The start of many of Yosemite’s backpacking routes, Tuolumne Meadows serves both the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, with starting points for Elizabeth, Cathedral, Gaylor and Mono Lakes. Lembert Dome, Lyell Canyon, and the John Muir trail also launch from Tuolumne.
Winter cross country ski trips snake up from Yosemite Valley along Snow Creek Trail toward the Meadows on Tioga Road, with skiers often finding comfort in the wood burning stove and bunk beds in the old Visitor Center. Popular with winter visitors, it is like a game of musical chairs, with the last ones arriving to find bodies on every bunk. It’s best to be prepared to snow camp on this Yosemite winter adventure. Most who come to Tuolumne Meadows for the snow are equipped with enough supplies to max out the two-week Yosemite wilderness pass.
Throughout Tuolumne’s summer campgrounds, 304 sites accommodate a variety of camp styles, from RVs and horse trailers to backpacking in simple tents, all with fire rings for a crackling evening blaze and picnic tables for outdoor feasts. Tuolumne Dining Hall provides a la carte breakfasts, substantial dinners, and box lunches to take away, making this the ideal base camp for many summer adventures. Safe drinking water, bear lockers, flush toilets, showers, a grocer, and dump stations provide all the necessary elements for comfortable, hassle-free camping.