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Tioga Road Trifecta: 1-day itinerary

Olmsted Point, Tenaya Lake, and Tuolumne Meadows
5 miles (8 km), more or less

If you don't like hills, this is the tour for you. The Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows trails are almost entirely flat, and Olmsted Point has very little vertical - how much can you fit into a quarter mile, after all?

If you not only don't like hills, but don't even like walking at all, this is also a good tour for you: you can see all these attractions without getting out of your car. Though this would be akin to getting Super Bowl tickets and then watching the game on the TV monitors in the concourse. Once you see these places, you'll want to get out and explore.

You can readily complete this tour in an afternoon, especially if you don't do the full hikes. But Tuolumne Meadows in particular is a place where a lazy walk, not a brisk hike, is in order. If the weather's good, give yourself a full day to wander about.

Tenaya Lake from Olmstead Point

Stop 1: Olmsted Point

This is one of the shortest hikes in Yosemite. But despite that, most visitors don't even bother to walk the quarter mile (0.4 km) to Olmsted Point; they're content to soak in the views from the parking lot, which are arguably as good as the views at Olmsted Point itself.

Stop 2: Tenaya Lake

If you're feeling lazy or you don't want to ford the lake's outlet at its western end, you can skip the 2.5 mile (4 km) lake circuit and just hang out on the beach at the east end of the lake. The best views, however, are looking back east across the lake from the western beach.

Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome

Stop 3: Tuolumne Meadows

If possible, make Tuolumne Meadows the last stop so you can spend sunset wandering through it. Besides bringing out the best light on the river, ponds, and flowers, end of day often lures deer out of the woods to browse in the meadow.