Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Tuolumne Meadows

Select Area...
Canopy World 
Cathedral Range 
Cloud's Rest 
DAFF Area 
Dog Dome 
Fairview Dome 
Galen's Crack 
High Sierra Camps 
Lembert Dome 
Low Profile Dome 
Lyell Canyon and Donahue Pass 
Mariuolumne Area 
Marmot Dome 
Medlicott Area 
Mt. Conness 
Murphy Creek 
Olmsted Canyon 
Phobos/Deimos Cliff 
Pluto Dome 
Pothole Dome 
Puppy Dome 
Pywiack Area 
Ragged Peak 
Razor Back 
Stately Pleasure Dome 
Tenaya Lake 
Tuolumne Meadows Bouldering 
Tuolumne Peak 
Twin Bridges 
Whizz Domes 

Tuolumne Meadows Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 37.8308, -119.471 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 515,499
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 15, 2006
Forecast:
Tonight

43°
Tuesday

71° | 42°
Wednesday

66° | 40°
Thursday

64° | 38°
Friday

57° | 32°
Saturday

52° | 29°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Sunset from the top of Mariuolumne Dome after an e...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>

Climbing Closures 

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection - updated July 14, 2015.

Description 

Tuolumne Meadows is the high country climbing area of Yosemite National Park. The region is highlighted by many beautiful granite domes which offer the ultimate in knob and slab climbing. There are also classic non-dome formations like Cathedral Peak (first ascent by John Muir in the 1800's) and the Matthes Crest which are very popular with climbers. Tuolumne Meadows is a beautiful, serene place without many of the tourist popularity issues plaguing Yosemite Valley these days. The usual Tuolumne "season" for climbing runs from May through mid-Fall or so.

Some adjacent areas often grouped together with Tuolumne in guidebooks are included in the High Sierra and Lee Vining Canyon / Tioga Road areas on Mountain Project.

The main campground in the middle of the meadows is Tuolumne Meadows Campground, operated by the National Park. It's generally open from July through September. Like all campgrounds in the park and along most of Lee Vining Canyon, there's a fee to stay there. The nearest free camping is all the way across Tioga Pass, on BLM land near the town of Lee Vining where 120 crosses 395, and east of there around Mono Lake.

When Tuolumne campground is open for the summer, it also has a few climber friendly services selling gas, grub, general outdoor goods and climbing gear at somewhat higher prices than in the big city.

Getting There 

Tuolumne Meadows is accessed via highway 120, either from the west or via Tioga Pass from the east. The Tioga Pass road is generally closed (snowfall) from fall through mid to late May or so (sometimes later, depending on the snow).

The park service offers a free shuttle bus during the high season, usually from June to September. Check their website for current information.

Rock Climbing Photo: Toulumne Meadows Climber's Map
Toulumne Meadows Climber's Map

Commonly used Tuolumne parking areas, from west (Valley side) to east (park boundary).

Olmsted Point boulders.

Olmsted Canyon pullout for ropeable routes and boulders, just east of Olmsted Point.

May Lake Trailhead, for the same named lake, boulders and High Sierra Camp, and for Tuolumne Peak.

Sunrise Lakes Trailhead (Tenaya Lake west) for Sunrise Boulder and Cloud's Rest.

Murphy Creek trailhead.

Stately Pleasure Dome pullouts next to the lake.

Tenaya Lake Picnic Area.

Phobos/Deimos Cliff pullout.

Pywiack Area.

The Knobs bouldering.

Near Low Profile Dome.

Medlicott Area pullout on south/east.

Whizz Domes paved pullout on the north/west.

Mariuolumne Area pullout on the south/east.

Near Cathedral Creek bridge.

Near Fairview Dome.

East Cottage Dome pullout.

The Gunks boulders pullout.

Pothole Dome parking.

Cathedral Lakes Trailhead.

Tuolumne Meadows Campground and Store.

Lembert Dome picnic area.

Wilderness permit office parking.

Lyell Canyon trailhead parking.

Dog Lake trailhead parking

The High Sierra Camps are all over the Tuolumne area.

