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    May Lake via Tioga Pass Road

    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.
    10.3 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.
    328 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The May Lake via Tioga Pass Road is an awesome adventure in Yosemite that hikers of all skill levels can enjoy. Wander through conifers and up to the glittering lake surrounded by granite bluffs, where you can sit along the shoreline and admire the Sierra Nevada peaks that decorate the landscape.

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    Route Description for May Lake via Tioga Pass Road

    The May Lake via Tioga Pass Road is a must-add to your Yosemite itinerary. This epic hike travels through a more sequestered area of the park, offering a tranquil experience as you wander through mixed pine forests and exposed meadowlands to reach the crystal-clear lake. This is a popular backpacking route with stunning campsites alongside the lakeshore, so you may be in the company of other eager adventurers at the lake. Though not necessary, we suggest wearing a pair of sturdy footwear to avoid a rolled ankle on uneven terrain. Note: the National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.

    Embark on your adventure along the May Lake via Tioga Pass Road from the May Lake to Snow Creek Trailhead. Setting out from here, you will be guided northwest through the sparse meadowlands and up granite ridges. Eventually, you will reach the May Lake parking lot, where you will continue trekking north along May Lake. Enjoy the granite peaks that encompass you as you climb up to the lake. Note: the final push-up to the lake is strenuous, but the views from the lake’s shore are well worth the sweat!

    You may be tempted to hop in the water once you reach the shores of the shimmering lake, but unfortunately swimming here is prohibited. Admire the waters from the shoreline and revel in the postcard worthy scene of the glittering waters bounded by granite bluffs, before making your return along the trail.

    Getting to the May Lake via Tioga Pass Road Trailhead

    The May Lake via Tioga Pass Road departs from the May Lake to Snow Creek Trailhead off Tioga Pass Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      May Lake High Sierra Camp, Wilderness Permit Required.

    • When to do

      May Lake via Tioga Pass Road April-October

    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    May Lake via Tioga Pass Road Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    May Lake via Tioga Pass Road Reviews

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