Lying at 8,150 feet, Tenaya Lake is a beautiful alpine lake popular with summer swimmers and outdoor enthusiasts that sits between Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley. Like Tenaya Canyon below it, Tenaya Lake is named after Chief Tenaya of the Ahwahnechee people, who inhabited much of Yosemite before their forced relocation in the 1850s. With Highway 120/Tioga Pass Road running along it’s north shore, Tenaya Lake is incredibly accessible when the seasonal road is open, typically from May through October. The views surrounding the lake are spectacular.
Nestled below Tenaya Peak and surrounded by multiple glacially-shaped domes, Tenaya Lake is set in stunning scenery. The west end can be accessed by the Clouds Rest/Sunrise Lakes Trailhead, and it offers the lake's best vista. Here you'll find a cozy little beach and an island that can be reached with some wading. A nice mile-long trail follows the south shore of the lake from the west end around to the east shore. A larger parking area is provided near the east shore adjacent to the large swimming beach.
The National Park Service permits use of small, non-motorized boats on Tenaya Lake. Picnic areas and vault toilets are located at multiple points around the west, north, and east shores.