Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley Hike

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.
6.5-9h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
24.3 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.
792 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Explore Yosemite’s high country and low valley along the Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley Hike. This one-way adventure through the national park boasts breathtaking scenes of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, waterfalls, and alpine lakes. Seeking a challenge? Then this adventure is right for you!

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Route Description for Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley Hike

The Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley Hike is an epic excursion that boasts vertigo-inducing vistas. Revel in the grandeur of the Yosemite wilderness and get a workout in along the way! Traveling through a diverse landscape of exposed and shaded terrain, we recommend checking the forecast to avoid getting caught in an afternoon storm. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated and don’t forget to wear layers. Note: the path down into the valley is vertiginous and often slippery, so take your time and mind your footing. Additionally, it is important to arrange for pick up or drop off a car at the trail’s end! The National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.

Setting out from the Clouds Rest Trailhead, your journey along the Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley travels along the Clouds Rest Trail. Follow this path through meadowlands and mixed pine forests before ascending the famous Clouds Rest. Revel in the outstanding views of Half Dome and Tenaya Canyon, before continuing down the path while navigating several switchbacks past the Pinnacles to Sunrise Creek. Here, you will encounter an intersection and veer right onto the John Muir Trail. Again, carefully navigate several switchbacks down into Yosemite Valley and over to Nevada Falls.

Admire the views of the surging cascades, then merge onto the Mist Trail to venture down to Emerald Pool and Vernal Falls. Carefully descend the steep and slippery granite steps, following the Mist Trail all the way down into the valley to mark the end of your adventure.

Getting to the Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley Hike Trailhead

The Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley Hike departs from the Clouds Rest Trailhead off Tioga Pass Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Backcountry Camping, Wilderness Permit Required

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    One Way

Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley Hike Elevation Graph

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Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley Hike Reviews

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