Cathedral Lakes Trail

MODERATE 61 reviews
#14 of 157 trails in

Cathedral Lakes Trail is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1633 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

The trail is fairly steep, rising 1,000 feet in about 3.5 miles. The trail is also located at high elevation, so the air is thinner, possibly causing those that are not acclimated to the elevation to tire faster, and fatigue. The view upon arrival is worth ever bit of work it takes to get there. Cathedral Peak rises beyond a pristine alpine lake. Along side of the lake a beautiful meadow filled with wildflowers adds color to this amazing landscape. It is truly paradise. But it is essential to register early if you plan to stay overnight. The campgrounds fill up fast.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

13 days ago

backpacking
25 days ago

Cathedral Lakes is the sight to see. Tough climb to get there but well worth it!

25 days ago

Enjoyable moderate hike with some typical Yosemite granite cliff scenery. As of 7/28 there is zero snow on the trail - its muddy at times and bug spray is still a must. The sign at the intersection is confusing because it points down to "Cathedral Lake' (not Lower) while the trail up doesn't mention Upper Cathedral at all. The final .5 to Lower Cathedral is a bit of a logistical challenge - pretty swampy, a balance beam style log crossing over a still powerful stream and a lot of trees down and no obvious indication of where the trail goes. Lost it a couple times. If you've never done it before, feel confident in your ability to retrace your steps with landmarks or use a GPS/map and compass to be sure you're going the right way. You probably can't get too lost with Cathedral Peak and a loud stream to use to keep your bearings, but hazards await if you're careless. Upper Cathedral is smooth sailing, so long as you are well-DEETed.

hiking
27 days ago

The fifth day of Yosemite hiking: We hiked from Tioga Road to Lower Cathedral Lake. The bugs were terrible.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail with trees, creeks and extraordinary view of the cathedral peak and the granite rocks than surround the lakes. On the way up we encountered the trail covered of snow but easy to follow. At the end the spectacular and frozen cathedral lake. Quiet and relaxing. I couldn't resist the temptation to jump in the water. We rest a little and enjoy the most exquisite view in front of us. Beautifully amazing.

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

You'll need a GPS to navigate the snow melts, which cover about a 3rd of the trail. You'll also get wet, especially as you get closer to the lake. I was given advice that once you reach the fork that goes down to the lake, stay off the trail and keep to the right of the stream to minimize the amount of bog you go through. As long as you keep it within earshot, it's hard to not end up at the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

This hike is worth it! Once you reach the top the view is absolutely stunning! I will be doing this one again.

4 months ago

5 months ago

Was amazing a bit hard at the very beginning but worth everything!!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike to some alpine lakes. The first part of the hike is actually pretty steep, but as soon as you get past that, it's an easy and enjoyable hike. We got lost for a few minutes on the return portion because the trail wasn't marked very well. There were a fair amount of people on the trail. I recommend this hike if you want a day or two outside of Yosemite Valley. Tuolumne Meadows area is very beautiful and worth the drive!