Cathedral Peak. Banner for Tahoe to Whitney High Sierra Trail Guide. Upper Cathedral Lake Moon, backpacking John Muir Trail in Yosemite.
Tresidder Peak and Cathedral Pass on the John Muir Trail to Yosemite Valley.
Cathedral Peak twilight
Tresidder Peak guarding Cathedral Pass on the John Muir Trail to Yosemite Valley.
Moonset Upper Cathedral Lake

 

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Trail Segment
Cathedral Lakes
to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp

 

Trail Section
Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley

 

BACKPACKING
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

 

Section Hiking
The John Muir Trail
South
to
Happy Isle

 

 

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The art of walking

 

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Trail Guide
INDEX

Tuolumne Meadows
to
Yosemite
Valley
Trail Guide
NORTH

Tuolumne Meadows
to
Cathedral
Lakes
Trail Guide
SOUTH

Sunrise
HSC

to
Little Yosemite Valley

7.5 Topo
MAPS

Tuolumne
Meadows

Cathedral Pass
to
Yosemite Valley

30 min
MAP

Tuolumne
Meadows

to
Yosemite
Valley

MILES
Tuolumne Meadows
to
Yosemite Valley

MILES
and
ELEVATIONS
TOPO
MAP INDEX

Central
Yosemite

Resupply

North

Tuolumne
Meadows

South
Yosemite
Valley

PERMITS
National
Forests
&
Parks

Toiyabe
&
Stanislaus
&
Yosemite

Sierra
Weather

 

North
Yosemite
Weather


Cathedral Lakes
to
SUNRISE
High Sierra Camp


Trail
Section
John Muir Trail


backpacking
Tuolumne Meadows
Post Office
to
John Muir Trailhead
Happy Isles

21.8 miles

Previous Page

Trail
Segment I
John Muir Trail

backpacking
Tuolumne Meadows
Post Office
to
Lower
Cathedral Lake


4.05 miles


Page Below

Trail
Segment II
John Muir Trail

The John Muir Trail
Lower Cathedral Lake
to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp
Lower Long Meadow
Trail Junction


4.39 miles

 


Next Page
Sunrise HSC to Little Yosemite Valley

 


Maps and Miles

Tuolumne Meadows Hiking Map
15 minute topo hiking map
Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map


Map
to
Detailed Maps
Map
to
All Guide Pages
Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
South-Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
Click Map for Detailed Maps Click Red Dots for Guide Pages

 

 

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Miles and Elevations

 

 

 

Backpacker Resources
and
Hiker Information

Though this Looking Glass

John Muir Trail
Backpacking Information

This
Page Index
top

Video
Lower Cathedral Lake
Trail Junction to Sunrise High Sierra Camp
Below

 

 

Miles Sign
Lower Cathedral Lake
Trail Junction

 

 

Cathedral Peak

 

Tresidder Peak

 

 

 

Upper Cathedral Lake
SIGN

 

 

Cathedral Meadow
Restoration Orders

 

Route Modification

 

Moonset over
Upper Cathedral Lake

 

Views
Upper Cathedral Lake

North Yosemite beyond Upper Cathedral Lake and Peak

 

Cathedral Pass

 

Matthes Crest

 

Echo Peaks

 

Trail South

 

Miller Bros

 

Cathedral and Echo Peaks

 

Sooty Grouse

Central
Yosemite Wilderness

Weather and Road Information

Below find the closest Ground Stations, Point and Regional Forecasts near Tuolumne Meadows.

Satellite and Radar Imagery provides Long Range and Regional overviews.

Check out the Ground Reporting Stations for real-time current snow and temp data.

Yosemite Weather Forecast

NWS
REGIONAL FORECAST

Yosemite to Kings Canyon Forecast

NWS
STATION REPORT

Tuolumne Meadows

 

Regional Forecasts

NWS
Regional Forecast
REGIONAL FORECAST

East Sierra

NWS
REGIONAL FORECAST

Northwest Sierra

Emigrant Wilderness & North Yosemite
Regional Weather Information
All
High Sierra Weather Resources
Real Time
Ground Reporting Stations

North of Yosemite

Sonora Pass reporting station

Leavitt Lake reporting station

Leavitt Meadow reporting station

Horse Meadow Reporting Station

South of our Position

Tenaya Lake

Tuolumne Meadows

Tioga Entry Station

Northeast

Slide Mountain

All
Ground Reporting Stations

MesoWest
N Calif Stations

Calif Snotel

Note that the ground reporting stations above are North and South of our position backpacking across the North Yosemite backcountry.

The reason is that there are no automated reporting stations in the North Yosemite Backcountry.

These reporting stations are given to ascertain snow conditions and temps at various altitudes and aspects of exposure.

Human Measured
Stations

Wilma Lake

Road Conditions

Caltrans Hwy 108

Caltrans Hwy 120

Big View
Radar

North California Radar

Big View
Space

Western US Satellite

Check these Resources

All
High Sierra Weather
Resources

High Sierra
Fire and Smoke
Information

Matthes Crest

 

Colombia Finger

 

Climbing and Hiking
FOLKS

 

Looking Across
Yosemite

 

Into Long Meadow

 

Looking back at
Colombia Finger

 

Sunrise High Sierra Camp
Day Hikers

 

Cathedral Fork
of Echo Creek

 

 

 

Miles Sign
Long Meadow

Trail Junction

 

 

End of Long Meadow

 

Lower Long Meadow

 

 

Sign
Sunrise
High Sierra Camp

Spur Trail

 

 

Creek

 

Matthes Crest from Lower Long Meadow

 

 

 

Miles Sign
Sunrise HSC

Trail Junction

> Forum <
Backpacking Trails and Topics Forums

Lakg the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

Comments


Lower
Cathedral Lake Trail Junction

with the
John Muir Trail

 

9430 feet

4.05 miles South of Tuolumne Meadows

21.8 miles North of Yosemite Valley

 

 

The John Muir Trail
to
Upper Cathedral Lake

.54 miles

 

The John Muir Trail
Lower Cathedral Lake
to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp

4.39 miles

 

 

Maps and Miles

Tuolumne Meadows Hiking Map
15 minute topo hiking map
Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map


Map
to
Detailed Maps
Map
to
All Guide Pages
Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
South-Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
Click Map for Detailed Maps Click Red Dots for Guide Pages

 

 

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Miles and Elevations

 

 

Page Index


Cathedral Lake Trail Junction
to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp
VIDEO

Upper Cathedral Lake through Cathedral Pass and down and around to Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Lower Cathedral Lake
Trail Junction
SPUR TRAIL

SOUTHWEST:
Spur Trail
to
Lower Cathedral Lake
Cathedral Lake Trail Junction under Cathedral Peak to the lower lake.

