After you cross the Pate Valley bridges, there are a variety of good campsites near the Tuolumne River in Pate Valley. These are the Backcountry Map & Campsites that are available to you when you hike into Grand Canyon's backcountry. Our group was so spellbound, that we stopped over and over again to take photos and revel in the beauty we encountered. The river drops dramatically in this section and since you are hiking upriver, you will ascend quite a bit on day three. I promise you won’t regret it. Two years ago while hiking in the Ten Lake Basin we had a dramatic view into this canyon. The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River starts below Tuolumne Meadows and ends just above Hetch Hetchy Valley. Assuming you follow the same itinerary, it is the furthest distance, most elevation gained, and highest elevation you will reach on any day of the trip. Day 4: 8 miles; +1,240 feet / -410 feet; California Falls to Tuolumne Meadows. +6,000 / -5,500 feet of elevation across the course of this trek with a peak elevation of 8,660 feet. You only pay the fee if you permit application is accepted and confirmed. If hiking a full loop, you can also start at a few different trailheads along Highway 120 between White Wolf and Tuolumne Meadows (e.g. If the weather is expected to be warm, consider leaving early in the morning because much of the trail is exposed within the warm canyon. 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). Other than that, day two remains pretty straightforward. During our four days of backpacking, we seek to experience what Muir felt. The trail follows the Tuolumne River as it slowly ascends up Tuolumne Meadows. He's now a full-time nomad and travels the American West in an RV with his wife Kim and daughter Maia, doing hikes along the way. After Glen Aulin, the trail begins to climb again and you exit the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. 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). (7.6 km) Marvel at towering rock formations and thunderous waterfalls. 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. The photos can’t do it justice; it is just so vast and unreal, I was blown away. We camped in one site that was nearby a good swimming hole with a beach. Start and end in Tuolumne! Jump to Day 2: Pate Valley to Grand Mountain From there, we caught the YARTS bus, which drove us back to our vehicle at White Wolf. If you live at sea level, you are sure to feel the effects of high altitude. Resources on campsites include a link to the National Park Service Campsite Atlas.Besides the on-line Atlas, the two books, Day Hikes from the River and Guide to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, are very helpful in pre-trip planning on where you would like to go on your trip and what you would like to see.These resources will be helpful in deciding a rough trip itinerary and are … If you do not own a bear canister, you can rent them from the various Wilderness Centers in the park for ~$5 per week. After the descent, the trail begins to follow the Tuolumne River. As you hike, take note of the countless swimming holes along the way. Day 2: 6.9 miles; +2,060 feet / -1,120 feet; Pate Valley to Grand Mountain. We found it shortly after crossing the two bridges. From there, outside of one more minor ascent, it is all downhill to the White Wolf Trailhead. The permethrin treatment stays on your clothes for up to 7 washes, so it helps reduce the amount of spray you need to put on your skin. View looking back at the Hetch Hetchy Reservior. On Day 2 we began the ~20 mile route through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Drink plenty of fluids and eat frequently to avoid blood sugar spikes or depletion. Three-day backpacking expedition in Yosemite: starting in White Wolf Campground and ending in Tuolumne Meadows. However, the great views made up for the many switchbacks and stairs. As you descend switchbacks to the canyon floor, there are tremendous views of the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne. Any miles you can get in now are miles you won’t have to hike later. I prefer a picaridin based spray because it does not damage plastics and synthetic fibers like high concentration DEET sprays can. 2. He completed his first 14-mile day hike at age 7 in Zion National Park and was backpacking by age 11. Hiking the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne in June can be a challenge due to high stream crossings, but waterfalls should be near their peak flows. By far, day five is the easiest. The canyon’s breathtaking scenery is punctuated by impressive waterfalls as the Tuolumne River loses elevation. Overall this hike is fairly tough because it involves a long, steep descent. 