Yosemite Cathedral Lakes Day Hiking Tour

Starting from


CaliforniaYosemite National Park
Tour Length
4-6 hours (summer only)
Guide Type
Skill Level

This tour is available during the summer season. Click the “check availability” button to see available days. 

Winter season hikes: Vernal & Nevada FallsDewey Point,  Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Valley – Family Friendly

Spend a day hiking in Yosemite National Park’s wild backcountry on this guided trek to Cathedral Lakes! The Cathedral Lakes hike starts at 8,570 feet (2,612 m) elevation surrounded by old growth pine forest before the trail steadily climbs to Lower and Upper Cathedral Lakes. After ascending nearly 1,000 feet in 3.6 miles we reach Lower Cathedral lake. The views from Lower Cathedral Lake of the Yosemite Valley and of towering Cathedral Peak make our climb well worth the effort! While resting on the granite banks keep your eyes peeled for views of the deer that often graze near the lake shore.

Another 1.5 miles and 300 vertical feet (91 m) of hiking bring us to Upper Cathedral Lake. Upper Cathedral Lake is tucked away inside a granite bowl surrounded by both Cathedral and Tresidder Peaks. After a rewarding lunch and a bit of relaxation we’ll descend on the same well-maintained trail back to the Cathedral Lakes trailhead.

What's Included

Tour Price Includes

  • Professional Wilderness First Responder certified guide
  • Water and snacks
  • Breakfast
  • Trail lunch
  • Daypack rental
  • Trekking poles rental
  • 1:7 guide to hiker ratio

What to Bring

Required Gear

Waterproof or water resistant jacket (seasonal) and the capacity to carry at least 3 liters of water.


Layered clothing appropriate for hiking and changing weather conditions. Baselayers, an insulating midlayer, and a shell will work together to keep you comfortable. A fleece or ‘puffy’ jacket or vest is highly recommended, as is a fleece hat and gloves.


Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots or trail running shoes are required. Synthetic or wool socks are recommended.


Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, handwarmers, hiking poles, rain pants, supplemental snacks, gratuity for your guide.

Upgrades + Additions

Transportation from AutoCamp Yosemite (pending availability)

Up to 10 people – $100 per group

Larger groups – call to inquire

Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (8.05%).


  • 1 Person $ 540 540
  • 2 People $ 280 pp 280
  • 3 People $ 240 pp 240
  • 4-5 People $190 pp
  • 6-7 People $155 pp

Prices do not include guide gratuity or a 5% pass-through fee charged by Yosemite National Park.

Days & Times

Tour Days

Tours run daily Monday-Sunday

Available June-September

Departure Times

Tours depart at 8am & 10am
Activity duration: 4-6 hours

Advance reservations are required

Hiking the Cathedral Lakes Trail in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park’s soaring granite cliffs and leaping waterfalls make it unique among the natural wonders of this world. But the wonder of Yosemite doesn’t stop there. The park is filled with groves of giant trees, covered with lush carpets of green, teaming with forrest critters, criss crossed by snow fed streams and punctuated by rocky granite peaks. This makes it a wonderful destination for all kinds of adventure including hiking, backpacking, climbing, and more.

The history of Yosemite is the history of the world’s public land parks, being designated the first park of its kind in 1864 to be managed by the state of California. Yosemite would ultimately become part of the National Park system in 1890 However, for centuries before the park was protected for the enjoyment of all, it was home to the Awahnee tribe of Native Americans. They thrived in and around Yosemite Valley, harvesting acorns and hunting deer. They regularly traded with the Mono Paiute and Sierra Miwok tribes. Before any humans had even laid eyes on the enchanting Yosemite Valley, glaciers covered the ancient Sierra Nevada mountains. These massive instruments of destruction cut and tore at the layers of rock that made up this spine of rock. Once they retreated, they left behind the unique U-shaped Valleys, vertical cliffs, sharp peaks, and polished domes that are the foundation to this National Park, one of the greatest mountain landscapes of the world.

Hiking the Cathedral Lakes Trail in Yosemite