Our feet were feeling it by the time we reached the lake. Day 1 - Drove to Yosemite Valley and took the 5:30 Yart Bus to Tuolumne Meadows. The cheapest way to get from Yosemite Valley Visitors Center to Tuolumne Meadows costs only $6, and the quickest way takes just 1½ hours. There is only one shuttle per day and it fills up! Emerald Pool sits at the top of Vernal Fall, and at the end of the Silver Apron, a granite "slide" leading coming from Nevada Falls. Granted the speed limit is 45 mph on some of Tioga Road, but I think your memory of your lovely drive last summer is a bit hazy. The shuttles run every half hour. Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley Trail is a 27.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. You will pass several rivers, lakes, mountains and 2 of the park's best waterfalls on this backcountry trek, and it is a great way to escape the crowds to see all the Yosemite National Park has to offer. The rest of the way to Cathedral Pass the trail ascends in spurts, drops into the valley at Sunrise High Sierra Camp and climbs again to Cathedral Pass. Mammoth Lakes Tuolumne Meadows Yosemite Valley. Did a three nights backpacking trip in 2019. The view is awesome, especially going down into the Little Yosemite valley. Look out for trail signs after another 0.7 miles, as you will need to take a fork to your right to continue up hill towards Yosemite Valley, and away from Lyell Canyon. Have you ever done this hike in the opposite direction? Enjoy a final night at the Tuolumne Meadows Campsite to unwind. Before getting back on the YARTS shuttle head over to the refreshment stand and reward yourself for your hard work. You will be near rivers for most of the hike, so bring a water pump with you to save you from carrying too much extra weight. Magical. We were relatively inexperienced, and were carrying roughly 18 kg (40 lbs) each, including food and water. The Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is located 60 miles from Yosemite Valley at over 8,700 feet above sea level. The rock stairs can be a bit slippery when wet, so be careful. About half a mile later you will arrive at another fork with 2 routes to finish the trek: you can continue down the Mist Trail, which offers more amazing views of Nevada Fall, Emerald Pool, and Vernal Fall, or you can continue to the left at the fork and finish the hike along the John Muir Trail, which has a bit of a climb but you are rewarded with a different view of Nevada Fall with Liberty Cap in the background. Getting There: From Yosemite Valley, take highway 120 ten miles (16.8 km) to the Crane Flat turnoff onto Tioga Road, then take Tioga Road 38 miles (61 km) east to reach the meadows. So many great river crossing and spots to stop and swim. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. You can begin at either end of the trail, just be aware that the route is mostly uphill on the way to Tuolumne Meadows. We completed the trail in 3 days, but we're moving at a VERY leisurely pace. There is no camping for the rest of the trail along the lake as we made the mistake of going all the way to the end of the lake and had to turn back. On the second day, pack up your gear, and head out the other end of the camp (near the backpackers' camp) to continue towards Yosemite Valley. We did see one bear cub as we were hiking in. Day 4 - Hiked from Merced Lake to Little Yosemite Valley (8 miles). If you are taking the trek more luxuriously, head over back past the fire pit to the mess tent, where you can order dinner from the "restaurant" inside the food tent. Once all permits are secured, it’s a good idea to reserve bus tickets from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows. Took the Yarts shuttle back. HWY 120/395 Bus Schedule. To see Vernal Fall at its fullest, visit around May or June when the snow is mostly melted and the upper lakes are at their fullest. It is a very rocky trail down hill to Merced Lake. The sun began to dip behind the mountains in the background and the sky was a little hazy from wildfire smoke which resulted in the dreamy golden photos you see below. My friend Julie is with me on this quick overnight adventure to Yosemite Valley and the Tuolumne Meadow area of Eastern Yosemite. Whichever route you decide, make sure to walk a few minutes to the top of Nevada Fall to see the water flow over the edge. Soon you will arrive at the top of Vernal Fall where you can take a water break and creep to the edge (don't worry, there are rails) to look straight down at the river below. It was nice going downhill for most of the last three days. Format . You will hike next to a river running off of Merced Lake for the first couple of miles, with a few small waterfalls along the way. You likely will have learned why the trail is called "The Mist Trail" on your way down. Bear right after the second bridge and continue your hike. Sound. What an amazing experience I can’t wait to return next spring. Ticket Retrieval Tickets will need to be retrieved at the