Above:
At the Cathedral Lake Trail Junction under Cathedral Peak, the .5 mile trail out to the lower lake.

Lower Cathedral is at the end of a sweet half-mile spur trail. We explored Lower Cathedral Lake on the last guide page to our North.

Lay of the Land
The John Muir Trail continues climbing to our South, bending a bit Southeast as we hike away from the Lower Cathedral Lake trail junction depicted above. We hike up along a short segment of gently-rising terrain up to where we step onto the end of the second, smaller, shelf that Upper Cathedral Lake sits on. We are on the edge of the flat, but still a bit less than a quarter-mile distant from the upper lake itself.
Upper Cathedral Lake sits perched on this flat shelf on top and a bit set back from the edge of the cliff that makes up part of the grand basin wrapping around the South Shore of Lower Cathedral Lake and its associated meadow.

Upper Cathedral Lake is nestled-in surrounded by tufts of meadow and islands of isolated granite formations on this nifty shelf wedged-in under Tressider Peak and above the lower Lake.

Our Southbound John Muir Trail tracks up to near the Northeastern corner of Upper Cathedral Lake, then is deflected around the perimeter of the thin meadow wrapping the East and Southeast Shores of the Lake by restoration work.

Easy-Peasy
We continue a fairly non-taxing middle-difficulty of the middle-level of difficulty climb as we pass beyond the flat around Upper Cathedral Lake onto the low grade leading us up to 9720 feet of elevation across Cathedral Pass.

A gentle grade brings us up to and through Cathedral Pass. The transition from rising to descending is subtle, and we find it somewhat ironic that these gentle grades are bringing us into one of the most sheer and precipitous landscapes in the world: The Yosemite Wilderness wrapping around Yosemite Valley.

So begins our 16.71 mile great descent into Yosemite Valley.

What a Long, Strange Trip its been
Hiking from Tuolumne Meadows to Cathedral Pass puts the Central Yosemite Wilderness at our feet without spending too much effort to put ourselves at the top of the Mighty Merced Watershed. Well, we did hike to this position from Meeks Bay, a long ways to our North, up on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe.

Our plan is to drop into the Central Yosemite Wilderness along the classic route of the John Muir Trail, then climbing out along a different route. Our plan is designed to give us as much scope and perspective on the Central Yosemite Wilderness as possible while fitting perfectly, complimenting really, the overall design of our Tahoe to Whitney backpacking trip.

The Numbers
Our tour of Central Yosemite is going to add up to seven extra days to our trip duration, somewhere around fifty extra miles, and somewhere short of eight thousand extra feet of both ascending and descending to our overall Tahoe to Whitney backpacking trip totals.

Good to the Last Drop
The bottom line with the Golden Triangle Route through the heart of Yosemite is that every extra second, every extra foot of distance and elevation, and every drop of sweat this remarkable section squeezes out of our tired asses are time and energy very well spent experiencing some of the sweetest places on this sweet Earth.

Wild Nature
These trail guide efforts reflect my belief that everyone
should see It, spend some time in It, soak up Its ways, and reflect on It.

I speak of substantial lengths of time and space within Natural spaces unmitigated by human influences.
Yup, that's what you need.

Our mental and physical health, as well as our meaning, both as individuals and as a society rely on this relationship between man and Nature.

Cultivate yours.

Let's plow on.


North JMT
Back
to
Tuolumne Meadows
(The Top of The Previous Page)
Yosemite miles sign cilts 5.5 miles from Tuolumne Meadows to Cathedral Lakes junction.

Yosemite miles sign cites 5.5 miles as the distance from Tuolumne Meadows to the Lower Cathedral Lakes junction.

I cite 4.05 miles from the Post Office in Tuolumne Meadows to this junction, while I am assuming that the Yosemite Trail Miles Sign above, and all of them referencing TM, are refering to the distance to Tuolumne Lodge, which is another mile and a half to the East beyond the location of the Post Office.

That distance, from this trail junction to Tuolumne Lodge, is 5.51 miles by my measurements, hiking there along the routes described on this guide above, and depicted on the maps linked to below.

We discussed these mileage issues above, as we crossed the Wilderness Boundary hiking here on the John Muir Trail.

Miles and Elevations
Information
Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Lower Cathedral Lake Trail Junction
MILES and ELEVATIONS
A "Must" Read
On
Miles and Elevations
in the
High Sierra

Let's put this into context on the maps.
Tuolumne Meadows Hiking Map
15 minute topo hiking map
Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

trail forum comments
Page Index

South JMT
Cathedral Lakes
to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp
(Continuing Down this Page)
4.5 miles to Sunrise HSC, and 19.6 miles to Yosemite Valley from Cathedral Lakes trail junction.

Steel Yosemite Miles Sign
4.5 miles to Sunrise HSC, and 19.6 to Yosemite Valley from Cathedral Lakes trail junction.

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Lower Cathedral Lake Trail Junction
MILES and ELEVATIONS

We can skip from one Yosemite Trail Miles Sign to another leading down to Yosemite Valley on the
Miles and Elevations page linked to above.

This allows us to compare the miles cited on the Yosemite Trail Mileage Signs with those cited on the guide, and against other sources and in comparison with our own mapology.

trail forum comments
Page Index

To
Upper Cathedral Lake

Granite stairs climbing towards Upper Cathedral Lake from Lower, Yosemite above Tuolumne Meadows.
Very Nice Staircase.
Granite stairs climbing towards Upper Cathedral Lake from Lower, Yosemite above Tuolumne Meadows.

Cathedral Peak
Contrast of Cathedral Peak's peak as we climb towards Upper Cathedral Lake.

Another Aspect.
Power of Sunrise contrasts revealing surface complexities while burning them into and beyond our range of perception on Cathedral Peak as we climb towards Upper Cathedral Lake.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Climbing to Cathedral Pass
More stairs up to Upper Cathedral Lake, Yosemite National Park.
More fine stairs, these crafted of stone bleeding out the rusty orange of oxides impregnating lines of local rock, on our way hiking up to Upper Cathedral Lake, Yosemite National Park.

