Lower Cathedral Lake Trail

Yosemite National Park, California 95389

Elevation Gain196ft
Trailhead Elevation9,435ft
Elevation Min/Max9296/9435ft
Elevation Start/End9435/9435ft

Lower Cathedral Lake Trail

Lower Cathedral Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Mariposa County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is 1.1 miles long and begins at 9,435 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 196 feet. This trail connects with the following: John Muir Trail.

Lower Cathedral Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Top Trails Yosemite (Wilderness Press)
Jeffrey P. Schaffer & Elizabeth Wenk
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"Justifiably popular lower Cathedral Lake receives much use by backpackers and day hikers alike. Unless you plan your summer far in advance (or are fortunate to score a first-come, first-served permit the day before), you might have to be satisfied with a day hike—a perfectly satisfying alternative for this relatively short walk. You can extend your excursion with a visit to Medlicott and Mariuolumne Domes, worthy goals in themselves. Because shuttle buses operate between Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake, strong day hikers have another option: after visiting the lower Cathedral Lake, follow the John Muir Trail 4.55 miles to Sunrise High Sierra Camp, then head out and down 5.15 miles to Tenaya Lake, for a grand total of about 15 miles. Then take the shuttle bus back to your trailhead." Read more
50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity (Wilderness Press)
Elizabeth Wenk
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"One of Yosemite’s ultimate destination hikes, this walk takes you through dense forest to reach a spectacular lake—a large, deep glacial-carved (cirque) lake mostly encircled by smooth, polished granite and steep, glacial-carved walls. The walk is pleasant but underwhelming in comparison to the lake and therefore best for children who are old enough to understand a delayed reward." Read more

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Trail Information

Yosemite National Park
Nearby City
Yosemite National Park
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Swimming, Camping
Additional Use
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
Tom Harrison Tuolumne Meadows map (1:42,240 scale), the National Geographic Trails Illustrated #309 Yosemite SE map (1:40,000 scale), and the USGS 7.5-minute series Tenaya Lake map (1:24,000 scale).
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018