Backpack Cathedral Lakes

Details

Distance

8 miles

Elevation Gain

1100 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Addison Klinke

Take in views of the 10,900 foot Cathedral Peak. Explore lush green meadow surrounding a high alpine lake with amazing solitude for Yosemite.

Starting at the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead near the Tuolumne Meadows parking lot (if parking is full at the TH), this trail wanders through the classic High Sierra forest with large white granite boulders and pine trees. 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.

Head left here at the split and continue another half mile to Upper Cathedral Lake. This last stretch is well worth the improved views of Cathedral Peak. 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. This makes a great spot for dinner if you're spending the night! If you're into photography, this is also a prime place to catch the evening sun glowing on Cathedral Peak.

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Know for

Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

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Reviews

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Trailblazer

over 4 years ago

Gorgeous

One of my favorite places to camp in the park. Sunrise/Sunset are incredible and the mountain reflection on the lake is breath-taking.

Explorer

Explorer

almost 5 years ago

Great for seclusion

This is a perfect spot to get away from the crowds. Great area for sunrise and sunsets too. There are great spots to chill on south side of the lake

Scout

about 6 years ago

Set up your tent due left on the little patch of land when you reach the lake.

585 total saves

5.0/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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