Snowmelt from Mount Lyell forms the headwaters of
The headwaters of the Tuolumne River begin at 13,000 feet in Yosemite
National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains. As the river gathers
strength, it carves out canyons that provide 27 miles of world-class
whitewater for rafters and kayakers.
150 miles downstream at the river's mouth, thousands
of Chinook salmon return each fall to spawn on the lower river. The
Tuolumne watershed supports many species of wildlife, including bald
eagles, spotted owls, prairie falcons, and a healthy wild trout fishery
enjoyed by anglers.
In addition to providing excellent wildlife habitat
and recreational facilities, the Tuolumne River has been extensively
developed to deliver water and electricity to San Francisco and other
Bay Area cities. The river also provides water for farmers in the Central