Tuolumne River

Yosemite National Park, California 95389

Elevation Gain16ft
Trailhead Elevation6,153ft
Elevation Min/Max6153/6169ft
Elevation Start/End6153/6153ft

Tuolumne River

Tuolumne River is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Mariposa County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is 278 feet long and begins at 6,153 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 16 feet. Near the trailhead there is a waste disposal. This trail connects with the following: Yosemite National Park Road.

Tuolumne River Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoias is not as heavily visited as the Mariposa Grove. And because it does not have a tram tour through it, you can enjoy the beauty and serenity of the forest away from the sounds of “civilization.”

The route follows an old road now closed to vehicle traffic. It passes through a closed gate and descends in a beautiful old forest of white fir, Douglas fir, sugar pine, and incense cedar. This last, with its smooth red bark, is often confused with the giant sequoia, but the first of those will not appear for about 0.5 mile. In spring, exquisite white dogwoods bloom in openings in the forest."

"If you have time to visit only one of Yosemite’s giant sequoia groves, make it the Tuolumne Grove. Although smaller than the Mariposa Grove, this grove also boasts a tunnel tree, fallen trees with exquisite roots, several clusters of beautiful living trees, and excellent information placards. And it is a much quieter location with far fewer people and no trams—simply a pleasant walk through forest and past giant sugar pine cones to the grove. For families with young children, a particular attraction of this walk is that for most of the distance you are walking along a paved road along which you are permitted to push a stroller."

"The Tuolumne Grove, one of three giant sequoia groves in Yosemite, is not as heavily visited as the Mariposa Grove and does not have a tram tour through it, so you can enjoy the beauty and serenity of the forest away from the sounds of "civilization," especially if you make this easy out-and-back hike early in the morning. The Tuolumne Grove was saved from the 2013 Rim Fire that probably would have destroyed even these fire-resistant sequoias when firefighters set a backfire that stopped the hotter and more aggressive blaze in its tracks. Some of the more vulnerable species in the grove are a bit charred, but the Big Trees have survived the biggest fire in the history of the park."

"This hike follows a portion of the Old Big Oak Flat Road, closed to vehicles in 1993. The historic 6-mile road once connected the Big Oak Flat Entrance with Yosemite Valley. Now a hiking trail, the winding road descends through an intimate old forest of incense cedar, sugar pine, white fir and Douglas fir, reaching the Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoias at one mile. A nature trail begins at the picnic area, once used as a parking lot for viewing the trees. The half-mile trail with interpretive panels loops through the grove of twenty-five giant sequoias. Included is a walk through the Tunnel Tree (also called Dead Giant), a dead but standing tree trunk that was tunneled for horse-drawn wagons in 1878."

Tuolumne River Reviews

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The trail is an easy walk downhill first, but then when going back it is all uphill but still nothing extremely difficult. Its nice in there and not as trampled as in Mariposa. There are only few giant sequoias in there, though, and for that Mariposa grove would be a more preferable destination.
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If uphill is your thing, then this is the trail for you. My wife and I started at Big Oak Flat rd. First part is through burned out forest. The forest is not pretty, but the abundance of wild flowers in the spring are. All the downed trees and dead wood is a haven for snakes. we saw at least 4 scurry across the trail in front of us. Anyway it's all uphill to tamarac flats and then you get about a mile of downhill with 2 stream crossings to the el cap trail. We got about 1 1/2 miles from ribbon meadows and bonked out, and we're strong backpackers, but The altitude, several miles of uphill and some mild dehydration did us in. Found an enormous ledge and camped on it overnight with awesome views of the valley. Had one bear come about 50 yards from camp, and awoke to a dozen mule deer grazing the ledge around our tent. Sorry can't help you past here. We packed out that morning the way we came. A great hike. good luck.

Trail Information

Yosemite National Park
Nearby City
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Ackerson Mountain quad
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018