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Upper Young Lakes Loop

Loop trail from Tuolumne Meadows to Upper Young Lake and return.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 14.9 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  This is a classic Sierra Nevada high country trek, complete with subalpine forests, exposed granite outcroppings, and pristine glacial... more »

Tips:  The best time for this trip is late August or September. No bugs, cooler temps, and fewer thunderstorms.

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Points of Interest

1. Fork in Dirt Road

Take the dirt road to the right.

2. Another Fork in Dirt Road

Just before Parson's Lodge, take the dirt road to the right that goes north of the lodge.

3. Glen Aulin Trail Begins

Follow the signed trail on the right towards Geln Aulin.

4. Young Lakes Trail Begins

Take the signed trail to the right.

5. Go straight - right hand trail ends in 200 yds

If you take the apparently more used trail to the right, you'll find the trail ends in about 200 yards. You can either retrace your steps to the correct trail, or like me, head northwest to intercept the correct trail.

6. Lots of Glacially Scoured Granite

7. Don't Forget to Turn Around to Enjoy the Views!

8. Junction with Dog Lake Trail - Continue Straight

9. Lower Young Lake, Ragged Peak

10. Upper Young Lake

You just can't capture the beauty of this glacial cirque with a single photo - you have to be there.

11. Middle and Lower Young Lake

Picture taken on the way back down from Upper Young Lake.

12. Dog Lake Trail Junction - Take Left Trail

Take the Dog Lake trail to the left. However, if you're not up for any more uphill, simply go straight and retrace your steps all the way back to the trailhead.

13. Alpine Meadow, Panorama 1

This picture was taken in September after a very dry year. That's Lyell Canyon just to the right of the large granite outcropping.

14. Alpine Meadow, Panorama 2

Panning right from the previous picture. That's Cathedral Peak on the right.

15. Alpine Meadow, Panorama 3

Panning right again. Cathedral Peak in the center.

16. Spur Trail to Dog Lake

17. Spur Trail to Lembert Dome