Tresidder Peak
Tresidder Peak comes into view rising above the forest.

Tresidder Peak comes into view rising above the forest as we approach the upper flat, and our changing position begins to unmask the full view of the mountains ringing Cathedral Lakes.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Upper Cathedral Lake Marker
along the
John Muir Trail

 

9600 feet

4.59 miles South of Tuolumne Meadows

17.21 miles North of Yosemite Valley

 

 

The John Muir Trail

to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp

3.85 miles

 

 

 

Maps and Miles

Tuolumne Meadows Hiking Map
15 minute topo hiking map
Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map


Map
to
Detailed Maps
Map
to
All Guide Pages
Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
South-Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
Click Map for Detailed Maps Click Red Dots for Guide Pages

 

 

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Miles and Elevations

 

Page Index


Tressider beyond Upper Cathedral lake
Tresidder Peak beyond meadow wrapping around Upper Cathedral Lake.

Approaching Upper Cathedral Lake we find the expansive meadow wrapping its North Shore opens up nice views of Tresidder Peak beyond meadow and lake.

The gentle slope of the upper basin up towards Cathedral Pass, being the lowest point below the Left flank of Tresidder Peak, gives us some indication of the moderate degree of difficulty of our upcoming hike through the pass.


Trail approaches closest point to Northeast Shore of Upper Cathedral Lake
Trail sign marking Upper Cathedral Lake location and restoration.
Trail sign marking Upper Cathedral Lake location and restoration.

Restoration Orders
Cathedral Meadow Restoration Orders.

Cathedral Meadow Restoration Orders.

trail forum comments
Page Index

OLD & NEW
Routes
Upper Cathedral Lake meadow restoration notice.

Upper Cathedral Lake meadow restoration notice.

Translation
Go Wide, and stay the heck out of the tired meadow.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Time Moves
Approaching Morning Moonset
Air & Water
STILLNESS
Full Moon approaches set as Sun approaches rise.

Full Moon approaches set as the Sun behind us approaches rise.

It's been a bright, almost full Moon night.

We get up early on the trail, and are up earlier the longer we stay on the trail. Arriving into the heart of Yosemite indicates we've been on the trail for awhile now along the hike down from Lake Tahoe. We are getting up quite early, as it suites our plans.

Our plan now is to set-up so we hike into Yosemite Valley in the morning, at the beginning of a day, rather than hiking in at the end of the day. We are going to push to camp in Little Yosemite tonight, then make an early hike into The Valley the next day.

Oh, and the stillness.

The very early morning has some of the most still moments of the day.

Be chill, Observe the Still.

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Page Index

Post-Sunrise
Moonset
Over Upper Cathedral Lake
Moon approaching setting behind Upper Cathedral Lake, Yosemite.

As the image above shows the Sun rose before the Moon set we know that the Moon is a bit past "Full." A full Moon happens when Moon set and Sun rise happen at exactly the same time. This represents the time the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon are all on exactly the same line at exactly the same time.

That alingment defines the actual moment constituting a full Moon.

Sometimes "fullness" lines up with our observed Sunrises and sets, other times it does not.

It is a full Moon when the Sun rises at the moment of Moon set. (Morning)
It is a full Moon when the Sun sets at the moment of Moon rise. (Evening)

The position of the Moon above indicates that we are past full Moon.

The reason is the Moon is orbiting the Earth counter-clockwise, relatively moving towards the Sun when transitioning through its phases. In the image above the Moon has already "orbited" closer to the Sun past, or above the position of full alignment in the morning.

This evening the Sun will set before this just past-full Moon rises.

Astronomy & Map Information Star Charts for Field Use

trail forum comments
Page Index

Upper Cathedral Lake
View to Northwest
Upper Cathedral Lake, Yosemite.

Upper Cathedral Lake, with Mendlicott Dome rising in the background. Yosemite.

Climbing Mendlicott Dome
The Bacher-Yerian Route


View North-Northeast
North Yosemite Backcountry in distance while climbing to Cathedral Pass above Upper Cathedral lake.

Aspects of Cathedral Peak
North Yosemite Backcountry in distance while climbing to Cathedral Pass above Upper Cathedral lake.

Note the line running from the collar of forest around Polly Dome cleanly up to the pointy crest of Cathedral Peak. Check out how this terrain looks when we get views of Cathedral and Tresidder Peaks as we descend from the end of Cold Canyon to Glen Aulin along the combined routes of the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails through the North Yosemite Backcountry.

The line formed by the ramp of terrain from the back of Mendilcott Dome East up the crest of Cathedral Peak create a distinctive line looking from the North, as well as our view from the South above.

It's quite a view.

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North Yosemite Backcountry beyond Upper Cathedral Lake
The Sierra Crest wrapping around the North Yosemite in the distance beyond Cathedral Peak and Upper Cathedral Lake.

The Sierra Crest wrapping around the North Yosemite Backcountry in the furthest distance beyond Cathedral Peak and Upper Cathedral Lake.

The two images above highlight how different season's light changes how everything is, and how it looks.


Detail of North Yosemite Backcountry
North Yosemite backcountry from above Upper Cathedral Lake.

North Yosemite backcountry from above Upper Cathedral Lake.

See the brightly-lit wall in the lower Right hand corner of the distant granite range above?

Our PCT-TYT route passes around the nose of the base of that that face as it drops into Virginia Canyon along the very delightful Spiller Creek. Spiller Creek runs down the great canyon we can see on the far Right of the image. That canyon runs up to the Sierra Crest. All above the brightly-lit wall in the lower Right corner.

North Yosemite Backpacking Map

Spiller Creek runs down the canyon on the far distant Right below Whorl Mountain and Matterhorn Peaks, which rise above Spiller Creek's Canyon as the highest points along the Sierra Crestline. Well, Matterhorn Peak is along the Sierra Crest, with Whorl Mountain being a bit down on the Western Face ridgline separating Spiller Creek in its canyon on the Right from Matterhorn Creek in Matterhorn Canyon on its Left.

To the Left of Matterhorn Peak sits the iconic two major teeth of the Sawtooth Range segment of the Sierra Crestline. Matterhorn Canyon winds its convoluted way down the West Flank below the Sawtooths.

