“This appropriately named trail is a special "must do" iconic Yosemite journey.”
— Paul Lukacovic
Views · Wildflowers
Leaving the west end of Tenaya Lake, the trail winds its way through forests and rocks before it starts the steep (at times stair step) climb. Make sure you have plenty of water for the whole route because the only reliable water source is a lake at 3.1 miles. At higher elevations the forest is less dense and much dryer with views of distant peaks.
The high point is at 5.8 miles. At this stage, you'll be traveling over an exposed narrow fin of granite, which might give some visitors a feeling of vertigo. From here you command a 360 degree view with Tenaya Canyon falling away to the West, Yosemite Valley below, and a fantastic angle for viewing Half Dome
. The Cathedral Range and Clark Range create a breathtaking skyline to the East and South.
Continuing South, the trail drops along a series of steep stairs (think of stairs leading into Mordor) and then steep trail before connecting to the John Muir Trail a little East of the Half Dome Trail
Park at the West end of Tenaya Lake or better yet park in the Tuolumne area and take the free shuttle in summer.