Note: these peaks are currently described on the Tuolumne Meadows page, but probably fit better in the High Sierra because of their high elevation alpine nature somewhat far from the nearest roads.

Climbing Season



Weather station 7.5 miles from here

470 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',76],['3 Stars',218],['2 Stars',131],['1 Star',38],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',32],['5.7',50],['5.8',44],['5.9',62],['5.10',136],['5.11',67],['5.12',27],['5.13',3],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',13],['V2-3',24],['V4-5',8],['V6-7',4],['V8-9',3],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',1],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Tuolumne Meadows

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Tuolumne Meadows:
North Ridge   Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c     Trad, Alpine   Mt. Conness
Northwest Buttress   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, Alpine, 14 pitches, 1400'   Cathedral Range : Tenaya Peak
West Ridge   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 1500'   Mt. Conness
Southeast Buttress   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 700'   Cathedral Range : Cathedral Peak
Matthes Crest Traverse - South to North   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 2500'   Cathedral Range : Matthes Crest
Tenaya, Matthes, Cathedral Traverse   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 7500'   Cathedral Range : Cathedral Range Enchainment...
Hobbit Book   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches   Mariuolumne Dome : Main Wall
North Ridge of Matthes Crest    5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1200'   Cathedral Range : Matthes Crest
South Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'   Stately Pleasure Dome
West Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 5 pitches   DAFF Area : Daff Dome West Face
On the Lamb   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches   Mariuolumne Area : Lamb Dome
Regular Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 12 pitches, 1000'   Fairview Dome
Crescent Arch   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 6 pitches   DAFF Area : Daff Dome West Face
Bombs over Tokyo (1st pitch)   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 80'   DAFF Area : Daff Dome West Face
Lucky Streaks   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 6 pitches, 650'   Fairview Dome
OZ   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 600'   Mariuolumne Area : Drug Dome
Blues Riff   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Phobos/Deimos Cliff
Bachar-Yerian   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a X     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   Medlicott Area : Medlicott Dome, Right
Heart of Stone   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R     Trad, 10 pitches   Fairview Dome
Electric Africa   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Pywiack Area : Pywiak Dome
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Tuolumne Meadows

Featured Route For Tuolumne Meadows
Rock Climbing Photo: Felsic stays just right of the dike

Felsic 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : Dozier Dome
Roughly follows a left leaning dike up the face. Shares the first 4 bolts with "Cheetos and Everclear". Sustained at the 5.8/5.9 level. Mostly small knobs, some friction, and a couple of hand crack moves....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Tuolumne Meadows Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeremy Freeman on 'Space Tits', Tenaya Canyon.
Jeremy Freeman on 'Space Tits', Tenaya Canyon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Runout friction climbing is the name of the game!
Runout friction climbing is the name of the game!
Rock Climbing Photo: Tuolumne Meadows area and Tenaya Lake, from Olmste...
Tuolumne Meadows area and Tenaya Lake, from Olmste...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tenaya Lake, Sept 09.  Simply amazing.
Tenaya Lake, Sept 09. Simply amazing.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset on Tenaya Lake
Sunset on Tenaya Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Tuolumne life near the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge.
Tuolumne life near the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tuolumne River. Photo by Blitzo.
Tuolumne River. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tenaya Lake from further up the road, September 20...
Tenaya Lake from further up the road, September 20...
Rock Climbing Photo: Watch out for pterodacyls! Photo by Blitzo.
Watch out for pterodacyls! Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: The wintry meadows from above, with Fairview and t...
The wintry meadows from above, with Fairview and t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Afternoon hail storm on top of Tenaya
Afternoon hail storm on top of Tenaya
Rock Climbing Photo: DAFF and Fairview. Photo by Blitzo.
DAFF and Fairview. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tuolumne. Photo by Blitzo.
Tuolumne. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful evening
Beautiful evening
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful Tenaya Lake, 2002 or so.
Beautiful Tenaya Lake, 2002 or so.
Rock Climbing Photo: Playing around with the camera on Lembert dome
Playing around with the camera on Lembert dome
Rock Climbing Photo: Jammin' @ Tuolumne Meadows. Photo by Blitzo.
Jammin' @ Tuolumne Meadows. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: A rare TM sighting
A rare TM sighting
Rock Climbing Photo: Tenaya Canyon
Tenaya Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: Bonjour mademoiselle, es que vous grimper?
Bonjour mademoiselle, es que vous grimper?
Rock Climbing Photo: Tuolumne panoramic
BETA PHOTO: Tuolumne panoramic
Rock Climbing Photo: Toulumne Meadows Campground
Toulumne Meadows Campground
Rock Climbing Photo: When climbing isn't your first priority...
When climbing isn't your first priority...
Rock Climbing Photo: sunset in the Meadows
sunset in the Meadows

