Tuolumne Meadows

California, USA
Tuolumne Meadows virtual field trip


Tuolumne Meadows is located in the Sierra Nevada in California, in the eastern part of Yosemite National Park. The valley floor sits at an elevation of ~2600 m, and is surrounded by granitic domes and peaks that rise conspicuously above the forests to heights in excess of 3000 m.

The field trip starts on Lembert Dome, which provides a good overview of the meadows and surrounding terrain. It then follows the Tuolumne River for ~5 km downstream. Although glaciated landforms are visible, this field trip is really about the river and meadows.

Fieldwork was undertaken in 2013 as part of a collaboration between the University of Worcester and the University of California, Davis. Support from both institutions is gratefully acknowledged, with special thanks to Ian Maddock, Sarah Yarnell, Nick Santos and Ryan Peek. The imagery was re-processed to improve clarity in 2018.

Start of Virtual Field Trip

Tuolumne Meadows Virtual Field Trip


Google Earth file (.kml)

Download this file if you want to view the virtual field trip stops within Google Earth. KML files can also be used in other applications and web services, including the USGS National Map Viewer.

Spreadsheet (.csv)

Download this file if you want to view the virtual field trip stops within GIS software, such as ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, QGis etc. Can also be used in Google Earth.

National Map (USGS)

This excellent online resource is provided free of charge by the United States Geological Survey. View maps and other geospatial data, undertake basic analyses, and download data. The map will momentarily show the full extent of the contiguous USA before zooming-in to Tuolumne Meadows.

Journal article

Becker, R.A. et al., 2014. Preexisting fractures and the formation of an iconic American landscape: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, USA. GSA Today, 24(11), pp.4–10.
[Site-specific articles and book chapters will be presented in a separate section or page in due course]
Picture of Dr Des McDougall (BSc, PhD, SFHEA)

Dr Des McDougall (BSc, PhD, SFHEA)

I'm a Physical Geographer at the University of Worcester (England, UK). Interests include mountain glaciers, mountain geomorphology and Quaternary environmental change. I'm also interested in the use of virtual reality in teaching.

Can you help?

In order to support the ongoing development of this site, it would be really helpful if you could let me know why and how you use the resource. I’d also appreciate hearing any ideas you may have for improvements. Thank you!