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Re: Cathedral Lakes > Sunrise Lakes > Lake Tenaya (Late September)

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Cathedral Lakes > Sunrise Lakes > Lake Tenaya (Late September)
April 18, 2019 05:41AM
Hi all,

First time Yosemite visitors and fairly experienced hikes/campers. We are heading out to Yosemite for 10 days in late September/early October of this year. We were lucky enough to get a Half Dome day pass, and also have our Wilderness pass so should be all set.

I wanted to ask some advice on our proposed route. We are doing some overnight camping to start out, and then focusing on day hikes for the second half of the trip.

The rough plan is to start at the Cathedral Lakes trailhead (camp at Lower Cathedral on night 1), hike down towards Sunrise Lakes (overnight here), maybe day hike out to Cloud's Rest (stay back at Sunrise) then hike back out on the Tenaya Lake trail and exit via the Cathedral Lakes trailhead.

Does that sound reasonable or are we cramming too much in to 3 nights/4 days? My main concern is whether the hike out from Sunrise Lakes via the Tenaya Lake trail will feel like too much of a death march after all the other hiking we'll have done. Any advice is much appreciated and thanks for helping some Yosemite rookies!

I also wanted to check - will it be fine to leave our car parked near the Cathedral Lakes trailhead for the 4 days we'll be out?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2019 05:50AM by Rearviewmirror.
Re: Cathedral Lakes > Sunrise Lakes > Lake Tenaya (Late September)
April 18, 2019 08:03AM
Well--the real question is if you are going to enjoy that hike along Tenaya Lake and the highway. Most of it is just off the highway 50 feet or so, once you get past the swamps at the upper end of Tenaya. On the other hand, if you are getting tired, there is plenty of opportunity to try to catch a ride back to the trailhead.

You might also look at hiking cross country from Upper Sunrise to the JMT as it runs through Long Meadow, and head back that way. You could also spend a night at Echo Lake (decent campsites are on the West side up in the trees( and hike out from there.


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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2019 08:03AM by balzaccom.
Re: Cathedral Lakes > Sunrise Lakes > Lake Tenaya (Late September)
April 18, 2019 03:46PM
Sounds like a great itinerary..not too much hiking...plenty of time to enjoy the scenery -.suggestions:
Stay Upper Cathedral instead, south - far side... up in the rocks first night.
Second night, Lower Sunrise...closest to CR...right side behind big rock...lousy fishing but a great swimmin' hole.
Third day...bag Clouds Rest and back to camp at Sunrise Lake..
Day 4 down the Tenaya switchbacks...one person can hitch back to get the car at the Cathedral TH.
There's lots of stuff on this forum about that area, poke around for it. Sounds like an leisurely itinerary, except for the Lower Sunrise back to Cathedral trailhead via Sunrise Lakes trailhead on the last day, with the walk along the road (mostly uphill) back to the car, as balzaccom noted.

You said you have HD permits but you didn't include HD in your itinerary. If you're not planning to use the permits, tell the people in charge that you won't be using the permits, so they're available for someone else. If you are planning to use them, consider changing your itinerary so you get to HD on your last day and the come off the trail at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. You'll need a second car to ferry yourselves back to the trailhead, or maybe the YARTS bus will still be running then and at least one of you can catch that back to your car.
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