Backpack to Graveyard Lakes

Yosemite Lake Edison Trailhead

Added by Gemina Garland-Lewis

Experience both the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness in all its glory. With beautiful forest, meadows, and lakes.

Graveyard Lakes is the perfect length for an overnight in the Sierras, although there are great trail networks all around to expand your trip. The trailhead is just past Lake Edison and is well-signed - make sure you've obtained a wilderness permit before heading out on your overnight! At the parking lot you'll see two trailhead signs, one on the left for Devil's Graveyard and another on the right that heads to Mono Creek/Goodale Pass. Take the trail to the right and meander through the forest for a short while until crossing a sturdy bridge. Soon after the bridge you'll come to a trail junction of Mono Creek and Goodale Pass - turn left here to follow the Goodale Pass trail.

You'll begin to climb through the forest and here and there get views back down to where you started at Lake Edison. 3.3 miles in you'll have your first of several stream crossings - there are a number of large fallen logs here to help you across. On the other side of the stream you'll find the trail junction with a unmaintained trail cutting across to Devil's Bathtub. Keep to the right for Graveyard Lakes/Goodale Pass.

This begins about a mile of flat hiking through Lower Graveyard Meadows before beginning to climb again on your way to Upper Graveyard Meadows. You'll have another stream crossing on the way, this one with rocks to help you across (though prepare to get wet if the water is high). At mile 7 you'll reach the junction for Graveyard Lakes and turn a left off the Goodale Pass trail.

Your steepest section of the hike is now upon you, but it's also your last mile. After another stream crossing the trail cuts up into the forest from the meadow and soon becomes harder to follow and more rocky as it heads northwest to the Graveyard Lakes basin. Once you are in the basin you can set up camp at the lower lake, which is still below 10,000ft, or you can continue to explore the upper lakes, though no campfires are allowed above the 10,000ft line.

Head back out the way you came for an easy oversight, or swing a right at the Devil's Bathtub junction to make another night out of it and return to your car via the Devil's Graveyard trail. On your drive home stop at Mono Hot Springs to soak those muscles and get a warm meal at Mono's River Rock Cafe!

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Bear canister for food and toiletries
  • Hiking poles
  • Food
  • Water and filtration device
  • Stove and fuel
  • Extra layers, can get chilly at higher elevation of the lakes
  • Rain gear in late season
  • 10 essentials
  • Wilderness permit from the Prather Ranger Station
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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

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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

16 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2200 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

4 months ago

This is definitely the gateway to some beautiful country.

Just came back from this adventure! We did it in three days to space it out! What a beautiful series of lakes! My only complaint is we didn't have enough time to explore more. Next time I'd want to hike over Goodale Pass into that lakes region. Oh and bring plenty of bug repellent!

4 months ago

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