Further left along the Crestline, at the end of our most-distant view of the Sierra Crestline sits the tilted-top pyramidal shape of Quarry Peak. Most of the peaks on the far Left of the image are below the actual Sierra Crestline.

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Another Detailed View North
Whorl Mountain and Matterhorn Peak in the North Yosemite Backcountry
North Yosemite Backcountry approaching Echo Peaks.

We're hiking South up beyond Upper Cathedral Lake approaching Cathedral Pass looking back to our North at the North Yosemite Backcountry, specifically the ridgeline descending West off the Sierra Crest at Matterhorn Peak dividing the Matterhorn drainage on the Left from that of Spiller Creek on the Right.

The route of the PCT-TYT runs across both canyons just at our level of visibility across the treetops.


Cathedral Pass
along the
John Muir Trail

9720 feet

5.09 miles South of Tuolumne Meadows

16.71 miles North of Yosemite Valley

 

 

The John Muir Trail

to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp

3.35 miles

 

 

 

Maps and Miles

Tuolumne Meadows Hiking Map
15 minute topo hiking map
Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map


Map
to
Detailed Maps
Map
to
All Guide Pages
Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
South-Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
Click Map for Detailed Maps Click Red Dots for Guide Pages

 

 

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Miles and Elevations

 

Page Index


Cathedral Peak
Rises beyond the low line of Cathedral Pass
Looking North at Cathedral Peak beyond Cathedral Pass.

Looking North at Cathedral Peak beyond the low saddle of Cathedral Pass.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Western Meadow below Cathedral Pass
Looking South down the meadow running South from Cathedral Pass.

Looking South down the meadow running South from Cathedral Pass.

We take note of how this little high meadow reminds us of the much longer run of the great meadow down Cold Canyon.


High Life
Belding Ground Squirrel on South flank of Cathedral Pass.

Meadow Dogs, otherwise known as Belding Ground Squirrels did not seem as common up here as in Cold Canyon.

Looking North and South across Tuolumne Meadows as we hike across the North Yosemite Backcountry into the Central Yosemite Wilderness gives us three wonderful perspectives on each from the other.

One perspective looking at the terrain we approach, the another as we hike through, and finally looking back as we depart.

My head is spinning as if on a swivel.


View East-Southeast
Matthes Crest running South below Echo Peaks
Looking down Matthes Crest after crossing Cathedral Pass on the John Muir Trail.

Looking down Matthes Crest after crossing Cathedral Pass on the John Muir Trail.

View of Matthes Crest from Sunrise HSC trail junction.

Our trail moves West to begin a gentle traverse along the ridgline bringing us up under the end of
Colombias Finger.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Echo Peaks
Echo Peaks to the East of Cathedral Pass, Yosemite National Park.

Echo Peaks to our East.

The alingment of Cathedral Peak with Echo Peaks creates the outline of an amalgamation of their peaks when viewed from certain perspectives as we descend towards Glen Aulin on the PCT-TYT.


Matthes Crest
Matthes Crest running South from Echo Peaks, Cathedral Range, Yosemite National Park.

Matthes Crest running South from Echo Peaks.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Moving into Forest trail Traversing along ridge ending in Colombia's Finger
Trail South to Colombia Finger from Cathedral Pass.
Trail climbing moderately to our South to Colombia Finger from Cathedral Pass.

Yosemite Pavement
Almost paved trail traversing up to pass under Colombia's Finger.

Almost paved trail traversing up to pass under and around Colombia's Finger.

trail forum comments
Page Index

A Hard Climbing Trip
Miller Bros hiking from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows.
Miller Bros, Matt and Rick hiking from The Valley to Tuolumne Meadows.

Hiking South by the Compass
Trail into Open Terrain above thinning Forests
Hiking South getting under the East Flank of Colombia's Finger.

Hiking South getting under the East Flank of Colombia's Finger, which rises above us to our West, our Southbound Right.

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View Northeast
Looking back at Echo Peaks and Cathedral Peaks along their shared crestline.

Looking back at Echo Peaks and Cathedral Peaks along their shared crestline.

I really like how these peaks look from the bottom of Cold Canyon, and again the unique views we get as we descend towards Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp.

Now we are getting views North, at the North Yosemite Backcountry back through the "gunsight" at the North Yosemite Backcountry, above, just as we got some good looks from from up there in Cold Canyon at this West end of the Cathedral Range.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Sooty Grouse? Mountain Chickens!
Sooty Grouse couple and I surprise each other, but nobody freaks out.

Sooty Grouse couple and I surprise each other, but nobody freaks out.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Matthes Crest as we approach end of Colombia Finger
Looking at Matthes Crest from Colombia Finger.

Looking at Matthes Crest from Colombia Finger.

Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map

Things are taking a turn towards awesome.


East Flank of Colombia Finger
East Flank of Colombia Finger.

Above us to the West rises the East Flank of Colombia Finger.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Detail East Flank Colombia Finger
Second view of East Flank of Colombia's Finger.

Second, closer look at the East Flank of Colombia's Finger.

Sweet crackage.

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Under Colombia Finger
View of Colombia Finger from under it.
View of Colombia Finger from under the nose.

Detail East Flank Colombia Finger
Our last look at the East Flank crest of Colombia's Finger.

Our last look at the East Flank crest of Colombia's Finger.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Local Explorers
Leroy and Margot in the Central Yosemite Wilderness near Colombia Finger.

Leroy and Margot.

Leroy was Climbing local walls and exploring the vertical as Margot was hiking about exploring the horizontal.


Overview Under
Colombia Finger
Break spot under Colombia Finger.

Nice break spot with great views under Colombia Finger, though with no water nearby.

That's Clarks Peak of the Clarks Range almost directly to our South.

Central & South Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

trail forum comments
Page Index

Transitions

Unveiling
The Holy Heart of Yosemite

We've been pointed almost directly South since passing the Upper and Lower Cathedral Lakes hiking up to and over the gentle rise of Cathedral Pass's 9680 feet of elevation.

Hiking South from Cathedral Pass our views are limited to the sweet meadow descending gently in elevation to our South, and the stunning canyon walls bracketing the meadow. To our East, our Southbound Left, we have a fascinating view of the amazing shape and structures of Matthes Crest's sheer cliffs, buttes, and gaps along its quite complex and convoluted ridge line opening to our view as we hike South. It's shapes and structures are well-accented by an amazing range of textures and subtle graduations of color and contrasts across its many distinct surfaces under changing light conditions.

