Gardisky Lake

Lee Vining, California 93541

Gardisky Lake

Gardisky Lake Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This trail is short and steep and a stunning climb through pines along a creek that looks back westward toward Yosemite’s kingdom. You crest onto a plateau with a picturesque sprawling shallow lake and panoramic views.

Hikers with dogs lucked out here: Gardisky Lake is worthy of the Yosemite National Park embrace, but by some fluke of boundaries, it is in the national forest rather than within the national park and therefore dog compatible."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity (Wilderness Press)
Elizabeth Wenk
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"On my many trips to Gardisky Lake, it is immediately clear that this is a hike Tuolumne area lovers return to again and again—a woman recently commented to me that she always comes here to see the wild onions blooming. Indeed, who wouldn’t want to do a short hike that leads to some unbelievably dense stands of meadow wildflowers and then leads to an alpine lake that seems to be sitting on a ridge and is flanked by two easily ascended peaks?"
Best Hikes with Dogs: Central California (The Mountaineers Books)
Linda Mullaly & David Mullaly
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"This short, demanding cardio sprint is an incredibly rewarding hike but best appreciated after a couple of days of acclimatization. Even if you feel an adrenaline spike coming on because it’s less than a mile, it’s not fair or safe to crank your dog from sofa or backyard mode straight into Gardisky gear. Start this hike in the morning when the trail is still in the shade of pines and cool of spring melt-fed grasses. The trail climbs relentlessly, tempered only by the occasional switchback."

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Trail Information

Lee Vining
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
1 hour
Summer and early fall
9,730 feet
Trailhead Elevation
10,460 feet
Top Elevation
Inyo National Forest, Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitors Center, I-395 at Lee Vining; (760)647-3044;
Local Contacts
USGS Tioga Pass, Mount Dana; USFS Inyo National Forest
Local Maps