It is not crowded at all. ), you will reach Cathedral Pass and another viewpoint. These are the 8 best easy and moderate trails By Carmen George. Contact information: 209-372-0200. On the ridge, you will have to drop down a bit and head toward the other bridge between the tall pillar (pictured) and the highest peak. "Can't go wrong with a lunch view of Lake Atitlan. Muir's route was the only one used for the next 76 years. You’ll descend a bit further through the trees and reach a large meadow to which you’ll ask, where’s the lake? This trail will lead you away from Cathedral Lake to the back of Cathedral Peak. Yosemite’s most popular path, Mist Trail, deserves every bit of attention it gets: This spectacular, rainbow-streaked trail skirts 317-foot Vernal Fall and 594-foot Nevada Fall and extends to Little Yosemite Valley.Hike 1.2 miles (one-way) and 1,000 vertical feet to the top of Vernal Fall; going on to Nevada Fall adds 1.5 miles and 1,000 feet to your trip. Before you leave your car, make sure you put all food and anything particularly fragrant into one of the bear lockers. Please try again. log in sign up. Cathedral Peak is a sweet place. They are part of the famous John Muir Trail (who led the petition for the U.S. to pass the National Park Bill in 1899, which established Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks). This ti. User account menu. adventures and follow local regulations. Not a shabby way to experience the high elevation country of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. Begin at Cathedral Lakes trailhead, 1/2 mile west of the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, Shuttle Stop #7 The trail climbs steadily to Upper Cathedral Lake. Before you leave your car, make sure you put all food and anything particularly fragrant into one of the bear lockers. Sounds amazing, but I haven’t done it. The Death Hike, Cathedral Peak, Yosemite -- Granite Reflections Weather wasn't too shabby looking, so Stephen Oachs and I made our way over to Yosemite National Park for some shooting at Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra. The return hike follows the same route. 12 reviews of Yosemite Cathedral Lakes "Magnificent. Distance: 10 miles roundtrip. Cathedral Lake (9588ft), the lower of the two lakes, sits within a mind-blowing glacial cirque, a perfect amphitheater of granite capped by the iconic spire of nearby Cathedral Peak (10,911ft). You can find this vista at the western edge of Tuolumne Meadows, where the Tuolumne River winds its reluctant way out of the meadow to begin its eventually raucous journey to Glen Aulin. The meadow itself can be quite stunning, especially when the grass is green and the water is running through the little streams. 5. Being an out-and-back trail, you’ll have to retrace your steps all the way to the trailhead. The difficult part of the hike begins when you reach the base of the peak, where you will need to find the route. The approach takes about an hour and is long enough from the road and hiking trails to give you a little peace (often to be shared with many climbers - start early). The textiles in Guatemala are unbe-weave-able! You’ll climb your way through an alpine forest to a junction that’ll take you to either Lower Cathedral Lake or Upper Cathedral Lake. If you’re up for even more hiking, you can add another 1.6 miles by visiting Yosemite Point and North Dome. It is a bit of a challenging climb, but the lakes are well worth the effort. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! Be careful on the last descent – I’ve gotten close to rolling my ankle on the rocky path more than once.Â, The trailhead is right on Highway 120 running through Tuolumne Meadows. I’ve only done this hike as a day hike, but it would be a lovely overnight hike as well. Incredible views with high Sierra vibes. To get here, park at the west end of the meadow and take the trail that skirts the edge of Pothole Dome. Cross the meadow and beyond the granite slab, the lake will appear. 🙂. The lower lake has a granite shelf on the far side, where you look down onto Tenaya lake, whereas the upper lake has a spectacular view of Cathedral peak. Keep heading up, and stay alongside the marked signs – it is not recommended to get too far from the signs, for the sake of the plants (and your knees). We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Now for the hardest part, where climbing possibly becomes class 4, and a little bit sketchy. There is more climbing to get to this lake until it flattens out at the lake’s height. There isn't a recommended path here, so just be careful and try to avoid the bushes. Tuolumne Meadows Campground is located in breathtaking Yosemite National Park in Central California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mount... Free ranger-led campfire programs and guided hikes are offered daily for Tuolumne Meadows Lodge guests. By findingrespiteinthemountainsfindingrespiteinthemountains From the junction, it is about a half-mile to the lake. It looks good from all sides, has expansive views from its class 4 summit block, and the SE Buttress is considered a classic climbing route. 