Backpack to Upper Lamarck Lake

Rate this Adventure Yosemite North Lake Campground

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Explore this gorgeous, deep blue water lake and take in the 13,000+ foot peaks in the backdrop. There's also plenty of space for scrambling adventures.

Starting out at North Lake Campground, the trail to Lamarck Lakes is a fairly gradual ascent. After climbing out of the meadows near the trailhead, you will find yourself on a ridge with few trees to block the great views of Grass Lake and the valley below. Lake Sabrina is on the other side of the ridge behind Grass Lake and is a nice place to rent a canoe/powerboat if you plan to be in the area longer.

Once you reach Lower Lamarck Lake, there are plenty of campsites to chose from as the trail follows the SE shore of the lake. The upper lake is not much further, and brings you even closer to Mount Lamarck which towers in the distance at 13,417 feet. The trail will pop out at the NE corner of Upper Lamarck Lake where a raised section of rock provides a nice viewing point for taking in the cool blue waters in front of you. There are not many "established" campsites around here, however working your way along either side of the shoreline will provide several options where terrain is flat enough for a tent. Personally I camped on the north shore since I was closer to lake level and thus water access was easier. However, the south shore has better views of the amazing alpenglow on the peaks at sunrise, so there are trade-offs to be made.

More adventurous hikers may consider following the drainage into Upper Lamarck Lake further up into the mountains. This will bring you to the moraine containing Sky High Lake and Wishbone Lake. Situated at over 11,500 feet these will be no easy task, but will bring you as close as possible to the peaks. Just keep an eye on the weather as afternoon thunderstorms are common in the Sierra and you will not want to be above treeline when one hits.

Pack List

  • Good hiking boots
  • Plenty of water and filter
  • 10 essentials
  • Photography gear
  • Tripod for night photography
  • Warm clothes for high altitude winds
  • Appropriate overnight gear (plus permits from recreation.gov)
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How to Get There

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Activities:

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

5.8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1562 Feet

Features:

Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

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