Behind us, turning to look North-Northeast, we see the distinctive line-up of Cathedral Peak and Echo Peaks along their shared ridgeline.

To our West the crestline dropping off Tresidder is running up to the pointed spire of Colombia Finger, most of which is masked from view during our traverse by the terrain itself, until we hike up to the end of the ridge.

After hiking South through Cathedral Pass our trail bends gently to our Right, to the West, to begin a gentle climbing traverse along the moderately-forested ridgearm of the Western wall of the canyon surrounding this high meadow. As I mentioned, the Western wall is the spur of ridge running South from Tresidder Peak who's end is capped by the distinctive Colombia Finger.

As our hike to the South end of the Colombia Finger ridgearm progresses we get far enough South to put us beyond the South end of Matthes Crest. Our changing position begins to open up amazing views, first to our East looking past and around the South end of Matthes Crest opening up grand views of the Southern end of the Cathedral Range. Wow. An angry ocean of great granite whitecaps opens up to our East, then of the Clarks Range in the South Yosemite Wilderness as we get to the end of Colombias Finger.

As we get closer to the end of the ridgline terminating under Colombia's Finger we begin to emerge from forest cover and views obscured by terrain we get our first sweeping views South of the whole darn Central Yosemite Wilderness.

Central & South Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

All of the Central Yosemite Wildeness is visible from here. Except the lower elevation areas masked by the terrain. Though we can see the massive gash of the Merced River Canyon, its rim is masked by the terrain.
To put this fine overview in layman's terms, "That's some heavy-duty shit, man." No Joke.

The Central Yosemite Wilderness bounded by the Cathedral and Clarks Ranges rising above the shores of the Merced River is always reminiscent of classic Hokusai scenes to me, but executed in granite by ice, rather than in water by winds. I believe the link I see between Hokusai and the Sierra is centered in their shared expression of the overwhelming power and beauty of Nature, the smallness of man, and the timeless consistency of great forces interacting on scales beyond the gratifications of men.

Merced Canyon
Yeah, that description covers experiencing, describing, and depicting the Sierra Nevada as well as angry asian oceans.

From our position under Colombia's Finger our view is not centered on Yosemite Valley, but our eyes are naturally drawn to the grand granite gash of the Merced River cutting the Central Yosemite Wilderness into two distinct parts, with an angry looking sea of mountain peaks rising far above both of the banks of the hidden depths of its deep granite channel.

Again, wow!

Cathedral Range Rises above the North Bank
To our Left, the terrain rising above the Northern Bank of the Merced Canon runs up to the top of the Cathedral Range, of which we have just hiked over the Southwestern-most end of the range.

Clarks Range Rises above the South Bank
Above the Right, the furthest, or South bank of the great canyon of the Merced River a great spur runs Westward off the main line of the High Sierra Crestline from where the Cathedral and Ritter Ranges intersect. This is the Clarks Range.

We're going to stand here, maybe even stop for a while and take off the pack, while we are overwhelmed by the grand scale of natural beauty before us for awhile, before continuing on our trail around the base Colombia's Finger to lose this remarkable view dropping into the top of Long Meadow.

Western Flank Wonderland
The most interesting thing to me is that the Cathedral Range, The Clarks Range, and the Sunrise Mountains are all Western-flank mountain ranges that are not part of the Sierra Crestline. Everything from all the flanks of all these ranges drains West into the Pacific Ocean. None of the mountains we see from here are actually along the Sierra Crestline.

The actual line of the Sierra Crest South of Tioga Pass is represented by the Kuna Crest rising above the East side of Lyell Canyon, which turns even further East to the South of Yosemite, bisecting Mammoth Mountain before running South along the Mammoth Crest.

MET: More Hokusai

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View
East-Southeast
Beyond
South End
of
Matthes Crest
Looking Left from under Colombia's Finger
Unique view of Cathedral Range, Yosemite.

A unique view of Cathedral Range, Yosemite.

We are gazing East by Southeast from under the Eastern flank of Colombia's Finger. The rising dome in the upper-Left corner of the image is the second to last structure on the end of Matthes Crest, the low dome to its Right being the last.

On the far-Right edge of the crestline we have the majestic bulk of Mount Florence, to its Left the pointy peak of the ridge directly North of Mount Florence, Peak 11981.

To the Left of that we can see Vogelsang Peak, with a triangular streak of white/light terrain just Right of its rounded crest. Can you see the faint white, slightly triangular vertical streak down the face of Vogelsang?

The pointy peak rising from behind Vogelsang Peak's Left shoulder is either Simmons Peak or the the peak immediately to the South of Simmons Peak. I can't tell from here, with the way the relative positions of this sea of peaks one-to-another rotates with our position.

Getting context on this ocean of mountain peaks is an amazing navigational-overview orientation challenge.

We a looking out across a vast amount of complex space, route lines, time, and finally; effort.

Tuolumne Meadows Hiking Map
15 minute topo hiking map

Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map
  Central & South Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

trail forum comments
Page Index

View
Looking a Bit East of South
The Clarks Range
View South from under Colombia's Finger
Clarks Range Mountains above Lake Merced, Yosemite National Park.

The Clarks Range
Rising above the South Bank of the Merced River

Our view above is looking almost directly South, just a bit East of South, from our position under Colombia's Finger. We are located at the very Southwestern end of the Cathedral Range looking across this part of the Merced River watershed rising above the South rim of Merced Canyon. That watershed is reaching up through the forests rising above the far South rim of the Merced Canyon into the sheer granite peaks topping the Clarks Range. We see the Clarks Range is stashed way-back in the Central Yosemite Wilderness.

Mount Clark is the highest peak on the Right side of the distant crestline.

View Southeast of the Clarks Range in Yosemite Wilderness from Colombia Finger.
The crestline in the two images above show the major peaks of the Clarks Range.

The highest peak on the far Right is Mount Clark, the next peak to its Left along the Crestline is Gray Peak.

Can you see the three granite slabs on the otherwise uniformly forested low ridge in the middle-distance? We can see them more clearly on the upper image, right above the granite horn. Merced Lake lays at the base of the far side of the position of those slabs on that ridge.

