Explore Tenaya Lake, Yosemite NP

Yosemite Tenaya Lake

Added by Sarah Giek

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
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

2.5 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 1 month ago

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.

about 1 month ago

3 months ago

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!

3 months ago

10 months ago

So Peaceful

Tenaya Lake is so quiet and beautiful. I felt like I was on top of the world in the high sierra.

10 months ago

Added by Sarah Giek

Teacher by day. Explorer by weekend.

More Adventures Nearby

Backpack to Big Bird Lake & Moose Lake

Yosemite / Alta Peak Trailhead

This trip requires a wilderness permit. You can get one at the Lodgepole Visitor Center where you can also rent a bear canister or use the bathroom before heading out.

Leslie Chang
2 Saves

Backpack to Vogelsang and Merced Lake High Sierra Camps

Yosemite / Lyell Canyon Trailhead

If you love the idea of backpacking to remote mountain destinations, but shudder at the thought of carrying a heavy pack and digging a hole to poop in, the High Sierra Camps are a great option.

Julie & Brian
8 Saves

Backpack Gem Lake Loop in Emigrant Wilderness

Yosemite / Crabtree Trailhead

The Gem Lake Loop is located in Emigrant Wilderness, which borders Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, and offers incredible views, smaller crowds, and diverse terrain.

Nancy Lappetito
5 Saves