Chain Lakes Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
16.9 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
525 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Explore one of the more secluded trails in Yosemite National Park along the Chain Lakes Hike. This wonderful trail exposes breathtaking views of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains that bound the shimmering alpine lakes. We love this trek, and you will too!

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Route Description for Chain Lakes Hike

The Chain Lakes Hike is a must-add to your Yosemite adventure itinerary. This epic alpine excursion provides amazing panoramas, but can also expose you to extreme weather conditions; be sure to check the forecast and prepare accordingly. Though not necessary, a trail GPS can also prove useful along this hike! Wear layers and pack plenty of water for this taxing trek! Note: the National Park charges an entrance fee; check out the NPS website for additional information and an updated pricing guide.

Embark on your adventure along the Chain Lakes Hike from the Clark Range Trailhead. Setting out from here, you will be guided north through mixed conifers and past granite outcrops to Chiquito Pass and Chiquito Lake. Revel in the alpine views and keep right at the intersection to continue hiking north over several snowmelt streams and up along granite ridges. Eventually, you will reach another junction. Keep right here and you will be diverted east to the Chain Lakes.

Starting out past Lower Chain Lake, you will climb east through the mountain basin past Middle Chain Lake and up to Upper Chain Lake. Revel in the sights of the picture-perfect alpine lake flanked by Gale Peak. Take some time to admire the scenery, before retracing your footing along the path back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Chain Lakes Hike Trailhead

The Chain Lakes Hike departs from the Clark Range Trailhead off Sky Ranch Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Backcountry Camping, Wilderness Permit Required.

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Chain Lakes Hike Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Chain Lakes Hike Reviews

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