Backpack to Lower Ottoway Lake

Mono Meadow Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Emily Noyd

The hike is a long haul, but the reward is a remote lake at the base of Red Peak Pass. 

The hike begins at Mono Meadows trailhead along Glacier Point Road, first descending 2.8 steep miles to Illilouette Creek. Above the Illilouette Junction, take in views of the Valley's granite domes before beginning the post-burn forested slog. The trail covers an additional 10 miles of relatively ho-hum trail, skirting the epic Mount Starr King and gaining elevation slowly but surely. This section can be quite warm with few water sources in late summer. Be sure to check in with a wilderness station about trail and water conditions prior to your trip.

At the Merced Pass Junction, stay left towards Ottoway Lakes and Red Peak Pass. The last 3.1 miles gets more beautiful with every step as you rise from the forest into rocky slope heaven. Lower Ottoway Lake is the perfect basecamp with clean and clear water, an amazing backdrop, and nice campsites.

Enjoy a night or two at the lake, with side trips up to Red Peak Pass and Upper Ottoway Lake. Pro tip: use your sleeping pad as a floatie toy!

Distance

32 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

2400 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

Forest
Lake
Swimming Hole

Nearby Lodging

From $152/night

High Sierra Camps

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

From $90/night

Half Dome Village

Yosemite Valley, California

From $108/night

Housekeeping Camp

Yosemite Valley, California

From $219/night

Yosemite Valley Lodge

9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive

Community Photos

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

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