Sunrise Lakes Trail Map

Distance:  6.4 miles (10.3 km) round trip to the first lake; 8.8 miles (14 km) round trip to see all three
Trailhead Elevation:  8,150 feet (2,450 meters)
Total Elevation Gain:  1,300 feet (395 meters)

The red line shows the route from the trailhead, just west of Tenaya Lake, to the last of the Sunrise Lakes. That ominous set of squiggles near the south end of the trail, just before it turns east, marks a treacherous set of switchbacks where you'll climb a thousand feet (300 meters) in about a mile. Other than that, the trail is benign, but once you've done it, you'll probably agree that that stretch was enough.

The spot just south of the switchbacks where the trail, finally realizing that it's about to go off the map, veers east instead, is actually a trail junction at the top of a pass. If you continue straight instead of turning left to go to the Sunrise Lakes, you'll be on the trail to Clouds Rest.

The trail goes right by the shores of the first and third Sunrise Lakes, but passes about a hundred meters to the south of the second one, and the more absentminded class of hiker could miss it. If you're prone to missing turnoffs while you ponder the origins of quasars or a haiku you found in your bank statement or why aliens are abducting our pants, you might want to pin a note to your sleeve.