The first part of this hike is a beautiful, easy ramble along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River as far as the Vogelsang Pass junction. It's an 11.2-mile round-trip journey from Tuolumne Meadows and back and a favorite weekend family backpack. Hardier hikers can continue all the way to the headwaters of the Lyell Fork at Donohue Pass just below the Lyell Glacier, tucked beneath the shaded crest of Mount Lyell, the highest peak in Yosemite at 13,114 feet. Mount Maclure, only slightly lower and farther west along the same ridge, shelters its own glacier that also feeds the Tuolumne River. Since this route follows both the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, you're bound to encounter lots of through-hikers along the way at the height of the summer season.
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