Chain Lakes

Yosemite, California

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This is a perfect weekend hike into the classic glacial scenery that is the hallmark of Yosemite. The route takes you up a glacial moraine, then along a series of lakes gouged out by the flow of ice, over rock that displays fine examples of glacial polish and striations. There are wildflowers in profusion and trout in the lakes. This corner of the park is less well known because it’s off the beaten path, and the drive to the trailhead is longer than most, but it’s well worth your time. A possible bonus is that you might have better luck getting a permit to enter the park here than at some of the more familiar trailheads.

Chain Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"This is a perfect weekend hike into the classic glacial scenery that is the hallmark of Yosemite. The route takes you up a glacial moraine, then along a series of lakes gouged out by the flow of ice, over rock that displays fine examples of glacial polish and striations. There are wildflowers in profusion and trout in the lakes. This corner of the park is less well known because it’s off the beaten path, and the drive to the trailhead is longer than most, but it’s well worth your time. A possible bonus is that you might have better luck getting a permit to enter the park here than at some of the more familiar trailheads."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Yosemite
Distance: 16
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 8 to 12 hours
Season: Best mid-June through September, whenever Beasore Road is open
Local Contacts: Sierra National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Sing Peak

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Jun 2018