Explore Tenaya Lake, Yosemite NP

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake is one of the most picturesque and easily-accessible lakes in Yosemite National Park, making it a popular destination for swimming, kayaking, and exploring.

Tenaya Lake is located alongside Tioga Road in the park's Tuolumne Meadows region. There is a family-friendly trail that surrounds the lake. Though some spots along the trail on the western shore may require fording the waters, the 2.5-mile trip is an easy hike for all to enjoy. Many others prefer to find a sunny spot along the shore to relax and enjoy the views and the clear waters.

Parking is available at small lots at both ends of the lake, but feel free to park on the shoulder of Tioga Road to begin your adventure anywhere along the shore. The most scenic views, in my opinion, can be find near the west end of the lake, where the reflections of the granite domes provide the perfect photo opportunity.

Pack List

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Bathing suit
  • Camera
  • Picnic
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RT Distance 2.5 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Kayaking, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

I'm from the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Lake Tenaya is one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever seen! One of the beaches is pretty narrow and crowded but if you're willing to do just a tiny bit of walking to get some personal space, it's well worth it.

Beautiful, but go farther!

Tenaya Lake is a great spot in Yosemite, but it seems a shame to only stop on the side of the highway. Take some time and hike into the backcountry. Cathedral Lakes and Sunrise Lakes are two destinations near to the trailhead at Tenaya Lake and they are definitely worth visiting.

Busy and beautiful

Weekends at Tenaya Lake can be very crowded, but it's my personal favorite spot to swim after climbing in Tuolumne. Weekdays provide a little more solitude on the beaches. Awesome way to spend the day with kiddos!


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Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike Clouds Rest to Half Dome

Because this is not a loop, you will need to figure out a shuttle situation.  There are two options for this: 1. Drive your car to the Tenaya Lake Trail Head, and leave it parked there.

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Backpack Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest

Start out at the Tenaya Lake Trailhead, where you can head directly onto the trail for Clouds Rest or you can branch off after 2.7 miles to Sunrise Lakes.

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Hike Clouds Rest

The "younger" brother of the world famous Half Dome, Clouds Rest is in fact a solid 1,000 feet taller despite receiving significantly less attention.

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