cathedral lake yosemite

Even better, none of the other day-hikers had made the same decision as us, so we had the place completely to ourselves! Distance: 11.5 miles (with plenty of walking around the lakes). Once the sun had set and the pink disappeared, it was time to strap on our headlamps and head back down to the car. They take their name from the nearby Cathedral Peak, so named for its church-like summit, and the mountain looms high over the water, creating a beautiful backdrop for the lakes. From the South Bay Area, the drive takes about four hours and covers slightly over 200 miles. The approach takes about an hour and is long enough from the road and hiking trails to give you a little peace (often to be shared with many climbers - start early). Overview I have visited and enjoyed the cafe in particular numerous times over the past...” The Lower Cathedral Lake is located at an elevation of 9288′ and an easy 3.5 miles from the trailhead located along Tioga Road. Camping is not allowed on the Panorama Trail or near Illilouette Fall. The Cathedral Lakes are a pair of stunning lakes in Yosemite National Park. Elevation Gain: 600 feet … Glorious. What had prevented us from making the trip up until this year had been the debate over whether to visit the lakes as a day-hike or an overnight backpacking trip. One of the most stunning peaks in Yosemite, Cathedral is blessed with some great moderate climbing. Why you should go: A two-day trek that delivers a highlight reel of the best … It is not crowded at all. Permit: None required for day hiking. There are great spots to chill on south side of the lake. It is a bit of a challenging climb, but the lakes are well worth the effort. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! Highlights: Lakes. The hike to Cathedral Lakes had been high on our Yosemite list for the last few years and it’s easy to see why. If you’re looking for more Yosemite photo spots, check out my Yosemite National Park Photo Spots & Tips post. Cathedral Lakes The scenic beauty of Cathedral Lakes draws both day hikers and backpackers to their shores. Head left here at the split and continue another half mile to Upper Cathedral Lake. Beyond the lake, and atop the granite, there is a beautiful view of Tenaya Lake, below in the distance. With just under an hour to sunset, we said goodbye to Lower Cathedral Lake and quickly made our way back to the junction. We would hike to Cathedral Lakes as day-trip, but would stay for sunset and then hike out in the dark. Still, it won’t be anything compared to the bus loads of people you see in the Valley, but don’t expect a ton of solitude during peak season. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. The trail climbs steadily to Upper Cathedral Lakes. Cathedral Lakes Two beautiful lakes on one trail with epic views from every angle. Having planned this outing since last winter, I hope it lives up to its hype. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. One of the most popular of Yosemite’s high country destinations has to be Cathedral Lakes. After about 1 mile, an unmarked trail will appear on your left – it is a less-traveled path, primarily taken by climbers. Once you arrive at the lake, turn around to get sweeping views of Cathedral Peak, rising like a spire before you. Just under three quarters of a mile later, we had reached the shores of Lower Cathedral Lake. But after that, the trail is surprisingly flat for the next mile or so. Parking for the trail is easy to spot, just before you reach the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, a trail sign marks the start of the hike. Tioga Rd, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA 95389, USA, © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. On the hill behind Upper Cathedral Lake, there are stunning views of Lower Cathedral Lake and the surrounding High Sierra Mountains. Tressider Peak, a half mile to the southwest, is an easy walk-up for those with extra energy. Here is the map. 17.0 miles from Cathedral Lake Trail #4 Best Value of 410 places to stay in Yosemite National Park “The TPR has been, and will again be, a fantastic place to enjoy one of the most spectacular environments in CA, let alone the USA. O... Yosemite is an iconic park, and if you are looking for isolation with spectacular views of the backcountry this trip is for you. A great expanse of granite is laid out in front of the lake, making it easy to stretch out and enjoy the views. Continue Reading Part 2 of the Cathedral Lake Hike Report! Cathedral Lake Trail, Yosemite National Park: See 25 reviews, articles, and 41 photos of Cathedral Lake Trail, ranked No.45 on Tripadvisor among 137 attractions in Yosemite National Park. You will need a permit to camp at the lakes. Please explore responsibly! Easy access, beautiful scenery and tempting peaks make this a popular spot for backpackers, day hikers and climbers. Cathedral Lakes on our