Day Hiking Yosemite Hiking/Backpacking Yosemite National Park


May Lake spring Thaw
Written by sierrarecmagazine

A popular and picturesque Yosemite Lake location highlighted by Mt Hoffmann and a panoramic view of the Clouds Rest and Tioga Road regions of the Park.

Great to visit any time of the year that Tioga Road is open. The 2.5 mile one way hike has a climb of 500 feet to May Lake; 2,000 feet to Mt. Hoffmann.

Visiting in Early Spring will often give you a frozen lake with several water cascades coming of Mt Hoffman on the North-side of the lake.

May Lake – Yosemite National Park Top Hikes

Parking is limited for this trailhead so distance to your hike can vary based on where you need to park.
From Yosemite Valley, take highway 120 ten miles (16.8 km) to the Crane Flat turnoff onto Tioga Road, then take Tioga Road 28 miles (44.8 km) east to the May Lake turnoff. From Yosemite’s east entrance at Tioga Pass, take the Tioga Road west 20 miles (32 km) to the turnoff. From the turnoff, it’s 1.8 miles (2.9 km) to the trailhead parking lot. 

Climbing Mt Hoffmann is must do for scenic value in Yosemites High Country.

Views of the Cathedral Range from May Lake trail

It’s Mount Hoffmann that makes this a four-star excursion. You don’t get many chances to look down on both Clouds Rest and Half Dome without being a Horizon Air customer, and the views of the northern wilderness are nearly as compelling. The Mt. Hoffmann trail also includes some bonus views looking back to May Lake.

If parking is full and you are up for a longer excursion to get to May lake, you can also park at the West side of Tenaya Lake and find a trail that will lead you to May lake, this trail is just over 13 miles long round trip.

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