Show All 69 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Tuolumne Meadows Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 21, 2016
By adam brink
From: Boulder, CO
May 6, 2011
Could a Tuolumne regular give me their take on when the mosquitos die down. I'm going to be there the last week of July. What are your mosquito predictions for that time?
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
May 6, 2011
In my experience, mid August and later is when they seem to have a lot of their last hurrahs. With all the snow we had this year, make sure you come well armed in July!
By sarcasm
Apr 17, 2012
How likely is it to roll into town solo (early august) and stumble upon a climbing partner? Camping info, etc would be appreciated. Thanks!
By Jim D
Jul 30, 2014
I'd like to come out to Tuolumne on short notice (i.e. without camping reservations.) How easy is it to get walk-in reservations? Also, if we can't get them, are there climbs we can backpack into and just stay in the backcountry? Do we need permits for that?
By Jan Tarculas
From: Riverside, Ca
Jul 5, 2015
just got back staying in the campgrounds. Fees increased to $26/night. I remember paying cheaper last year. Crazy how much it cost to sleep on the dirt nowadays
By Matt N
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 6, 2015
^fees for all National Parks have increased this year. Split between family/friends/partners, it is still quite affordable (and no driving up/down the pass everyday). Dirtbag it on NFS or BLM land if you're that cheap.
By Pontoon
From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jul 16, 2015
Where is the best place to camp when the campground is full? I know NFS land--but where? Also wondering where non-campground-campers can use electricity/water/bathroom/showers if that's available anywhere.
By Troy
Jul 16, 2015
Pontoon, there are a few options if you head East on 120 (towards Lee Vining), my favorite backup is Tioga Campground just outside the park.
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Dec 11, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Toulumne Meadows Climber's Map
Toulumne Meadows Climber's Map
By David Dennis
From: High Sierra
Apr 25, 2016

Camping



In Tuolumne Meadows
The only game in town is the NPS campground located right near the store and the confluence of the Dana and Lyell forks of the Tuolumne River. Ten minutes or less to most climbing areas. There are decent amenities, although the campground’s roads are quite potholed and janky. You can find bouldering in the campground and nearby at Puppy and Kitty Domes. The climbing rangers have free climbers’ coffee at the TM store Sunday mornings during the season - it’s good coffee and can help you find partners and stay on top of any peregrine falcon closures.
  • Tuolumne Meadows Campground ($26/night) 8600’. First come, first serve for 150 sites. Another 150 sites are reservable online starting 6 months in advance. A/B/C loops can feel crowded, D/E/F/G loops have sites that are more spaced out and quieter.

Elsewhere in Yosemite National Park
West of Tuolumne Meadows along Highway 120 are a handful of NPS campgrounds that are close enough to be viable for the climber who doesn’t mind driving or wants to be a bit more “out there.” These three campgrounds tend to be the last to fill up in the park most days.
  • Porcupine Flat ($12/night) 8100’. First come, first served. 52 sites. Quiet. 20 minutes to the climbing in the Tenaya Lake area, ~30 minutes to crags closer to Tuolumne Meadows itself. Normally the last campground to fill up.
  • Yosemite Creek ($12/night) 7700’. First come, first served. 75 sites. Quiet. 35 minutes to the climbing in the Tenaya Lake area, ~45 minutes to crags closer to Tuolumne Meadows itself. Road down to campground can be quite rough and slow-going.
  • White Wolf ($18/night) 8000’. First come, first served. 74 sites. 30 minutes to the climbing in the Tenaya Lake area, ~40 minutes to crags closer to Tuolumne Meadows itself. Roughly halfway between the Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows, if you want to climb in both places.

