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Swimming & Waterplay: California > Yosemite National Park

Quick Facts

Tuolumne Falls Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,600 Feet (2680.8 Meters) Glen Aulin/Lembert Dome Trailhead
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain, One-way: 400 Feet (124.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,200 Feet (2556.1 Meters) Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp
Length, One-way: 5 Miles (8.33 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Early Fall
Usage: Heavy

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The trailhead for the Tuolumne Falls Trail is in the Tuolumne Meadows area of the park at the Lembert Dome/Glen Aulin Trailhead. Begin the hike from the western side of the trailhead parking area on the trail toward Soda Springs. The route leads northwestward past a locked gate into an abandoned camping area and the natural spring. Continue along the main trail as it descends slowly to a stream crossing. In the next half mile there are two more stream crossings. These are small branches of Delaney Creek.

Approximately one and a half miles from the trailhead the Young Lakes Trail forks to the right. Continue past this fork. Within a mile the trail reaches the Tuolumne River. At this point you are walking over large mounds of granite. The trail meanders along the river and crosses Dingley Creek, and it's tributaries, as they enter the river.

As it follows the river for slightly more than a mile from Dingley Creek the trail begins to descend more steeply. Approximately four and a half miles from the trailhead you'll reach Tuolumne Falls. The waterfall makes a spectacular 100-foot drop and the trail gets very steep. At the base of the falls the trail crosses the river on a bridge and a view of the cascade from a sandy beach is accessible.

After crossing the bridge below the falls the trail is on the same side of the river as the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp. This is a backcountry camp used mostly by backpackers. Hot meals are served with no reservations at the camp, although a tent site needs to be reserved. Take the second bridge to the right to enter the camp.

Directions from Arch Rock Entrance: Drive northward into the park toward the Yosemite Valley. Turn left on to Big Oak Flat Road and travel almost 9.5 miles to Tioga Road. Turn right on to Tioga Road and travel 39 miles to Tuolumne Meadows. Turn left on to the dirt road that leads to the Lembert Dome/Glen Aulin Trailhead. Hike northwest from the western side of the trailhead parking area.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: July through Mid-October (NOTE: Opening and closing dates may vary depending on snowpack.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Trailhead Parking Tuolumne Falls Trail - Glen Aulin/Lembert Dome Trailhead
ICON Backpacking Tuolumne Falls Trail - wilderness permit required for overnight camping. Trail accesses Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp - a backcountry camp used mostly by backpackers.
ICON Dispersed Camping Trail accesses Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp - a backcountry camp used mostly by backpackers.
ICON Tent Camping Tuolumne Falls Trail - Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp
ICON Geology Tuolumne Falls Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Tuolumne Falls Trail
ICON Plant Identification Tuolumne Falls Trail
ICON Swimming & Waterplay Tuolumne Falls Trail

Related Activities
Dog Lake Trail - This short, easy trail leads one and a half miles to a large, shallow, alpine lake. By late summer Dog Lake is warm enough for swimming.

Lembert Dome Trail - This is one of the most popular climbs in the Tuolumne Meadows area. It leads one and a half miles up Lembert Dome to a spectacular view.

Tuolumne River Trail - This trail leads approximately 20 miles from Tuolumne Meadows to the Pate Valley Trail along the Tuolumne River.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Yosemite National Park, P.O. Box 577 , Yosemite, CA, 95389, Phone: 209-372-0200, Fax: 209-372-0220, TTY: 209-372-4726


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