Tenaya Lake California Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake is surrounded by granite cliffs and pines, offering a scenic wonder for all visitors to Yosemite National Park as well as plenty of hiking trails into the backcountry.

  • Enjoy the granite outcroppings and lodgepole pines surrounding Tenaya Lake
  • The lake is located in Yosemite National Park on Tioga Pass Road
  • You can only access Tenaya Lake from June to October
  • Hike around the lake and take in the sights
  • Swimming is allowed in Tenaya Lake


Tenaya Lake CA, with its warm summer daytime temperatures, is a great place to come when visiting Yosemite. At 8,149 feet above sea level, this mountain lake is not as crowded as other lakes within the park, giving you some peace and solitude.

Location & Information

Tenaya Lake California lies between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows on Tioga Pass Road. Take Highway 120 from Yosemite Valley for 10 miles to the turnoff onto Tioga Pass Road, and then drive for 31 miles to reach the lake.

Tioga Pass Road closes in the winter so you can only access the lake from June through October.

Contact information:
Yosemite National Park
PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


  • Hiking
    Tenaya Lake Yosemite offers many trailheads into the backcountry. The loop around the lake may be preferable to those not headed into the wilderness. The Tenaya Lake trail is an easy 2.5 miles with no elevation gain. You have to ford one of the lake’s outlets that may be a bit difficult in the spring when the water is high.
  • Swimming
    The water in the lake is frigid until the late summer, and even then is chilly at best. If you don’t mind cold water, jump right on in! Swimming is allowed.

Fun Facts

The Native Americans in the region originally called Yosemite Tenaya Lake by the name of Pie-we-ack (Lake of the Shining Rocks), but the white man insisted on naming it Tenaya after Chief Tenaya, the chief of these Yosemite Valley people.