May Lake Hike Photos – The Trail, Scenery, Hikers

For various reasons, this just may be my most recommended high Sierra trail. It has a broad appeal, due to it’s brief (but moderate) climb. The distance is just enough to accomplish quickly. The ascent is just enough to make you feel the burn. Finally, just when you feel you’ve truly earned it, the scenic reward is through the roof. Here are my May Lake hike Photos.

Perfect, Rocky Trail - May Lake Hike Photos
Perfect, Rocky Trail

I mean, look at this trail! In Yosemite you’d be hard pressed to find a trail with this level picture perfect scenic beauty. However, I do think I’m a sucker for this type of exposed, granite rock in the high country. Above you can see the peak of Mount Hoffman on the left, if you look carefully.

Hikers – May Lake Hike Photo

Hiker taking picture at viewpoint- May Lake Hike Photos
Backpacker taking photo at viewpoint

This trail passes by some stunning lookouts and scenery. Backpackers use it en route to the (seasonal, of course) summer camp at the lake. The more ambitious among them are trekking even further into the high Sierra.

Man Hiking well Marked Trail - May Lake Hike Photos
Well defined path

The trail is mostly marked well, as you can see above with the rocks bordering the sides. Clearly, this is a good hike for people who love the sun. I would say the majority of the terrain is open, sprawling granite surface like this.

While it’s not exactly cool in the summer, the elevation is quite high. This means it certainly won’t be as hot as lower elevation locations in the park.

Colorful lakeside view, with wildflowers
Colorful lakeside

The trail dumps you right out on the lakeshore. On this particular summer hike, the high mountain wildflowers were in full bloom. It was a real treat.

Trail takes you along the water's edge - summer portrait
Trail takes you along water’s edge

Without a doubt, these photos show why I love the May Lake hike so much. In my humble opinion, this is the high Sierra at its best.

Looking down on lake from the Mount Hoffman Trail
Looking down on lake from the Mount Hoffman Trail

For the more adventurous, you can continue climbing up to the peak of Mount Hoffman. Though it’s not too far, be warned. It’s much steeper. Incredible, sweeping views up there, though. Also check out my May Lake Destination page, as well as my main Yosemite trails album.

Looking for lodging? Check out my Yosemite Hotels page.

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.