Hiking/Backpacking Lakes Wilderness Yosemite Backpacking Yosemite Itineraries Yosemite National Park

Discovering Roosevelt Lake in Yosemite National Park Backcountry

Written by sierrarecmagazine

Tuolumne Meadows – North of Lembert Dome in Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadow is striking section of the Sierra Nevada Range that climbers and hikers for generations have enjoyed exploring. With famed locations such as Mt. Conness and Ragged Peak calling climbers and backpackers to the north of Tioga Pass, but it was a set of lakes that drew us there for the first time four years ago. Young Lakes has a special place for us here at Sierra Rec , as it was the destination of our very first Yosemite Backpacking adventure in 2017. But it was the lake that we did not visit on that trip that left us wondering what we missed on that trip and brought us back here again four years later.

Roosevelt Lake is a often missed treasure for visitors to this region of the park. Mostly because there is no assigned trail to Roosevelt lake meaning that visitors need to be good at reading a map and following terrain in order to visit and return safely to Young lakes or Tuolumne Meadows.

At approximately 10 miles from Tuolumne meadows and at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Roosevelt lake is best seen on a multiple day visit in the park. Traveling to Young Lakes via the Dog Lake Trail is our favorite way of traveling. This route is a bit steeper than the Glen Aulin branch to Young Lakes, but provides a more diverse experience in my opinion.

After Camping a night at Youngs Lake, hikers can head North down a fairly steep canyon that stands between the two lake basins. Looking a the map we choose a route that crossed the creek at Lower young lakes and traveled downward to the east aiming for an area at the bottom where two creeks joined in a meadow. Felt like maybe 3/4 of mile down the canyon. Crossing the canyon and creeks we then followed the creek up to the North towards Mt. Conness. This seemed like the best place to go up based on terrain features and steepness of slope. After climbing for approx. mile the top of the hill opens up into this stunning High Alpine Tundra region.

Backcountry Creek Between Youngs Lake and Roosevelt Lake

on the approach to Roosevelt Lake the stunning blue water against the backdrop of Sheep Peak and the McCabe Peaks to the North is beautiful. The shoreline is a mix of meadow and granite boulders and the water is so clear that you can see the brown, tan and blue lines as the water deepens just of shore.

This Lake is a pure snow melt lake fed by snow melt off the surrounding peaks and is a breath taking swim. They are currently doing a study on the fish in the lake and i believe long term are exacting the fish from the lake and restoring it to its natural state. All current fish are transplant fish which are not native.

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