Cathedral lakes Photos – Sky High Beauties

It’s generally agreed that this is one of the best Tioga backcountry destinations in the park. It’s a 7+ mile roundtrip hike with some decent climbing involved, but the scenery is second to none. Here are some of my favorite Cathedral Lakes photos.

Small pool with Cathedral Peak reflection - Cathedral Lakes photos
Small pool near Cathedral Lakes

As you can see, one of the greatest thing about these lakes is the jagged, picture-perfect Cathedral Peak looking down on it. It’s easy to see why this mountain got its name – it does resemble a cathedral spire, especially from certain angles.

Anyhow, I used an ND filter here to smooth out the surface of the lake. While this does create a nice effect, it also blurs the reflection of the mountain above. Not the end of the world on this particular day, though. It was too windy to get a nice lake reflection anyhow.

Long exposure smooth water effect, with the jagged peak overhead
Long exposure Lower Cathedral Lake scene

Even in July there were still some patches of snow on the ground, and by late afternoon it was getting a bit chilly already. I suppose that before mentioned wind didn’t help that much. If you couldn’t tell, the elevation is quite high up here. 9,585 ft, to be exact!

Shoreline - Cathedral Lakes photos in July
Looking down on the lake from above

I’m sorry to say that due to time constraints and reading reviews about Upper Cathedral Lake, I did continue up there to see it for myself. The lower lake is said to be the most picturesque. However, someday I do hope to make the journey to the very top…if for nothing else, just to satisfy my curiosity.

Also be sure to check out my Cathedral Lakes Hike gallery. It focuses more on the terrain and trail itself.

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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.