Sunrise Lakes Trail

HARD 35 reviews
#52 of 246 trails in

Sunrise Lakes Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 9.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,388 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

bugs

no dogs

Directions from Tuolumne Meadows: Travel westward on Tioga Road approximately 8 miles to the Tenaya Trailhead immediately west of Tenaya Lake.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

great trek. really peaceful and lovely views. saw some different animal's and evidence of a mountain cat.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Great day hike out to sunrise camp and back, diverse terrain and scenic view points. The lakes are cool and refreshing and the wildlife abounds.

hiking
4 months ago

Incredible views on way up to summit. Got slammed with five-minute hail storm in early september. Smooth sailing from there. Must haves- lots of water, protein snacks, good camera, solid hiking boots and thick breathable socks.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is marked hard for a reason, that real hard and steep ascent up to the Clouds Rest junction. This is for sure the hardest part I kept passing hikers resting up the way that looked exhausted! If I had known this was the hardest part of the trail I would have done Clouds Rest first instead I did Sunrise Lakes first and went back again the next day to Clouds Rest. The lakes were nothing real special. The Cathedral lakes were way better probably the best part of the trail is the valley that surrounds the High Sierra camp. Then comes another hard ascent up back to the lakes.

hiking
Fri Oct 19 2018

Flat for 1.5, then steep to the lakes for another 1.5. The lakes are pretty. No mosquitoes when we were there mid October.

hiking
Sat Jun 16 2018

Great Hike!

backpacking
Sat Aug 05 2017

the hike itself was rewarding carrying a ~30 lb pack but the mosquitos made it a point for me to remember them, lol

backpacking
Sat Jul 29 2017

This is no kiddie climb up to Sunrise Lakes. Once you are at the lakes it's excellent for a mud bath. Beautiful view of Half Dome and into Yosemite Valley when you are done with the switchbacks

hiking
Fri Sep 23 2016

July 2015 // Ugh! That 1 mile, 1000 ft elevation gain stretch of the trail was tough!!! But the lakes were beautiful. You have to trek a little ways off the trail to get to lake #2 but it's worth seeing. We've camped here before. There's an island swimmers can swim to. If you fish, check out lake #3. Lots of brookies. And you'll run into fewer people here. Very peaceful. We even saw a peregrine falcon circling overhead. What a treat!

hiking
Sun Sep 11 2016

This is a busy trail located in the Tenaya lake area of Yosemite national park. The trip can be to the Sunrise lakes or to the high sierra camp. Since this is the beginning of a few trails such as the hike to Clouds rest, it is a busy trail. Overall the hike seemed to me to have three sections, the first section near the Tenaya lake is mostly flat and very good. Lots of trees. The middle section is a steep switchback area which seemed to go on for a long time. I found myself wondering how long this would last as most people seemed to slow and need extra time to get through here. However after reading the top, the trail splits, and you continue up to Sunrise lakes, which is great for backpackers. There are three lakes, one a little off trail you will need to look for, but all are pretty and set in a beautiful location. Overall I recommend these lakes if you want to see as much of Yosemite as I do. Your legs maybe a bit sore afterwards as mine were, but definitely its worth checking out.

backpacking
Mon Aug 22 2016

Easy, gradual ascent from Tenaya Lake trailhead for about 1.5 miles, then some really brutal switchbacks for another mile, with a 1000 ft gain. That section was by far the most difficult part of our 3 day hike from Tenaya to Yosemite Valley. We camped at the first lake and it was near perfect. Great spot right by the water with nice flat sections for tents and a great granite shelf for cooking. The water temperature in late August was absolutely perfect, and there were no bugs to speak of.

camping
Fri Jan 31 2014

Switchbacks are brutal from Tenaya Lake. Otherwise a lovely spot. Makes a nice loop to Cathedral Lake and Tuolumne Meadows if you don't mind hitching a ride back to Tenaya.

hiking
Thu Oct 10 2013

Very low usage, at least when I was there. Insultingly beautiful at times; when you crest the hill, head to the right a bit and keep an eye out for a magnificent panorama view. Extremely serene place to be. I have heard of very large swarms of mosquitors in mid-Summer, though by the time I got there (mid-August), they were totally absent.

camping
Thu Jul 11 2013

Wowwww...Three lakes to choose from, but I think the one closest to Tenaya is my favorite. It has amazing camping spots over to the right with staggered rock platforms for tents etc. The lake was beautiful with half granite, half forest surrounding the lake itself. Fishing was the best I've seen in the area with huge Rainbow trout which snapped my 5lb leader twice. Note that in late July, it's mosquito feeding time, and you are dinner. We set up tents on the rocks to have a screen room to protect us from their attacks which do come in waves. lol. I've been to many lakes and this is one I plan on returning to in the future.

hiking
Wed Aug 08 2012

Completed this hike on 8-3-12. If you can survive the switch backs, the trail is well worth the effort! Beautiful day hike with lunch at the first lake on the rocks. Yosemite is a favorite destination, especially the high country hikes during the summer months!

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