8 miles – Out and back Again it is also a half-mile to reach the upper lake from the sign junction. Hike past pristine alpine lakes on this trek off Tioga Road, where you’ll be rewarded with views of Cathedral Peak, Echo and Tressider Peaks. Starting from the Tuolumne Meadows parking lot, this trail wanders through the classic High Sierra forest with large white granite boulders and pine trees. Enjoy the flat section before starting another more gentle climb through the less dense forest. Take the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead and hike south. There are two lakes that you can visit – lower and upper Cathedral Lakes. Tuolumne Meadows closes each winter, so double-check this website before going to ensure the roads you’ll use to get there are open for the season. Here are some things we try to do when we go: Or you’re welcome to check out some things to do in the Yosemite Valley: After reading through this post and seeing the photos, I hope you can see why I enjoy the Cathedral Lakes Hike. And a little mountain sickness. Oh hey, it worked! When we visit Mammoth in the summertime, we’ve been known to make a special trip Yosemite via the Tiago Road to do this hike. Tuolumne Meadows closes each winter, so, before going to ensure the roads you’ll use to get there are open for the season. Farther to the north, we caught glimpses of Pettit Peak and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. If you're afraid of heights, just stop here and enjoy the view (it's still awesome). Distance: 7 miles. Cathedral Lakes Hike While the hike to Cathedral Lakes isn’t especially difficult compared to some of the hikes in Yosemite, it’s mostly the elevation that will get you. Majestic Cathedral Peak is the area's youngster at 83 million years. Trailhead Group Campground is located in the eastern high Sierra Nevada Mountains of California at just over 10,000 feet in elev... Overview r/Yosemite. This lake sees some overnight camping action, so I wanted to issue a friendly reminder to Leave No Trace. Nestled in the unspoiled surroundings of the Drakensberg mountain range lies Cathedral Peak Hotel, one of South Africa’s premier resort hotels. Near the top of the climb, it passes a spur trail to Lower Cathedral Lake (0.5 mile to lake). If you’re already in the high country, consider bopping around to explore the area. When I visited Yosemite for the first time, I entered the park with no expectations. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Coming from sea level as we did for a day-hike, the trail to Cathedral Lakes begins at 8,500 feet. The looming dome of Cathedral Peak’s north side will come into view early on in the hike as you ascend up, up, up, through a thick, verdant forest. The views aren't too great long this part of the trail, but you will get a nice sense of the high Sierras. Start at Toulumne Meadows (8000 ft), and take the John Muir Trail, on the south side of Tioga Road. Hiking One Cathedral Rocks trail that takes you to the top is the Spires Gully Trail. Cathedral Peak – Yosemite. Rating: 4 (out of 4) stars, would go againÂ, Intensity: Hiking shoes, athletic clothes, day pack, plenty of water, Location: Tuolumne Meadows Yosemite National Park, California, Cost: National Park entry fee (consider getting a National Parks Annual Pass), Restrooms: The only flushing toilets are at the Tuolumne visitors center, Distance: 7 miles to one lake, 8+ to do both, Hike to stunning lakes surrounded by granite peaks, View of Tenaya Lake from the lower cathedral hike. Lower Cathedral Lake is among the most impressive of Yosemite's granite-wrapped High Sierra lakes. The trailhead does not scream at you here I am like others, so be watchful after Tenaya Lake. Let me and other travelers know in the comments what I should look forward to in the future! Located a 35-40 minute drive from Yosemite Valley directly off Tioga Road are the Cathedral Lakes. ... Our plan was to hike up to Lower Cathedral Lake and poke around. You may have to hop over these streams in order to get to the granite lakeshore. Cathedral Peak: Climber's Approach is a 5.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Stop at Lower Cathedral Lake and sit on the granite banks enjoying the tranquil waters before heading up the trail to the truly epic view of Upper Cathedral Lake. To celebrate, we explore East Yosemite National Park. While it’s not the tallest by any stretch, it has an elegance all its own. It's been on my to-do list for about 4 years now … Close. Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet. Being in the high country, you don’t want any bear-shaped visitors breaking into your car while you’re hiking. Read more a, 🥾 Another day, another volcano sunrise. The trailhead is.5 miles west of Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center and follows the John Muir Trail. FYI, it’s a great hike as well. Starting at the Tuolomne Meadows Visitor Center you will head south to jump on the John Muir Trail, move east for 2.8 miles on the JMT until the trail intersects with the Vogelsang High Sierra trailhead, you head south when you reach this trail. Yosemite Valley is accessible all year, but if you want to hike the Bridalveil Falls Trail to the base of Cathedral Rocks, you’ll have to go from mid-April to mid-December. ... Cathedral Peak and the upper lake were prominent as we climbed Cathedral Pass. I love the area because it is typically far less crowded than the Yosemite Valley with a more relaxed, discovery pace. You can camp overnight here with a special permit. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Once near the top, you have to climb a 5.6 / 5.7 chimney for about 15 feet to make the summit proper. Some of the climbing can be quite difficult, but it you stay off the ridge not too much can go wrong – just keep making your way to the top! We saw one couple on the trail. Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the entire United States, and one of the best ways to tour the park is via one of its many amazing hiking trails. Without question, I consider Cathedral Peak to be the crown jewel of Yosemite’s peaks. Explore the meadows of Tuolumne Meadows and climb Pothole Dome, Raft the Merced River in the Yosemite Valley, Hike the Taft Point and Sentinel Dome Loop, Take in the view of Half Dome from Olmsted Point, Rent or bring bikes to ride around the Yosemite Valley, Walk over to the bottom of Yosemite Falls, Hike to the bottom (or top) of Vernal Falls. Cathedral Peak and Eichorn Pinnacle This spectacular adventure takes you through one of the most scenic places in the world and provides a beautiful cross-section of the magnificent high country in Yosemite National Park. It is a marvel how hiking another half mile or so will reward you with a different view. This initial climb will get your heart rate going. Being in the high country, you may encounter snow and mud if you go right when the road opens. At the top of this climb, you’ll get a view of what looks like a giant dome looming over you. It's high on the John Muir Trail in the heart of Yosemite National Park. 4 years ago. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. The Cathedral Lakes trailhead is very near the Tuolumne Meadows village. It looks good from all sides, has expansive views from its class 4 summit block, and the SE Buttress is considered a classic climbing route. ✨, 🚣‍♀️ Kayaking with volcanoes. Start at Toulumne Meadows (8000 ft), and take the John Muir Trail, on the south side of Tioga Road. It put in perspective how much I take already being in California for granted. It is … Somewhere around this second climb or this descent, there is a tree with two burr growths right at hip height, which strikingly resembles a handsome booty. After about 1 mile, an unmarked trail will appear on your left – it is a less-traveled path, primarily taken by climbers. Spectacular. Being in the high country, you may encounter snow and mud if you go right when the road opens. Although it can get busy with those backing the John Muir trail, I’ve always found my time at the lakes to be peaceful and secluded. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. In this post I’ve detailed 25 of Yosemite's best hikes, ranging from difficult to easy, that give you epic views of May 09, 2019 12:25 PM, ... bordered by the dramatically-pointed Cathedral Peak. All of the parking is located along the road. Apparently, if you continue another half-mile (up the JMT? We headed back after soaking up this view. Most won't have gear (if they did the scramble), and there is no protection at the bottom. From the trailhead on Highway 120, you almost immediately begin to climb. This is Cathedral Peak’s north shoulder! The trail climbs steadily to Upper Cathedral Lakes. Cathedral Peak is an outstanding granite pinnacle in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park. u/Burusu. Cathedral Lakes (7-8 miles/Moderate) Part of the John Muir Trail, this is a gorgeous and very popular scenic hike surrounded by peaks like Cathedral Peak (hence the name) and by Echo and Tresidder Peaks, all standing at 10,000 ft in elevation. Making a decision will be tough, so let’s dive into what the different lakes are like. Archived. While in the meadow or at the lake, make sure to take a look up at the impressive Cathedral peak right behind you.Â, I recommend walking around the lake to the far side not only to enjoy a better view of Cathedral peak but also to get a view over the granite high country and Tenaya Lake. Before you know it, you’ll be thrust into a lush, alpine meadow. The trailhead is right on Highway 120 running through Tuolumne Meadows. Keep an eye out for the sign marking the junction towards lower Cathedral Lake. I recommend doing both lakes if you have the energy!Â. Difficulty: Moderate Head immediately to the far side of the lake for a spectacular view of Cathedral Peak from the side. Please explore responsibly! The trail continues along the side of the peak and becomes very steep, with little carabiners that you can follow all the way up, heading for the ridge. There is great dispersed camping around Cathedral Peak. You will likely see some climbers on the southeast face, but don't feel intimidated by this, as your route will be much easier. The route up to the peak is scrambling, but there is plenty of room for error and falling. Although I am sure it is possible, we did not walk the circumference of this lake. It climbs from Tuolumne Meadows up through the forest alongside Budd Creek to the base of the towering Cathedral Peak. Because the Cathedral Lakes Hike trail is the same as the John Muir Trail, there will likely be overnight backpackers and equestrians to watch out for.Â. Cathedral Lakes Hike From the trailhead on Highway 120, you almost immediately begin to climb. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, rock climbing, and nature trips and is best used from May until September. If you can only manage one hike in Tuolumne, this should probably be it. At 3 miles, you’ll reach the junction for lower and upper Cathedral Lakes. Cathedral Peak Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Barbara, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. Cathedral Peak is not a 'fun easy' scramble, as this article makes it seem. After about 1 mile, an unmarked trail will appear on your left – it is a less-traveled path, primarily taken by climbers. Cathedral Lakes, Yosemite National Park ... a spur path branches off on the right towards Lower Cathedral Lake, but for the easiest loop hike it is best to continue on the John Muir Trail to the upper lake, which is reached in another 0.8 miles. One of the most stunning peaks in Yosemite, Cathedral is blessed with some great moderate climbing. Can I Hike to the Summit of Cathedral Peak? Posted by. Not trying to be alarmist, but if I had only read this post I'd think I could just head up there this weekend and crush it in my sneakers. Elevation gain: 3,000 ft. Check conditions before you go.