Explore Tuolumne Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Tuolumne Hikes Map

Did this in July 2013. Beware of afternoon thunderstorms. Went up about 8am. We started back down about 1100 am with wispy clouds rolling in. Quickly became threatening. Raced down to reach our car as storms began.

So worth the work. Awesome views at the top. Narrow pass at the top but doable..

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on. I’m terrified of heights so the last bit was rough but worth it.

3 months ago

The trip was pleasant, hard and fun.
From the parking lot for overnight use to the trailhead there is around 1.5 miles to go.
After the tunnel there are about 6 miles straight uphill climbing about 3000 ft, then around 1 mile flat to beehive meadow, from where 1-2 miles to Laurel lake.
We started from parking lot at 1:30 pm, reached beehive meadow around 5:00 pm, when was already a bit dark. But we decided to go to the lake, where the marking said only 1.2 miles away. However the trail later was cut off by a river. I guess one of the step rock was flushed away, only left us a gap filled with waist deep water which we can't cross. So we had to spent time trace the water and find a spot shallower so we can cross. This was done in total darkness. A little bit scary, so be prepared and leave earlier (we hike relatively fast).
In darkness we spent some time looking for the lake, near the lake and its water outlet creek, there is an awesome camp site which has a fire ring already. The lake is just like 200 yards away and creek is close for water.
The only down side is the lake's edge is not very accessible, so the view is not ideal. But it does not hurt. We had a great time.
The way back is a bit challenging as the terrain downhill was all big pebbles and rocks. Watch out for your ankle and follow a comfortable speed.
We went there in mid-January, however there was no slow and I feel the low is 30F at night. Pretty warm for this time of the year!

Out and back in 7hrs. Started off Tioga road, Sunrise Trail head. Hike is actually around 16 miles there and back. Great hike, incredible views from top. Some nice scenery throughout the hike.

Challenging hike through melting snow up and off the pass in August. Great camping spots a few miles below the pass. Top of the pass offers some spectacular views.

Beautiful Northern California hiking. Relatively easy until you hit the switchbacks

Couldn't hike this trail. Roads are closed to tioga pass. Sign said closed Oct 15. So I hiked the mist trail hoping to get there by trail junction but the trail to clouds rest was closed from there too I'll try again next year.

It was a great trail and destination

Amazing view from the top. Well worth the hike. Less traveled than most hikes in the park. Walking back in the dark with flashlights was doable.

trail running
5 months ago

It showed as 13 miles and 3200’ on my tracker. I’m ok with that. It was challenging, and spectacular!

Did this hike when I worked in Yosemite a few years ago. Great gorgeous peaceful hike. You start at the lake and u cross a little stream and a mile or so is pretty much flat then for a mile or so u ascend up switchbacks which seemed forever but really wasn’t then go back down the other side where it’s flat again for a while u pass a little pond/lake (nice stream right before it for some good water) then u start ascending again. U get to a junction where u can go to high Sierra camp or continue to clouds rest. Junction is a great place to rest or camp. A little more ascending which is a little difficult because it’s good elevation while ur hiking up to higher elevation. Eventually u will see the rocks where u scramble and get great views all the way to the top which might be the best view in all the park. Camped on top of clouds rest that night and u could see tioga road with cars on it and a town far far in the distance

Went Oct 28th. Lots of switchbacks. The first ascend and the last ascend is the hardest in my opinion. It’s a challenging hike but with the right energy and mindset completely doable. I had plenty of Tylenol and carbs with me. I was also on the first day of menstrual cycle. Got about 6 hours of sleep. If I can do it so can you! Started at 11am. Got back to the trailhead at 830pm since we took our time.

No overnight parking at the trailhead after October 15. 1-2 inches of snow in many spots of the trail. Watched the sunset from Clouds Rest then hiked the whole thing back by head lamp. The smoke in the air made for a dramatic sunset. Some of the trail was icing over which made things dicy descending the switch back. Back to the trailhead at 10:30pm and it was 30F.

Gorgeous hike with amazing views. Great variety of terrains on the way up. Being able to look down on Half Dome was breathtaking.

This was an amazing hike. We started at the Sunrise trailhead from Tenaya lake on 10/14/17. We weren’t planning on doing the whole hike because we started at the trailhead at noon but eventually decided to push trough the whole thing. The weather was perfect - about 60 degrees, and it was sunny the whole way up. The whole trip took 9 hours. We made it up in 5 hours and stayed up there for about 30 minutes.

