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May Lake

An easy day hike or overnighter to a popular and beautiful subalpine lake.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.3 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  The hike to May Lake is a bit of the essence of Yosemite -- expansive views over granite peaks, a sparkling blue lake set below 10,000... more »

Tips:  The parking lot at the high trailhead fills quickly; on the bright side, most of these people are dayhikers, so early or late arrivals... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Snow Creek Trailhead

Trailhead parking. As this is a popular hike, the lot often fills by noon on summer weekends. There is a vault toilet and bear boxes here.

2. Top of the climb

This is pretty much the end of the climb to May Lake. If you head up to the top of the ridge just above the trail here you can get an excellent view of Tenaya Lake, Tenaya Peak, and Pywiack Dome. It is also a nice place to stop for a snack.

3. May Lake Campground

This is the camping area. There are bear boxes, a water spigot, and a flush toilet here -- this is living large in the backcountry. Sites are spread out along the south side of the lake.

4. Restrooms

A truly unusual sight to see in the backcountry, an honest-to-goodness flush toilet.

5. View of Tenaya Lake

This little ridge just above the trail offers splendid views of the Yosemite High Country, especially Tenaya Lake and the way up towards Tuolumne Meadows.