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Camping in Tuolumne Meadows

Hello, hello! How are you this beautiful Tuesday afternoon?

It is so lovely in San Francisco today, I wish I could be somewhere outside, enjoying the sunshine. Luckily there are two big windows in the office so I can at least see how beautiful it is outside. Actually, I'm not sure it that's better or worse...

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Last week, I posted about my love of Tuolumne Meadows, and my day spent rock climbing there last summer. Today, I thought I'd share the rest of my week in Tuolumne. It really was a great vacation. Even though it wasn't exactly glamorous, getting away from work and "unplugging" for a week was exactly what I needed.

Thankfully, many of my friends love the outdoors as much as I do. One of my best friends from college, Shannon, planned a trip with her family to Tuolumne Meadows for a weekend last July. They reserved a group campsite, and invited all of our friends to join them.

It worked out that my parents would be camping there around this time as well, and their reservations overlapped with Shannon and her family by one day. So I planned my trip for a week, that way I could spend some time with my friends as well as continue tradition and camp with my parents as well.

It ended up that not too many of our friends could join us that week. But since my friend Danny was going, who lives in the Bay Area as well, we decided that we'd make a road trip out of it and drive together.  Andrew was still living in San Diego at the time, and wasn't able to join us until later in the week. He missed seeing Shan and her family, but spent the end of the week camping with my family.

Danny and I left on Saturday late morning for the drive to Yosemite. It was quite the entertaining ride with good music and scenery. We didn't arrive too late, just in time for dinner. I hadn't stayed in the group campsites before, and they're quite different. Although it is great to have such a large area, the sites are noisy and not quite as picturesque. (I guess I am my mother's daughter. She gets up at 6am to reserve a site in "A Loop" every year. They're the most beautiful campsites along the Tuolumne River). Having the group site was great though, we were able to all stay together and cook meals, and have campfires in the evening.

It was quite a week so I'll share a few of my favorite memories...

Hiking to Glen Aulin with friends.

I was excited we decided on this hike because in all of my visits to Tuolumne, I hadn't been to Glen Aulin.  I don't think any of us realized we were in for a long, twelve miles when we left, but it was a beautiful hike. The trail takes you through the meadow and then drops down into the canyon, ending at the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp. It was such a fun day, but man were we tired!

Hiking Lembert Dome (or O'Brien rock as my family calls it).

When we're in Tuolumne, we never miss the opportunity to hike up Lembert Dome. There are two trails you can take to the top, but the O'Brien route is up the front. I would be nervous to do this without my Dad, but it's actually not too steep or scary if you follow the right path.

The views from the summit are spectacular, you can see all the peaks that surround the meadows. I think I impressed Andrew with my knowledge of the peaks, after all the time I've spent up there, I would hope I could recognize them all by now :)

We have a tradition of taking a picture on a boulder that sits on the summit, who knows how many versions there are. It would be fun to do a side by side comparison sometime. So of course, I had to initiate Andrew, and make him pose with me.


Swimming in Tenaya Lake.

We have a family tradition of swimming in Tenaya lake on every trip. We even have a specific rock we jump from...and then warm up on after the icy dive. Man, glacial runoff is COLD! But, it's too much fun to miss out on tradition.  As soon as you hit the water, it takes your breath away it's so cold, but always a fun little jolt of adrenaline!

Sometimes I want to chicken out, but peer pressure gets me every time!

There were so many other highlights during the week, its hard just to pick a few. We went to Olmsted Point so Andrew could get a view of Yosemite Valley and Half Dome, spent two days lounging by the river and Tenaya Lake, took a day trip down to Yosemite Valley when we were met with thunder storms, and of course, rock climbing.

It was such a wonderful week. We've started planning our trip for late this summer, and I can't wait. I can almost taste the soft serve ice cream from the Tuolumne Meadows Grill after our long hikes! Plus, it will be Phillip's first trip to Tuolumne Meadows!

Do you have any favorite camping destinations? Have you been to Tuolumne Meadows or Yosemite Valley? 

I'll leave you with..."Cheese Ball Stance!" haha 

Andrew brought these with him, and my cousins thought he was the greatest thing ever! They ate over half of that thing in three days, well some of them were lost trying to throw into each other's mouths, or roasting in the fire. (Gross!) 




  1. Your vacation looks like a blast!

  2. This looks like perfection! Loved all the pictures :) Nothing like the outdoors. Oh and loving the SD hat :) represent!!

  3. I love all the hiking pictures, I'm so inspired! It's nice to see that there is another city girl who is equally comfy in the mountains.


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