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Chilnualna Creek Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

5.2 mile 8.3 kilometer point to point
88% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,728' 527 m
Descent: -77' -24 m
High: 9,031' 2,753 m
Low: 7,372' 2,247 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tilman Giese

A backcountry run up the Buena Vista Crest along a few beautiful lakes.

Tilman Giese

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Need to Know

Backcountry permit required for any overnight camping.

Description

Taking the left fork coming from Bridalveil Creek or Deer Camp, the first mile of this trail is alongside Chilnualna Creek through a few lush wildflower meadows. The ascent up the Buena Vista Crest is not necessarily steep, but very steady over the entire 5 miles of this trail.

You reach the first of the Chilnualna Lakes at about 3 miles, right after the trail makes somewhat of a noticeable left turn. The lake is fairly shallow and quickly silting in towards the middle of the summer. The surrounding blueberry bushes do make this a nice camping spot if you don't mind the mosquitoes.

The second lake is another half mile away, but off trail to the east. You'll reach the third lake at about 4.5 miles right before the final, somewhat steeper ascent to Buena Vista Lake. It's somewhat similar to the first and can be equally mosquito-ridden. The reward for making it up the final granite slope is an amazing vista north all the way to the Cathedral Range and Half Dome as well as Mount Starr King.

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Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#10067

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#1,120

in California

#10,067

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8 Views Last Month
243 Since Apr 3, 2019
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Photos

The northern Chilnualna Lake
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
Green swampy meadows along the Chilnualna Creek Trail
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
Spectacular wildflower meadows
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
View from the Buena Vista junction across the Yosemite Wilderness
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
One of the Chilnualna Lakes
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
The forest opens up as you ascend to the Buena Vista Crest
Apr 3, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA

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