The switchbacks in the beginning and the last 2.5 miles to the top were the toughest. After that first set of switchbacks, where you gain about 1,000 feet in elevation in a mile, you reach the junction and can take a break there. You’re about 2.5 miles into the hike at this point. After that first junction you actually descend into a valley and walk flat for a while (keep in mind that the descent is an ascend on the way back - that’s the reason the way back takes so long). So it’s a break until about the last 3 miles, where you climb uphill again. People on the trail said the last uphill wasn’t as bad as the switchbacks in the beginning, but I thought they were just as bad.

The way back took about 3 and a 1/2 hours. Sunset was around 6:25 so we had to hike in the dark for about 2.5 hours. It was pitch black so make sure to bring flashlights, headlamps, and extra batteries just in case. We didn’t plan to do the whole thing in the beginning so I didn’t bring a jacket and, thankfully, I didn’t need one. It was still about 50-55 degrees after sundown and even felt warm at times since we were moving pretty fast to get back.

I am a beginner hiker, female, weigh 230 and am 5’3”. It’s a tough hike if you’re in similar physical condition as I am (really obese - lol!), but definitely doable. I trained for Cloud’s Rest for about a month by walking daily for a mile on the treadmill’s steepest incline, going on two “easy” 5-mike hikes, one “moderate” 3-mile hike and one “moderate” 7-mile hike. I drank 4 liters of water during the hike & trekking piles were a must for me!

Enjoy the hike, you’ll have an amazing time!

6 months ago

Gorgeous hike, though after schlepping our heavy backpacks for 6 miles had a hard time crossing the little river hopping from rock to rock. It was slippery and my daughter got her foot wet right before sunset and her shoes was frozen the next morning. The waterfall there is beautiful, it's a stunning place. Be forewarned that only 3 official fire rings are open for use among over 25 camp sites, so if you grab a fire pit, please invite others to join you as it's getting colder at night.

6 months ago

This was an amazing trip! It's high altitude (9800 feet), so expect a few breaks on your way up if you're backpacking in. The views are completely stunning; I uploaded a few photos. The fishing is also pretty good. I caught several brook trout using a yellow rooster tail.
Definitely one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done. I ended up spending two nights in a hammock up there. The nights get below freezing in October...so wear clothes.

This is not only beautiful, it has everything from woods to mountain lakes to cliff edges. It looks scary with the ridge at the end but I felt safe the entire hike. All the beautiful scenery of Yosemite without the crowds!

Amazing hike. Our initial plan was to hike Half-Dome but we were unable to secure the permits so decided to do Cloud Rest instead. No regrets, my friends and I had a great time! We started the hike around 11a and got back to the car around 8p.

6 months ago

This trail was beautiful!! The views of the lakes once you get to the top, make those tough switchbacks worth it. There are fire pits along the lakes, which we loved because it was high 20s at night--there was snow along the lakes. I would do this hike again!

No pictures you take or words you speak can do this ridiculously majestic place justice.

6 months ago

An early start from the Bay Area can get you on the trail and to solid camping sites (after the 2 miles trail crossing but before the big switchbacks over the pass) before dusk. Ten Lakes area is great for exploring with killer views. Worth getting a campsite in Ten Lakes beyond first lake the trail hits to avoid crowds

Amazing and incredibly rewarding hike. We started hiking at 6am and it made the trek up so much better not having to deal with the heat. This was my first 15 mike hike. I’m glad I had plenty of water to stay hydrated. Took our group 5 hours to reach the top because we took plenty of breaks. The way back down seemed like it was never ending though lol.

6 months ago

Exceptional views from the summit of Yosemite and in particular Half Dome. Varied terrain on the ascent. Lots of shade.

Phenomenal! We hit the trail at 6:50am and it took us about 3h to get to the top. The steps were HARD, be prepared to curse a bit because they will wear you out. After the steps it all seemed easy until we got closer to the summit and then it was a bit tough climbing up, take your time! We stayed at the top for an hour and the views were unbelievable, well worth the tough hike. We didn't see anyone on the trail until about 12:30pm so we had the summit to ourselves for a while which was cool. Hiking down was easy and beautiful. It took us about 3h to get down, we stopped at the lake for a brake and it was gorgeous.

*We did this hike because we could not get the permit for half dome. So glad we did Clouds Rest, it was unbelievable.

I've hiked this trail twice and while it is a difficult hike, serious elevation gain and dramatic heights at the summit, I would definitely do it again and again! Probably one of the best vistas in all of Yosemite!

Spectacular scenery!

What an amazing achievement! This hike is not a cakewalk. The first elevation gain is brutal. Then it's back downhill only to find yourself pushing hard to make the next few inclines. The summit is worth it.

Bring lots of water and a purifier as there are several streams you can pull water from. I went through 3.5-4 liters.

It's a yosemite must do!

Amazing views. Best view of the valley in my opinion.

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