Though we cannot see it from this angle, the bottom of the Merced Canyon is carved through pure, dense, close-grained granite of the most magnificent composition. I am comparing Yosemite/Merced granite against all the granite compositions up and down the Sierra Crest. (It changes dramatically) This stuff here is the cadillac of High Sierra granites in terms of density, uniform composition, grain, and color. It is also especially amazing in terms of its extent, its depth, and its wide distribution.
From our position here we can see dense forests running down to and up from the rims of the Merced Canyon proper, but we cannot actually see the rim or even the canyon itself. The high elevation forests and Clarks Range Crestline we can see from here more than makes up for what we will soon be looking into as we descend further down towards the Canyon of the Merced on our way down to Yosemite Valley.
Our descent will ultimately bring us down to the very edge of the granite gorge making up the North Rim of the Merced Canyon, from where we are going to get fantastic views up, down, and down into the Merced River Canyon as we continue to add increasingly fantastic views and perspectives along our descent into Yosemite Valley.

This is the only place I say this:

"It gets better as the lower we go."

Our position under Colombia's Finger gives us a stunning perspective on the Clarks Range Mountains rising above the South bank of Lake Merced, really rising above the South Bank of the whole length of the Upper Merced River, albeit as seen through the bad images above. In the image above the Sun was rising, reflecting off all the sheer granite surfaces, washing everything out for the camera. But not the eye! It was a sweet view under the harsh rising Sun.
A good thing about Sunrise and Set is that the low position of the Sun serves to better contrast the wild nature of the amazing formations running up to the the Clarks Range Crestline.

It makes them stand out.

Central & South Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

trail forum comments
Page Index

West
down into Upper Long Meadow
Moving under the bottom of Colombia Finger into the top of Long Meadow.
Moving Southwest under the bottom of Colombia Finger into the top of Long Meadow.

Into the Top of Long Meadow
Hiking thought thin forest slope between Colombia Finger to enter top of Long Meadow.

Hiking thought thinly forested slope descending from Colombia Finger to enter the top of Long Meadow.

Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map

trail forum comments
Page Index

COLOMBIA GIVING YOU THE FINGER:
GREAT WORK AMERICA...
Colombia Finger from upper Long Meadow.

Colombia Finger across upper Long Meadow.

Our John Muir Trail route came around the base of Colombia Finger before dropping into the top of Long Meadow.


Sunrise Day Hikers
Day hikers from Sunrise High Sierra Camp in Long Meadow.
Campers from Sunrise High Sierra Camp day hiking up to the top of Long Meadow.

Long Bending Meadow
Triple lane trail worn into Upper Long Meadow.

Triple lane trail worn into Upper Long Meadow.

Long Meadow bending as we approach the upper reaches of this branch of the Cathedral Fork of Echo Creek.


Cathedral Fork is Dry up Here
Ford over the Cathedral Fork of Echo Creek in Upper Long Meadow.

Ford point of Cathedral Fork of Echo Creek in Long Meadow.

Cathedral Fork drying out very early in the Summer during drought and dry times.


Still Water, But not for Long
Rock formations along Cathedral Fork of Echo Crek in Yosemite.
Cathedral Fork still holding a little barely-running water. We can's depend on water up high during dry times, such as those between 2013-2015.

Upper Long Meadow Trail Junction
along the
John Muir Trail

9520 feet

7.63 miles South of Tuolumne Meadows

14.17 miles North of Yosemite Valley

 

 

The John Muir Trail

to
Sunrise High Sierra Camp

.81 miles

 

 

 

Maps and Miles

Tuolumne Meadows Hiking Map
15 minute topo hiking map
Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map


Map
to
Detailed Maps
Map
to
All Guide Pages
Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
South-Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
Click Map for Detailed Maps Click Red Dots for Guide Pages

 

 

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Miles and Elevations

 


The trail tracking East off our John Muir Trail route out of this junction shorty drops into the canyon to our East to follow the Cathedral Fork of Echo Creek all the way down to the floor of the Merced River Canyon just a short ways below Merced Lake.

This trail opens up nice loop routes around the North-Central Yosemite Wilderness, or longer alternative routes to the length of standard route of the John Muir Trail linking Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley by swinging through Merced Lake before following the river down to Little Yosemite Valley to rejoin the JMT route.

The 15 minute Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley map covers this optional route
for hiking down to Yosemite Valley from Tuolumne Meadows.

Page Index

Trail Junction
in
Long Meadow

UP & BACK
NORTHEAST TO TUOLUMNE MEADOWS AND HIGHWAY 120, THE TIOGA ROAD
Back the way we came to Cathedral Lakes and Tuolumne Meadows.

Back the way we came, out of the Northeast, back to Cathedral Lakes and Tuolumne Meadows.

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Upper Long Meadow Lake Trail Junction
MILES and ELEVATIONS

Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map
  Central & South Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

trail forum comments
Page Index

Down and Out
SOUTHWEST TO YOSEMITE VALLEY
Southwest on the JMT in Long Meadow opens up classic Yosemite trails.

Down the Mountain on the John Muir Trail.

We draw near Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

Hiking Southwest on the JMT in Long Meadow opens up a wide range of classic Yosemite trails to amazing features along many interesting loop and trailhead to trailhead trips.

The sign above is now referencing the trail climbing West from Sunrise High Sierra Camp to Tenaya Lake, located to the West of Tuolumne Meadows on Highway 120. The trail to Tenaya Lake also intersects with the North end of the trail to Clouds Rest.

The plot thickens.

Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

 


Long Way to Yosemite Valley
EAST, then SOUTH
East to Merced Lake via Cathedral Fork of Echo Creek to Echo Valley along the bottom of the Merced Canyon.

East, down to the Cathedral Fork of Echo Creek then South to Echo Creek all the way down to Echo Valley on the floor of the Merced Canyon located a short distance below Merced Lake.

The sign above indicates 9 mile descents, first from here to Merced Lake HSC on the North end of the lake, then another nine from there down to Yosemite Valley. Nine point one to Merced Lake & Nine to The Valley.

Call that the long way down to Yosemite Valley from here, with our JMT route being the most direct.

Our next option for hiking up to Echo Valley and Merced Lake will open up when we arrive at the Merced-Washburn Lakes trail junction. This junction is located a bit further to our South along our John Muir Trail route between the upcoming Forsyth and Clouds Rest trail junctions.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Peak 9701 at the end of Long Meadow
Looking South down Long Meadow at Peak 9701.

