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Guide to Tuolumne Meadows Trails (1960) by Allan Shields


TO BEGIN: WALKS

All of the trips that are described are classified as hikes. This means that there will be climbing and descending involved, often in rough terrain, over rocks and trees, but each of these follows a trail. Differences in time of year will alter conditions. Early in July, the ground is almost always wet with melting snows, and run-off water from winter storms. Later in August, conditions are drier. Occasional thunder showers may create minor difficulties. (Shoes should be impregnated with some water repellent material.) Thus, a hike is demanding of energy and care. Walks, on the other hand, require far less energy and little, if any, advance preparation. For some interesting walks in the region, consult the Ranger on duty at the Campground Ranger Station, or refer to any reliable map of - the area. For example, you might want to take one of the following walks:

1. Soda Spring, Tuolumne Meadows, Parson’s Lodge and Sierra Club Property.

Directions:

To Walk, start from the campground ranger station, go directly across the road, through the trees and follow the river west, where you will come to an old road bridge somewhat over a mile downstream. Or approximately parallel the river course by walking through the several meadows and small forests that precede the large meadow, continuing until you reach the bridge. Cross the bridge, and walk straight up the slope to the enclosure which protects the Soda Spring. Parson’s Lodge lies near at hand, the large stone building, and the caretaker in the McCauley cabin will be glad to answer any questions you may have regarding the Sierra Club. Return along opposite side of river until you reach the main road.

The Tuolumne River flows near Lembert Dome as it winds its way through the Meadows.
    McCrary, NPS
[click to enlarge]
The Tuolumne River flows near Lembert Dome as it winds its way through the Meadows. McCrary, NPS

To drive, leave the campground ranger station, drive across the Tuolumne River Bridge, turn left at first oiled road, and continue back over a mile to the parking lot. Follow above directions from the bridge.

2. Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. Simply walk parallel to the river on the south side, following the river either up or down stream, retracing your steps on return. During low water, wade across and return on opposite side.

3. Dana Meadows. Drive to Tioga Pass, parking either on the right or left before leaving the Park. Walk out into the meadows toward Mt. Dana (south side), exploring multiple glacial moraines, ponds, forests, and meadows. You might want to climb part way up on the lower slopes of the mountain for unusual wildflowers and birds.

4. Tuolumne Meadows High Sierra Lodge.

To drive, cross Tuolumne River Bridge, turning right at first oiled road, drive back one mile.

To walk, cross Tuolumne River Bridge, cut through meadow on trail to the right, following it through meadows and forests until you reach the Lodge. By closely paralleling either the Dana Fork of the river, or the oiled road you will reach the Lodge.



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