If you can make it up to Yosemite’s high country, you simply must stop to see Tenaya Lake, located just off of Tioga Road (Highway 120 East). Do yourself a favor by parking the car and stretching your legs for a quick hike at Tenaya Lake.
There are parking lots at both the east and west ends of Tenaya Lake. From the east end, a stroll down a wide and well-cared-for path leads to a gorgeous sandy beach, perfect for a quick mid-day dip or spontaneous sand castles. (Brace yourself, the water can be chilly – especially in the spring or fall.) On the west end, gaze across the lake and toward the peaks and domes of Yosemite’s high country for a 5-star scenic vista.
The Tenaya Lake Trail connects these two vantage points along a relatively flat path along Tenaya Lake’s south shore beneath Tenaya Peak and looking across the lake at Stately Pleasure Dome. An out and back along this quieter shoreline is about 3.4 miles (5.47 km), or you can complete the loop in 2.5 miles (4 km) by walking along the main road to return to your starting point.
Keep your eyes open for rock climbers on several popular easy routes on Stately Pleasure Dome, Tenaya Peak, or one of the popular boulders just off the roadway.