Backpacker Magazine Pacific Crest Trail: CA Section 21 

TUOLUMNE MEADOWS to SONORA PASS: This 65.8-mile section travels the remote regions of Yosemite. Our advice: Pack a good camera (the scenery is five stars), extra sunscreen (it's the High Sierra), and water shoes (swift rivers).


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Author: Backpacker Magazine
Date: 4 Dec 2006 2:00:00 AM
Activity: Hiking
State: California (CA)
Distance: 65.75 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 13463 ft
Total Loss: 12420 ft
Net Change: 1043 ft
Difficulty: 8 / 10
Tags: California, Long Barn, Pacific Crest Trail, Wawona, Yosemite National Park
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

TO TRAILHEAD: From Modesto, CA, take CA 108/120 E to Yosemite Junction. Turn R on CA 120 E (becomes Tioga Pass Rd.). Follow until Tuolumne Meadows. Park in Wilderness Center lot; PCT starts on W of Lembert Dome.

Position Format: Datum:
Tracks

CAPCT031

Distance: 65.75 mi Points: 1520
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
CA PCT TRACK 031

Points of Interest

PCT522

Location: 37.876980, -119.353065
From Tioga Pass Rd., head N on gravel road following John Muir Trail/PCT signs. Optional resupply @ General Store to the W.

PCT523

Location: 37.879101, -119.366852
PCT trailhead sign; here the JMT goes S to Yosemite Valley and the PCT heads to Glen Aulin High Sierra camp. Enjoy the views of Tuolumne Meadows framed by the Cathedral Range while heading northbound

PCT524

Location: 37.885109, -119.377289
Cross Delaney Creek

PCT525

Location: 37.888416, -119.380669
Go L @ Young Lakes trail

PCT526

Location: 37.901501, -119.412453
Multi-section bridge over the roaring Tuolumne River

PCT527

Location: 37.906418, -119.418251
See the rushing cascades of Tuolumne Falls from here

PCT528

Location: 37.907902, -119.420700
Go R @ McGee Lake trail junction

PCT529

Location: 37.909100, -119.420250
Bridge below White Cascade

PCT530

Location: 37.909584, -119.419853
Bridge going R to Glen Aulin High Sierra camp (don't cross it)

PCT531

Location: 37.953548, -119.405701
The trail welcomes you into a large meadow in Cold Canyon; in early season mosquitoes can be horrible

PCT532

Location: 37.995815, -119.378799
Go L @ McCabe Lake trail

PCT533

Location: 38.004932, -119.377480
Virginia Canyon creek

PCT536

Location: 38.004917, -119.377449
Virginia Canyon creek; can be a dangerous ford

PCT537

Location: 38.006550, -119.376732
Virginia Canyon trail; go straight, bearing W

PCT538

Location: 38.006901, -119.390503
Cross Spiller Creek

PCT539

Location: 37.993999, -119.418434
N end of Miller Lake

PCT540

Location: 38.014950, -119.413033
Go L @ Matterhorn Canyon trail

PCT541

Location: 38.014099, -119.414520
Matterhorn Creek

PCT542

Location: 38.019697, -119.448273
Last ford of Wilson Creek; head up to Benson Pass on well-graded path for fairly easy climb

PCT543

Location: 38.015148, -119.461197
Benson Pass

PCT544

Location: 38.012165, -119.486618
Smedberg Lake

PCT545

Location: 38.006020, -119.493077
R @ junction to Rodgers Lake

PCT546

Location: 38.005496, -119.497583
R @ Pleasant Valley trail junction

PCT547

Location: 38.022896, -119.520020
Cross Piute Creek with Benson Lake Spur trail going L; Piute Creek can be a deep, wet ford in the spring and early summer even though the current is minimal in this wide river. A visit to the "Benson Riviera," a large sandy beach on Benson Lake's N shore is well worth the detour, but the bugs can be bad in this wet, heavily vegetated area.

PCT548

Location: 38.039150, -119.526863
Beautiful sparkling pond nestled amongst granite, which should not be passed quickly. It's well protected from the wind, fairly warm and has great diving rocks. Be sure to camp 100 ft. from shore; no fires

PCT549

Location: 38.044949, -119.522285
Seavey Pass

PCT550

Location: 38.044796, -119.572856
Go R @ Kerrick Creek and Bear Valley Trail Junction; Kerrick Creek can be a very dangerous ford.

PCT551

Location: 38.058854, -119.590881
Stubblefield Creek

PCT552

Location: 38.062901, -119.624382
Go R @ Tiltill Valley trail

PCT553

Location: 38.064167, -119.623718
L @ Tilden Lake trail

PCT554

Location: 38.069218, -119.639900
S end Wilman Lake

PCT555

Location: 38.073467, -119.645897
Falls Canyon Creek crossing; can be dangerous

PCT556

Location: 38.073849, -119.646500
Straight @ Laurel Lake junction

PCT557

Location: 38.087799, -119.634003
Straight @ Tilden Lake junction

PCT558

Location: 38.133701, -119.619530
S end of long and beautiful Grace Meadow

PCT559

Location: 38.169815, -119.601547
Straight @ Bond Pass trail

PCT560

Location: 38.176033, -119.594070
Dorothy Lake; exposed camping can be found away from the lake

PCT561

Location: 38.194733, -119.570847
Cross Cascade Creek and reach the 1,000 mile mark from Mexican Border. This area can be very buggy.

PCT562

Location: 38.199917, -119.568634
L @ Y with Walker River trail

PCT563

Location: 38.223934, -119.578568
Straight @ Cinko River trail

PCT564

Location: 38.225750, -119.576736
L @ Long Lake trail and bridge

PCT565

Location: 38.253315, -119.597870
Cross creek in Kennedy Canyon

PCT567

Location: 38.294018, -119.637154
Cross through a notch on E ridge of Leavitt Peak

PCT568

Location: 38.320212, -119.643624
Potentially dangerous slope if covered in snow; at Sonora Pass, you can hitch W to the northern Kennedy Meadows Resort for food and relaxation or hitch E down to Bridgeport for a town with more services

PCT569

Location: 38.328191, -119.637380
CA 108 @ Sonora Pass; camp to W; <p></p>More PCT: <a href="http://backpacker.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip.aspx?TripID=28668">Next Section</a> | <a href="http://backpacker.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip.aspx?TripID=28659">Previous Section</a>

Piute Creek Crossing

Location: 38.022850, -119.519241
A hiker hoists her pack above her head crossing Piute Creek. ©Jack Haskel

Climbing to the county line

Location: 38.248615, -119.614403
A hiker climbs towards the Mono/Tuolumne County line in deep early-season snow. ©Jack Haskel

Open ridgeline

Location: 38.263897, -119.620552
©Jack Haskel

Jack on the Tuolumne River

Location: 37.885460, -119.383080
With the Cathedral Range behind, Jack stands on the banks of the Tuolumne River. ©Jack Haskel

Meadow

Location: 37.932148, -119.411259
©Jack Haskel

Canyon view

Location: 38.003603, -119.383106
©Jack Haskel

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