“A smooth hike that peaks at a spectacular view of Elizabeth Lake at the base of Cathedral Peak.”
— Nate Porter
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildlife
A non-technical trail with a backcountry feel and some great views, this hike is a great option for the older kids who might want to spend a day exploring the trails.
This great 8 mile out-and-back bringing you up to the serene Elizabeth Lake, where views of Cathedral Peak and the surrounding wilderness abound.
From Tuolumne Lodge via the JMT, one must travel 0.7 miles before crossing the Twin Bridges in the meadows. Within the next 0.15 miles you'll take a sharp right and follow the river until the trail leads slightly uphill and through the campground. After this, you'll come to a fork in which the trail on the left will lead you to Elizabeth Lake.
The remainder of the hike (until you turnaround) is an uphill that requires very little technical maneuvering. Surrounded by trees the majority of the time, you might think that this trail lacks the viewpoints that other trails in the High Country afford. However, once the trail flattens out and opens up into the serene landscape of Elizabeth Lake, you'll not be disappointed. Lying at the base of Cathedral Peak, this alpine lake offers a view that simply can't be captured on a postcard...
Before you start on the amazing descent, make sure you kick back, relax, and take in the beauty that this 3-mile climb brought you to.