May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead Hike

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
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.
3-4h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
10.9 km
Elevation
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.
367 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead Hike is a stunning adventure through Yosemite’s high country that exhibits the beauty and grandeur of the granite wilderness. Wander through lush meadowlands and pine forests, before reaching the picture-perfect lake bounded by smooth granite bluffs.

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Route Description for May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead Hike

The May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead Hike checks all the boxes, from wonderful views to tough stretches of trail that will surely be a bit of a workout. Immerse yourself in mixed pine forests, granite gardens, and lush meadowlands before reaching the picture-perfect lake. We suggest wearing a pair of sturdy footwear, as sections of the path are rocky, uneven, and known to cause the odd rolled ankle. Additionally, the route weaves between exposed and shaded terrain, so wear layers and consider bringing along sun protection. Note: this path is only accessible when Tioga Pass Road is open and Yosemite National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.

Your journey along the May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead Hike begins from, you guessed it, the Sunrise Lake Trailhead. From here, walk west along the shoulder of Tioga Pass Road until you reach the May Lake Trailhead. Here, begin hiking northwest up the May Lake Trail. Mind your footing on the rocky terrain and enjoy the views of Tenaya Lake and the granite summits that adorn the landscape. Soon you will reach the true May Lake Trailhead where you will likely be joined by several more adventurers.

Continue trekking north up the May Lake Trail to the shimmering crystal-clear lake and High Sierra Camp. Revel in the picturesque sights of the shimmering waters bounded by light-colored granite bluffs. When you are through admiring the scenery, retrace your footing along the path the way you came.

Getting to the May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead Hike Trailhead

May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead is accessed from the trailhead off Tioga Pass Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    May Lake High Sierra Camp, Wilderness Permit Required.

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead Hike Elevation Graph

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May Lake via Sunrise Lake Trailhead Hike Reviews

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