Features: Lake — River/Creek — Wildflowers
Dogs: No Dogs
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.
White pine, hemlock.