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May Lake - Best Short Hikes in Yosemite National Park

May Lake, Yosemite National Park
May Lake, Tioga Pass

Yosemite no doubt is one of the most stunning National Parks in the country, each season has a different experience to offer. Rock climbing and hiking are the most popular activities. Breathtaking vista point across the park are incredibly soulful.

While there take a quick hike and get deeper into the forest, try this short 2.4 miles round trip hike on Tioga Pass (trailhead is open only after the snow clears out, which could be way into June or July). The hike takes you to this super serene high altitude lake, and the High Sierra Camp, along the way you will stop several times for the fantastic views of the area.

Getting there

Outdoorsy Tribe was closer to Curry Village and planned to drive to Tioga Pass for this hike. There is a fuel station right at the junction as you head towards Tioga, remember to refuel at this stop before heading out. Take stops along the way to enjoy the beauty of Yosemite. As you go past Olmsted Point, watch for signs for May Lake, turn onto this road, more of a offroading track that takes you to the small parking lot at the trailhead. Uneven, wooded and rugged road, tribe was thrilled to see snow patches way into July of the year. Make sure you keep watch for wildlife and cars, as the road is narrow and can possibly only allow one vehicle to pass. Drive slowly! To our surprise the parking lot at the trailhead had ample space, pit toilets and bear safe boxes. Why this is important? Bear 🐻 country!!!!! If you have food in your car, it's important to remove and safely keep it in the bear boxes.

Yosemite National Park, hike to May Lake

From the parking area, the trail to May Lake leaves from right next to the pit toilets. The trail climbs gradually via a wooded section. As you move along, you will notice the terrain turn rocky, rough rocks that seem like big stairs, be sure to follow these steps. It's easy to lose way as all rock seem similar, stay the course. Soon the tree line with start to thin out and endless views start to open up. Past this area, there will be switchbacks and thats when you know you are almost there. Cloud Rest, Half Dome, Mt Hoffman views can be seen from the hike.

If you were one of thos lucky ones to have attained a permit, the High Sierra camp is right next to the lake, set up, refresh and enjoy the wonderful lake. If you were a day hiker like us, rest, take a dip in the lake (make sure you are comfortable with alpine lake temperatures). Tribe enjoyed some quick snack, dip in the water and it was time to head back down. There were tons of bugs along the lake, so remember to carry your bug repellent.

Coming back down the same way was far faster, tribes next stop on Tioga was Tenaya Lake. What an amazing lake and so much fun taking cold water dips.

Learning's from the tribe - Easy hikes also sometimes lead you to beautiful places. Explore new everyday.

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