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. In several sections, the trail skirts directly along the edge of the river. There is one section that leaves the river to bypass some narrows, but otherwise you follow it the whole day. Geography Along Piute Creek about a mile and a half north of the junction with the Tuolumne River. Trailer Village, within Grand Canyon Village, is the only campground inside … 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. We’ll be hiking the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne just after the normal peak runoff period, and the scenery should be absolutely phenomenal. For this specific itinerary you start at the White Wolf to Pate Valley Trailhead. There is also parking near the Lembert Dome and along the road to Soda Springs. If hiking from White Wolf to Pate Valley in one day, expect sore knees and feet because the downhill trail is very steep (many people comment that this section is tougher than they expect). More info on the transit options can be found here. Alternatively you could start at Glen Aulin and hike east to west. You likely will want bug spray because the mosquitoes can be out in force in certain areas of the trek. It seems around every bend you are greeted by another enchanting waterfall. ( Log Out / Beautiful White Cascade (Glen Aulin Falls) is just a stones throw from camp, making for a great swimming hole on a hot summer afternoon. We reached the top of the climb shortly after the 5 mile mark. The canyon’s breathtaking scenery is punctuated by impressive waterfalls as the Tuolumne River loses elevation. 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 have the opportunity to visit, you are sure to be rewarded by the pristine beauty of the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne. The real highlight though, was the view continuing into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. That being said, it is also filled with magnificent views of the High Sierras and the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne below. Meet at our campground for introductions, gear check and orientation. You can get to this campground from the Arch Rock Entrance by … Wilderness permit applications for any given trek start day are processed (via random lottery) starting 24 weeks before the hike start date, so you want to submit an application at least 24 weeks in advance of your 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. The Tuolumne drops into the top of its Grand Canyon. Much of the canyon is only accessible via backpacking or very long day hikes, so you are likely to get away from the crowds during this trek (a rarity in Yosemite!). If the White Wolf facilities are open, you can camp at the backpackers campground there and start directly at the trailhead. My planned campsites are: 1. It is situated within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park in California. Nothing — and I mean nothing — reveals the beauty of Grand … We forded the Tuolumne River and found a nice, private campsite on the south side of the river. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Since the water level was low, we were even able to sit here and just enjoy the views. There was another nice fishing hole with a view not far from our campsite. This is a gorgeous portion of the canyon. It begins with a quick 650 foot ascent out of the valley at Ten Lakes. If you plan to hike more than 10 miles in a day through the canyon, I suggest leaving early in the morning. 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. The plan is to go up through Cold Canyon, follow the PCT around over Benson Pass, then down Rogers Canyon, and up the GC of the Tuolumne. You will know you went the wrong way if you begin to ascend switchbacks up the Piute Creek drainage. 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. 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. World's Greatest Waterslide and Swimming Hole The ascent statistics for this day are slightly skewed, because within ten minutes of setting out from camp, our group took a wrong turn. This section of trail is very serene and the slowly flowing Tuolumne River is a stark contrast to the falls and rapids elsewhere in the canyon. 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. The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is the notable canyon section of the river valley of the Tuolumne River, located within Yosemite National Park, in Tuolumne County and the Sierra Nevada, California. After the first fifteen minutes of hiking, there is a junction. The two campgrounds are connected by highway 64, also known as Desert View Drive. #2 Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Valley Updated: 2019-05-13 The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is the notable canyon section of the river valley of the Tuolumne River, located within Yosemite National Park, in Tuolumne County and the Sierra Nevada, California. The trail can be rewarding for those looking for solitude - not fully immersed (you'll still see 10-15 people while on your route). Day 3: 6 miles; +2,070 feet / -370 feet; Grand Mountain to California Falls. 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. If you have the courage to brave cold water, take a break and jump in! 4. ( Log Out / You can call and make reservations … The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is best hiked in 3-4 days. Note that each trailhead has a designated direction you must hike. 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. Make sure to pace yourself and don’t push too hard too early. Tuolumne Meadows stables follow the PCT for about 6 miles to Glen Aulin. Along the way, you pass several impressive falls (White Cascade, Tuolumne Falls, and others) and cross a footbridge bringing you to the north side of the Tuolumne River. