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Chilnualna Falls to Royal Arch Lake Trail

Intermediate

Trail

7.8 mile 12.6 kilometer point to point
88% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 2,389' 728 m
Descent: -328' -100 m
High: 8,544' 2,604 m
Low: 6,436' 1,962 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tilman Giese

A backcountry trail that passes three beautiful lakes within the Yosemite Wilderness.

Tilman Giese

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Description

Starting right above Chilnualna Falls, this trail leads you further into the backcountry of the southern Yosemite Wilderness and passes three breathtaking lakes on the way. The trail ascends steadily from the very beginning and climbs more than 2,000 feet. Pass a tributary to Chilnualna Creek and head southeast. You cross Chilnualna Creek after half a mile. The trail parallels the creek for a while but at a distance. At 2.7 miles, the trail from Deer Camp joins on the left. Continue east through lodgepole pine and red fir forest interspersed with wildflower meadows.

Grouse Lake is on your right at 4.8 miles. The faint trail to the lake is easy to miss as the lake itself is hidden in the trees. Grouse Lake is the smallest of the three lakes on this trail. The highlights are Crescent Lake at 6 miles and Johnson Lake at 6.9 miles. A short spur trail leads to each of these lakes and along part of the lakeshore. Crescent Lake is surrounded by vast wildflower meadows and a great camping spot (keep a safe distance from the lake). Johnson Lake is framed by forest, but a few camping spots can be found on the southwest side a little up the slope. The area around both lakes is heavily mosquito ridden for the first half of the season. You reach the junction to Royal Arch Lake and Buena Vista Lake after another mile past Johnson Lake.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#17836

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1,901

in California

#17,836

Overall
17 Views Last Month
502 Since Apr 4, 2019
Intermediate

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Photos

West side of Johnson Lake
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
Johnson Lake
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
Crescent Creek
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
Numerous dead trees line the trail to Grouse Lake
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
Lodgepole pine and red fir next to the trail
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA

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