The trail to Elizabeth Lake begins from the horse camp in Tuolumne Meadows Campground. Park at the trailhead within the campground and begin by hiking southward. Within a few minutes of the trailhead you'll cross the John Muir Trail leading eastward from Cathedral Lakes.
After this trail crossing the route to Elizabeth Lake begins to ascend, gently at first, then more steeply. The steepest terrain is ascended during the first mile of this trek. The trail reaches the eastern bank of Unicorn Creek at one and a half miles from the trailhead. Shortly after reaching the creek the trail levels. It is less than a mile to the lake from this point. Continue climbing along the stream then turn right on to a spur trail that leads to the eastern shore of Elizabeth Lake.
This is a short trip to some magnificent scenery. Fishing and swimming are permitted at this high alpine, glacier-formed lake. Unicorn Peak forms the backdrop for any activity around Elizabeth Lake.
Directions from Tioga Pass: Follow Tioga Road westward approximately 7 miles to the access road for Tuolumne Meadows Campground. Turn left in to the campground. Follow signs to the campgrounds horse camping area. The trailhead lies near the bathrooms of the horse camp.
Directions from Arch Rock Entrance: Follow Highway 140 northward to Big Oak Flat Road. Turn left on to Big Oak Flat Road and travel 9.5 miles to Tioga Road. Turn eastward (right) on Tioga Road and drive 39 miles to the campground access road. Follow signs to the campgrounds horse camping area. The trailhead lies near the bathrooms of the horse camp.
Mid-June through September
(NOTE: The trail may be snow covered during the Summer months.)