May Lake Trail

MODERATE 12 reviews
#56 of 213 trails in

May Lake Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November.

5.3 miles
1,158 feet
Out & Back



nature trips




wild flowers


no dogs

This hike is part of the High Sierra Loop, a series of 6 camps located between Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley. These camps have facilities for backpackers, but the best way to go is to stay in the tent cabins which includes great meals. Most of the camps can be reached via a day hike from either Yosemite Valley or Tuolumne Meadows. This particular hike starts in the back country at Sunrise High Sierra Camp and ends at May Lake. Note that May Lake can be reached from a parking area that is only a few miles from the camp.

29 days ago

Nice hike up to the lake and not too strenuous. Unfortunately the day we went it’s was very hazy due to a wildfire outside the west side of the park so visibility wasn’t great. We also walked on for another mile or two to extend the hike. Bug spray is a must!

1 month ago

Hiked to May Lake day after Independence Day after landing a wilderness permit the week before. It's a 2 mi drive via a potholed road to the trail head. Once parked, make sure you pay attention to the trail head signs, there's 2 trails leaving the lot. A moderate 2 mi hike takes you to Lake May and the High Seirra Camp. After finding a crowded campground, decided to hike 2 more miles past the lake to fine solitude. Came upon a beautiful pond surrounded by granite and meadows - postcard picture perfect hiking/camping! The site was beyond the NPS wilderness camp arrow head and below 9,400' so campfires were permitted. Only complaint were the mosquitos, make sure to bring bug spray, it's worked but had to apply every 20-30 min. Absolutely awesome moderate hike! On the return hike, cast my fly into Lake May, but not a sign of any fish - though was greeted by a woodchuck ;)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I have never seem so many Mosquitos in my life. Pure torture. They swarm.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I went in the opposite direction, from May Lake to Sunrise Lakes. The downhill from May Lake to Teyana Lake is nice and easy, but the climb from Teyana to Sunrise is mostly steep and unrelenting. It is very cool to look across the valley and see where you were earlier that same day, the peaks that tower above May Lake, There's not much water between Teyana and Sunrise Lakes so fill up at the bottom. The lakes themselves are a good place to take a quick dip after a hot climb. And although I didn't stay there that night (I went ahead to Cathedral Lakes), the backpackers campground at Sunrise High Sierrra Camp had great views overlooking a huge meadow.

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Thursday, July 18, 2013