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Areas in Tuolumne Meadows

Canopy World 4 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Cathedral Range 31 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 33 / 33
Cloud's Rest 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
DAFF Area 49 / 24 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 70
Fairview Dome 22 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 22
Galen's Crack 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
High Sierra Camps 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Lembert Dome 20 / 2 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 22
Low Profile Dome 8 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Lyell Canyon and Donahue Pass 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Mariuolumne Area 54 / 12 / 3 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 58
Marmot Dome 5 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
May Lake Area 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 4
Medlicott Area 37 / 17 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 57
Mt. Conness 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Murphy Creek 9 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Olmsted Canyon 24 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 25
Phobos/Deimos Cliff 5 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Pluto Dome 9 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Pothole Dome 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Puppy Dome 6 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Pywiack Area 22 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8 / 27
Ragged Peak 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Razor Back 4 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Stately Pleasure Dome 21 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 21 / 21
Tenaya Lake 15 / 6 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 21
Tuolumne Meadows Bouldering 0 / 0 / 4 / 60 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 61
Twin Bridges 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Whizz Domes 3 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 5

Climbing Closures

2017 Peregrine Closures – updated 07/12/2017
Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection Details

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.


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.

500 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Tuolumne Meadows

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
North Ridge
Trad, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Southeast Buttress
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
West Ridge
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Hobbit Book
Trad 4 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Matthes Crest Traverse - South to North
Trad, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Regular Route
Trad 12 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
West Crack
Trad 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Blown Away
Trad 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
On the Lamb
Trad 4 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Phobos
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Crescent Arch
Trad 6 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Crying Time Again
Trad 4 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Bombs over Tokyo (1st pitch)
Trad
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Lucky Streaks
Trad 6 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
OZ
Trad 5 pitches
North Ridge Mt. Conness Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c Trad, Alpine
Southeast Buttress Cathedral Range > Cathedral Peak 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
West Ridge Mt. Conness 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Hobbit Book Mariuolumne Area > Mariuolumne Dome > Main Wall 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 4 pitches
Matthes Crest Traverse - So… Cathedral Range > Matthes Crest 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
Regular Route Fairview Dome 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 12 pitches
West Crack DAFF Area > Daff Dome W Face 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 5 pitches
Blown Away DAFF Area > Daff Dome W Face 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Trad 5 pitches
On the Lamb Mariuolumne Area > Lamb Dome 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 4 pitches
Phobos Phobos/Deimos Cliff 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
Crescent Arch DAFF Area > Daff Dome W Face 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 6 pitches
Crying Time Again Lembert Dome > Northwest Face 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 4 pitches
Bombs over Tokyo (1st pitch) DAFF Area > Daff Dome W Face 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Lucky Streaks Fairview Dome 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 6 pitches
OZ Mariuolumne Area > Drug Dome 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Tuolumne Meadows »

Weather Averages

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Photos

David Dennis
High Sierra
David Dennis   High Sierra

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/…
  • 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/
Apr 25, 2016
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
CCas
Chicago, IL
CCas   Chicago, IL
That Vlad... Super helpful! Jan 15, 2017
Vlad S  
CCas, there's only one bouldering guidebook that is worth buying: Charlie Barett's new book. It's awesome. Don't get the supertopo, which is out of date and excludes most good stuff. For routes, the best book is the Falcon guide - it's fairly comprehensive and has enough detail. The 2nd ed of Supertopo book will have better descriptions, but much fewer routes especially in the 5.12 and up categories. So, if you just want to visit and do some classic multipitches Supertopo guide might be better.
Tuolumne Bouldering
Falcon guide
2nd ed of Supertopo book
Jan 3, 2017
CCas
Chicago, IL
CCas   Chicago, IL
What is the recommended guidebook for the medows.... both for climbing and bouldering? Dont know of there are different ones for each style. If possible, It would be helpful if an admin included it in the disc. Thanks! Dec 31, 2016
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
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. Jul 21, 2016
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
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 Jul 12, 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. Jun 6, 2016
Troy  
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. Jul 16, 2015
rooooock
Oakland, California
rooooock   Oakland, California
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. Jul 16, 2015
Matt N
Santa Barbara, CA
Matt N   Santa Barbara, CA
^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. Jul 6, 2015
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
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 Jul 5, 2015
Jim D  
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? Jul 30, 2014
sarcasm  
How likely is it to roll into town solo (early august) and stumble upon a climbing partner? Camping info, etc would be appreciated. Thanks! Apr 17, 2012
Aerili
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
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! May 6, 2011
adam brink
Boulder, CO
adam brink   Boulder, CO
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? May 6, 2011

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