Tuolumne River Loop

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1-1.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
5.6 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
57 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Tuolumne River Loop is a wonderful half-day hike that is ideal for a spontaneous adventure in Yosemite National Park. Boasting breathtaking views of Tuolumne Meadows and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range as you wander along the river, this trek packs a punch!

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Route Description for Tuolumne River Loop

The Tuolumne River Loop is an unassumingly scenic adventure that exhibits breathtaking scenes of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, including up-close and personal views of Lembert Dome, a lovely riverside setting, and the lush atmosphere of the Tuolumne Meadowlands. Easy-going and short, this trek can be enjoyed by hikers of all skill levels and ages! Note: the path weaves between exposed meadowlands and tree shade, so wear layers and bring sun protection. The National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.

Embark on your adventure along the Tuolumne River Loop from the Dog Lake Parking Lot. From here, track the leftmost PCT Trail southeast over Dana Fork and through the woodlands. Eventually, you will cross the Twin Bridges over Lyell Fork, before being redirected west along the John Muir Trail. This section of the route will guide you through the meadowlands and along the gurgling waters of Lyell Fork. As you wander, revel in the scene of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range’s quintessential granite peaks.

Soon you will have to hop off the John Muir Trail and onto Loop A Road. Hike this route up to Tioga Pass Road, where you will cross the bridge over the creek and take a sharp right onto an unmarked route that travels east along the northern side of Lyell Fork. Follow this path all the way back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Tuolumne River Loop Trailhead

The Tuolumne River Loop departs from the Pacific Crest Scenic National (PCT) Trailhead in the Dog Lake Parking Lot off Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Tuolumne River Loop Elevation Graph

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