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Ten Lakes

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite + Central Sierra, California

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Ten Lakes

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  • The Lukens Lake Trail in Yosemite National Park.- Ten Lakes
  • Lukens Lake, Yosemite National Park.- Ten Lakes
  • Half Moon Meadow (8,860 ft), a beautiful place to rest before grinding up the final series of switchbacks to Ten Lakes Pass (9,660 ft).- Ten Lakes
  • The final switchback ascent to Ten Lakes Pass in Yosemite National Park.- Ten Lakes
  • The upper reaches of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park, viewed from Ten Lakes Pass.- Ten Lakes
  • One of the Ten Lakes in Yosemite National Park.- Ten Lakes
  • One of the Ten Lakes in Yosemite National Park.- Ten Lakes
  • Dry-fly fishing for trout in one of the Ten Lakes, Yosemite National Park.- Ten Lakes
  • The moon-like alpine landscape at Ten Lakes Pass in Yosemite National Park.- Ten Lakes
  • An alpine meadow at Ten Lakes Pass in Yosemite National Park.- Ten Lakes
  • Yosemite high country views from the Ten Lakes Trail.- Ten Lakes
  • Yosemite high country views from the Ten Lakes Trail.- Ten Lakes
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful lakes with excellent camping. Moderate crowds for Yosemite.
Cons: 
Tioga Road closures clip the shoulder seasons.
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Region:
Yosemite + Central Sierra, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,600.00 ft (792.48 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
15.00 mi (24.14 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
8,300.00 ft (2,529.84 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The Ten Lakes are a series of alpine glacial run-off lakes in the Yosemite National Park high country between Tioga Road and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River (Hetch Hetchy Valley). The lakes are sprinkled around a roughly bowl-shaped basin and feed into each other before draining into the Tuolumne River and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

Wilderness permits are required to overnight in this region. The Ten Lakes Basin can be accessed from White Wolf Campground or the Lukens Lake, Ten Lakes or May Lake trailheads, with one-way hikes of 9.2, 9.0, 6.1 and 14.6 miles, respectively. The Lukens Lake Trail is forested for most of the hike, while the Ten Lakes trail passes over significant stretches of open Yosemite high country granite with sweeping views. With the exception of the May Lake route, all trails climb to 9,960-foot Ten Lakes Pass before descending to the lakes, which are situated between about 9,000 and 9,500 feet of elevation. Hikers willing to make a short excursion northwest of the pass are rewarded with a stunning vista point overlooking the lakes basin and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River.

The lakes offer superb camping. Numerous campsites have the perfect combination of views, shelter and access to the water, and the lakes themselves are full of naive alpine trout that see limited fishing pressure. Backpackers willing to navigate away from the trail to the less-frequented lakes will find greater solitude and may even have one of these gems to themselves. Campfires are frequently permitted in the Ten Lakes backcountry, but be sure to check the park's current fire restrictions before your visit. 

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(57 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

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Who's Done It
10 Members
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96 Adventures Explored
48 Adventures Published

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