Backpack Cathedral Lakes

8 miles 1100 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Addison Klinke

Take in views of the 10,900 foot Cathedral Peak. Explore lush green meadow surrounding a high alpine lake with amazing solitude for Yosemite.

Starting from the Tuolumne Meadows parking lot, this trail wanders through the classic High Sierra forest with large white granite boulders and pine trees. After approximately 4 miles of quiet solitude in the forest, you will reach Cathedral Lakes: a pair of high alpine lakes surrounded by the quintessential green meadows that Yosemite is famous for.

Head left here at the split and continue another half mile to Upper Cathedral Lake. This last stretch is well worth the improved views of Cathedral Peak. On the west side of the upper lake, take an easy scramble up some boulders for a higher perspective on the lake and Cathedral Peak plus views of the surrounding valleys. This makes a great spot for dinner if you're spending the night! If you're into photography, this is also a prime place to catch the evening sun glowing on Cathedral Peak.

Read More

Tags

Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

🥉Contributor

about 4 years ago

Gorgeous

One of my favorite places to camp in the park. Sunrise/Sunset are incredible and the mountain reflection on the lake is breath-taking.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Great for seclusion

This is a perfect spot to get away from the crowds. Great area for sunrise and sunsets too. There are great spots to chill on south side of the lake

Set up your tent due left on the little patch of land when you reach the lake.

Stay Nearby

Wawona, California

Tuolumne Meadows

Overview Tuolumne Meadows Campground is located in breathtaking Yosemite National Park in Central California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain Range at an elevation of 8,600 feet. The site is situa...

Tioga Rd, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA 95389, USA

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Free ranger-led campfire programs and guided hikes are offered daily for Tuolumne Meadows Lodge guests. Breakfast and dinner service are available.

From $143/night

Lee Vining, California

Trailhead Group

Overview Trailhead Group Campground is located in the eastern high Sierra Nevada Mountains of California at just over 10,000 feet in elevation. Also known as Saddlebag Lake Group Campground, the fa...

Upper Pines Campground, California

Upper Pines

Overview Upper Pines Campground is located in breathtaking Yosemite National Park in Central California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain Range at an elevation of 4,000 feet. The site is situated in ...

From $26/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Backpack atop Donohue Pass

    Donohue Pass lies on the border of Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Both the John Muir Trail (JMT) and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) route through this pass at 11,056 ft.A challenging but beautiful hike that starts from Tuolu...

    25 miles 2456 ft gain

  • Backpack to Boothe Lake

    Starting at the Tuolomne Meadows Visitor Center you will head south to jump on the John Muir Trail, move east for 2.8 miles on the JMT until the trail intersects with the Vogelsang High Sierra trailhead, you head south when you reach this trail. O...

    16.6 miles 1400 ft gain

  • Backpack Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite is an iconic park, and if you are looking for isolation with spectacular views of the backcountry this trip is for you. The trail itself is approximately 33 miles and can be done in 3-4 days, but I recommend a 6 day hike to enjoy the scen...

    33 miles 4800 ft gain

  • Scramble Yosemite's Cathedral Peak

    Start at Toulumne Meadows (8000 ft), and take the John Muir Trail, on the south side of Tioga Road. After about 1 mile, an unmarked trail will appear on your left – it is a less-traveled path, primarily taken by climbers. This trail will lead you ...