Outside Yosemite National Park (East of Tioga Pass)
Just east of Tioga Pass are a group of Forest Service campgrounds that are low-key and beautiful. Tioga Lake, Junction, and Ellery Lake campgrounds are 15 minutes from Tuolumne Meadows, but only minutes away from the Ellery Lake/Tioga Cliff climbing areas, as well as the approaches for Conness or Third Pillar of Dana. Sawmill walk-in is literally on the approach to climbs on Conness.
  • Tioga Lake ($21/night) 9700’. First come, first served. 13 sites. Gorgeous views, but right along road.
  • Junction ($16/night) 9600’. First come, first served. 13 sites. Tucked away.
  • Ellery Lake ($21/night) 9500’. First come, first served. 12 sites. Tucked away.
  • Sawmill Walk-in ($16/night) 9800’. First come, first served. Notice it says walk-in? Some of these sites are farther in than you’d think. Quiet and beautiful though.
  • Saddlebag ($21/night) 10000’. First come, first served. Like fishing and climbing? This is your bag.
  • Lower Lee-Vining Canyon Campgrounds ($16-21/night) First come, first served. There are another handful of campgrounds lower down Lee Vining Canyon that are beautiful, but better suited for the fishing life than the climbing life. Driving up and down the grade every day is kind of a bummer, but they are at lower elevation (~7300’-7800’) so if you have issues with altitude these might be better.
  • Dispersed camping on BLM/FS land (Free) There are lots of nooks and crannies once you leave the park where the discrete dirtbag can find a wallet-friendly place to rest her or his head. They can be found the way they always are: with tact, a low-profile, and advice from locals. Traffic - climber and otherwise - to Tuolumne is increasing, so always tread lightly and respect the low-key vibe of the area.

Lodging



There's not much up in the Tuolumne area. If you really want deluxe, consider the June Lake or Mammoth Lakes area for full cabin rentals. By that point, you might as well just climb down there though.
  • Tuolumne Meadows Lodge ($100+/night) 8600’. Wood-frame tent cabins along the Dana fork of the Tuolumne River. Reservations recommended, although you can live life on the edge and get lucky at the last minute… sometimes. No place to cook; need to drive over to Lembert Dome picnic area. The Lodge does serve breakfast and dinner but it is expensive and requires reservations most nights. travelyosemite.com/lodging/tuo...
  • Tioga Pass Resort ($125-240/night) 9600’ Rustic log cabin rentals just east of Tioga Pass. Picturesque. Also has a small store and cozy restaurant which is a great place to grab a burger and pie. tiogapassresort.com/
By David Collings
Jun 6, 2016
Quick question on camping... it seems the NPS Campgrounds only open in mid July, but climbing is popular in June. Where do climbers stay in June/early July? Can you stay the NPS sites when they are closed? We're not too keen to stay all the way over near Lee Vining on the BLM land.
By Jan Tarculas
From: Riverside, Ca
Jul 12, 2016
David Collings wrote:
Quick question on camping... it seems the NPS Campgrounds only open in mid July, but climbing is popular in June. Where do climbers stay in June/early July? Can you stay the NPS sites when they are closed? We're not too keen to stay all the way over near Lee Vining on the BLM land.


All the campgrounds in Tuolumne open when highway 120 opens (I believe). I've camped in the Tuolumne Meadows campgrounds listed above end of May and in June also. Porcupine flat, Yosemite Creek and White Wolf are not to far either
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Jul 21, 2016
Regarding the above. The campgrounds DO NOT open when Hwy 120 opens and the higher elevation campgrounds like Tuolumne Meadows will open much later typically. It varies year by year depending on snowpack and the spring melt. The Forest Service campgrounds located east of the entrance (toward Lee Vining) will open earlier so you can always stay down lower if climbing in Tuolumne early season.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!