Home » Blogs » Adventures with Candace » Hiking From Tuolumne Meadows To Elizabeth Lake

Hiking From Tuolumne Meadows To Elizabeth Lake

It wasn’t a long hike up to Elizabeth Lake and it shared a million different views with me as I walked around it. Those beautiful granite mountains took that morning sunlight and cast ever changing reflections as the hazy smoke drifted in and out.

Where: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 5.5 Miles (About 4.6 Miles from the trailhead up to and not around the lake)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Range: 8,589′ – 9,518′
Elevation Gain: 917′
Date: September 16, 2021
CALTOPO: Elizabeth Lake Hike
Dog Hike? No

I just returned from camping at Tuolumne Meadows, the final week of the season that it was open. It was a good base camp to take a few hikes from the comfort of my campsite without driving through the many road constructions each day. Tuolumne Meadows Campground is located along Tioga Road, about 8 miles east of the Tioga Pass Entrance Station to Yosemite National Park. Reservations are required and whenever they reopen can be made here.

The trailhead for Elizabeth Lake starts near the horse campsites at Tuolumne Meadows Campground, almost across from the bathrooms below those campsites.

When the campground is closed, you can walk through it to reach the trailhead, following the signs but I have also included a map at the end of the blog.




I followed the signs to Elizabeth Lake as the trail led through a couple of trail junctions, then it started its uphill climb.

Some locals checked me out as I walked by.

I soon reached Elizabeth Lake. Yosemite Place Names by Peter Browning says that R. B. Marshall of the USGS named the lake in 1909 for Elizabeth Crow Simmons, a niece. (Farquhar: Marshall) The name appeared on the third edition of the Mt. Lyell 30′ map, 1910. Note that he also named Cora Lakes and Creek after Mrs. Cora Cressey Crow, his Mother In Law. I did some research on this Crow’s Landing family a while back when I wrote about Cora Lakes. It was not easy to sort out this Crow family that Robert B. Marshall married into, but I gave it a try in that blog and not so sure that the information that Peter Browning shared is all correct but sometimes the best way to prove something is to try and disprove it.

Could the lake be named for Elizabeth Crow, born 1909 Hughson, Stanislaus county, California to Ralph Browder Crow and Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Osvald? If so, she married Earl Leslie Brown, had 2 children and passed away March 27, 1940 in Modesto. Find A Grave her a link to her grave site. I located a link to an Modesto obituary but was unable to access the broken link and couldn’t locate it other ways. I was left feeling sad that she passed away so young. Or the lake could be named for her mother or someone else entirely different.

A bit of hazy smoke hung in the air to the south and I decided to walk around the lake to see what reflections I could see. I hope that you can join me on my walk around the lake. There are a couple of ways to view the pictures. You can just scroll down the page, clicking on one that you wish to view larger.  Or you can click on the first picture and as in a slideshow, click on the right hand arrow to take you to the next pictures.


And then I caught a glimpse at something that looked like old metal and I checked it out. It was an old rusted, retangular can of some sort from a ways back. I wondered what it held. Could it have been a tin of sardines or something like that? It would have been a lovely place to camp back in the day, not allowed these days though.

And I continued my walk around the lake.

I made it back to my campsite in time for lunch. I thought about taking another hike in the evening but ended up saving that for the next day. Reading a book and relaxing just sounded like more fun.

Dog Hike?

No, dogs not allowed in Yosemite National Park Wilderness.


What is a Doarama?  It is a video playback of the GPS track overlaid on a 3 dimensional interactive map. If you “grab” the map, you can tilt it or spin it and look at it from different viewing angles. With the rabbit and turtle buttons, you can also speed it up, slow it down or pause it.

Elizabeth Lake Doarama

Map and Profile:

CALTOPO has some free options for mapping and here is a link to my hike this week, which you can view or download: CALTOPO: Elizabeth Lake Hike

Elizabeth Lake Topographic Map

Elizabeth Lake Profile

Tuolumne Meadows Campground Map with Elizabeth Lakes Trailhead Noted (Yosemite National Park)


Tuolumne Meadows Campground

Elizabeth Lake Yosemite Hikes

Browning, Peter, Yosemite Place Names, Great West Books, Lafayette California, 1988

Elizabeth CROW BROWN Find a Grave.

Prior Blogs in This Area:

Tuolumne Meadows to Elizabeth and Nelson Lakes Hike July 26, 2013

Leave a Reply

Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online