May Lake Photos – Jewel In The High Country

I think this pristine high Sierra lake is my favorite in all the park. While its more famous cousin up the road (Tenaya) gets the lion’s share of attention, I prefer May Lake’s more secluded nature. The hike up is not too long, but moderately steep. Working for it a bit makes you appreciate the beauty at your destination even more. Here’s a collection of May Lake photos for you to browse.

View from above - May Lake photos
May Lake View from above

One thing I really love about this hike is how beautiful the trek itself is. There are some incredibly scenic sections of rocky trail, as well has a few stunning lookout points. One in particular offers some nice views of the Cockscomb peak.  

Pink wildflowers at the shore
Pink wildflowers at the shore

When I arrived in late June, there were colorful wildflowers growing along the edge of the lake. There is also a quintessential Sierra summer camp up here. However, as with any other overnight stays during summertime, you probably need to reserve slots far in advance. 

Shoreline & surrounding granite countryside
Shoreline & surrounding granite countryside

Above May Lake you’ll notice Mount Hoffman, which is a steep but scenic addition to this hike if you’re feeling ambitious. Continuing up that trail afforded some beautiful views looking down on Half Dome & May Lake, but also many more varieties of wildflowers…and even patches of leftover winter snow!

Chairs at the lakeside, for couples or friends
Folding chairs ready for action

Keep an eye out for curious lakeside chipmunks. I took the majority of those pictures here. Another thing I should mention is that swimming is not allowed at this lake. I believe it’s because it’s a water source.

Vibrant wildflowers at the shoreline - May Lake Photos
A splash of color in June

Overall, I think this lake offers adventurers the best “bang for your buck”. You can get a quick workout, take in some breathtaking scenery, and still have time to continue on your next adventure. 

By the way, also check out my May Lake Hike photos (LINK)…they focus more on the trails themselves, as well as the terrain.

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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.