High in the Sierra Nevada mountains the sun sets slowly due to the glow of light from the setting sun often referred to as alpenglow. Tuolumne Meadows sits at an elevation of over 8,600 feet (2627 meters) and is the world’s largest alpine meadow. Through the middle of the meadows runs the Tuolumne River as it travels at a slow pace from East to West before plummeting and cascading down Tuolumne Canyon.
This is the lesser known part of Yosemite National Park which is well known for its towering waterfalls, impossible cliffs and hoards of tourists. Tuolumne Meadows is a more relaxed, laid back retreat where you can go to spend time away from all the hustle and bustle that is Yosemite Valley. Everything here moves at a much slower pace, in part due to the noticeable thinner atmosphere, crisp chilly mornings and fewer roads. Not to mention the fact that many of the nearby attractions are best seen during full day hikes or backcountry overnights. Spring comes late and Winter early at this altitude making midsummer the best time to visit. One small seasonal store that closes long before dark each day, a fast food restaurant that is seldom fast due to crowds and a single gas station are the only real amenities. The campground is fairly large but usually booked each day.
So if you come to the meadow plan to hike, fish, camp and just generally relax. Oh, you could take pictures too but I recommend leaving that 40lbs of camera gear in the car if you can.