This peak always catches my eye and attention on the way through Long Meadow. I just like the "cut of its rock," its color and texture. I like the way it looks and feels in its role as the guardian of the bottom of Long Meadow.

Looking South down Long Meadow at Peak 9701.


Detail
PEAK 9701
Detail of Peak 9701 in Long Meadow, Yosemite below Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

Detail of Peak 9701 in Long Meadow, Yosemite, located at the end of the meadow beyond Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Into Lower Long Meadow
Entering meadow around Sunrise's elevated position.
Entering meadow around Sunrise's elevated position.

Lower Long Meadow
Entering Lower Long Meadow approaching Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

Yosemite Triple Trail
Entering Lower Long Meadow approaching Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

Peak 9701 is off to our Left, our East.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Sunrise High Sierra Camp
along the
John Muir Trail

 

9520 feet

8.44 miles South of Tuolumne Meadows

17.21 miles North of Yosemite Valley

 

 

The John Muir Trail

at
Sunrise High Sierra Camp

0.0 miles

 

 

Maps and Miles

Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map


Map
to
Detailed Maps
Map
to
All Guide Pages
Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
South-Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
Click Map for Detailed Maps Click Red Dots for Guide Pages

 

 

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Miles and Elevations

 

 

"Mary Curry Tresidder, president of the Curry Company, established the Sunrise High Sierra camp in 1961 and also equipped it with a canvas dining tent and stone kitchen structure. It overlooks Long Meadow on the John Muir Trail a few miles from Cathedral Pass."
From Green, Yosemite and its Resources.

Yosemite High Sierra Camps
Access Information and History

I always visit the High Sierra Camps on my routes. I figure I will see what happens, say hello to the staff, and see if there are any cool folks hanging about. That would be friendy, and willing to share experiences.

So I ask what is happening there, what has happened, and what I should look for in the area.

Some of the staff-folks are "too cool for school," kind of like a poorer version of their snobby clients. Others of the staff and campers are nice folks. My point is that there is a mixture of characters naturally drawn to the High Sierra Camp environment, on both the staff and camper sides of the equation.

Though I'm not a great fan of the "idea" of camps in our National Parks for rich folks, I always stop by to check out the weirdness of the High Sierra Camp system, and see if there's anyone interesting to chat with, and pick up any interesting bits of news that may be running up and down the trails between the HSC camps.

Page Index


Sunrise
High Sierra Camp

Foot trail to Sunrise High Sierra Camp from Lower Long Meadow.

Foot trail to Sunrise High Sierra Camp from Lower Long Meadow.

Hiking through the narrowing neck of meadow pinched between encroaching forests dividing the upper length of Long Meadow from the lower reveals the last run of Long Meadow bends to our Southeast, off to our Southbound Left, making its last run down the mountain as a meadow before ending at the base of Peak 9701.

To our right we notice the Western edge of the bottom of Long Meadow is wrapped by a low granite wall, atop which is located Sunrise High Sierra Camp. A short trail from the sign above leads up to Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map
  Central & South Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

 


Sunrise High Sierra Camp
on its
Perch
Sunrise High Sierra Camp up on its rock perch above Lower Long Meadow.

Sunrise High Sierra Camp up on its rock perch above the Western edge of Lower Long Meadow.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Stairway to Sunrise
Stairway to Sunrise High Sierra Camp, Yosemite National Park.

A very well crafted stairway to Sunrise.

We've been hiking South in Yosemite for about sixty miles since entering the North Yosemite Backcountry, from where we've observed many examples of fine hard rock trail construction.

Yosemite has spent considerable time, resources, and the labor of generations of trail workers maintaining its status as the crown jewel of the National Park System.

As we are now approaching the heart of that jewel we are going to observe some of the oldest and finest trail work in Yosemite. In fact, we are going to be able to physically trace out previous "administrative" approaches to trails and public access by observing carefully.

For example, we are going to encounter remnants of the previous asphalt-surfaced trail from Happy Isles up to at least as far as Nevada Falls, and I suspect paved trail once snaked its way up to the base of Half Dome.

Different generations of Park Honchos represent different approaches to administering wilderness and access to it.


Tahoe Billy
Tahoe Billy at Glen Aulin and Sunrise High Sierra Camps.

Tahoe Billy manages High Sierra Camps. I met him at Sunrise in 2012 after talking to him at Glen Aulin during 2009.

Glen Aulin pictured above.

trail forum comments
Page Index

Sunrise High Sierra Camp
Way cool dude working at Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

Tahoe Billy working the critical water scene at Sunrise High Sierra Camp during the great water shortage of 2012.

High Sierra Camp folks are fairly unique.

I mean the folks who work there.

Many of the "guests" are quite trying. Rich Jerks. At least the ones who expect "luxury" and servants as they show how superior they are, by being in the wilderness. I find them very petty.

I have come to see folks don't properly value things in the mountains if they don't carry them there themselves. It is a "character" thing.

Other "guests" are in the High Sierra Camps because its the only way they can get access to the Splendors of Nature. Some folks can't carry a pack in, mostly due to age, infirmity, or disability. Yet they still want to engage Nature, and the High Sierra Camps offer them a way to maintain access.

I find those "guests" offer much more rewarding encounters than the pampered snobs.

The HSC staffs are generally cooler the further away that each camp is located from the crowds of snobs, and according to the ratio of snobs to "engagers" the staff has to deal with.


Back to the JMT

Crossing
The Heart of Yosemite

Departing Sunrise High Sierra Camp and eturning to our downward-hike on the John Muir Trail we note a seasonal stream and shade between the path to Sunrise HSC and our next trail junction shorty beyond the stream, at the South end of Long Meadow.

We're going to stop, water up, eat a snack, relax and take in these nice views before resuming our descent past a whole series of classic Yosemite backpacker, and even destinations for fit and aggressive day hikers out of Yosemite Valley.

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Break with a View
Rare creek running in Fall into bottom of Long Meadow.

Rare creek running during Fall into bottom of Long Meadow.

Water feeds the trees providing us a shady spot to water-up, cook-up some coffee and lunch, and relax while observing the wonderful terrain near and far.

trail forum comments
Page Index

SWEET VIEW FROM THE JMT
Long Views East
across the
Heart of the Central Yosemite Wilderness
Looking Southeast while resting in Lower Long Meadow, Yosemite National Park.

