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Hiking, rock climbing, and mountain climbing around Tuolumne Meadows facts for kids

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Hiking, rock climbing, and mountain climbing around Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park has many options.

Hiking and rock climbing, a note on granite domes

Granite domes are common in Tuolumne, and, throughout Yosemite National Park. There is a separate page, all about granite domes of Yosemite. At present, its references focus on rock climbing, but others are free, to add references about hiking. It is available under Granite Domes of Yosemite National Park, as the page is not specific to Tuolumne Meadows; the table of domes may be sorted, so you may look at a chosen area.


Many backcountry hiking and backpacking trails start in or near Tuolumne Meadows. The John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trails are long-distance backpacking trails that go through Lyell Canyon into Tuolumne Meadows. Tuolumne Meadows also feature a wide range of day trails. Day hike trails are popular, and get busy in the summer high season. These trails are serviced by the Tuolumne Meadows shuttle bus, typically from June to September, though dates vary due to weather.

Cathedral Peak and Lake in Yosemite
Lower Cathedral Lake, in the foreground, occupies a basin excavated in the granite by the ancient glaciers. Cathedral Peak is behind, Eichorn Pinnacle visible, just left of the summit. Both are nunataks.

Hiking destinations:

Rock climbing

Tuolumne Meadows - Stately Pleasure Dome - Hermaphrodite Flake - Pitch 2 - 1
Stately Pleasure Dome - Hermaphrodite Flake

In Tuolumne, rock climbing is popular, and there are many granite domes, there and elsewhere in Yosemite.

In contrast to the big walls of Yosemite Valley, climbing at Tuolumne generally consists of short- to medium-length routes on eleven major domes and several minor ones; see Granite Domes of Yosemite National Park. As the area is all at a high elevation, climbing season is mainly limited to June through September.

In Tuolumne, granite tends to be knobby, moreso than Yosemite Valley.

The rock is porphyritic granite, a very strong form of granite, plus granodiorite; see Cathedral Peak Granodiorite and Kuna Crest Granodiorite. It has a tendency to exfoliation, which produces and preserves distinctive "onion dome" shapes. Resulting climbing includes both face and crack routes, face routes often runout due to limited numbers of bolts, and crack routes frequently following very thin cracks. Local ethic is to limit the placement of bolts on new routes and to forbid the addition of bolts to existing routes, resulting in distances of 40 feet (12 m) or more between bolts.

Many domes are in Tuolumne area. Major (and minor) domes include:

Echo Peaks have been hiked, but are usually rock-climbed, as Ragged Peak may be scrambled, but is also rock climbed. Mountain that are not usually walk-ups, but typically rock-climbs:

Mountain climbing

Around Tuolumne Meadows, mountain climbing is quite popular; for the highest mountains in the entire park, see the highest mountains of Yosemite National Park.

Half Dome from Glacier Point, Yosemite NP - Diliff
The symbol of Yosemite: Half Dome, which may be hiked, via the Cable Route. Behind Half Dome is Clouds Rest, the highest point visible from Yosemite Valley. Taken from Glacier Point, to which from Yosemite Valley may be hiked, via the Four Mile Trail.

A few mountains that can be climbed, out of Tuolumne Meadows:

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