Ten Lakes Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
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.
6-8h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
19.0 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.
902 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Hike up the Ten Lakes Trail to the picture-perfect lakes so famously described by John Muir as “a glacier basin with ten glassy lakes set all near together like eggs in a nest”. This scenic adventure travels through conifers and over several Yosemite Creek tributaries up to the breathtaking Sierra lakes. If you can handle the long distance, make sure to add this one to your bucket list!

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Route Description for Ten Lakes Trail

The Ten Lakes Trail is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting adventures in Yosemite National Park. Wander through conifers, over alpine creeks, and up to the mountain basin laden with Sierra lakes, all the while being rewarded with panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We love this trek, and we know you will too, how could you not?! When traveling deep into the wilderness, it is important to be mindful of wildlife, especially when backcountry camping! Be sure to pack plenty of water and food to stay fueled as you hike. Note: the Yosemite National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.

Setting out from the trailhead off Tioga Pass Road, track north along the Ten Lakes Trail. This picturesque adventure weaves through mixed pine forests, lush meadowlands, and granite gardens that reveal panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada Range. As you wander along the path enjoying the alpine scenery, you will be guided over several tributaries of Yosemite Creek. Gradually climbing uphill, the path will eventually plateau to reveal 360-degree panoramas, before climbing down to the lakes.

Once you reach the basin bounded by Grand Mountain and Colby Mountain, you will be granted the scene of ten shimmering lakes. Explore the charming lakes and rejuvenate your tired feet in the chilly waters. After reveling in the picturesque scenery, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Ten Lakes Trail Trailhead

The Ten Lakes Hike is accessed via the Ten Lakes Trailhead off Tioga Pass Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed Backcountry Camping, Wilderness Permit Required.

  • When to do

    March-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Ten Lakes Trail Elevation Graph

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