Ten Lakes Trail

Yosemite National Park, California 95389

Elevation Gain3,305ft
Trailhead Elevation7,489ft
Elevation Min/Max7489/9670ft
Elevation Start/End7489/7489ft

Ten Lakes Trail

Ten Lakes Trail is a hiking trail in Mariposa County and Tuolumne County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is 6.0 miles long and begins at 7,489 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 12.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,305 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms.

Ten Lakes Trail Professional Guides

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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"Hike to a lake-studded basin, isolated from the rest of the park by granite walls towering overhead and by precipitous granite cliffs below that plunge 3,000 feet into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. The isolation and beauty of this basin attract large numbers of visitors, so plan to reserve your permit well ahead of time."
Hiking Yosemite National Park (Falcon Guides)
Suzanne Swedo
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"The Ten Lakes Basin contains only seven bodies of water large enough to be called lakes, along with an indeterminate number of smaller ponds. The trail climbs Ten Lakes Pass, drops into the basin and skirts two of the ten lakes before climbing back out of the basin again. You can scramble to several other lakes on a layover day if you're not in a hurry. After leaving the basin you make another descent into the isolated valley of the South Fork of Cathedral Creek, climb again to round a shoulder of Tuolumne Peak, then swing south to return to the Tioga Road via May Lake. Many people start at the Ten Lakes Trailhead, visit the lakes, then return the same way. But if you can arrange a car shuttle, this horseshoe-shaped loop makes an especially rewarding backpack through varied and beautiful country."
Top Trails Yosemite (Wilderness Press)
Jeffrey P. Schaffer & Elizabeth Wenk
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"The Ten Lakes Basin is extremely popular with weekend backpackers because with only a few hours’ hiking effort, you can attain any of its seven major lakes. The three most accessible receive moderate to heavy use, but the other four, off the beaten track, are worth the effort for those who want relatively secluded camping. These lakes plus the two Grant Lakes are situated at about 8,950–9,400 feet, making them subalpine. At least the three lowest of the Ten Lakes Basin, situated on open shelves, get warm enough for enjoyable midsummer swimming."

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Trail Information

Yosemite National Park
Nearby City
Yosemite National Park
Skill Level
Swimming, Camping
Additional Use
Views, Wildflowers
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
Tom Harrison Yosemite High Country map (1:63,360 scale), the National Geographic Trails Illustrated #307 Yosemite NW map (1:40,000 scale), and the USGS 7.5-minute series Yosemite Falls and Ten Lakes maps (1:24,000 scale).
Local Maps

Trail Log