Spillway Lake 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.
3-4.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
13.2 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.
329 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Immerse yourself in Yosemite’s high country along the Spillway Lake Hike. This wonderful excursion exhibits breathtaking views of the encompassing Sierra Nevada’s snow-capped mountains and shimmering alpine lakes. We love this trek, and you will too!

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Route Description for Spillway Lake Hike

The Spillway Lake Trail is an epic excursion that provides wonderful scenery. Though demanding, the impressive vistas along this route will justify the required effort! As you wander through mixed conifers and meadowlands you will be exposed to the elements, so make sure to wear layers and bring sun protection to beat the effects of the sun! Note that sections of the path are rocky and uneven, so wear sturdy footwear! The National Park also charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information!

Setting out from the Mono Pass Trailhead, the Spillway Lake Hike follows the Mono Pass Trail southeast over Dana Creek. This path will wander through the corridor between Mammoth Peak and Mount Gibs along the Parker Pass Creek. Enjoy the views of countless Sierra Nevada Peaks that line the horizon to the south. Eventually, you will reach an intersection and keep left to be diverted south, where the route will climb more intensely up into the mountain basin.

You will soon reach the shores of Spillway Lake. Revel in the beauty of the shimmering alpine lake bounded by the granite peaks and take some time to admire the beauty of the mountainous wilderness. When you are ready, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Spillway Lake Hike Trailhead

The Spillway Lake Trail is accessed via the Mono Pass Trailhead off Tioga Pass Road.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Backcountry Camping, Wilderness Permit Required.

  • Mountain Huts

    April-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Spillway Lake Hike Elevation Graph

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Spillway Lake Hike Reviews

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