May Lake from Sunrise Lakes Trailhead [CLOSED]

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Yosemite National Park

May Lake from Sunrise Lakes Trailhead is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 6.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,204 feet Route Type: Out & Back


nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers



no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information.

6 months ago

Decent, but not great and not the tail if you’re looking to get away from it all. Trail is along the road for first section, then you arrive at a parking lot for the last section to the lake, which has a large campground with a number of structures. A couple of nice peeks at Half Dome and May Lake is beautiful. Trail is easy and previously paved.

7 months ago

I did this trail up to May Lake and did the loop down Murphy Creek. The trail is like whatever it starts going up a rocky trail until May Lake I did not enjoy that part but May Lake was a nice area to take a break at. Then I continued past May Lake the trail then descends down a real rocky trail and finally starts to get better as you pass the lake it starts getting forested as you head for the Murphy Creek junction. The Murphy Creek looked like it would have been nice to see in Summer but it was dry in the fall.

9 months ago

The road to the parking lot for the May Lake trailhead was closed, so we parked at the Sunrise Lakes trailhead and walked along Tioga Road until we got to the trailhead for this route. It was a nice hike from there. There was an incline, but it wasn’t too steep. It was rocky, so I definitely recommend hiking boots (or at least trail running shoes). There was shade from the pine trees and wildflowers along the way. The lake was beautiful. We actually went a little past May Lake to a place where you can get a great view of the surrounding mountains. Altogether, it’s a great day hike. I recommend getting to the Sunrise Lakes trailhead early, to get a parking spot.

Sun Sep 16 2018

We had a wonderful guided tour with Ranger Jacqueline Ramirez. This is an absolutely beautiful Trail. We tried to hike up now coughing but it was just too strenuous. Even if you go a little way the views are spectacular

Thu Jul 19 2018

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!

Tue Jul 17 2018

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 ;)

Thu Nov 27 2014

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

Fri Jul 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.

8 months ago

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Wed Oct 31 2018

Tue Sep 18 2018

Sun Sep 09 2018

Sun Jul 23 2017

Thu Jul 18 2013