Eastern Yosemite: Gaylor Lakes Hike

While in Eastern Yosemite, I went on a hike to the Gaylor Lakes. The trailhead is literally right inside of the Tioga Pass entrance to the Park and has very limited parking.

I got there in the early morning, around 8 am, and the air was crisp, the sun was rising but not hot yet, and there was a lovely breeze. It was a beautiful day.

As the hike progressed, I had to keep reminding myself that I was still in California. The views were something out of the The Sound of Music–alpine, full of meadows and lakes and trees. I learned later that day that Eastern Yosemite IS an alpine zone, which is designated as being 9000-13000 ft. in elevation.

The only problem? Mosquitoes were out in force because of the wet winter and spring the area had. But, even those pesky things couldn’t dissuade me from trying a new trail in a part of Yosemite I had never seen before.

The hike to Gaylor Lakes has beautiful wildflowers, streams crossing the trail, and gorgeous vistas. It is also a short hike, only being about a mile to the crest of the ridge, after which you can continue on to see more lakes or head back to the trailhead.

Because I wanted to do more in Yosemite that day, I decided to make it to the crest and see the first lake, take some pictures, and then head back down.

Don’t let the short distance fool you, though. The trailhead rests at about 9900 ft. of elevation, and in that short mile you gain another approximately 600 ft. It is like climbing stairs for a mile.

Thankfully, as I have been getting in better shape this summer, the hike wasn’t as bad as it could have been in any other year.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. They will be less frequent now I am back at work, but I still have plenty to share.

4 thoughts on “Eastern Yosemite: Gaylor Lakes Hike

      • I think I may need to hike more before I try longer hikes like Cathedral Lakes. I am confident in the 3-4 mile range, round trip. I haven’t done a longer day hike in the 6-8 mile range in a long, long time. But, I have read Cathedral Lakes is beautiful!

        I want to see Dog Lake when I do the Lembert Dome. Everything I have read says they are pretty easy to combine into one hike.

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