Ostrander Lake Trail

MODERATE 16 reviews
#33 of 142 trails in

Ostrander Lake Trail is a 12 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite National Park, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

12.0 miles 1841 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

This is a 12.4 mile out and back hike to Ostrander Lake with about 1617 ft. of elevation gain, from 7000 ft to over 8600 ft. The trail head is located off Glacier Point Road. The first 3 miles of the hike are relatively flat. The next 3 miles climb at about a 10% grade. The mountain crests at about 5 and 3/4 miles, then drops down to Ostrander Lake (8505 ft).

4 days ago

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very cool place to get away from the crowds.its not to hard.the first half is easy the last half is a bit harder.i think it would be better as an over night backpacking.

backpacking
3 months ago

Did this as a weekend backpacking trip two weeks ago with a couple of buddies. Like everyone has said, the first half of the hike is fairly flat with very little elevation gained. Within the first hour of the hike we came upon a nice 7-point buck and a decent sized black bear less than 10yards from the trail.
The second half of the hike is a bit strenuous, but nothing ridiculous. It is a steady incline that is easily conquered; with 40-50+lb packs we still managed to make the lake in just under 2.5hrs. The majority of the established campsites and fire rings lie along the Northwest shore of the lake.
The next morning we climbed up to Horse Ridge, which was a short Class 2 scramble. We then traversed the ridgeline and dropped back down near Hart Lakes. From Horse Ridge you get an amazing view of Half Dome off in the distance.
Over the course of the weekend we had day-hikers trickle in and out, but by 3 or 4 they’d be gone. There was three or four other groups camping at the lake with us, but never once were we bothered by the company.
I would highly recommend this trail to novice backpackers, and to those looking to avoid the hordes of people that flock to Glacier Point.

backpacking
4 months ago

Gorgeous!

4 months ago

loved this hike. the beginning is easy. the last half was pretty steep, especially with a pack. There were quite a few camp sites with fire rings. the lake was amazing. we did a day hike to hart lake, but it was only about 2 miles. tried to get to horse ridge above the lake, but it was a lot of bouldering. the hike out was simple!

backpacking
4 months ago

This was a pretty nice hike. The first few miles are pretty flat, the last half was a bit of work but worth it once you get to the lake.

hiking
1 year ago

camping
1 year ago

This was a beautiful hike. My lady and I did a day trip in late April when Glacier Point road opened up for the season. This was our first longer backpacking trip and we had a blast. I would rate this closer to a strenuous hike as the last 4 miles to the lake can take their toll on you. Once you crest the trail and see the lake for the first time you regain your energy. Would recommend as an over nighter and not as much as a there and back.

hiking
2 years ago

2 years ago

Amazing trail! Beautiful landscape, Greta back country spot.

hiking
3 years ago

Hiked to the lake mid August. There were no Mosquitos, which was awesome. The first 3 miles flew by like nothing. The last 3 miles killed myself and my friend. That part took the longest time to complete. Right when the trail started to incline, we saw a mamma bear and her cub. She made a noise warning us she was there, but just walked away when we spotted them. When you get to the last mileage sign, you will be able to see Half Dome from the back. Great views of Yosemite that you must work for to see. The water from the lake was refreshing. If you are backpacking in, there are plenty of spots on both sides of the lake. The first spot you walk past by the hut on the right, it might be the first spot, but to be honest, had the best view of the lake. Would do again.

hiking
4 years ago

Hiked this in May - some snow still on trail especially at the higher elevations. Easy first couple of miles then a steady but very manageable steady elevation gain. The ski trail markers in the trees made following the trail quite easy in areas where the snow still covered the trail. Area around the mountain hut and the lake (surface 3/4 frozen) was very tranquil. Came across no other hikers.

nature trips
5 years ago

hiking
5 years ago

snowshoeing
5 years ago

Have done the trek in Winter, Summer and Fall seasons and enjoy them all. Easy trail out and back. I recommend using Horizon Ridge for one of the directions. Less folk using it so you can pretend you are trail blazing (the snow markers in the trees allow you to find your way). Staying at the Ostrander Hut in the Winter is a really nice experience, communal bunks and retrieving h2o from a hole cut in the lake makes you feel like a modern day Lewis & Clark. The hut custodian/s are unique and provide a vast knowledge of the geological make up and backcountry advice & assistance as needed. During the Spring, Summer and Fall, trail running out and back is relaxing - less crowds than other areas of Yosemite.