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Sunrise Lakes Trail



2.6 mile 4.2 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 595' 181 m
Descent: -493' -150 m
High: 9,755' 2,973 m
Low: 9,188' 2,800 m


Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)


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Trail shared by Megan W

The three Sunrise Lakes are a charming destination for day-trippers or basecamp for backpackers.

Megan W

Features Lake · River/Creek · Wildflowers


When you want to enjoy lakes but don't want to share them with the hordes at Tenaya Lake, head for Sunrise Lakes. From the junction with the Clouds Rest Trail, take a left onto the Sunrise Lakes Trail and hike east, following signs for Sunrise High Sierra Campsite. Cover mostly level ground though open woods and after about 1/2 mile you'll reach the Lower Sunrise Lake. This is the most visited of the three lakes and there are primitive campsites nearby.

Climb uphill for another 1/2 mile and watch closely for Middle Sunrise Lake hidden in the trees. It is not directly on the trail, you'll need to hike north a bit to reach this more isolated lake. Once found, it is your best bet for privacy. Another quick ascent brings you to the Upper Sunrise Lake which is the largest of the three and less round. These lakes are framed by impressive granite domes and slabs. From the last lake, contour up and around the finger ridge to then descend into the Sunrise High Sierra Campsite, a favorite place to watch the sunrise and a highly sought after backcountry permit to get.

Backpackers overnighting at the Sunrise Lakes are encouraged to wake up early and get to the Sunrise High Sierra Camp to watch the rising sun paint Mathes Crest with rosy alpenglow hues.

Flora & Fauna

White pine, hemlock.

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Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Jul 20, 2019
Mher Mnatsakanyan
Sep 29, 2018
Lisa Roach
Backpacking trip. Heading to Half Dome and Clouds Rest. Joined by Colleen, Sophy, and Christine
Jul 6, 2018
Rodney Hittle
Amazing spot! Camped to the right, next to the lake in a little rock cubby area with an established fire ring.
Jun 30, 2018
Sophia Barwegen
Sep 22, 2017
Jason Boerger
Aug 24, 2017
Bob King
Jul 26, 2017
Sophia Barwegen
Sep 3, 2015
Bruce Hope
As part of the HSC loop

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes


  4.7 from 3 votes
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