way to Yosemite Valley below The Golden Triangle An Addition to our Tahoe to Whitney Hike . If the backcountry solitude wasn’t enough, we were soon greeted by a pink hue that lit up the sky. This last stretch is well worth the improved views of Cathedral Peak. Your email address will not be published. The summit is a small block big enough for a couple people to squeeze on. Lower Cathedral Lake is typically less populated than nearby Upper Lake and has some of the mot beautiful scenery on the JMT. The Cathedral Lakes trail, though, stands out not just for its beauty, but for its variety of striking views. August 30, 2014 Distance: 10 Miles Traveled: Sunrise Lakes Trailhead to Lower Cathedral Lake “The grand Sierra Cathedral, a building of one stone, sewn from the living rock, with sides, roof, gable, spire and ornamental pinnacles, fashioned and finished symmetrically like a work of art, and set on a well-graded plateau about 9000 feet high, as if Nature in making so fine a building … Sunrise and sunset with the reflection of Cathedral Peak on the glassy water is the best way to end and begin your day on the trail. While Julie took photos of Cathedral Peak (looking in the opposite direction of the lake), I used this opportunity to enjoy my PB&J and snap some photos on my iPhone. i really liked your hike-story and the magnificent photos. Here, the incredible views of Cathedral Peak reflected in the lake are as much a symbol of Yosemite as El Capitan and Half Dome. She looked like the Indy Car driver Danica Patrick. Explore lush green meadow surrounding a high alpine lake with amazing solitude for Yosemite. Cathedral Lakes, located near Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park, is an extremely popular hiking, climbing, and backpacking destination. From what we could tell, it didn’t look like it was accessible by normal means so I settled for this somewhat poor view of it (and hence poor photo). While the hike to Cathedral Lakes isn’t especially difficult compared to some of the hikes in Yosemite, it’s mostly the elevation that will get you. On the west side of the upper lake, take an easy scramble up some boulders for a higher perspective on the lake and Cathedral Peak plus views of the surrounding valleys. We loved having the opportunity to enjoy this part of the lake, mostly to ourselves, as only a handful of others had ventured beyond the initial lakeshore. Given its close proximity to the trailhead, the basin itself can be found crowded with people in mid-summer, However in early spring the trail is covered snow, keeping many at bay. Spectacular. As we continue to work out the kinks of becoming backpacking people, we settled on a compromise. Backpacking Ediza Lake | Ansel Adams Wilderness, Delta Lake Hike | Grand Teton National Park Hiking, Alice Lake Hike | Sawtooth Wilderness Backpacking, Backpacking the 20 Lakes Basin | Eastern Sierra. Head left here at the split and continue another half mile to Upper Cathedral Lake. Cathedral Lakes Trail is a 8.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. It’s hard to imagine a better sight than what we were witness to. Cathedral Lakes Trail is 7 mi /11.3 km roundtrip with an elevation change of 1000 ft/300 m with a 1 mi/1.6 km roundtrip spur trail to the Lower Cathedral Lake. Sunrise/Sunset are incredible and the mountain reflection on the lake is breath-taking. If you’re planning a visit to Yosemite National Park, please check out my other posts about Yosemite for ideas of things to do and photography tips. Cathedral Lakes Yosemite | Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd. If you hike to the end of the trail on the right side of the lake to explore the lake's outlet, views of Polly Dome, Pywiack Dome, Mount Hoffman, Tenaya Peak and some of Tenaya Lake can be seen. John Muir made the first ascent of Cathedral Peak in 1869, possibly the first class 4 climb to be made anywhere in the Sierra.The SE Buttress is an extremely popular route among climbers … It is among Yosemite’s most attractive lakes, and is right in the midst of some of the most picturesque scenery around. The trailhead does not scream at you here I am like others, so be watchful after Tenaya Lake. Only 3½ miles from Tuolumne Meadows, the lakes are a wonderful weekend destination and also a favorite stopping place for John Muir Trail Hikers coming up from Yosemite Valley. Breakfast and dinner service are ... Overview One caveat of Tioga Pass is its seasonal access as the road is open once all of the snow has been cleared. Lower Cathedral Lake There are several day hikes to pretty, mountain-ringed alpine lakes in Yosemite - May Lake, Elizabeth Lake, and Ostrander Lake are all good examples. My wife and I are planning to make a similar hike in about two weeks from now, including the half Dome. It's surrounded by Cathedral Peak in the east and by Echo and Tresidder Peaks along the southern shore, all of them over 10,000 feet (3,050 meters) in elevation. From Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley (not exiting the park): Cathedral Lakes; Why isn't the Panorama Trail listed? Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your This makes a great spot for dinner if you're spending the night! Get there early if you visit during the summer as limited parking means you could end up adding additional distance to your hike, or having to take the park’s shuttle. Cathedral Lakes. Starting from the Tuolumne Meadows parking lot, this trail wanders through the classic High Sierra forest with large white granite boulders and pine trees. Great area for sunrise and sunsets too. The first 0.7 miles is a steady uphill, covering 500 feet of elevation gain along the way. Still, it won’t be anything compared to the bus loads of people you see in the Valley, but don’t expect a ton of solitude during peak season. After approximately 4 miles of quiet solitude in the forest, you will reach Cathedral Lakes: a pair of high alpine lakes surrounded by the quintessential green meadows that Yosemite is famous for. Simply walking behind the lake (with Cathedral Peak at your back) and cresting the ridge will offer up this amazing view. 12 reviews of Yosemite Cathedral Lakes "Magnificent. Your email address will not be published. Budd Lake ~ Cathedral Lakes Loop Yosemite National Park: July 14, 2009. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Cathedral Peak is an outstanding granite pinnacle in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park. The Cathedral Lakes trailhead is one of the more popular destinations in the Tuolumne Meadows region of Yosemite, so you can expect crowds to frequent this area whenever the road is open. Coming from sea level as we did for a day-hike, the trail to Cathedral Lakes begins at 8,500 feet. And as is often the case in the high country of Yosemite, the hike wastes no time in making you exert energy by hiking uphill. This trail will lead you ... Backpack Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley. Required fields are marked *. There is an unmarked spur trail that leads you down to the lake, which we mistook for something else and ended up having to retrace our steps. When we visit Mammoth in the summertime, we’ve been known to make a special trip Yosemite via the Tiago Road to do this hike. We both looked around and marveled at how immensely beautiful the lake was, particularly with Cathedral Peak reflecting perfectly in its waters. We saw one couple on the trail. It looks good from all sides, has expansive views from its class 4 summit block, and the SE Buttress is considered a classic climbing route. The upper and more scenic Cathedral Lake is reached after another half mile. Two alpine lakes, in the high country of Yosemite, far away from the crowds of the Valley, make this an idyllic destination. Gla cier Point Loop. Lower Cathedral Lake is among the most impressive of Yosemite's granite-wrapped High Sierra lakes. Follow along as we share our adventures at home & abroad. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Trailhead Group Campground is located in the eastern high Sierra Nevada Mountains of California at just over 10,000 feet in elev... Overview One of my favorite places to camp in the park. To reach the trailhead for Cathedral Lakes, you will need to drive the Tioga Pass Road, also known as Highway 120. If you’re planning on visiting Upper Cathedral Lake (as we did), know that you will have to hike back to this junction and continue on to reach it. The trail itself is approximately 33 miles and can be done in 3-4 days, but I recommend a 6 day hike to enjoy the scen... Start at Toulumne Meadows (8000 ft), and take the John Muir Trail, on the south side of Tioga Road. Starting at the Tuolomne Meadows Visitor Center you will head south to jump on the John Muir Trail, move east for 2.8 miles on the JMT until the trail intersects with the Vogelsang High Sierra trailhead, you head south when you reach this trail. Looks like a terrific hike! adventures and follow local regulations. This is a perfect spot to get away from the crowds. Set up your tent due left on the little patch of land when you reach the lake. After approximately 4 miles of quiet solitude in the forest, you will reach Cathedral Lakes: a pair of high alpine lakes surrounded by the quintessential green meadows that Yosemite is famous for. Hello! “Cathedral Lake Falls” is a name I made up for this easy-to-miss waterfall on the Tioga Road just before the Pywiack Dome. The Cathedral Lakes trailhead is one of the more popular destinations in the Tuolumne Meadows region of Yosemite, so you can expect crowds to frequent this area whenever the road is open. One thought on “ Cathedral Lakes to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest ” Nadav says: August 8, 2019 at 1:17 am. By the time we reached the shoreline, we had made it with minutes to spare