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Hiking & Walking: California > Yosemite National Park

Quick Facts

Sunrise Lakes Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,150 Feet (2540.5 Meters) Tenaya Trailhead
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain, One-way: 1,000 Feet (311.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,500 Feet (2961.3 Meters) upper Sunrise Lake
Length, One-way: 3.5 Miles (5.83 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Early Fall
Usage: Heavy

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail begins from the Tenaya Lake Trailhead along Tioga Road slightly west of the lake. Follow the paved access road from the trailhead parking area across the outlet of Tenaya Lake to a trail junction. Bear right at this junction to reach Sunrise Lakes. The left fork leads along the southern shore of Tenaya Lake.

The trail leads westward for a short distance following Tenaya Creek then turns sharply southeastward. Within a half mile of the trail junction this route descends slightly to cross the outlet of Mildred Lake. Shortly beyond this stream crossing the trail fords the outlets creeks of upper, middle and lower Sunrise Lakes.

After leaving the third creek, switchbacks begin. The trail climbs 800 feet to a junction. Turn left at this junction to reach Sunrise Lakes. (The right side of the fork leads to Clouds Rest.) The trail descends slightly to reach the northern shore of lower Sunrise Lakes within a quarter mile of the junction. There are a few small campsites on the shores of the lower lake.

To reach middle Sunrise Lake, the least visited of these lakes, continue hiking eastward. The lake lies north of the trail and is easily accessible via a cross-country route. Upper Sunrise Lake lies over a slight rise, 150 feet, on the trail from the middle lake. It is the largest of the three lakes and the most popular for camping. Several large camping sites lie on the northern shore of upper Sunrise Lake.

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

Directions from Crane Flat: Follow Tioga Road eastward 30 miles to the Tenaya Trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Mid-June through September (NOTE: The trail may be snow covered during the Summer months.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Trailhead Parking Sunrise Lakes Trail - Tenaya Trailhead
ICON Backpacking Sunrise Lakes Trail - wilderness permit required for overnight camping
ICON Dispersed Camping Sunrise Lakes Trail - wilderness permit required
ICON Geology Sunrise Lakes Trail
ICON Fishing Sunrise Lakes Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Sunrise Lakes Trail
ICON Plant Identification Sunrise Lakes Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Sunrise Lakes Trail
ICON Swimming & Waterplay Sunrise Lakes Trail

Related Activities
Clouds Rest Trail - This trail leads seven miles one way to the summit of Clouds Rest. The peak is higher than Half Dome with amazing views and less exposure.

Tioga Road - This paved highway, maintained from June through November, leads 45 miles through the northern portion of Yosemite National Park.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Yosemite National Park, P.O. Box 577 , Yosemite, CA, 95389, Phone: 209-372-0200, Fax: 209-372-0220, TTY: 209-372-4726


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