View East-Southeast from just below, and a few feet South of Sunrise High Sierra Camp.
Looking Southeast while resting in Lower Long Meadow, Yosemite National Park.

Vogelsang Peak highest on the Right,

Parsons Peak in furthest, faint distant Center.

Peak 10702 in middle distant middle Left. It is on the Rafferty Peak ridgeline.

Closest Left is Peak 9701 guarding the end of Long Meadow.

I am kicking back enjoying some coffee in shade with lots of water.
Luxury, Al style.


Northeast View
Matthes Crest
The bottom of Matthes Crest visible over the ridge to our Northwest from the bottom of Long Meadow near Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

The bottom end of Matthes Crest visible from the bottom end of Long Meadow.

The bottom of Matthes Crest visible over the ridge to our Northwest from the bottom of Long Meadow
near Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

Is this not delightful?

Time to hike on. Let's review the signs at the junction in the bottom of Long Meadow

trail forum comments
Page Index

Sunrise High Sierra Camp
along the
John Muir Trail

9520 feet

8.44 miles South of Tuolumne Meadows

17.21 miles North of Yosemite Valley

 

 

The John Muir Trail

at
Sunrise High Sierra Camp

0.0 miles

 

 

Maps and Miles

Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map


Map
to
Detailed Maps
Map
to
All Guide Pages
Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
South-Central Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map
Click Map for Detailed Maps Click Red Dots for Guide Pages

 

 

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Miles and Elevations


Page Index

Sunrise
High Sierra Camp
Trail Junction

Down the JMT to Yosemite Valley
SOUTH

Trail from Sunrise High Sierra Camp to Yosemite Valley via Half Dome.

John Muir Trail from Sunrise High Sierra Camp to Yosemite Valley via Half Dome.

Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Sunrise High Sierra Camp Trail Junction
MILES and ELEVATIONS

Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley
15 Minute topo hiking map
  Central & South Yosemite Hiking Map
30 minute topo hiking map

trail forum comments
Page Index

Up the JMT
to
Tuolumne Meadows
NORTH
Sunrise High Sierra Camp Northeast along the JMT to Tuolumne Meadows.

This sign also indicates the route hiking up to the trail junction in Upper Long Meadow where a trail tracks East then South to the Merced River and Merced Lake.

That would be the long way back to Yosemite Valley, or the second half of a nice loop out of and back to Yosemite Valley.


Sunrise Lakes to the West
Hiking West from Sunrise High Sierra Camp to Clouds Rest, Lake Tenaya, or May Lake.
This trail to Tenaya Lake climbs to our West until it bends around past Sunrise Lakes before it tees-out. One wing of the trail tracks to the Northwest for Tenaya Lake and May Lake beyond, the other to the Southwest for Clouds Rest.
trail forum comments
Page Index

Next

Crossing
The Heart of Yosemite

Down!

The John Muir Trail

 

North
Back to the Lower Cathedral Lake Trail Junction
UP THIS PAGE

 

 

Previous Page North
Tuolumne Meadows to Cathedral Lakes

 

 

Next Page South:
From the Cathedral Lake Trail Junction

South from Sunrise
into
Little Yosemite Valley

 

WE
make our way down to the Rim of the Merced River, then down the North Canyon Wall to Little Yosemite Valley, where we will spend the evening before proceeding down into Yosemite Valley.

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North: Tuolumne Meadows to Cathedral Lakes                                       South: Sunrise to Little Yosemite Valley

Backpacking
The Heart of Yosemite National Park

The Golden Triangle

Yosemite is a large National Park that I break down into North, Central, and South regions for the convenience of the Long Distance Backpacker.

We hike into the most Northwestern region of Yosemite through Bond or Dorothy Lake Passes on the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails, respectively. To our East-Northeast are the Hoover Wilderness Trailheads, to our South-Southwest lays the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River.

We arrive at roughly the center of the Sierra Nevada arriving at Tuolumne Meadows. Here the end of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail is supplanted by the John Muir Trail heading South along the Sierra Crest from Tuolumne Meadows.

Since I consider everything South of Tuolumne Meadow to be the South Sierra, our explorations of the center of Yosemite will be quite limited. Unless we take an alternative route that will run us down to Yosemite Valley and back up to the JMT 5.6 miles South of Tuolumne Meadows in Lyell Canyon.
This is the Golden Triangle Route. Hiking the Golden Triangle Route in conjunction with, or I should say in addition to our hiking into Yosemite across the North Yosemite Backcountry, and our hiking out of Yosemite through Donohue Pass will give us a broad view of this magnificent park on our way down the Sierra Crest from Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney.

 

THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION: STAY TUNED FOR MUCH MORE!

COME ON BACK NOW, 'YA HEAR?

 

7.5 Map:
Cathedral Pass to Yosemite Valley

 

30 min Map
Central Yosemite

 

Miles and Elevations

 

 

Comments

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Backpacking Trail Guide

PCT-TYT North

Tuolumne Meadows
to
Cathedral
Lakes

Compass and map directions are the best.

Backpacking Trail Guide

JMT South

Sunrise
High Sierra
Camp
to
Little Yosemite
Valley

Backpacker Forums

Have a great trip or story to relate about Yosemite or in the Sierra Nevada?
A fine piece of gear? Or gear that failed? An excellent backpacking tip?

Post it on
TahoetoWhitney.Org

Above we come to the Front Page of the High Backpacking Trails and Topics Forums. Below we break the forums down into categories:

High Sierra Trails High Sierra Topics

The Trails Forum acts as your place to put up input, comments, relate your experiences, or ask questions about each segment and spot along the length of our combined TYT-PCT-JMT trails.

The Forum is your place to supplement the trail guide.

Anyone can post text comments in the existing forums, but only members can post up new topics, along with images, maps, and formatting.

Become a Member

If you have experiences, comments, questions, or pictures and videos of the Pacific Crest Trail between Sonora Pass and Tuolumne Meadows, post up here as an unknown hiker or as a member:

Forum Section
The Golden Triangle
Forum Segment
Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley
Trailhead
Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Frosted Backpack

Backpacking Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

Your Guide to the High Sierra Crest, including the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails

Snug tent after Snow Storm
© Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail