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Young Lakes Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (8)

The trail to Young Lakes starts from Tuolumne Meadows and climbs up to the Young Lakes and Ragged Peak.


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Map Key

6.6

Miles

10.6

KM

Point to Point

10,031' 3,058 m

High

8,619' 2,627 m

Low

1,622' 494 m

Up

1,061' 323 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views

Tioga Road is closed in the winter and spring, so check the park website to ensure that the road is open. nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/…

Snow can persist on the trail later into the spring and summer, so check with the rangers before heading out to Ragged Peak and Young Lakes.

Need to Know

The only services along this trail are at the Visitor Center in Tuolumne Meadows or at the Lembert Dome parking lot. Make sure to carry enough water, food, and sunscreen for the hike. You can filter water at the lake and Delaney Creek, but any other creeks on the trail are seasonal. Snow can persist at the higher elevations later into the Spring or summer, so ask rangers about trail conditions before hiking this trail.

Description

To get to Young Lakes, you can follow either trail up to Young Lakes, it just depends if you want your views of the Cathedral Range at the beginning of the hike or toward the middle of the hike. For the purposes of this description, the trail departs the trail to Glen Aulin and makes its way through the woods before emerging on a granite slab at roughly a quarter of a mile. To your left is a view of the Cathedral Range and domes of the Tuolumne Meadows area that only get better as you climb uphill.

Take time to enjoy the views through this section because they will be short lived. At roughly 3/4 of a mile, the trail enters the forest and climbs steadily uphill for the next 2.25 miles. In the late spring and early summer, wildflowers bloom along the trail. At roughly 3 miles, the trail crests a ridge and drops down to a trail junction. If you go straight, you end up at Young Lakes where you can enjoy great views of the lake, with options for swimming and fishing open to those who want to enjoy the lake.

For the purposes of this description, the trail to the right is the one that leads back toward Tuolumne Meadows. The trail climbs steeply up the hillside through the woods until it emerges at the edge of the tree line and sweeping views of the Cathedral Range come into view. Ragged Peak is off to your left while spectacular views spread out before you to the right. Take time to enjoy the views, they are some of the best in sierras.

From here, the trail begins it descent back toward Lembert Dome. The trail passes through a meadow where views of Mount Gibbs and Mount Dana come into view. After crossing the Meadow and hopping over Delaney Creek, the trail climbs uphill briefly before descending to the junction with Dog Lake. From here you can turn to the left and go to Dog Lake to enjoy the views there or continue straight ahead to make your way back down to the Lembert Dome parking area or Dog Lake Parking area, depending on where you parked.

This is a nice loop trail that can be done in either direction, it just depends on your preference of when you do the climbing and when you want to get the views.

Flora & Fauna

Deer can be seen along this trail throughout the year. Wildflowers like lupine, Indian paintbrush, daisies, and other wildflowers common to the area can be seen blooming along the trail in late June and July.

Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 8 votes

#898

Overall
  4.6 from 8 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#116

in California

#898

Overall
2 Views Last Month
1,281 Since Jul 24, 2022
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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67%
11%
22%
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Photos

Taking a pit stop near Dingley Creek, on trail to Young Lakes.
May 7, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
The trail emerges from the forest and you get a great view of the Cathedral Range.  Unicorn Peak, Cockscomb Peak,  Echo Peaks, Cathedral Peak, Fairview Dome, and Medlicott Dome spread out before you.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA
The trail crosses a meadow where views of the mountains of the Eastern Sierras come into view.  You have to rock hop this little creek to continue on the trail.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA
Looking east near meadow before climb to lakes.
Jul 16, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA
Views of Mount Dana and Mount Gibbs can be enjoyed from the meadow.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA
A view of Ragge Peak from the back side as you make your way closer to the treeline.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA

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Check-Ins

Jul 11, 2022
Charles Paige
Jul 2, 2022
David Hitchcock
Hiked a loop with the vanDellens. The views of the lake were beautiful, and the views of the cathedrals breathtaking
Sep 5, 2021
Marc Corona
Sep 13, 2020
Christopher Gagnon
6.6mi — 4h 30m
Jun 18, 2020
Sophia Barwegen
Sep 29, 2018
Sara Lanning
This is a beautiful loop hike from Toulumne Meadows. 6.6mi
Sep 22, 2018
Christina Kent
Beautiful lakes!
Jul 27, 2017
Chris Toso