Forum Index » Pre-Trip Planning » Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows to Sunset lakes via Cathedral pass?


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christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows to Sunset lakes via Cathedral pass? on 06/01/2013 01:19:28 MDT Print View

Kind of related to my previous yosemite post. This is another trip that was suggested for a 1 nighter.
Anyone have any thoughts on this route?

Also, I'll be arriving very late on Fri night and was hoping to just car camp near the trailhead.
Anyone have tips on where to do that?
-Chris

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows to Sunset lakes via Cathedral pass? on 06/01/2013 07:44:48 MDT Print View

first - you should verify camping is allowed at Sunset Lakes. in many parts of the park camping is not allowed within 4 miles of the road, and on the map these lakes appear to be less than 4 miles (from Tenaya Lake area).

second - like I said before, the Cathedral Lakes-Pass area is nice but only average by Yosemite standards, there is so much beauty in the park. never been to Sunset Lakes though.

third - which entrance of the park are you coming in ? this is a very big park. from the west entrances to the Cathedral Trhd can take 1.5 to 2 hours easy. if by car camping you mean illegal car camping, its not allowed in the park. just outside the west entrances there is legal free camping but it is a long ways to the Trhd.
as for official campground camping, Tuolumne Campground is closest. it is part reservation and part walkin but the reservations fill fast. there are a couple other official campgrounds along the road leading up to tuolumne.

fourth - this would not nearly be as nice an adventure as the Donahue Pass option in my opinion.

Edited by asandh on 06/01/2013 07:47:34 MDT.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
trailhead on 06/01/2013 10:31:18 MDT Print View

I did a backpack 2 weeks ago to Glen Aulin. I drove up on friday and got in about 8 pm and stayed in Lee Vining in the Mono RV park and paid $22.40 to pitch my tent for the night then drove in about 8 miles and started the backpack the next morning.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Yosemite on 06/01/2013 12:05:42 MDT Print View

Thanks Art. Yes I'll probably end up doing Lyell to Donohue Pass. Just checking all options.
I did hear that parts of the trail in Lyell canyon are flooded though. Is that true?
Thx!

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Cathedral to Sunrise on 06/01/2013 17:30:45 MDT Print View

Sounds like you've already decided on doing a different hike but I'll just include the info so that you have it for another time.
This hike from Cathedral TH to Sunrise TH at Tenaya can be done just as easily from either direction but I'll describe it starting from Cathedral TH.
If your permit is for the next day you can stay at the Backpackers section of the Tuolomne Campground, $5 per person, no reservations needed or taken, have you wilderness permit ready to show the rangers when they check.
Walk, take the shuttle or drive two mile west from the campground to the Cathedral TH, limited parking along the road, a couple of bear boxes for any extra food.
First legal camping is 3.5 miles in at lower Cathedral lake. As Art pointed out the hike up until this point is unremarkable, but the destination most certainly is not. Lower Cathedral lakes is one of the gems of the park, the views of the surrounding peaks are second to none. One nice option would be to set up camp and then spend the day exploring the peaks without the pack, returning to camp for a swim, dinner and enjoy the alpenglow in the evening. Downsides to this popular destination is that you will have company at the lake, there are often bears that come to visit and permits are usually booked up well in advance.
Next day continue 5 miles towards Sunrise camp(it is sunrise not sunset) hang a right and another mile or two to Sunrise lakes. Again these are spectacular high alpine lakes. Middle Sunrise in particular is not to be missed, not visible from the trail, with several nice areas to camp, and a sweet island in the lake makes for fun swimming. You could day hike from here to several locations, among them Clouds Rest.
If you are heading back to the Sunrise TH at Tenaya Lake it is 3.5 miles from Sunrise Lakes, most of that distance down the switchbacks. As with Cathedral Lakes, Sunrise is one of the most popular destinations so you will be sharing the lake with others, bears do visit and the reservable TH quota fills up in advance.
Once back at the TH the shuttle stops here, so it is easy to get back to your car whether it is parked at Cathedral TH or Tuolomne Meadows.
Hope that is helpful, feel free to PM me if you need more Yosemite info, I visit often.
PS. Camping is legal and popular at both Lower and Upper Cathedral Lakes as well as at all three Sunrise Lakes.

Edited by KatyAnderson on 06/01/2013 18:21:02 MDT.

James Castleberry
(Winterland76)
TM parking on 06/01/2013 17:48:07 MDT Print View

The campground might still be closed. I just parked on the side of the road and caught a few Z's in my little car. I parked right across the river from the campground.
Also, yes, some parts of Lyell Canyon trail were flooded, but easy to get through/around by stepping on tussocks and small rocks, etc.Tuolumne road parking

Edited by Winterland76 on 06/01/2013 17:49:51 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Lyell Canyon Flooding on 06/01/2013 18:33:39 MDT Print View

its very common in early season to have to cross thru some water at several spots along Lyell Canyon trail.
it is not deep and not rushing water. no danger, just that your feet might get wet.

also if you are still considering the Tuolumne to Donahue Pass trip, you should be aware that the last 2 miles up to the pass is pretty rugged. but that's part of the beauty of it.

the trails in the Cathedral-Sunrise area are more user friendly (aside from the numbers of people).

Edited by asandh on 06/01/2013 19:02:01 MDT.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Perfect !!! on 06/01/2013 20:16:18 MDT Print View

Just saw the premier of mile, mile and a half. It's was all I hoped it would be, and on top of it all it showed Lyell canyon and Donohue pass!!!
Perfect!!!!! Looks awesome!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Perfect !!! on 06/02/2013 15:31:57 MDT Print View

That area is awesome Chris....maybe hike to Mammoth so that you can see 1000 Island Lake, Garnett Lake. You can take the bus back to Yosemite