TRAVEL UPDATE: Sonora Pass and Tioga Pass Closed for the Winter

Beat The Heat Off The Beaten Path In Tuolumne County

By Mackenzie Rodgers | 07/08/2019 | Biking, Boating & Fishing, Exploring Tuolumne County, Family, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Outdoor Adventure, Parks and Public Lands, Sights, Stanislaus National Forest, Stanislaus National Forest, Trails, Yosemite National Park


California’s summer ‘19 is in full swing and Tuolumne County is calling. Your summer vacation awaits where the opportunities for adventure are high and the temps are just right. Visit Tuolumne County and experience Yosemite, Gold Country, and High Sierra in one destination.

Find yourself in a faraway land on the edge of the Yosemite Wilderness at Cherry Lake. Secluded shores and nearby camping make this spot a local favorite for an unplugged weekend getaway.

Photo Credit: U.S. Forest Service

Big trees and big adventures await you at Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, one of Yosemite’s less visited, but most awe-inspiring destinations. Hike down into the grove and take in the views of your dreams. Giant Sequoia trees galore. Bring your yoga mat and get grounded in the grove or pack a picnic and snack it up among the Yosemite icons.

Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias

Tuolumne County has trails aplenty. Bring your bike and ride the Sugar Pine Rail Trail from Twain Harte to Lyons Reservoir. This flat trail is fun for all skill levels and provides Instagram-able forest views.

Get ready to turn up that road trip playlist and follow the double yellow line up Tuolumne County’s winding mountain Highway 108. Open seasonally in the summer, Sonora Pass is a dreamy drive in the High Sierra. Roadside waterfalls and day use picnic areas galore. Make it a loop trip with Tioga Pass and find out why it’s referred to as the EPIC High Sierra Loop.

National Forest vibes can be found at Pinecrest Lake, just off Highway 108. Free parking and soft serve are two of the million reasons to make this mountain lake your summer home away from home. Wander the Lake Loop Trail and find your own lakeside nook to enjoy for the day.

Pinecrest Lake

Avoid Yosemite’s summer crowds and hit the trail to a lesser known waterfall that will take your breath away. Carlon Falls is an easy to intermediate 1.4-mile (one-way) hiking trail along the South Fork of the Tuolumne River into the Yosemite Wilderness Area.

Putt your Harte out at a retro mini golf course in the mountains. For over 60 years, Twain Harte Miniature Golf has been a charming, family owned and operated gem of fun for everyone. After putting 18 authentic holes, players that get a hole-in-one on the last patch of green win a FREE game!

Discover new adventures in historic Gold Country, where every day is a golden one. Along the road to Yosemite National Park, Lake Don Pedro proves itself to be a destination all its own. Embark on a kayak excursion and spend your day soaking up the summer sunshine. Don Pedro is the perfect place to recharge in nature while having a blast on the water. Kayak rentals available at the Lake Marina

Lake Don Pedro Kayaking

Take a ride and take in the scenery. Near Pinecrest Lake, Aspen Meadows Pack Station provides a wealth of fun and bucket list worthy views. Novice rider? Not a problem. The pack station’s skilled workers train their horses to be sure-footed and highly familiar with the trail. Saddle up for a High Sierra experience like no other.

Photo Credit: Michael Battey

Wishing to beat the heat altogether? Plan your adventure for when the day is done. Look up when the sun goes down and find a spectacular sky full of stars above. The absence of city lights makes for quite the show in the sky and it is yours to explore. Some of our favorite places to stargaze can be found here.

Starry Skies

Photo Credit: Kyle McLaurin

Visit www.VisitTuolumne.com to find lodging, including quaint B&Bs, cabins and more, for your trip to Tuolumne County.

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