Tuolumne River Photos – From Glacier To Bay

While the Merced may be the lifeline of tourist-laden Yosemite Valley, the Tuolumne is the life blood of the high country. In fact, as you’ll see below, this may be the most famous river in the state. Here are some of my favorite Tuolumne river photos, from various locations in and out of the park.

Dana Fork Long exposure - Tuolumne River photos
Tuolumne River long exposure

Incredibly, the Tuolumne’s waters flow all the way from Lyle, the park’s highest peak and glacier, down through the Sierra foothills, eventually becoming the drinking water for the city of San Francisco…almost 200 miles away.

Dana Fork

Rocky forest rapids along the Dana Fork - Tioga Road
Rocky forest rapids

This is an especially scenic stretch of the Tuolumne River. The photo above was taken where the water passes under Tioga Rd. The sunset below was captured near the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge.

Smooth flowing river sunset - Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Smooth flowing river sunset

I set up my tripod here to capture some long exposures of the water flow. You’ll often find hikers reading or sunbathing here during the day.

The Foothills

Tuolumne River snaking through green foothills - portrait
Snaking through foothills

Just west of the park entrance, the river flows through the green hills around Groveland and Buck Meadows. Well, to be clear, they’re green in March and April…the summer finds them turning brown quite quickly.

Flowy water effect along Lumsden Road
Flowy water effect

Here is a long exposure picture I took in broad daylight, using a heavy duty ND filter. This was shot at the bottom of Lumsden Road.

Middle Fork Tuolumne River

Middle Fork Tuolumne River, near Evergreen Lodge
Forest flow

This image was captured just off Evergreen Rd, right outside the park border. There is a dirt road that leads to a scenic spot along the river near here. I hope to return and photograph it someday soon.

Also keep in mind I previously posted about Granite Gorge, which is another beautiful swimming hole along the river.

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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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.