Lower Cathedral Lake with Cathedral Peak in the background
Lower Cathedral Lake
Distance: 7.8 Miles (roundtrip)
Starting Elevation:  8,560 feet
High Elevation: 9,400 feet
Topo Maps: Tenaya Lake
Trailhead: Budd Creek

Lower Cathedral Lake is a very scenic but heavily visited location.  It is a short distance from Tuolumne Meadows and is located on the John Muir Trail (JMT).

This trail climbs steeply from the Budd Creek trailhead.  The high elevation quickly had Joy and I gasping for breath, we started the morning at sea level.  The majority of this trail is located on the JMT.

Because of the late snow-melt this area has a strong mosquito population.

The approach to Lower Cathedral Lakes passes through a meadow.  The Tuolumne river running through this meadow is home to numerous trout.

Snow along trail in July of 1998

Trout along bank of Tuolumne running through meadow
 near Lower Cathedral Lake

Trail Tips
Acclimate - This trip is at very high elevation.  If possible, acclimate.  Otherwise bring plenty of Advil.

Trip References:
Schaffer, Jefferey P. 1996.  High Sierra Hiking Guide Tuolumne Meadows.  Berkeley: Wilderness Press, p. 40 (day hike #5).

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This page last changed 7 June, 2004