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Sunrise Lakes Trail

Intermediate

Trail

2.6 mile 4.2 kilometer point to point
84% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

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

Grade

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

Dogs

No Dogs
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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

Description

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 run 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 run 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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Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#5287

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
33%
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Trail Rankings

#468

in California

#5,287

Overall
26 Views Last Month
2,028 Since May 18, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

The view east from Sunrise High Sierra Camp
Dec 29, 2018 near Yosemit…, CA
Views approaching Sunrise Camp - Cathedral Peak with permission from Frank_Richards
May 18, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
The view northeast from Sunrise High Sierra Camp
Dec 29, 2018 near Yosemit…, CA
One of the Sunrise Lakes
Dec 29, 2018 near Yosemit…, CA
Lower Sunrise Lake (one of three) from the north shore with permission from Frank_Richards
May 18, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Climbing to the saddle south of Sunrise Lakes
Dec 29, 2018 near Yosemit…, CA

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