Merced Lake Trail

El Portal, California 95318

Merced Lake Trail

Merced Lake Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"An early-season trip (low altitude, early snowmelt), this route offers all the scenic grandeur of the Valley attractions, plus the intimate knowledge of the backcountry that only the backpacker can have. Fishing is good during early season on the Merced River and at Merced Lake. Swimming is poor in early season due to cold water, but the route is a joy for photographers and naturalists."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Hikes in California's Central Sierra & Coast Range (The Mountaineers Books)
Vicky Spring & Tom Kirkendall
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"Granite surrounds you. You walk on granite and climb granite stairways. Huge walls of granite tower to lofty heights above you, the river below you cascades over a bed of granite, and everywhere you look there are slabs of granite, granite domes, and even massive blocks of granite. The trail to Merced Lake is not an easy one, as it climbs steeply for extended periods. Your efforts are rewarded with marvelous scenery. If possible, plan to do most of this hike either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the midday sun."

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Trail Information

El Portal
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
4 days
Late May - Early July
4,023 feet
Trailhead Elevation
7,200 feet
Top Elevation
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Yosemite, Merced Peak, Half Dome
Local Maps

Trail Log