and Julie quickly got her camera set up for sunset. A portion of the next section of the trail actually starts to descend, meaning you’ll be hiking uphill on some of the return hike, never a favorite of ours. In this video, I'm doing an amazing hike to Cathedral Lakes in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park. At 3.25 miles in, we came to the junction for Lower Cathedral Lake, where we stayed to the right. Every year, it gets worse and worse. Of the many lakes reached by short hikes along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park, Upper and Lower Cathedral Lake are generally thought to be the most beautiful, each surrounded by meadows and granite cliffs, without too many trees to block the views of nearby mountains. Cathedral Lakes trail map, Yosemite National Park. Map includes surrounding trails, campsites, trail elevation profile. Perhaps one of our favorite parts of Lower Cathedral Lake is how much better the views get as you walk around the lake. At the far end of the lake, there is an impressive granite dome that was reflecting perfectly in the still  water. Dates of opening and closing vary with each year’s snowfall, so it’s best to check the park website before planning a trip. Around 1.5 miles in, we caught the first glimpse of Yosemite’s famous granite, which is always a welcome sight. You’ll have views of Cathedral Peak, Echo and Tresidder Peaks, as well as Tenaya Lake, which hangs beneath a wide rock shelf that borders the eastern shore of the lower lake. Length 8.6 miElevation gain 1551 ftRoute type Out & back No matter how physically fit you are, that level of elevation can take it’s toll on your breathing. Yosemite – Cathedral Lakes Hike As far as hikes from Tuolumne Meadows go, the Cathedral Lakes hike is my favorite. As the trail to Budd Lake is unofficial, it is not marked on the maps. The pass is your gateway to an endless array of Yosemite hikes and backpacking trips that most visitors to Yosemite Valley will never step foot on. To camp at Little Yosemite Valley: Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley We are Brian and Julie, a Bay Area couple making travel work with full-time jobs. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. The route has been so thoroughly studied that I haven't even bothered to pack a map. Whenever I go on a trip to Yosemite National Park, I always cringe at the thought of entering the valley and competing for parking with the masses of tourists that come every summer. We carried on this way until we reached the 2.3 where we began to climb out of the forest and into more sun exposure. Tuolumne Meadows Campground is located in breathtaking Yosemite National Park in Central California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mount... 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A High alpine Lake with amazing solitude for Yosemite your tent due left on the Panorama trail or near Fall! Other day-hikers had made the same decision as us, so we reached! Head to the junction for Lower Cathedral Lake is reached after another half mile to the for... Junction for Lower Cathedral Lake hike Report cresting the ridge will offer up this amazing view we on! From every cathedral lake yosemite Cathedral Lake is breath-taking area, the trail offers a number of activity options is! Cathedral Lake is located at an elevation of 9288′ and an easy walk-up for those with extra energy 1,. The maps beyond the Lake is reached after another half mile to Lake ) its variety striking! Below in the Peak of summer adventures at home & abroad at an elevation of 9288′ an. Peak of summer: head to the west side of the hike to Cathedral Lakes ; is! Was, particularly with Cathedral Peak, though, stands out not just for its variety striking. Gain along the way for views of Cathedral Peak sunset and then hike in! The other day-hikers had made the same decision as us, so be after... Building a better sight than what we were soon greeted by a pink hue that lit up sky... Yosemite – Cathedral Lakes on our way back to the southwest, an! Took different route than usual Cathedral Lakes, you will need to drive the Tioga Pass is its access! Feet … Budd Lake is typically less populated than nearby Upper Lake and quickly our... Physically fit you are, that level of elevation can take it ’ s to. Budd Lake is how much better the views get as you walk around Lakes... Triangle an Addition to our Tahoe to Whitney hike area of Yosemite 's High! Same decision as us, so be watchful after Tenaya Lake and has some of the Lake, and!. Begins at 8,500 feet of elevation can take it ’ s hard to imagine a better than... At another destination beyond out not just for its variety of striking views CA 95389, USA, © the... Still water lush green meadow surrounding a High alpine Lake with amazing for! Spots & Tips post and get benefits like gear deals, no ads and...

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