Gaylor Lakes Trail

MODERATE 31 reviews
#37 of 165 trails in

Gaylor Lakes Trail is a 3.5 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 May until October.

DISTANCE
3.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1246 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Gaylor Lakes hike offers some of the most spectacular high-country views off of Tioga Road. Climb steadily to a ridge with views of the high Sierra including Mt. Dana and Dana Meadows with its scattered ponds. At the ridge crest, the trail drops 200 feet to Middle Gaylor Lake. Gaylor Peak, at an elevation of 11,004 feet, straddles the boundary of Yosemite National Park and Inyo National Forest. This route combines both on-trail and cross-country travel. You will see sweeping views back to Dana Meadows and to the mountains beyond it - Dana, Mammoth, and Gibbs, among others. The top of the pass has awesome views to the mountains east of Yosemite, and to the high Gaylor Lakes valley carved by glaciers. The trail takes you to Middle Gaylor Lake. The valley contains five lakes. There is an abandoned 1870's mine above upper Gaylor Lake. The official trail takes you to the far side of Middle Gaylor Lake at the 1 mile mark, but you can take the paths and explore other areas. A great hike for exploring, be prepared for the altitude. It is an excellent warm up hike for some of these bigger climbs. For a beginner hiker this hike will present a fun challenge in itself, mostly due to the steep initial segment and high altitude - this hike starts at 10,000 feet.

hiking
5 days ago

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20 days ago

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22 days ago

Beautiful! Easy hike. Many incredible photo opportunities.

23 days ago

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23 days ago

24 days ago

1 month ago

Great hike with more of alpine feel to it.

1 month ago

Relatively easy, with great views at the end. The lakes and surrounding mountains look like a scene from the Swiss alps. Lots of pikas and mosquitoes at the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Short but sweet hike; I did this on the day I arrived in Yosemite from the Bay Area and this was the perfect hike to acclimatize. Great views of Dana Meadows on the hike up and down and both the upper and lower Gaylor Lakes are beautiful.

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1 month ago

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3 months ago

Did this hike July 7th, 2017. Great hike, still lots of snow hiding the trail on and off, but definitely do-able. Did the hike in hiking boots and used walking poles, my cousin did it in sneakers. We began at 11:12am and had plenty of time going up, down and enjoying the beautiful views from the top.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike right off of he park entrance. Not very far but it is certainly very steep at the start. While the lakes are great a hike to gaylor peak makes for fantastic views of eastern yosemite.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I planned this hike last for a trip I was taking with some friends, and I am so glad I did, for it was easily my favorite spot that I visited in Yosemite. The initial trek up is a bit of a challenge, but it's a short one and the reward at the end is incredible. We got to the trailhead early (around 8ish after a more than two hour drive), and I recommend this approach. I did not have as much trouble climbing in the high altitude as my companion hikers did, so I barreled up the trail ahead of everyone. This means I was essentially alone when I started the descent toward the lake, and man-oh-man was it worth the effort. I'm not going to lie: I had a bit of an emotional moment. Just me and the fish and the birds and that other animal I think might have been a pika.

This is a hike where you can do some exploring. Take a nice little walk around the lakes. Follow the trail further north to an old abandoned silver mine. You can make it last as long or as short as you want. If you trek up toward Gaylor Peak, you can get a great view. I was there in mid-September, so it kind of looked like Rohan if Rohan had lakes.