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Ostrander Lake Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (6)

An oft-overlooked trail leading to a beautiful alpine lake.


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Map Key

6.2

Miles

10.0

KM

Point to Point

8,616' 2,626 m

High

7,012' 2,137 m

Low

1,653' 504 m

Up

127' 39 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · Views

Family Friendly Even if you don't make it all the way to Ostrander Lake, there is plenty to see in the first couple miles of this trail (which are flat and easy) that would make a great out and back for the kids.

Description

Beautiful Ostrander Lake is a terrific trail that's often overlooked because, unlike many trails on the other side Glacier Point Road, it doesn't offer terrific views of Yosemite Valley.

In the summer, when there are plenty of crowds, Ostrander Lake is generally a great place to find some peace and quiet. The trailhead starts at the Ostrander Lake Parking Area, where restrooms are available.

The first 2.5 miles of the trail pass through relatively flat terrain. Bear left at the first trail junction, then left again at the second. Next is the trail's most difficult stretch, a 1,500-foot vertical ascent to Horizon Ridge, which offers terrific views of Mount Starr King and the Illilouette Creek Basin. After peaking at 8,720 feet, the trail drops 200 feet to Ostrander Lake. On the northern shore lies Ostrander Ski Hut, where cross-country skiers can spend the night in winter.

Thanks to guidebook author and photographer, James Kaiser, for sharing this trail description. If youre interested in learning more details about great day hikes, weather, camping / lodging, and geology, check out his book: .

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

Shared By:

James Kaiser

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 6 votes

#10244

Overall
  4.0 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1,004

in California

#10,244

Overall
12 Views Last Month
2,260 Since Sep 24, 2015
Intermediate

0%
17%
67%
0%
17%
0%

Photos

Sunset rock at Ostrander Ski Hut.
Mar 3, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Ostrander Lake at Sunset
Jul 7, 2021 near Yosemit…, CA
View from the shore of Ostrander Lake
Apr 5, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
New trees grow along the trail. The canopy opens up in this part of the trail.
Nov 7, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Frost covers the plants in the early morning.
Nov 7, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
The trail is narrow as it moves through the woods. Lots of the older trees have fallen and been cut up to clear the trail.
Nov 7, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA

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Check-Ins

Jun 26, 2021
Ben C
Great hike, but hot. Limited tree cover in the middle section of the trail due to burned forest. The lake is really nice though! 6.5mi — 2h 00m
Aug 30, 2020
Jason Johnson
Sep 1, 2019
Sal Gutierrez
Jul 7, 2019
Victoria Salti
12mi
Jul 2, 2019
Rita O.
12.4mi
Jun 16, 2018
Anton Loboda
May 26, 2018
May Ang
Aug 3, 2017
Brian Steele
Overnighter at ostrander 12.4mi