Tuolumne Grove Photos – Tioga’s 1st Scenic Stop

Probably my favorite of the 3 sequoia groves in Yosemite, this group of giants can be found on your left, just as you turn onto Tioga Pass. I took these Tuolumne Grove photos in mid summer, and was fortunate to catch some beautiful afternoon light…

Tunnel Tree – Tuolumne Grove Photos

"Tunnel Tree" at Tuolumne Grove
“Tunnel Tree” at Tuolumne Grove

For obvious reasons, this is the most famous tree in the grove. It features a carved out hole that the walking path passes right through.

Trail running through the opening in Tunnel Tree - Tuolumne Grove photos
Trail cutting right through

This is a dead tree, and I assume (or at least hope) it had already fallen when the opening was carved out.

Dead tree shards with the tunnel below
Remnants at the top

I could be wrong, though. I think there was a (live) giant redwood in northern California that they cut a hole through for tourism. Of course, that was 100 years ago.

Looking up at the blue sky, with dead sequoia tree trucnk and sunburst
Sunburst & blue skies

Anyhow, I do think this trail is incredibly scenic. The Tuolumne Grove hike is a leisurely 1.5 mile downhill, and 1.5 back.

Stately sequoia in lush forest - portrait
A peaceful giant

A good deal of the trail is paved, and you’ll see live trees, hollowed out trees, and downed and dead trees along the way.

Burned out "cave" tree along the trail
Burned out “cave” tree

Old Big Oak Flat Road

An interesting thing to note is that this dirt trail is known as Old Big Oak Flat Road. The new Big Oak Flat Road is actually the continuation of Highway 120, which keeps going down to Yosemite valley.

Old Big Oak Flat Road With Fence and Giant tree - Tuolumne Grove photos
Wide, fenced walking path

As this is a relatively easy and accessible attraction, you’ll probably see quite a few people on the trail. I noticed a lot of families with kids, as well as couples when I visited.

Fenced off area to protect the trees.
Visitors must stay on the trail

The giant trees are certainly something to marvel at, though. Not as large as what you’ll find in nearby Sequoia National Park, but still, nothing to shake a stick at (pun intended).

Sequoia Trees, portrait orientation
Group of giants

This is definitely a recommended start to a great Tioga Road adventure. After this, those feeling ambitious could continue driving to the May Lake Trailhead, then visit both Olmsted Point and Tenaya Lake after that hike. That would be a nice itinerary.

Sunny skies looking up at the canopy - Tuolumne Grove photos
Sunny skies looking up at the canopy

I’ve never visited this grove in winter, but if you’d like to get a feel for that, be sure to check out my Merced grove photos

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.