Â. If you’ve done this section please let me know in the comments if it is worth the extra mile of hiking! To reach Upper Cathedral Lake, head back the way you came to the junction on the John Muir Trail (JMT).Â, You’ll likely see backpackers set up on one side of this lake. The range is … Cathedral Lakes Hike. Tioga Rd, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA 95389, USA, © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. The first part of the Cathedral Lakes trail is fairly bland, working slowly upwards through the trees. See if you can spot it! The first time I visited this specific viewpoint, a cute older couple from Boston told us they visited every year, calling it “the best place on Earth”. Walk on the other side of the lake for new views or maybe a dip into the chilly waters. Cathedral Lakes (moderate) 7 miles (11.3 km round-trip), 1,000-foot elevation gain; 4 to 6 hours. Something to note if mileage is a concern for you. Be careful not to miss the turn-off, as it can be very hard to spot. Once you have the river on your right, turn around. The summit is a small block big enough for a couple people to squeeze on. The commissions help support Moderately Adventurous stay alive and kicking. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. Something to consider in the future.Â. You get clear blue lakes, spacious meadows, dramatic granite peaks, and an unexpected view of Tenaya Lake. It's our 1-year anniversary! Although it is only a slightly different view than the lower lake, seeing the full width of Cathedral Peak is spectacular. Note: If you plan to visit both lakes and are excitedly walking the circumference to get views of Tenaya or the better view of Cathedral Peak, I can almost guarantee your mileage will be closer to 10 or 11 miles. Activities . Cathedral Peak is an outstanding granite pinnacle in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park. Be prepared, smart, and safe out there. You'll hear from us shortly. July 23, 2012. It is not terribly difficult, but consistency mixed with the higher elevation of the Tuolumne area and you will be breathing heavily in no time. The first time I did this hike, we only went to the lower lake, so there is no shame in only going to one. Cheers. This whole climb is incredibly exposed and takes navigating and experience to complete. Yosemite – Frozen Lower Cathedral Lake. Both are lovely peaceful lakes surrounded by sharp granite peaks. Once you've found this trail, simply continue for about 3 miles, crossing a few small creeks along the way. The trail is wide and a bit rocky as you climb through the heavily-wooded forest. Today, several options are available, which is a good thing; on weekends climbers sometimes must wait in line for their chance at glory. The John Muir Trail passes Cathedral and descends all the way to Yosemite Valley. Check conditions before you go.Â. Once you are close to the ridge, you will stop seeing the carabiners, and can pretty much make your own path. You can do this part any way you want, but easiest is to stay as low as possible (i.e. 5. O... Backpack Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley. Breakfast and dinner service are ... Overview Overview Where should you hike in Yosemite? Duration: 3 – 5 hours. don't climb directly up the ridge) and try to spot your route pretty far in advance. Yesterday I hiked the most physically and mentally demanding hike of my life. Cathedral Lake reflecting Cathedral Peak. Can I Hike to the Summit of Cathedral Peak? This trail will lead you away from Cathedral Lake to the back of Cathedral Peak. Encouraging women to try adventurous travel, As far as hikes from Tuolumne Meadows go, the Cathedral Lakes hike is my favorite. If you were to fall during the chimney climb, you would die. It's surrounded by Cathedral Peak in the east and by Echo and Tresidder Peaks along the southern shore, all of them over 10,000 feet (3,050 meters) in elevation. Then, happily, you’ll start to descend on a sandy path. Not very technical, class 3/4 climbing. The trail starts on the north side of the road, and is very well marked. Great views of Cathedral Peak. After approximately 4 miles of quiet solitude in the forest, you will reach Cathedral Lake... Donohue Pass lies on the border of Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Adams Wilderness. She looked like the Indy Car driver Danica Patrick. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. To say the end goal was rewarding would be a complete understatement! This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. There was an error submitting your subscription. Being in the high country, you don’t want any bear-shaped visitors breaking into your car while you’re hiking. What is your favorite thing to do in Tuolumne Meadows? Cathedral Peak is part of the Cathedral Range, a mountain range in the south-central portion of Yosemite National Park in eastern Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties. Upper Pines Campground is located in breathtaking Yosemite National Park in Central California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain R... 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Of use - Privacy policy rewarding would be a complete understatement am like others, so be watchful after cathedral peak yosemite hike!