Backpack to Blue Canyon Lake

Yosemite Blue Canyon Lake

Added by Anna Cohen

Blue Canyon Lake is a stunning alpine lake that makes for great for a day hike, but can also be an overnight trip.

Trailhead Coordinates: 38º 19'08.46"N 119º39'49.26"W Elev 8897ft

The trail is kind of tricky to find. It is West of the PCT trailhead at Sonora Pass and it is not marked. You park along the side of Hwy 108 and scramble down an embankment where a creek flows at the bottom. Cross this creek and you will see the trail. Try to get to the trailhead as early in the day as possible, as parking is very limited (about enough room for four vehicles).

This hike takes you into the Emigrant Wilderness. You will pass through alpine meadows of breathtaking wild flowers. The path is very steep at times and rocky, so it can be a bit slippery. You follow a stream for the majority of the hike.

Blue Canyon Lake is stunning, sitting at 10,052ft. Its waters are turquoise and crystal clear. You can swim, enjoy a nice lunch by the water, and even camp in the area.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Food
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking Sticks
  • Camera
  • Tent and other camping gear (if you plan on spending the night)
  • Swimsuit
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



3.6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1280 Feet



Dog Friendly
Swimming Hole

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How to Get There

4 months ago

Rewarding Views

This is one of my all time favorite day hikes. Start by parking your car off the side of highway 108 and you will see a small trail on the right side. It will lead you up and deep in the mountains. There are plenty of wildflowers and beautiful landscape. Be careful because there are a few spots where the terrain becomes very rocky and you can easily slip. There is also a beautiful creek to enjoy along your ascent. Once you reach Blue Canyon, you might fall short of your words, it is an amazing crystal blue color surrounded by tall, dark peaks. This hike is a short 3.6 miles in and out trip. Be sure to follow the Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.

4 months ago

Added by Anna Cohen

Writer, adventurer, fly fisherwoman, bibliophile, and lover of all things outdoors. I like to grab new experiences by the horns and I am on a mission to live a life worth writing about. Check out my portfolio and my blog, Wild Writes, at

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