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Cathedral Lakes

yosemite cathedral lake 2
cathedral lake
Distance: 7 miles (11.3 km round-trip)
Elevation: Trailhead 8,500ft - Elevation gain approx. 1,000ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 4 to 6 hours
Begin at: Begin at Cathedral Lakes trailhead, 1/2 mile west of the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, Shuttle Stop #7

Cathedral Lakes

Two beautiful lakes on one trail with epic views from every angle. The trail climbs steadily to Upper Cathedral Lakes. Near the top of the climb, it passes a spur trail to Lower Cathedral Lake (0.5 mile to lake). Stop at Lower Cathedral Lake and sit on the granite banks enjoying the tranquil waters before heading up the trail to the truly epic view of Upper Cathedral Lake. The return hike follows the same route. This is one of the busiest trails in the Tuolumne Meadows area so try to start before 10:00 to encounter fewer crowds.

Since parking at the trail head is limited, consider taking the free shuttle bus.  As with most trails in Yosemite which receive rain or snow, bring plenty of bug spray. The mosquitoes in Tuolumne Meadows are aggressive and can be a real nuisance without deterrent.

  • Square Ft: 0 - 1,000
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