Yosemite Valley Lodge Tour and Activity Desk. This was my first solo backpacking trip and my first time in Yosemite and this was the perfect route for both. Hike along for a couple of miles, slowly gaining elevation. well you don't see any after the Cathedral Lakes turnoff until you get below Little Yosemite Valley. I look forward to trying more trails from Every Trail. Many hikers chose to hike from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley starting at Tenaya lake, but this hike offers a slight different perspective, and allows you to stop at the Merced Lake High Sierra Camp as well. Find the travel option that best suits you. Incredible for the 2nd night to be the only ones at the lake. I stayed a little past Merced Lake on the second night on a cliff overlooking the Merced River. Great place for beginning backpackers.. Four Mile Trail to Panorama Trail to Mist Trail, Upper Yosemite Falls, North Dome, Indian Rock, Snow Creek, Merced Lake to Half Dome Loop via John Muir, Pack and Cloud Rest Trails, North Dome, Tenaya Lake, Half Dome and Happy Isles via Snow Creek and John Muir Trail, Snow Creek, May Lake and Clouds Rest Loop, Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows Trail. My friend Julie is with me on this quick overnight adventure to Yosemite Valley and the Tuolumne Meadow area of Eastern Yosemite. Mammoth Lakes Tuolumne Meadows Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Valley Lodge (The bus also makes stops at Curry Village) Schedule (Jul. 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. Completed the hike with my 11yr old son and though it was difficult (especially the 13 mile final push on the last day) we made it and probably our greatest bonding experience to date. What can I say? Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley. Permits open six months in advance and fill up quickly, so sign up early. The shuttle provides service between Tuolumne Meadows and Olmsted Point every half hour between 7 am and 7 pm, as follows: Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. Due to COVID-19, this Yosemite National Park campground is currently closed until further notice. Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows Trail is a 21.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. I added one spot as a waypoint where you can swim up to a small waterfall. Highlights: Hop on the Tuolumne Meadows Hikers Bus and leave the driving to us. Service Connecting Mammoth Lakes - June Lake Junction - Lee Vining - Tuolumne Meadows - Yosemite Valley. At night, head back to the campfire, as there are often ranger-led programs on various relevant topics such as bats, constellations, geology, or just a ranger's story of why he loves Yosemite. At the 7 mile point you will reach another fork. I’ve been thinking about starting in the valley and ending in Tuolumne Meadows. Tuolumne Meadows to Half Dome Highlights: This popular Half Dome backpacking trip offers a comprehensive Yosemite experience for those seeking an authentic wilderness adventure. 5 - Sep. 20) Daily Route Schedule. After another 0.5 miles or so of hiking downhill you will walk across the Merced River on a wooden bridge. But from June to September, you can explore the area known for the expansive alpine meadow surrounded by granite domes. As is expected in a place called Tuolumne Meadows, you start with a very level hike away from Tioga pass and towards Lyell Canyon. I didn’t see a single soul until my last day when I hit the valley. Audio cassette. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 0 mi / +0′, -0′ Day 2: Grab breakfast in Curry Village, then take the morning shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows. We also took an hour to stop at the Bunnell Cascade waterslide down the rocks. In just 4 days with wonderful days of hiking we’ll explore arguably the most pristine and majestic region of Yosemite National Park – Tuolumne Meadows. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. June through September, YARTS has a shuttle that will take you from the Yosemite Valley to the start of the trail at Cathedral Lake Trailhead in Tuolumne Meadows via Tioga Road. This trip provides a lot of return on investment. They do have bathrooms there. For the next segment of the hike you will hug the edge of the meadow as you walk around it, eventually leading into a more densely wooded area. We did not have any mosquitoes or bugs at all. We did this in reverse from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley which, I recommend since it's mostly downhill. We were the only ones at the lake that night camping. We were exhausted by the time we made it to Emeric, but it was worth the effort. In addition to Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows benefits from Yosemite's free shuttle service. Located in the eastern section of Yosemite National Park, Toulumne Meadows provides an alternate view from the popular Yosemite Valley section of the park. 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