May Lake Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,071' 326 m
Descent: -1' 0 m
High: 9,325' 2,842 m
Low: 8,256' 2,516 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)
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“A winding trail with stunning views ending at one of Yosemite's greatest gems.”— Isabel Jacobson
Family Friendly Although a steady incline on the way out, kids will enjoy climbing up to see May Lake and will enjoy the little bit of rock hopping required to get to the end of the trail.
If given the opportunity I highly recommend this hike. For many they consider it one of the best hikes in the park. in order to find comparable views on other hikes you'll usually need to hike at least 6 or more miles. For me, it almost feels like cheating to have such breathtaking views with such easy and short access.
May Lake itself is a circular lake that is fairly large. The views from the lake include that of the steep granite face of Mt. Hoffmann. The location is stunning though fairly crowded so it does not afford much privacy. May lake is also home to one Yosemites' High Sierra Camps.which does allow for the bonus of having toilet access at the lake. The north and west edges are closed to protect the delicate environment. You can swim in the lake and I have even come across people paddle boarding. May Lake is one of the best, easily-accessed places for photographing the iconic Yosemite image of jagged granite peaks reflected in calm blue waters. If your kids are up for a bit of an uphill hike this is definitely one you can take them on. Many families will use this hike as a begining hike to introduce there children to backpacking, At any age however if you are trying to get a feel of what backpacking is like this is a great option due to the steepness the increase in elevation and the short distance.
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ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed
Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite