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Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

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Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby Tonydavid » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:08 pm

Hi…I would like recommendations on a good place to camp between Donahue Pass and Tuolumne Meadows. Thanks so much!



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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:28 pm

Once down Donahue Pass there numerous places to camp along the Lyell Fork just pick one, many have great swimming holes, have included a link that has a link to a pdf titled: trailheads map
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildregs.ht
This map will show you the distance you need to be away from Tuolumne Meadows and still be able to set up camp.
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby Tonydavid » Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:24 pm

Mav… You the man! It's amazing how you have all the answers! Thank you so much.
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby markskor » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:57 pm

Depending on the wind/time of day... (planning ahead as to what time crossing over Donahue)...many available good possibilities exist. Starting at TM, Tuolumne rules say you have to be 4 miles from the Meadows roadway to camp overnight legally. The Ireland junction - posted, (nice sites along the Lyell) meets this stipulation first. Following the Lyell up, the trail has been partly redesigned, some now a bit up from the river, the next 4 miles are boringly beautiful...flat - Lyell Canyon...camp anywhere...lots of large shade trees/ fishing/ swimming.
Going South still, you soon enough encounter the wall - a circuitous climb (~2,500 feet) up to Donahue. Suggest bagging water on the flats about 1/8 mile before heading up...many exposed switchbacks - totally dry until 1/2 way up at twin bridges (a river crossing)...a little ragged here but OK camp sites, and well-positioned for crossing over the pass next morning.
1/2 mile further (another 500 feet up), a little side creek and wide green flats provides a great view down Lyell Canyon.

However, another 1/4 mile up (still maybe 1/2 mile below/ north of Donahue), is the best camp of all - The Green Tarn.
A small glacier lake - green milky- silt bottom - eerie rock formations - a "kick-A$$" panorama down canyon with Conness prominent in the distance.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby rsm333 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:17 pm

Not sure how far from the pass you want to camp, but this is a nice spot on the North side...
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby kpeter » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:29 pm

I've camped at two sites along Lyell fork.

Coming down from the pass, there are three or four sites clustered together just as the trail comes off the rock and gets to the open grass. I think this is the same area as the previous poster rsm identified. This is what they look like to people coming down from above:

IMGP1648.jpg
Campsites across the stream in upper left raised area

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View upstream from the camp referenced in the above photo

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Crossing the stream to leave camp in the morning


Then, much further along and close to the area just south of the legal limit were a great many very accessible and heavily used sites. We thought we saw a tent every hundred feet or so for a mile--at least in those woodsy areas near the stream. Most people were sensible enough not to camp out on the gorgeous grassy areas.

Here is what our camp looked like near the legal cut off:
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Camp

IMGP1675.jpg
Hiking along the Lyell fork
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby rsm333 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:19 pm

Yes... once you get down into the woods, North of the Pass, and North of the meadow just after all the rocks (see above photos), it gets very crowded... especially around the bridge
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby steiny98 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:19 pm

I'd suggest the first lake north of the pass. Wish I had camped there when I visited this area. Do yourself a favor and don't camp near the Lyell Fork footbridge- extremely crowded area. It is a set up for southbound JMT hikers who tackle Donohue the next morning.
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby Tonydavid » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:59 pm

THANK YOU all for the great advice! You guys are amazing! So helpful. We just returned from 6 day backpack from Agnew to Tuolumne. It was great. We camped on south side of pass at 10,500 at some tarns thanks to the advice from one of you. Then we camped about 5.5 miles from Tuolumne at a nice campspot with a view of the river. Will post complete trip report and photos soon. Please subscribe so you can see it. Thanks.
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby ERIC » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:05 pm

Pleased to hear your trip was a success, Tonydavid! Looking forward to the TR!
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Re: Camping Spot - Donahue Pass to Tuolumne

Postby Tonydavid » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:43 am

Here is our TRIP REPORT - see links…...We took a fantastic father/son 6 day backpack from Agnew Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows July 19-25, 2006. We also car camped before and after the trip at Pumice Campground on the Red's Meadow Road. We had a lot of fun making them. We hope you will read them and check out the photos. We want to THANK all the people on the highsierratopix that helped us SO much by answering questions, providing great advice and sharing your experience. You guys are FANTASTIC! We hope that these trip reports will inspire and help someone else to experience the wilderness.


Backpacking Page:
https://spark.adobe.com/page/FdVlXFfjLaSEi/

Camping Page:
https://spark.adobe.com/page/ae6Kh10lWZgYF/

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