Gaylor Lakes & Granite Lakes (7 photos)

For my last day and hike in Yosemite I picked the Gaylor Lakes/Granite Lakes hike that starts right at the Tioga Pass entrance into the park. It meant a shorter drive and the hike wasn’t too long or strenuous either, leaving me with enough energy for the long drive home to San Diego afterwards.

I was out early that morning, and after stowing my food items into one of the bear safe storage boxes at the parking lot (wouldn’t want a bear to break into my car!) I hiked up the ridge that separates Dana Meadows from the Gaylor Lakes/Granite Lakes high meadow. Down in the shade of Dana Meadows it was pretty cold but the first steep part up the ridge warmed me up quickly.

From the ridge the trail drops down a little bit to Lower Gaylor Lake, but even though the meadow and lake were all in the sun, a stiff breeze kept things nice and cool. I crossed the meadow from Lower Gaylor Lake to Lower Granite Lake, walked along the use-trail on its shore and found myself a sunny and somewhat wind-sheltered spot for breakfast before I crossed the meadow again, higher up now, to reach Upper Gaylor Lake.

A trail leads up to an old mine there but I wasn’t really compelled to go. Instead, I continued on the use-trail around Upper Gaylor Lake and wandered east a little bit for the view down into the upper parts of Lee Vining Canyon and to Tioga Lake. I didn’t see a single soul out there until I hiked back down to Lower Gaylor Lake – only there, the first other hikes made it over the ridge. I continued around Lower Gaylor Lake before heading back up the ridge and then down to my car.

I logged this hike with GaiaGPS and you can view the tracklog here if you’re interested: Gaylor Lakes & Granite Lakes.

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