Main Meadow

Yosemite National Park

Stretching nearly 3 miles from Pothole Dome in the west to Lembert Dome in the east, Tuolumne’s main meadow is beautiful to behold, especially at sunset, when golden light ripples across the grass and laps up the sides of distant peaks into the still blue sky. Grab a fishing pole and dip into the gently rolling Tuolumne River as the sunlight fades, or just find a quiet spot to sit and stare at the landscape as the mood shifts and the colors shimmer.

The meadow is a perfect place for quiet contemplation, but there’s actually a lot of activity going on here. Blanketed in snow for most of the year, the meadow explodes into life in summer, when the wildflowers, taking full advantage of the short growing season, fill the grassy expanse with color. For an explanation of what’s happening beneath the meadow’s deceptively still surface, check out the interpretive signs that line the dirt road between the stables and Soda Springs.

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Nearby Yosemite National Park attractions

1. Soda Springs

0.31 MILES

Above the north shore of the Tuolumne River, carbonated mineral water burbles silently out of Soda Springs, a small natural spring that turns its…

2. Parsons Memorial Lodge

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This simple but beautifully rugged cabin was built in 1915 from local granite. It initially served as a Sierra Club meeting room and was named for Edward…

3. Lembert Dome

1.01 MILES

Prominently marking the eastern end of the main meadow, Lembert Dome towers about 800ft above the Tuolumne River. Its summit, which chalks in at 9450ft…

4. Pothole Dome

1.64 MILES

Pothole Dome marks the western end of Tuolumne Meadows. It’s small by Yosemite standards, but the short, 200ft climb to the top offers great views of the…

5. Lyell Canyon

5.63 MILES

This lovely canyon, which includes a section that is part of the John Muir Trail, follows the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River.

6. Tenaya Lake

6.06 MILES

Just east of Olmsted Point, the shiny blue surface of Tenaya Lake (8150ft) looks absolutely stunning framed by thick stands of pine and a series of smooth…

7. Olmsted Point

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This ‘honey, hit the brakes!’ viewpoint, midway between the May Lake turnoff and Tenaya Lake, is a lunar landscape of glaciated granite with a stunning…

8. Half Dome

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Yosemite's most distinctive natural monument, Half Dome is 87 million years old and has a 93% vertical grade – the sheerest cliff in North America…