But, first we’ve a bit of a challenge, exiting Pate Valley to the southwestern rim of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 3500 feet above. Camping on Colorado River Trips. The trail can be rewarding for those looking for solitude - not fully immersed (you'll still see 10-15 people while on your route). The canyon bottom provides ample views of towering granite cliffs that surround it. Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is a 57.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The Day 3 hike is one of the more beautiful sections of this trek. The river drops dramatically in this section and since you are hiking upriver, you will ascend quite a bit on day three. Yosemite Highlights Loop – Yosemite National Park (40 mile loop), Teton Crest Trail – Grand Teton National Park (48 mile loop), North Circle Loop – Glacier National Park (52 mile loop), Grand Loop – Olympic National Park (43 mile loop). You continue hiking up the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne and pass by two of the more impressive waterfalls along the route, Waterwheel Falls and LeConte Falls. Jump to Day 2: Pate Valley to Grand Mountain Midway through the hike you catch glimpses of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. I also like to pre-treat my clothes and tent with permethrin spray repellent. Camping in Grand Canyon National Park is an incredible experience. Along Piute Creek about a mile and a half north of the junction with the Tuolumne River. Your email address will not be published. From there, outside of one more minor ascent, it is all downhill to the White Wolf Trailhead. By far, day five is the easiest. These camps provide food, lodging, and other amenities for hikers looking to see the backcountry without hauling as much gear. The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River starts below Tuolumne Meadows and ends just above Hetch Hetchy Valley. There was another nice fishing hole with a view not far from our campsite. Day 3:  6 miles; +2,070 feet / -370 feet; Grand Mountain to California Falls. After setting up camp, we hiked up to California Falls and relaxed in the swimming hole at the base of the falls. Beautiful White Cascade (Glen Aulin Falls) is just a stones throw from camp, making for a great swimming hole on a hot summer afternoon. The waterworks of the Tuolumne are not to be missed, whether they’re found in Muir Gorge or the 4 sets of waterfalls listed above. Make sure to pace yourself and don’t push too hard too early. The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is a true gem in a less-visited area of Yosemite. Any miles you can get in now are miles you won’t have to hike later. Jump to Day 3: Grand Mountain to California Falls Jump to Day 4: California Falls to Tuolumne Meadows. Since the water level was low, we were even able to sit here and just enjoy the views. There is no overnight parking at the Backpackers Camps, so after you drop off your camping supplies you must park in legal long term spots at trailheads along highway 120. We found it shortly after crossing the two bridges. This is a great place to refill your water bottle. ( Log Out /  The pure waters of the Tuolumne River, fed by Sierra snow melt, run wild and scenic through the Muir Gorge in the central region of Yosemite National Park. Required fields are marked *. The Tuolumne River in Pate Valley in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne area of Yosemite National Park Our campsite the first night was in Pate Valley. Ideal in June and early July (it gets too hot in mid to late summer), this adventure, through the deepest gorge in Yosemite National Park, passes by some of Yosemite’s most remarkable waterfalls flowing among massive, glacially-carved canyon walls. Trail Conditions and Difficulty: Backpacking the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is of moderate difficulty when the 33 miles are covered in 4 (or more) days. You can get to this campground from the Arch Rock Entrance by … The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. There is one section that leaves the river to bypass some narrows, but otherwise you follow it the whole day. We were kicking ourselves for not bringing our favorite mushroom book along. In several sections, the trail skirts directly along the edge of the river. We reached the top of the climb shortly after the 5 mile mark. If you have the opportunity to visit, you are sure to be rewarded by the pristine beauty of the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne. Boy Scout Troop 8 hikes, fishes & swims the Grand Canyon Of the Tuolumne. The canyon’s breathtaking scenery is punctuated by impressive waterfalls as the Tuolumne River loses elevation. Best Camping in Grand Canyon National Park on Tripadvisor: Find traveler reviews, candid photos, and prices for 9 camping in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States. The ascent statistics for this day are slightly skewed, because within ten minutes of setting out from camp, our group took a wrong turn. From there, it was a steady descent down to our eventual campsite which sat across the Tuolumne River from Grand Mountain. We’ll be hiking the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne just after the normal peak runoff period, and the scenery should be absolutely phenomenal. Murphy Creek, May Lake, Ten Lakes, etc). Where the PCT runs west at the junction of Return Creek and McCabe Creek. We start early to take advantage of the cool of the day as we switchback up the north facing slope to reach the old Tioga Pass route and finally trail’s end at the historic White Wolf Camp, originally built during the mining boom of the 1880’s. At its highest point, the trail climbs to 9,800 feet only to drop back to 8,450 feet then climb back up to 9,600 feet. You get to view the canyon from sunset to sunrise, soak in the awe-inspiring colors, and enjoy the view when there are significantly fewer tourists. By the 4 mile mark, the trail begins to flatten out again and the river begins to wind through a meadow. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Geography Park operation updates related to COVID-19 can be found on the Grand Canyon National Park Public Health Update webpage. It begins with a quick 650 foot ascent out of the valley at Ten Lakes. Read more about High Sierra Camps here. The climb is tough as you go up many stairs and switchbacks. Change ), Shop sale & clearance items at REI.com and save up to 50%, Take 15% Off Your First Order at Backcountry.com, Find Outdoor Recreation Deals at Amazon.com, A falls shortly after Return Creek along on the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne trek in Yosemite National Park. This is a gorgeous portion of the canyon. During our four days of backpacking, we seek to experience what Muir felt. Glen Aulin is one of five Yosemite High Sierra Camps. Nothing — and I mean nothing — reveals the beauty of Grand … After the descent, the trail begins to follow the Tuolumne River. 4. 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