Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
825.00 ft (251.46 m)
Trail type
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Gardisky Lake is a small alpine lake in a depression on the Tioga Crest.

Beginning from the small parking area along the dirt road to Saddlebag Lake, the trail follows a clear single track path as it gains in elevation, eventually climbing over 800 feet, before rising above the treeline and hitting the meadow that the lake is in. Up here, the ground may be saturated and the path around the lake varies depending on the time of year and recent snow or rain conditions.

An interesting note on Gardisky Lake is that it drains from two sides - with a small stream running down toward Lee Vining Creek along the hiking route and forming a few waterfalls early on the path, as well as the far side of the lake where the drop toward the creek canyon is much more dramatic, and views across the Sierras stretch in cascades into the distance.

From the lake, retrace your route back down. 

There are no amenities of any kind along the hike or at the trailhead. Owing to its small parking pullout, the are rarely crowds along the hike, and definitely room to find your own space once you reach the lake.

Highway 120 and access to the trailhead closes seasonally with the first snow, and reains closed until conditions warm up again.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round


Open from

May 15 to November 12


Beautiful lake setting.


Exposed to the elements. Seasonal access closure.

Trailhead Elevation

9,730.00 ft (2,965.70 m)

Highest point

10,525.00 ft (3,208.02 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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