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blue Tuolumne Meadows to Elizabeth Lake: Out-N-Back

  4.3 ( 3 ) Favorite


8.1 mile 13.0 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 1,023' 312 m
Descent: -1,023' -312 m
High: 9,504' 2,897 m
Low: 8,641' 2,634 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)


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Trail shared by Nate Porter

A smooth hike that peaks at a spectacular view of Elizabeth Lake at the base of Cathedral Peak.

Nate Porter

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly 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.

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Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Aug 30, 2017
Shlomo Waser
Above mileage is round trip from the campground to the lake plus about a mile going around the lake. 5.3mi
Jul 16, 2017
Elizabeth Bacon
we couldn't quite make it to the lake due to very deep and wide outlets. Mosquitoes galore, bring deet!
Jun 13, 2015
David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes


  4.3 from 3 votes
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