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Tuolumne Meadows: Map

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Looking west over Tuolumne Meadows, from high on Lembert Dome


Tuolumne Meadows is a gentle, dome-studded sub-alpine meadowy section of the Tuolumne River, in the eastern section of Yosemite National Parkmarker. Its approximate location is . Its approximate elevation is 8619 feet (2627 m).

Tuolumne Meadows has a good view of the Cathedral Rangemarker (in the background of the image, looking south), Lembert Domemarker and Mount Danamarker (to the north). Camping is available at the Tuolumne Meadows campground (reservations recommended). Excellent hiking and rock climbing are accessible from Tuolumne Meadows, which tends to be less crowded than Yosemite Valleymarker. The John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail run through Tuolumne Meadows. Downstream (flowing to the right (western) side of the image), the Tuolumne River cascades over Waterwheel Falls, near Glen Aulinmarker, eventually pooling at Hetch Hetchy Reservoirmarker.
The view looking East from Lembert Dome


A placid autumn Tuolumne River seen at the upper end of the meadows.


The mountains of the Sierra near the meadows have somepermanent snowfields: in the summer they are mostly free of snow. Although brief, the late spring and summer wildflower bloom in Tuolumne Meadows is host to a wide variety of California wildflowers, including the relatively rare Purple Webber, a type of lupin. The roads to the meadows are generally free of snow from June through October. Due to the extreme elevation, road access is closed through winter season in the Meadows.

Many back country hiking and backpacking trail heads start in Tuolumne Meadows including the primary route to summit Mount Lyell marker, the highest peak in Yosemite National Parkmarker.

Rock climbing

A number of the domes are clustered at the upper end of Tenaya Lake.


In contrast to the big walls of Yosemite Valley, climbing at Tuolumne generally consists of short- to medium-length routes on eleven major domes and a number of minor ones, stretching from the Stately Pleasure Dome above Tenaya Lakemarker to Lembert Dome on the east side of the Meadows. Since the area is all at a high elevation, the climbing season is mainly limited to June through September.

The rock is granite porphyrite, a very hard form of granite. It has a tendency for exfoliation when exposed to the harsh Sierra winters, thus producing the distinctive dome shapes. The resulting climbing includes both face and crack routes, the former often runout due to limited numbers of bolts, and the latter frequently following very thin cracks. The local ethic is to limit the placement of bolts on new routes and to forbid the addition of bolts to existing routes, resulting in distances of 40 feet (12 m) or more between bolts.

These climbers on Pywiack Dome appear to be on the classic Dike Route.


The major domes include:

In addition, the peaks of the nearby Cathedral Rangemarker, such as Mount Connessmarker and Cathedral Peakmarker, are traditionally considered part of the climbing area.

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