Tioga Peak is a 2.7 mile out and back trail located near Lee Vining, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October.

Length2.7 miElevation gain1,758 ftRoute typeOut & back
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo dogs
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Getting There

Tioga Peak is a nice and easy peak found near Tioga Pass just east of the Yosemite boundary. An easy peak for those looking for a beginner's introduction to cross-country travel in the Sierra.  If you follow the northwestern ridge you will find a nice use trail. If you decide to continue on the trail to the lake first and then head up the slope, you'll have to navigate through some brushy overgrowth. Although any approach is easy, the easiest way to attain the summit is to follow the northwestern ridge. This short climb offers spectacular views of the Sierras including Northern Yosemite, Mount Conness, the lakes along Tioga Pass Road (Tioga and Ellery), and across to Mount Dana.

To get there, follow 120 east through Yosemite. Look for the turnoff to Saddlebag Lake (just past Tioga Pass Resort). Turn left on this rough dirt road and follow it about 1.5 miles to the parking for the Gardisky Lake trailhead. Park here, then find the trail across the road.

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Reviews (27)
Photos (39)
Activities (22)
Completed (48)
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Parker W
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Hiking

This is a good one. Use trail exists for most of it. Scrambling if you could call it that is very minimal so agree this is a good ‘beginner’ trail, though it’s fairly steep the whole way so don’t be fooled by the short distance, it’s physically demanding. Great views of Dana, Conness, North Peak and more. I think it would be awesome to get to the peak for sunrise and make a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy. Probably good for sunset as well.

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Laura Twietmeyer
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Hiking

Incredible. It was my first peak and it was a good one to start with!

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James Misslbeck
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Hiking

Beautiful, empty , great views

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Jonathan Veras
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Hiking

Out standing !!

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James Cluggish
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Hiking
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Omo Ogbe
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Running

Rewarding hike. Amazing views and very windy. Make sure to check out gardisky lake. Good spot to chill on your way down

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Michael Figueroa
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Hiking

Ok, here is the low down. I would divide this hike into 3 sections. Section 1 is a shaded forest hike with a steep incline. Section 2 is mostly open and green like your ascending a big hill. Section 3 is hiking up shale also with an steep incline. The views from Section 2 and 3 are beautiful but Section 3 is a 360 degree jaw dropper of the gorgeous High Sierras and Dana Peak! You will never forget those views! I recommend one or two hiking poles for the incline and the rocky part of Section 3., the rock is pretty stable though which is good. You can get to parking in a 2-wheel drive sedan though its a little bumpy. Also, the sign at the trailhead parking claims its just a hike to the lakes at Section 2 but you’ll have to connect the dots from Section 2 to 3 yourself because no linking path that appears on the All Trails map unfortunately. Lastly, I recommend starting early and going slow both up and down. This will conserve your energy and you’ll last way longer than thinking its a race ;) Enjoy, you can do it!

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Angie And Derek
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HikingOff trailRockyScrambleWashed out

Short but TOUGH. Trail completely disappears once you reach the saddle, if you follow the "obvious" trail it peters out in thick scrub and takes you up a hardcore talus slope. When the GPS tells you to veer off the obvious trail after the initial incline mellows out, do it. It'll take you up to the trail through the talus and make your hike a lot less frustrating. Also, there's a false summit at the top, so don't be fooled! Basically straight uphill from the trailhead, with a short breather at a saddle, then straight up again to the top. Inclines at times at around 60 to 70%. The whole trail is above 10,000' so unless you're a sherpa, probably going to be a challenge as far as the oxygen level goes. Fun, challenging, and an amazing view of multiple lakes, peaks, valleys and beautiful forests up top.

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Maryann Cantone Hanna
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Hiking

2.8 miles round trip. don't let the low miles fool you though, this is a HARD hike. it starts at over 9000 feet elevation and goes to over 11,500. the entire trail is at a steep incline. this was a 1 and done for me. the views are nice at the top but not worth a 2nd trip.

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Darrel Bibicheff
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HikingRocky

Just completed this hike yesterday. It is short in length, but it sure is strenuous. I was with family, so it took around 2 hours up and 1 hour down. Trail is very easy to follow until you get to the lake. Once at the lake, it kind of fades away so just simply walk uphill in whichever way seems easier. There is currently snow at the lower portion of the incline, but it is very solid and not too steep, so I wouldn’t say any traction is necessary. After that, it’s just a lot of loose scree till you get to the top. Views were outstanding of the surrounding mountains and alpine lakes. Would definitely recommend this hike for anyone trying to bag an “easy” summit in Yosemite that has a somewhat adequate level of fitness.

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Vera Urbanovich
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Hiking

Awesome views on the top. Trail sometimes hard to find, but it's so worth it!

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Emma Lasky
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Hiking

After a pretty grueling uphill for the first half of the hike, you will end up at a beautiful alpine meadow. My group took time to relax here before strolling up to the top of Tioga Peak. Once at the top you will find a registry and pretty views from all angles. Highly recommend for a physical but relaxing day hike!

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Doug Simerlink
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Hiking

Steep from the start. No need to head all the way Gardinsky Lake to begin summit attempt. After reaching initial climb on trail find a clearing to the right, head through trees and stay right until you locate trail. Pickup summit trail to the right of the forest.

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Gabe O'Leary
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Running

Pretty great bang for your buck on this one. Hard to beat for a quick sunrise/sunset hike. The views down to Tioga Pass and Mount Dana are spectacular. I headed to the lake first and then up towards the NW Ridge. No trail from the lake, and you must pass through some trees where there is still a bit of snow (no traction etc. necessary). 1 hour to the summit and 30 minutes back to the trailhead.

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Jerry Horner
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Easy and quick summit. If you're doing the loop suggested here, it is easy to lose the trail if you're going clockwise past the lake. When in doubt, go up. A little slippery, but manageable with hiking poles.

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Brian Paden
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Hiking

Great view of Tioga and Ellery lakes.

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Jason @trailmale
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Hiking
First to Review

It's not a long hike but the elevation gain will get your heart pumping. Views of White Mountain, Mount Conness and Mount Dana are pretty sweet.

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Shaemus Nevin
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Hiking
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Chris Morgan
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Hiking
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Jimmy James
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Scenic driving
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Chris User
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Hiking
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kendal hiemke
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Hiking
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Charles Tallcott
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Hiking
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Oscar Rodriguez
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Hiking
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Emily Forte
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Hiking
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Dante Bruno
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Hiking
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Ben Kelly
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Hiking