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Buck Meadows, Lumsden Bridge and the Toulumne River

Difficult
 4.5 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An epic long distance loop ride dropping into the Tuolumne Canyon with great views of the river.


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Map Key

17.5

Miles

28.2

KM

20%

Singletrack

3,399' 1,036 m

High

1,425' 434 m

Low

2,810' 856 m

Up

2,811' 857 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Closed to motor vehicles during winter.

Overview

This ride will bring you along the Tuolumne Canyon Ridge, which will give you great views into Yosemite. Then it will drop you into the Tuolumne Canyon right next to the Tuolumne River. There's a great downhill section behind Buck Meadows with a relatively low grade 5 mile uphill climb out. You'll get amazing views into an awesome area that many people don't get to see.

Need to Know

Watch out for cars on Lumsden road during the summer. Poison oak is in the area but trails are wide enough for you to avoid it easily. The uphill can be strenuous at the top. Bring lots of water.

Description

Start at the Stanislaus US Forest Service parking lot. You can either go down Lumsden road and back up, or you can make it into a loop. Ride by the Pines campground sign and then take your first left onto dirt forest service roads off of Highway 120. This forest service dirt road will bring you along the ridge of the Tuolumne canyon which will give you great views into Yosemite!

Continue on the forest service road until you get to the back of the Buck Meadows Restaurant (stop for a beer and lunch if you're hungry :)) From here, you'll start heading down into the canyon on semi-rocky doubletrack trails. The downhill lasts for 3-4 miles and will put you at the bottom of the canyon next to the river and the Lumsden campground.

You can ride another 3 miles to get to the Lumsden bridge and see a great view of the waterfall (shown on this gpx track) or you can head up the 5 mile Lumsden road to get back to the Lumsden trailhead. From here, get back on Feretti road for 20 feet and take the forest service dirt road that will bring you back to the US Forest Service Office. You'll be required to ride on Highway 120 for a quarter mile.

History & Background

Lumsden road is a forest service road that is heavily used by rafting guide companies around the Groveland, CA area. It provides access to put into the Tuolumne river. There is camping down at the bottom of the canyon that is right next to the river.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Wilson

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#1

in Buck Meadows

#1624

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Buck Meadows

#194

in California

#1,624

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7,449 Since May 6, 2013
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Photos

View of Tuolumne River from Lumsden Road
May 18, 2013 near Tuolumn…, CA
Lumsden Bridge with bike.  Amazing rapids.
May 18, 2013 near Tuolumn…, CA
Toulumne River at the bottom of the ride
May 18, 2013 near Tuolumn…, CA
Ben starting up again on the downhill descent from the top of Buck Meadows down to the Tuolumne rive and Lumsden Road.
Jul 21, 2013 near Tuolumn…, CA
View of rafters taking off at the bottom of Lumsden road.
Jul 21, 2013 near Tuolumn…, CA
Panorama from lumsden road riding up.  Here the grade up the canyon is very mellow but it gets steeper above.  You can slightly make out the road going up the canyon in the photo.
Jul 21, 2013 near Tuolumn…, CA

Weather


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Check-Ins

Aug 27, 2018
Mike Kalua
Park at Ferretti Road and take 120 Bypass to cut out Pines Campground trails. It's passable, but easy to get lost, poor condition and HAB at points. — 3h 00m
Oct 1, 2016
david coe
Monster climb out. Great swimming hole at the end