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Distance: 4.7 mi. Emigrant Wilderness and Northwestern Yosemite, Sierra North: Backcountry Trips in California’s Sierra Nevada, Yosemite National Park (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map). You then enter the Glen Aulin valley/meadow and hike along flat terrain for ~1 mile. Yosemite Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Waterfall Fall includes accommodation, an expert guide, meals, transport and more. This is a rugged overnight backpack into the North country of Yosemite dropping in from Tuolumne Meadows into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Permits: Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular backpacking and hiking destinations in the United States, so permits are required year round for overnight camping and the number of permits is limited based on a quota system. If you ha… The images in this report are from a trip in mid August 2020. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Where the PCT runs west at the junction of Return Creek and McCabe Creek. Not far from the bottom, a creek meets the trail. Boy Scout Troop 8 hikes, fishes & swims the Grand Canyon Of the Tuolumne. After passing LeConte Falls at the 5 mile mark, we continued to climb for another 1 mile or so. 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. 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. Day four proved to be the toughest stretch for our group. Done at the beginning of Spring is best due to the high volume of water but be ready for some river fording through some very icy temperatures. Enjoy a sunset over the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. We value your privacy and do not share your personal information. The canyon bottom provides ample views of towering granite cliffs that surround it. The full loop pass through Ten Lakes between White Wolf and Tuolumne. Here are the steps to take when booking camping sites in the Grand Canyon’s North Rim Campground. The climb is also very exposed to the sun, so it is best tackled early in the day. Your email address will not be published. ( Log Out / The primary challenges are the ~4,000 foot elevation different between White Wolf and Pate Valley and the high afternoon temperatures within the canyon. 3. 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. You then start the steep drop into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Backpackers must pay $6 per person to camp and you pay with exact cash at the campground. Park operation updates related to COVID-19 can be found on the Grand Canyon National Park Public Health Update webpage. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. As defined by the United States Geological Survey, the canyon begins at Glen Aulin and ends directly above Hetch Hetchy Valley. For this specific itinerary, it is easiest to stay at the White Wolf or Tuolumne Meadows backpackers’ campgrounds. 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. After setting up camp, we hiked up to California Falls and relaxed in the swimming hole at the base of the falls. Midway through the hike you catch glimpses of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Canyon trails are open for day hiking, and overnight backcountry permit requests are being considered. Mather campground, indicated by a red flag, is on the left side of the map and is located within Grand Canyon Village. The hike starts with a climb up over California Falls. Trip Overview: The 33 mile Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River backpacking trip is considered one of the highlights within Yosemite National Park. 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. This website participates in affiliate marketing. For an enjoyable experience, I recommend a 4 day trip. 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. Read more about High Sierra Camps here. There are several routes to choose from, but for this post I will cover a 57-mile loop that begins at White Wolf Trailhead. Scout the Sites You Want in Advance. There are some excellent campsites to be found at Ten Lakes. Bear spray is not allowed and hanging food is illegal throughout Yosemite. Required fields are marked *. Smedberg Lake. You will want to secure a permit as early as possible to do this hike in June, July, or August. Jump to Day 4: California Falls to Tuolumne Meadows. The Grand Canyon of Tuolumne loop starts at White Wolf Trailhead, at the end of White Wolf Road, off of California State Route 120. Recommended campsites include Water Wheel Falls and Pate Valley. Length 57.7 mi Elevation gain 11,509 ft Route type Loop 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. We were kicking ourselves for not bringing our favorite mushroom book along. 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. 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. Max's early childhood was spent in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains in Northern Utah and his teenage years in the red rock desert of Southern Utah. It never left my mind and became a high priority at the start of 2016. There are lots of campsites here, but if there is daylight, press on further as much as you can. Murphy Creek, May Lake, Ten Lakes, etc). Be sure to take photo ops and snack breaks to enjoy. 