Larger Tuolumne Meadows Facilities MAP
This map locates the services at Tuolumne Meadows in relation to the trails. As I almost always walk into Tuolumne Meadows, I present Tuolumne Meadows as it appears to us Southbound "walk-ins," above.
Note I marked-in the use trail to Parsons Cabin from the Store and Post Office, rather than the dirt road from Parsons Cabin to the Visitor Center, which is located one mile to the West down Highway 120. The Visitor Center is out of the far-Right of the map above.
The permit station is out of the East, or far-Left side of the map above.
Note the location of both the Visitor and Wilderness Centers bracketing our Resupply Facilities on the map below.
I walk South directly to the Tuolumne Meadows Facilities from the Parsons Cabin Bridge, rather than follow the offset to the Visitor Center, which then has me walking East along Highway 120 to the Tuolumne Meadows Resources I crave.
Note also that the Southbound JMT route coming up and over the Cathedral Range from Yosemite Valley circles around the backside, the South side of Tuolumne Meadow's facilities. Most JMT hikers are not bypassing Tuolumne Meadows, and this route takes us further away from our rest and resupply facilities, so we hike up towards the visitor center a few feet to find and follow the trail East into the Car Campground that runs parallel with and between Highway 120 and the JMT to the Post Office, Cafe, and Store, then over to the Backpackers Camp.
Again, there is no reason to walk the offset around the back side of Tuolumne Campground when the most direct route is through the Car Campground.
Tuolumne Meadows Resupply Page
Note the location of the backpacker's camp. I noted the small trail from the East side of the Tuolumne Meadows Store into the car campground, and the location of the trail to the East of the Dana Campfire Circle up to the entrance to the backpacker camp, which is located on the top of the rise above the Dana Campfire Circle.
This route passes by the bathroom and water facilities serving the backpackers camp, as does the trail I marked on the East side of the Backpacker's Camp to the bathroom and water facilities there.
Bathrooms and water are shared with the surrounding car campers.
Yosemite National Park
Local and Long Distance
Backpackers Camp Information
Merced Amtrack Station
Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows
YARTS MAP pdf
Highway 395 Corridor
Backpacking Permit Station
As this permit page is set up for backpackers starting trips out of Tuolumne Meadows the map below offers the clearest depiction of the location of the Permit Station at the Wilderness Center:
As parking, camping, and backpacking in Tuolumne Meadows are overwhelmed and overstrained by its popularity and therefore constrained by quotas and restrictions I far prefer to backpack into Tuolumne Meadows from Trailheads located far to the North of Yosemite.
Both the maps above are products of the National Park Service. Thanks NPS.
Wilderness Permits are Available at the Wilderness Center
Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center Permit Station
The Permit Station is located on the West side of the intersection
between the Tioga Road and the road to Tuolumne Lodge.
Great Staff at the Federal Parks
Jen Vandragt making sure everyone knows the rules, and does not act like fools...
These fine folks will do everything they can to help you reach your goals. But it may be impossible. If you have a reservation you are OK. If you do not, you will have to line up at this permit office to take a shot at obtaining one of the available permits.
Bear proof food protection is required in the Yosemite Backcountry, and they will rent you one at the Wilderness Center if you don't have one of your own.
I use a bear canister during Summer backpacking in the Sierra Nevada regardless of local regulations. I am real good at hanging food from trees, and I've dealt effectively with the bear threat for decades, and I still use and recommend that you use a good bear proof food container.
On the other hand, even the coolest Rangers have repeatedly informed resistant backpackers about the necessity of good backcountry practices to protect both backpacker and backcountry, then been tasked with cleaning up the mess of poorly-behaved backpackers.