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Glen Aulin to Tuolumne Meadows | High Sierra Backpacker

Glen Aulin South on PCT-TYT to Tuolumne Meadows

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 23 February 2014

This is the page for backpacker's comments, questions, and scouting reports from the section of the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails backpacking from Glen Aulin to Tuolumne Meadow.

A comments link is located at the bottom of this page. Your impressions and experiences backpacking this section of trail will inform future hikers looking for information.


These are our final 5.6 miles backpacking along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail. The TYT route ends at Tuolumne Meadows. Arriving at Tuolumne Meadows will put our mileage hiking South from Meeks Bay at around 181 miles.

We will be roughly halfway between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney, depending on how many alternative routes and side trips we've taken on our way South. And also depending on how many alternative and side trips we will incorporate into our hike South to Mount Whitney.

Trail Guide: Glen Aulin to Tuolumne Meadows.

Miles and Elevations: Sonora Pass to Tuolumne Meadows.

Tuolumne Meadows

The trail South from Glen Aulin follows the Tuolumne River up to the expansive Tuolumne Meadows where we find limited resources. Food, beer, bathrooms, and backpacker camping are available, but Tuolumne is sadly lacking shower and laundry facilities.

Options South from Tuolumne Meadows

Hikers to Mount Whitney have two options South from here, the preferred route and the direct route. I call my preferred route "The Golden Triangle."

My preferred backpacking route turns Southwest to follow the John Muir Trail "backwards" down to Yosemite Valley. In the Valley we do laundry, take a shower, and hang out with the cool folks that work and visit that place.

Our John Muir Trail route down to Yosemite Valley from Tuolumne Meadows is the Western leg of the Golden Triangle. We will put on the Eastern leg by hiking up the Merced River past Little Yosemite to Merced Lake and then up and over Voglesang Pass.

From Voglesang we will drop down into Lyell Canyon to pick up the Southbound John Muir Trail South of Tuolumne Meadows. That's the Golden Triangle. It's a good trip to do on its own or as part of our Tahoe to Whitney hike.

Our other option South from Tuolumne Meadows is to follow the John Muir Trail into Lyell Canyon from Tuolumne Meadows.

Options South from Glen Aulin

 The TYT-PCT trail South to Tuolumne Meadows is located on the South shore of the Tuolumne River from the bridge at Glen Aulin to the bridge above Tuolumne Falls. There is an informal route that covers this same distance, but on the North shore of the Tuolumne.

I suggest that you explore around Glen Aulin a bit, talk to the folks who work there, and generally make sure you have some concept of the lay of the land as well as fairly developed route finding (observation and analysis) skills before trying the cross-country route on the North Shore of the Tuolumne River.

  Post up your comments, questions, experiences and impressions here!

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