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 . At the time of our hike in late September 2017, the bridge here was damaged, but crossable. ( Log Out / Our group chose to bear left here, which makes for a lot of downhill on the first day and a somewhat gradual climb throughout the remaining four. Once you have arrived to the junction found at Glen Aulin, bear right and continue on to McGee Lake. Permit applications can be easily submitted online (info here) and the cost is $5 per confirmed reservation plus $5 per person on the permit. The itinerary described in this report is a one way point-to-point hike, so you will either need two cars or will need to utilize the YARTS bus or the Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows Hikers Bus (or hitchhike). The amount of elevation gain is similar to the Day 2 hike so it is no cake walk. This route follows the Tuolumne River through a deep canyon that leads from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to Tuolumne Meadows. As you approach Glen Aulin, foot traffic ramps up a bit. Campsites within the National Park can be hard to come by–especially during peak season. Jump to Day 3: Grand Mountain to California Falls This is a great place to refill your water bottle. The ascend is steady but modest for the first 4 miles. Just after the bridge over the Toulumne River in Glen Aulin, leave the PCT and follow the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Trail west for about 9.5 miles passing California, LeConte and Waterwheel Falls as well as number of spectacular swimholes and campsites. Join the Wildland Trekking Company on a journey in John Muir’s footsteps through the incomparable Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River! DescriptionWaypoints (0)Aménagements. December 27, 2018Updated: September 19, 2020, September 19, 2019Updated: October 7, 2020, Your email address will not be published. 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. You need a permit when overnighting. 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. Camping in Grand Canyon National Park is an incredible experience. At ~6.5 miles you reach Soda Springs and then cross Tuolumne Meadows on your way back to the Visitor Center. Highlights include impressive granite peaks and domes, spectacular waterfalls, alpine meadows, and nonstop views of the Tuolumne River. The hike begins at White Wolf Trailhead at the end of White Wolf Road, off of California State Route 120. When you click a link and make a purchase, a small portion of the sale helps support the blog. The climb is tough as you go up many stairs and switchbacks. Glen Aulin has a backpackers campground with potable water and pit style restrooms. The area receives relatively few visitors, especially when compared to Yosemite Valley. Tuolumne Falls We got on the trail at 10:00 AM, and it was astoundingly beautiful, walking along the Tuolumne River as it winds through Tuolumne Meadows, then past Tuolumne Falls and White Cascade, where we stopped in Glen Aulin. The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne (To All o’ Me) is a deep canyon formed by the Tuolumne River and is located in Yosemite National Park. Day 4 was our last day on the trek. 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). Shot on a GoPro. The area receives relatively few visitors, especially when compared to Yosemite Valley. 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. These camps provide food, lodging, and other amenities for hikers looking to see the backcountry without hauling as much gear. 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,. This section boasts some of the most interesting and diverse mushroom growths I have seen. 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. For a day hike to the canyon, you should start from White Wolf Campground. We’ll be hiking the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne just after the normal peak runoff period, and the scenery should be absolutely phenomenal. For our itinerary, we parked at White Wolf and began our trek from there. Shop Deal of the Day at REI Outlet (up to 50% off)! Temperatures within the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne can get very hot during the middle of the day and some sections of the trail are very exposed to the sun. (The same timing applies if you are booking sites at Zion National Park, which is also a very popular destination.) 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. October 4, 2017Updated: September 19, 2020by Max Karren. Here the river increases its descent through a stunning series of waterfalls, pools, and rocky channels as it passes into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Glen Aulin is one of five Yosemite High Sierra Camps. The Trip John Muir wrote, “There is not a dull step all the way” to describe hiking through the entire length of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. On the first day we hiked from White Wolf down to the Tuolumne River in Pate Valley. 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. At that point, we reached a larger pool of water ~0.25 miles short of California Falls. Grand Canyon Camping in Tusayan, just 7 miles South of the Grand Canyon, for RV Camping and more is available at Grand Canyon Camper Village.Camper Village is located just across the street from the Grand Canyon IMAX Visitor Center and behind We Cook Pizza, The General Store, Buck Wild Hummer Tours and the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce. Jump to Day 1: White Wolf to Pate Valley Sign up below for new hiking guides, trip reports, gear reviews, and more. Thanks to his dad and the Boy Scouts, he was able to spend a lot of time hiking at an early age. The Day 3 hike is one of the more beautiful sections of this trek. By the 4 mile mark, the trail begins to flatten out again and the river begins to wind through a meadow. Then, the trail begins to steeply climb away from the river as it traverses around the Muir Gorge. 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