Backpack to Fletcher Lake and Summit Vogelsang Peak

Rate this Adventure 14 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Todd Gordon

Hike to beautiful High Sierra lakes for breathtaking views and solitude.

Before you head out for the trip, you’ll need to get a wilderness permit. You can get one online from the Yosemite website or pick one up at the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center or from the Wilderness Center in Yosemite Valley.

Go to Yosemite and take Highway 120 up to Tuolumne Meadows. You can park along the road for free where there is space. The first part of the trail is combined with the John Muir Trail, so you can join from the road near the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center (about 600 feet east of the Visitor Center) or continue slightly further down 120 and go through the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, which is located behind the Tuolumne Meadows Store. Just beyond the store, Yosemite National Park Road eventually turns into the trail after passing through the campgrounds.

As you leave the campground area you’ll be following along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. The Pacific Crest Trail joins up and eventually you’ll come to a fork in the trail right before a bridge crosses Rafferty Creek. Follow the Rafferty Creek Trail and head south. You’ll continue on the trail and pass through a lodgepole forest and switchbacks. Then the trail will open up a bit as you pass through several meadows. The trail will ascend a bit to Tuolumne Pass and then ascend further up to the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp area.

From here it’s just a short walk east to Fletcher Lake. This area offers some nice spots to camp with tree cover and easy access to water (and access to the High Sierra Camp bathrooms). If you want an even more secluded spot, break from the trail and continue east along Fletcher Lake and stay at Upper Fletcher Lake. This also a nice place to swim and hang out during the day.

For a great peak hike, take the trail south to hike Vogelsang Peak. It offers spectacular views of the area and you can even see Half Dome down in Yosemite Valley. You’ll want to follow the trail past Vogelsang Lake. At this point, you’ll be going off trail to the southwest. There’s a grove of trees that you’ll want to work your way through and then head up the elbow of the ridge where there are a bunch of boulders. Be careful in this area as many of the rocks are loose and it can be a bit of a scramble.

Once you climb your way to the top of the ridge, enjoy the view before heading north along the ridge and towards the peak. Cairns will give you a general idea of which way to go, but it’s really a free for all as you weave through bushes to reach the top. From the peak you can see down to Vogelsang Lake, over to Mt. Dana and can even make out Half Dome. After enjoying the view, head back down the same route and back to camp.

Vogelsang Pass, just south of Vogelsang Lake offers beautiful views as well.

Read More


Stand Up Paddle
Swimming Hole


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Wawona, California

Tuolumne Meadows

Overview Tuolumne Meadows Campground is located in breathtaking Yosemite National Park in Central California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain Range at an elevation of 8,600 feet. The site is situa...


Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Free ranger-led campfire programs and guided hikes are offered daily for Tuolumne Meadows Lodge guests. Breakfast and dinner service are available.

From $143/night

Lee Vining, California

Trailhead Group

Overview Trailhead Group Campground is located in the eastern high Sierra Nevada Mountains of California at just over 10,000 feet in elevation. Also known as Saddlebag Lake Group Campground, the fa...

Bridgeport, California

Trumbull Lake

Overview Trumbull Lake Campground is located next to its scenic namesake at an elevation of 9,980 feet. The lake is one of ten alpine lakes in the area. Visitors enjoy fishing, canoeing and explori...

Nearby Adventures

  • Enjoy a Sunset at Tuolumne Meadows

    Tuolumne Meadows at an elevation of 8,619 feet exemplifies the high country of the Sierra Nevada, with its sweeping sub-alpine meadows, granite domes, summer wildflowers and meandering rivers. When the forest opens up park along the side of the ro...

  • Camp at Tuolumne Meadows Campground

    Tuolumne Meadows is on Tioga road northeast of Yosemite Valley, at elevation 8,600 feet. Sites are available July-September at $26. Dogs are allowed but be sure to pack the leash!  More info:

  • Hike to Waterwheel Falls

    Waterwheel Falls may be the most unique waterfall in Yosemite. During high waterflow an extraordinary phenomenon appears as the raging water hits a series of ledges creating a plume, this coupled with strong gust blowing upward create cyclical "wa...

  • Backpack to Glen Aulin

    A waterfall oasis in the heart of the sierra. The Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp sits along the beautifully winding Tuolumne River. White Cascade an 80ft waterfall sits at the edge of camp and provides an excellent swimming hole at its base. Don't mi...

    13 miles 600 ft gain